This is a long overdue review of a new kid on the block of deal aggregators, Combyo. I have briefly mentioned it in one of my news roundups in the past but until today I really had no time to give it the attention it deserves.
By style and look Combyo resembles another deal aggregator, Boddit. The top menu and the highlighted price in the deal title clearly give away the similarity. In fact Pinaki, the creator of this site, has confessed in an email to me that Combyo was born after he came across Boddit. So why another deal agreggator? Here are a few things that make Combyo a better bargain hunting tool compared to Boddit
Integrated price comparison
The biggest feature Pinaki added to Combyo is the price comparison integrated right into the deal preview. This is far from anything new, many deal sites I know have been doing it for a while. However it is the first time I see it is done with a deal aggregator. In fact I liked the feature so much that I decided to add it to my WiredDeals as well.
The part I don’t like is that before I get to see the prices offered by other merchants I have to pick a product from a few alternatives offered by Shopzilla. I understand why this works like that (Combyo has no way of knowing exactly the product thus it displays all the matches it finds) but I really hate the extra click I have to make to get to the prices.
Deal alerts is actually one of the things that prompted me to create WiredDeals since neither of the deal forums I frequented at that time had them. Of course both FatWallet and SlickDeals promptly added the functionality shortly after, and the funny thing is that I even got to beta-test it, picking up brains however is how all big guys seem to do business these days, even the ones who claim to be no evil. ;-)
I am still not sure I completely understand how alerts work with Comyo though. They seem to be bound to products, e.g. if you like a certain deal and want to be notified when the price on it goes down, you can fill out a small form with your email address and Combyo will send you an email when the price on that specific product goes down. What happens however if a similar product is found for a lower price? I hope Pinaki chimes in with a clarification.
Whenever you see a link labeled “Related Deals” under the deal title it means Combyo has found a similar deal (or deals) from multiple sources and has rolled them up into one entry. From my short experience playing with the site, this often doesn’t work (unrelated products get bundled) but when it does it is a good way to watch a chronology of a deal - where it originates and who picks it up.
There is one more site that does a great job rolling up deals. It is one of the oldest deal agreggators out there, Roosster. What I like is that with Roosster you can see the sources right away and can click through to each of them from the top-level window. With Combyo you first have to click though to a secondary page, which by itself is a nuisance.
With so many sites to choose from (see my previous coverage here and here) aggregating deals becomes a saturated market and you really have to offer something unique to stand out. I like the idea of mashing up the price comparison results with deals, however this by itself is really not enough to make Combyo stand out and hence I doubt it will generate much buzz.
What do you think, does Combyo have a life, or will it die without seeing much light?