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Popular price comparison sites – January 2009

This is January 2009 revision of the Popular Price Comparison web sites list. You can find the last month revision of the list here.

The change in rating shows the difference compared to December results. The list has a total of 35 web sites which is the same number as the last month. There are 17 more sites in my database that don’t meet Alexa Rank < 100,000 requirement.

The best performer this month is shopwiki.com with a gain of (16.82%) followed by calibex.com (13.65%). They take the lead from ebates and shoplocal who were in the first and second spot for a couple months in a row

The worst performer this month is mpire which is dying slow death ever since the team abandoned the project in favor of widgetbucks shopping ads platform

# Web Site Alexa Rank Page Rank Online Since
1 shopping.yahoo.com 1 (*) 8 18-Jan-1995
2 froogle.google.com 2 (*) 7 11-Sep-2001
3 live.com 4 (*) 8 22-May-2008
4 shopping.msn.com 6 (*) 7 10-Nov-1994
5 shopping.aol.com 28 (*) 7 22-Jun-1995
6 shopper.cnet.com (info) 150 (*) (0.66%) 8 05-Jul-1996
7 nextag.com 431 (7.71%) 7 15-Oct-1998
8 shopping.com 492 (-1.65%) 7 03-Jul-1997
9 bizrate.com 569 (-3.08%) 7 (5) 24-Apr-1996
10 shoplocal.com 620 (2.97%) 7 24-Sep-1998
11 shopzilla.com 1000 (8.17%) 6 04-Jul-2002
12 (1) pricegrabber.com (info) 1103 (4.75%) 7 10-Mar-1999
13 (1) pronto.com 1115 (0.89%) 8 01-Jan-2006
14 smarter.com 1745 (2.62%) 5 28-Apr-1998
15 epinions.com 2008 (0.45%) 7 12-Feb-1999
16 (1) thefind.com (info) 2311 (4.11%) 6 19-Oct-2006
17 (1) dealtime.com 2338 (-5.98%) 6 07-Oct-1998
18 become.com 3718 (-4.61%) 6 20-Jan-2004
19 pricerunner.com 3989 (0.82%) 6 19-May-1999
20 (2) shopwiki.com 4015 (16.82%) 5 15-Dec-2004
21 (1) dealio.com 4354 (0.77%) 5 08-Sep-2004
22 (1) like.com 5415 (-16.88%) 6 22-Feb-1995
23 (1) retrevo.com 6446 (11.37%) 6 10-May-2006
24 (1) ebates.com 6748 (-7.76%) 5 29-Dec-1998
25 (1) calibex.com 7144 (13.65%) 5 02-Oct-2000
26 (1) mysimon.com 7610 (6.27%) 8 15-Apr-1998
27 pricewatch.com 13359 (3.66%) 6 26-Sep-1995
28 bottomdollar.com 15667 (-5.92%) 7 04-Jul-1997
29 dealighted.com (info) 16482 (-0.06%) 5 09-Oct-2006
30 sortprice.com 26326 (-2.93%) 5 15-Jan-2004
31 bestwebbuys.com 33226 (-0.08%) 6 06-Jan-1998
32 pricescan.com 34033 (0.51%) 6 03-Sep-1997
33 hawkee.com 43305 (**) (12.49%) 6 02-Jan-1997
34 (1) streetprices.com 63560 (9.22%) 5 16-Oct-1997
35 (1) mpire.com 69384 (-13.6%) 5 01-Jun-2006

(*) Note: traffic stats for these sites is an aggregate of all traffic to the top domain (e.g. Yahoo.com or Google.com) and thus cannot be used to judge how popular this particular price comparison service is.

(**) Note: the web site is a portal with price comparison engine being one of the offered web services. Alexa rank cannot be used to judge how popular this price comparison engine is.

Popular price comparison sites – October 2008

This is October 2008 revision of the Popular Price Comparison web sites list. You can find the last month revision of the list here.

The change in rating shows the difference compared to September results. The list has a total of 34 web sites which is the same number as last month. There are 18 more sites in my database that don’t meet Alexa Rank < 100,000 requirement.

Just as I predicted last month, jellyfish.com dropped off the list, but I added one more website this month - dealio.com is now taking position #20, so the total number of sites in the list hasn't changed

The best performer this month is shopwiki.com (26.23%) who passed bottomdollar, the last month leader, by a small margin. Another notable event is that shopzilla.com has passed pricegrabber.com who has been on a steady decline for some time. The worst performer this month is again dealtime.com (-41.28%). Please enjoy the complete list below.

#Web SiteAlexa RankPage RankOnline Since
1shopping.yahoo.com 1 (*) 8 18-Jan-1995
2froogle.google.com 2 (*) 7 11-Sep-2001
3shopping.msn.com 6 (*) 7 10-Nov-1994
4shopping.aol.com 25 (*) (-19.05%)7 22-Jun-1995
5shopper.cnet.com (info) 157 (*) (-9.03%)7 05-Jul-1996
6shopping.com 518 (0.19%)6 03-Jul-1997
7nextag.com 532 (0.75%)6 15-Oct-1998
8bizrate.com 591 (2.96%)7 24-Apr-1996
9shoplocal.com 1007 (-10.66%)7 24-Sep-1998
10 (2)pronto.com 1228 (3.76%)8 01-Jan-2006
11shopzilla.com 1282 (-1.5%)6 04-Jul-2002
12 (2)pricegrabber.com (info) 1290 (-9.04%)8 10-Mar-1999
13 (2)smarter.com 1779 (4.66%)5 28-Apr-1998
14 (1)dealtime.com 1855 (-41.28%)6 07-Oct-1998
15 (1)epinions.com 1886 (-13.41%)7 12-Feb-1999
16thefind.com (info) 2686 (18.21%)6 19-Oct-2006
17become.com 3443 (4.12%)6 20-Jan-2004
18 (1)like.com 4174 (6.68%)6 22-Feb-1995
19 (1)pricerunner.com 4223 (-17.21%)6 19-May-1999
20dealio.com 4714 (n/a) 5 (n/a) 08-Sep-2004
21 (2)shopwiki.com 6090 (26.23%)5 15-Dec-2004
22 (1)retrevo.com 7394 (-1.25%)6 10-May-2006
23 (1)mysimon.com 8677 (-9.91%)7 15-Apr-1998
24 (4)calibex.com 9226 (-27.27%)4 02-Oct-2000
25 (1)ebates.com 10032 (11.71%)5 29-Dec-1998
26 (1)pricewatch.com 15254 (-4.96%)6 26-Sep-1995
27 (2)bottomdollar.com 19108 (24.22%)0 04-Jul-1997
28dealighted.com (info) 23991 (4.84%)6 09-Oct-2006
29 (3)sortprice.com 26317 (-7.07%)4 15-Jan-2004
30 (3)bestwebbuys.com 26391 (-5.05%)6 06-Jan-1998
31 (1)pricescan.com 44471 (-2.93%)6 03-Sep-1997
32 (1)hawkee.com 52197 (**) (-1.45%)5 02-Jan-1997
33 (1)mpire.com 53275 (4.94%)5 01-Jun-2006
34 (1)streetprices.com 84852 (5.59%)5 16-Oct-1997

(*) Note: traffic stats for these sites is an aggregate of all traffic to the top domain (e.g. Yahoo.com or Google.com) and thus cannot be used to judge how popular this particular price comparison service is.

(**) Note: the web site is a portal with price comparison engine being one of the offered web services. Alexa rank cannot be used to judge how popular this price comparison engine is.

Popular price comparison sites – August 2008

This is August 2008 revision of the Popular Price Comparison web sites list. You can find the last month revision of the list here.

The change in rating shows the difference compared to July results. The list has a total of 34 web sites and there are 17 more sites in my database that don’t meet Alexa Rank < 100,000 requirement. 34 is one less than last month - salescircular.com seems to be missing.

The best gainer this month is shopwiki.com (26.12%) which has been doing very nicely this year, up to #23 from #31 in December, 2007. The worst performer is dealtime.com (-32.2%) which managed to pass JellyFish in its fall down. I wonder what is going on.

# Web Site Alexa Rank Page Rank Online Since
1 shopping.yahoo.com 1 (*) 8 18-Jan-1995
2 froogle.google.com 2 (*) 8 11-Sep-2001
3 shopping.msn.com 6 (*) 7 10-Nov-1994
4 shopping.aol.com 20 (*) (4.76%) 7 22-Jun-1995
5 shopper.cnet.com (info) 131 (*) (-3.97%) 7 05-Jul-1996
6 shopping.com 469 (-9.32%) 7 03-Jul-1997
7 (1) nextag.com 530 (1.12%) 7 15-Oct-1998
8 (1) bizrate.com 633 (1.4%) 7 24-Apr-1996
9 (2) dealtime.com 702 (-32.2%) 6 07-Oct-1998
10 shoplocal.com 844 (-2.55%) 7 24-Sep-1998
11 pricegrabber.com (info) 1062 (-9.37%) 8 10-Mar-1999
12 shopzilla.com 1258 (1.02%) 7 (2) 04-Jul-2002
13 (1) pronto.com 1475 (10.06%) 7 01-Jan-2006
14 (1) epinions.com 1517 (-7.51%) 7 12-Feb-1999
15 smarter.com 2036 (1.17%) 6 28-Apr-1998
16 become.com 3308 (-4.25%) 6 20-Jan-2004
17 pricerunner.com 3483 (4.76%) 6 19-May-1999
18 thefind.com (info) 4162 (20.57%) 6 19-Oct-2006
19 like.com 4933 (14.04%) 6 22-Feb-1995
20 calibex.com 5900 (0.92%) 4 02-Oct-2000
21 mysimon.com 7258 (-5.14%) 8 15-Apr-1998
22 retrevo.com 7796 (-1.6%) 6 10-May-2006
23 (2) shopwiki.com 11907 (26.12%) 5 15-Dec-2004
24 (1) ebates.com 12115 (-0.45%) 6 29-Dec-1998
25 (1) pricewatch.com 13456 (-8.03%) 6 26-Sep-1995
26 dealighted.com (info) 22982 (-12.79%) 6 09-Oct-2006
27 sortprice.com 23997 (-6.12%) 5 15-Jan-2004
28 bestwebbuys.com 26391 (4.1%) 6 06-Jan-1998
29 pricescan.com 39717 (-3.08%) 6 03-Sep-1997
30 (1) mpire.com 55475 (-3.24%) 6 01-Jun-2006
31 (2) bottomdollar.com 55712 (15.99%) 0 04-Jul-1997
32 hawkee.com 58321 (**) (7.97%) 5 02-Jan-1997
33 (3) jellyfish.com 65423 (-25.41%) 5 26-Jun-2006
34 streetprices.com 95772 (-3.61%) 5 16-Oct-1997

(*) Note: traffic stats for these sites is an aggregate of all traffic to the top domain (e.g. Yahoo.com or Google.com) and thus cannot be used to judge how popular this particular price comparison service is.

(**) Note: the web site is a portal with price comparison engine being one of the offered web services. Alexa rank cannot be used to judge how popular this price comparison engine is.

Popular price comparison sites – June 2008

This is June 2008 revision of the Popular Price Comparison web sites list. You can find the last month revision of the list here.

The best gainer today is shopwiki.com (21.6%) followed by like.com (18.02%). On the down side jellyfish.com (-17.97%) and mpire.com (-17.9%) have the worst numbers, both have a very good explanation. Mpire team has moved efforts to their shopping widget, while Jellyfish got bought by Microsoft.

Overall numbers are mixed (average Alexa gain is -1.40%) and I don’t expect things to pick up until August or September when the school season starts.

# Web Site Alexa Rank Page Rank Online Since
1 shopping.yahoo.com 1 (*) 8 18-Jan-1995
2 froogle.google.com 2 (*) 8 11-Sep-2001
3 shopping.msn.com 6 (*) 8 10-Nov-1994
4 shopping.aol.com 21 (*) 8 22-Jun-1995
5 shopper.cnet.com (info) 128 (*) 7 05-Jul-1996
6 shopping.com 394 (-5.07%) 7 03-Jul-1997
7 dealtime.com 457 (4.79%) 7 07-Oct-1998
8 nextag.com 543 (-0.74%) 7 15-Oct-1998
9 bizrate.com 644 (-1.42%) 7 24-Apr-1996
10 (1) shoplocal.com 856 (-0.71%) 8 24-Sep-1998
11 (1) pricegrabber.com (info) 900 (-6.26%) 8 10-Mar-1999
12 shopzilla.com 1244 (-6.14%) 7 04-Jul-2002
13 epinions.com 1402 (4.17%) 7 12-Feb-1999
14 pronto.com 1801 (2.6%) 7 01-Jan-2006
15 smarter.com 2047 (-6.45%) 6 28-Apr-1998
16 become.com 2894 (-4.67%) 6 20-Jan-2004
17 pricerunner.com 4257 (8.55%) 7 19-May-1999
18 calibex.com 5581 (-8.94%) 4 02-Oct-2000
19 (2) like.com 6267 (18.02%) 5 22-Feb-1995
20 (1) mysimon.com 6682 (-6.5%) 8 15-Apr-1998
21 (1) thefind.com (info) 7094 (-0.97%) 6 19-Oct-2006
22 retrevo.com 8205 (6.47%) 6 10-May-2006
23 pricewatch.com 12037 (-3.85%) 6 26-Sep-1995
24 ebates.com 12125 (-2.6%) 6 29-Dec-1998
25 dealighted.com (info) 18371 (8.91%) 6 09-Oct-2006
26 (2) shopwiki.com 20638 (21.6%) 5 15-Dec-2004
27 (1) sortprice.com 21808 (-3.66%) 6 15-Jan-2004
28 (1) bestwebbuys.com 27305 (-4.93%) 7 06-Jan-1998
29 (1) pricescan.com 37828 (-1.61%) 6 03-Sep-1997
30 (1) jellyfish.com 40130 (-17.97%) 5 26-Jun-2006
31 mpire.com 49433 (-17.9%) 6 01-Jun-2006
32 hawkee.com 67973 (-0.96%) 5 02-Jan-1997
33 bottomdollar.com 70912 (5.42%) 4 04-Jul-1997
34 streetprices.com 89305 (-7.26%) 5 16-Oct-1997
35 salescircular.com 98691 (-0.83%) 5 09-Jun-1998

(*) Note: traffic stats for these sites is an aggregate of all traffic to the top domain (e.g. Yahoo.com or Google.com) and thus cannot be used to judge how popular this particular price comparison service is.

Tips for smart price comparison shopping

I have been looking for an upgrade to my camcorder lately and I used this opportunity to test how well the comparison sites from my list do the job. So I picked a search term and tried each site.

At the end of this post I have a table with results that lists what each of these websites produced including number of products and the best price.

While these results are just one snapshot of a much bigger picture, they did help me uncover certain facts that in turn resulted in a few useful shopping tips.

Many websites share the same list of products

One might think that the more sites you use for price comparison, the better result you will get. It is certainly true to some extend. However I noticed that many websites share the same product listings in results. Please read my previous post on the subject and use the facts you find there to build your own list of sites to use.

One of the tools that you might find useful is RoboShopper which is an aggregator that combines a few comparison engines under one roof. You enter your search term once and then simply switch between multiple websites to see what results each of them gives you.

Remember to re-sort the search results

Majority of price comparison websites make their living by offering merchants prominent positions in search results. These are often marked as “Sponsored” or “Certified” but they usually mean nothing more than the fact that the merchant paid to rank high in the results. Make sure you resort the list by price to avoid getting caught by this little trick.

Watch out for scam shops

Websites who have low barriers for merchants to list their products tend to list a lot of scam shops in search results. This is not the first time I face the problem. Some price comparison websites have been attempting to limit the customer exposure to these merchants. CNET for example will only show “trusted” merchants by default and you will have to click on “Show all” to see the rest.

The most affected services are TheFind, ShopWiki, and Froogle. In my tests they produced the largest number of results, however the merchants in the list that have the lowest price are often nothing else than scam shops. Read this extended PC World research for details on the tricks that these merchants employ to get you on the hook.

Prices and merchants change every day

I didn’t finish my test within a day and had to continue next morning. What I noticed right away is that some merchants have changed prices, some merchants were removed, and others were added. The picture overall has significantly changed. This brought me to an important conclusion. If you can’t find today what you want for the price you like, wait till tomorrow. Certain sites (e.g. Nextag) publish price trend graphs that will assist you when in doubt.

Sometimes websites go down

This is exactly what happened during my tests. The message below was up during a good part of the day yesterday at MSN shopping. Now tell me Microsoft software is reliable. ;-)

MSN error

My search results

I used keyword “sony sr300” in my tests. Sony SR300 is Sony’s flagman consumer camcorder released earlier this year. Here are my results, excluding the websites that republish the content they obtain from other companies (see my previous post on this).

(*) indicates that the price doesn’t include shipping charges. This also may mean that the website doesn’t offer the functionality to show the shipping charges on products. I highlighted the best results using bold font.

Web Site Results Best Result
shopping.yahoo.com 26 $712 (*) PrestigeCamera
froogle.google.com 61 $735 FotoSprint
shopper.cnet.com 17 $749 ButterflyPhoto
shopping.com 12 $777 AbesOfMaine
nextag.com 18 $739 EnterprisePhoto
pricegrabber.com 20 $749 ButterflyPhoto
shopzilla.com 26 $766 FotoConnection
smarter.com 33 $739 EnterprisePhoto
pricerunner.com 15 $749 ButterflyPhoto
pricewatch.com 0 doesn’t list any of Sony SR line
become.com 26 $749 PrestigeCamera
ebates.com 0 doesn’t list any of Sony SR line
thefind.com 30 $731 (*) WildDigital
sortprice.com 5 $732 (*) Access2Digital
like.com 0 offers no/few technology products
pricescan.com 14 $739 EnterprisePhoto
jellyfish.com 0 only lists the previous model, SR 200
pronto.com couldn’t get search to work
activeshopper.com 6 $777 AbesOfMaine
shopwiki.com 88 $459 BestPriceCameras (scam)
streetprices.com 8 $742 BroadwayPhoto
mytriggers.com 30 $769 eBay

My overall impression, recommended websites

Looking at all the websites, I will single out a few that I liked the most and explain why. I excluded all sites that don’t calculate shipping charges. I think this is a critical piece of price comparison. Also, Shopping.com didn’t make my list. While I like the site a lot, it is hard to find a bargain taking into account how many other sites republish the content.




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