Look & Compare before you buy.

Price shopping online is an important step to get the best price on new purchases. Finding the lowest price from a dependable website is critical. How do you find trusted items, ratings, and specs?

Narrow your search down to a specific item

If your want to compare prices you need to find the exact product you want. Say your looking for an MP3 player. If you try to compare the prices on the generic term ‘MP3 Player’ you’ll have a hard time pinning down the exact price. Instead, try to find the exact make, model, and brand of MP3 player. You’ll have much more luck knowing you want a 8 GB ipod touch then using a generic search for an MP3 player. This same principle works on all levels, even shopping and negotiating for a new car.

Comparing Ratings & Specs

Once you have your exact product name and description it’s time to read some reviews. When comparing reviews it’s best to have a couple products you want to compare. It might also be good to compare a similar product with differing features. There are a few websites I depend on for ratings and specs. Amazon, NewEgg, and the Manufacturer website are all good resources. You’ll soon find that some reviews and ratings are intelligent and others are…not. Some users will give a vacuum a bad rating because it’s not a toaster. It pays off to dig deeper and see why a product has a good or bad rating. As the number of reviews on a product increase the likely hood of poor reviews unduly effecting the rating is unlikely.

Another quick and dirty way to compare ratings is to simply type your products in a search engine. Your search query might read something like “product I v.s. product II”. There are a lot of websites dedicated to answering your questions.

Search on comparison shopping engines

Once you have your specific product type your search into a comparison shopping engine. In some cases you’ll see the prices here are much less then what you could find any where else.

Google Products (that’s what they’re calling it now-a-days) is great resource. They include tax, shipping, and final cost. The products here are listed free and Google doesn’t make any money off how they display the results. Other comparison shopping engines charge for placement and might not have as many stores as you’d like to see.

Comparing the Best Stores & Prices

WARNING! Buying from a store with the lowest price can be extremely risky. As a general rule anything under 20% should be suspected as potential fraud. The exceptions to this is when the product is refurbished or used. When buying a new digital camera I nearly bought from one of these companies. Luckily I talked with my friend (who’s a great photographer) and he convinced me otherwise. Within 30 seconds of research we found tons of people who got scammed. If you’re tempted to go with the lowest price take the time to research. You’ll be happy you did!