With the beginning of the holiday shopping season a scant two days away, many shoppers are getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some shoppers prefer to do things their own way by going site-by-site to find what they’re looking for while other savvier customers use shopping search engines to buy their holiday gifts.
The benefit of shopping search engines is that it gives shoppers the ability to compare different products and prices all on one page without having to visit different websites. These services provide access to real-time product inventory in-store and online. This can help save shoppers’ time and money.
The trick when it comes to shopping search engines is to know exactly what you’re looking at when you conduct a search. It may look like search results but in reality the results are mostly ads paid by the product’s retailers. What you’re seeing is actually the products that have been pushed forward because of a paid program and not necessarily what the best product is or the product closest to your search. Shopping search engines are helpful but it’s more important to check things like product reviews, customer recommendations, the price and other factors before making a decision.
The following are a few shopping search engines that can help you out this holiday season:
Google Product Search: Google has had their hand in comparison shopping services for years via multiple platforms such as their Google Product Search and Froogle. They’ve decided on calling it “Google Shopping” for now and have changed the way merchants list items, going to a paid system from their free feed system.
It’s a good place to start however as it supplies multiple options and easily supplies access to customer reviews as well as editorial picks and shortlists. You can also access multiple print catalogues through their catalog search to avoid all those bulky holiday catalogs that clutter up the house.
Nextag: A shopping search engine that’s been around for awhile, this service offers more than just product search, as it also allows you to look for and find deals on event tickets, travel planning and “Groupon-esque” flash deals. Nextag also gives you the option to see what other people are searching for and buying.
Pricegrabber: A shopping search engine that is useful but needs to be used cautiously. This is because the site is owned and operated by Experian, the credit reporting company, which owns Hitwise, an online traffic analysis group. What happens is that you’ll get really good search results but at the same time they’ll be targeted narrowly from your web use and data gathered by Experian. If you prefer your shopping to be a bit more private, try other shopping search engines.
Shopzilla: Another shopping search engine that’s been around the internet for a long time, Shopzilla began as Bizrate in 1997 and changed to Shopzilla in 2004. Shopzilla is a monster of a shopping comparison site as it is a home base for many other shopping sites such as Bizrate, Beso, Retrevo, among many others.
There are many other shopping sites out there including Bing’s own version of Google shopping as well as eBay’s Shopping.com. Use these four as a starting springboard into the pool of shopping search engines to get you going on your holiday shopping and enjoy your shopping success!