Let’s face it, we all like to get the best deal when we’re buying online – no-one likes to be ripped off and find out later you could have purchased that book, DVD or digital camera for less if you’d spent a little time shopping around. But often we haven’t got time and just go to our old favourite sites.
Well I’ve scoured my bookmarks, scouted around online, and come up with a roundup of some price comparison sites, mostly in the USA and UK, which might help you get the best price for that DVD, book or hard disk.
Digital music downloads
DownloadShopper.com – Compares prices of MP3 digital music downloads from Amazon, iTunes and Walmart. Using the search tool you can find songs by artist name or song name. You can search whole album prices by selecting “album” and entering the artist or album name.
CompareDownload.com – Compares prices of MP3 digital music downloads from Amazon UK, Tesco, iTunes, 7Digital, we7, Play, HMV, etc.
BookLookr – Compares book prices from Amazon, eBay, Half.com, Chegg and Better World.
TextBook Price Comparison – Searches dozens of online US retailers for new or used textbook prices. Search for books by ISBN, title, author and keywords.
DirectTextbook – Compares textbook prices at 200 US online bookstores.
WeCompareBooks – Although this is primarily a textbook price comparison engine designed for college students, it can still help you find the cheapest price for most books in any category. It will show prices for used and new books, and also the shipping costs from multiple book stores.
CheapRiver – searches Amazon stores in USA and Europe to find the best offer on English books. By selecting your country it automatically includes the shipping costs to get the book delivered to you. As CheapRiver uses the current exchange rates, it lets you take advantage of changing exchange rates.
Ciao from Bing – You can search for the ISBN or book title, and it will search across numerous UK online stores for the cheapest price. It will show you if the shipping is free or not, or refer you to the website.
Best Book Price – Compares book prices at a wide range of UK online suppliers. I’ve personally used this service a number of times and found it really useful.
I tried comparing the price of The Mote in God’s Eye by Jerry Pournelle. Ciao gave me a poor choice of just eBay or Play.com with Play offering £5.49 (free postage). Best Book Price gave a much better choice with £5.00 (free postage) on BookDepository and Price Ministry offering a great deal of £2.24 (free postage) for new customers.
eBookPrice – Compares eBook prices from Amazon, eBooks.com, Diesel, eReadable and Powell’s.
I tried the UK services to track the best deal on Medium Season 3 (I’m just catching up on this great TV series). find-DVD offered £13.35 (from SelectCheaper; free postage), BestDVDPrice and Ciao from Bing both found £9.99 (£1.24 postage; £10.23 total) from Amazon Marketplace; PriceGrabber offered £11.98 (from Amazon; free postage). find-DVD listed but didn’t return prices from Amazon and Play. So my small and probably unrepresentative test shows BestDVDPrice and Ciao to be good on this occasion.
Difficult to choose from the wide variety of price comparison services here. I found an article at SmartMoney which compared comparison shopping sites (in Oct 2008) and PriceGrabber came out on top. Yahoo! Shopping also did well. I also see that PriceGrabber have just announced a free iPhone price comparison app.
Just listened to the Windows Weekly podcast 136 and in his Tip of the Week, Paul Thurrott mentioned Invisible Hand for Firefox and Chrome. This add-on checks for lower prices and automatically shows a discreet notification when you’re browsing a product which is cheaper at another retailer. Currently supports more than 100 US, UK and German retailers. However, I found it didn’t add any information at all to either of the searches I tried but may be useful in future price comparisons.
Well, I’ve only just scratched the surface here and really only for USA and UK tech and book price comparisons. It’s over to you now. If you’ve a found good price comparison site for your tech and book purchases in your part of the world, drop a comment and I’ll add it to the list. With your help let’s try and make this a really useful go-to resource for price comparisons around the world. I’ll try and keep it updated from the comments – and don’t worry if your commenting months down the line. It’ll be nice to keep the list up to date.