The Internet has brought us many great things (including A Financial Revolution
). One of the benefits of the Internet is the ability to research products and prices with a few keystrokes and clicks. Comparison sites like Price Grabber
, My Simon
, and others allow consumers to read reviews from people that use the product or service and helps compare prices at leading (and lagging) online stores.
Since I’m in the market for a GPS navigation system, I decided to compare the comparison sites. Here are the rules: I searched for the Garmin StreetPilot i5
on each of the sites, rated the sites on three factors – ease of use, lowest price, and other features (e.g., reviews, price alerts) – and then averaged the ratings for a final score.
|Site||Sellers||Score||Best Price (all/trusted retailer)||Notes|
|NexTag||27||4.5||$358/$358||Allows you to set price alerts|
|Yahoo! Shopping||25||4.25||$358/$358||Allows you to set price alerts|
|PriceRunner||29||4.0||$347/$362||Allows you to set price alerts|
|MSN Shopping||33||3.5||$358/$358||Does not include shipping charges|
|Become.com||4||3.3||$358/NA||Few merchants and no store reviews, but a good site for finding research|
|Smarter.com||23||2.8||$358/$367||The same merchants are approximately $10 higher at this site|
|Froogle||180||2||-||Included results for other products as well as ridiculously low prices|
Overall, there wasn't a great deal of difference between the sites scoring 3.5 or better; it generally came down to ease of use (e.g., how hard was it to sort on price including shipping.) I wanted to try the price alert feature so I set up a price target of $345 on both NexTag and Yahoo! Shopping. Now I wait...