The UK Web
Online Shopping Price Comparison
The first in a long line of explosive-growth online comparing industries. Before our televisions were plagued with insurance comparing slogans we started with simple product price comparisons ... but sadly, and unusually, the original has been overshadowed by the sleekness and comprehensiveness of the sequel(s). Despite Google's entry into the product price comparison market, no price comparer has come close to offering the concise and consumer empowering service that you see with holiday, utilities, insurance and mobile phone comparers. Maybe it is because product search engines all have strange names like Froogle and Kelkoo so no-one remembers them? GoCompare and USwitch have word of mouth written all over them.
One thing lacking from most price comparison sites is shop comparisons. Kelkoo have a ratings system where people who have purchased products can rate the merchant. As is always the case with voting systems, it is mostly only people who have been wronged that take the time to come back to Kelkoo and enter their rating. The positive reviews and votes are sometimes the company's own employees trying to boost customer confidence. Does this make all ratings systems untrustworthy? Not at all. Most of the time you can spot the "self-promoting" as well as the "anger-issues" reviews and weed them out from the real stories that can help you make a decision. Cheapest price is great if you're ordering a belt and are looking for a few pounds off -- but when you're ordering a £500 washing machine, the company you buy from becomes more important in the not-so-unlikely event that the wrong model shows up at your door or if you need it in a hurry. Would you pay an extra £20 to avoid a six week waiting time? Me too ...
Here is a list of the majority of major online stores in the UK and the best known brand names for comparing them:
- Offering comparison services for products with user reviews and ratings for several countries across Europe.
- Comparing retailers of specialised health supplements.
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