Internet Salsa

Friday, December 09, 2005

Comparison Sites at a Glance

Holiday season is here. I was in the crowd too. Guess when? After Thanksgiving Day. Did I go at 5 am in the morning? No way. However it was already 3:30 in the morning when I went to bed (Nov 26th). ..And I even asked my wife (who was deep at sleep)..."shall I go to the mall? It's only 1 and 1/2 hour left to be 5." And my wife in her deep sleep said "what?”. And I told her that I would go and buy socks. I was kind of joking at that time. So there you go...Again missed that shopping spree for the second time in a row... Anyways, we did go for shopping, coz, my wife was going home and had to buy some gifts for Christmas....And I went to Best buy to look for jump drive, and memory card for my digital camera. They had 512mb memory card for $19.99, and were all out. I would have got one if I wouldn't have gone to bed. I ended up buying 256 mb for $29.99 along with jump drive. Then picked up my wife and daughter from the mall and came home and I went directly to comparison sites to see if I got good deals from Best Buy. I like comparison sites. Some of the sites I go to are as follows:-
shopping.com
nextag.com
mysimon.com
So what are these comparison sites?
Comparison sites lets user select a product/item, compare prices from various merchants, and allows the user to select. Basically it is a place where one can explore prices presented by various participating merchants. Many people use such sites to research before buying an actual product.
These days, such sites are getting really popular. Besides the big players (the ones I mentioned above), many new comers are gaining the traffic as well. Some of the new comers include become.com , which is also founded by the same guys that founded mysimon.com (now owned by cnet).
What’s in for the comparison sites then?
Well, they will earn commission from each purchase the buyer makes through such sites. Yes, the commission seems to be low depending on the item, but it is the volume that counts.
However there is another side to this story. There are people who just research online and then go to the physical stores to buy the product, and such practices are increasing and can hurt these comparison sites. But at the same time these sites are trying to come up with more features and also coming up with products that are hard to find in local stores. They are also coming up with hard to get coupons

There are sites now that can even help buyers search by their zip code, and find the deals from the local stores, but you can't buy from the site. One has to go to the store to buy. At least these sites are helping the customers save time. I m sure such sites are being paid by the local stores.
howeverer, with the gasoline price increasing, I m assuming that many would use comparison sites to buy products rather than driving to the nearest store.

That's it for now...

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