Before comparison sites came along, people used to get conned online all the time. There was a platform to compare prices. As soon as you saw something you liked on a shopping site, you would buy it irrespective of the price. Those days are gone and you can now shop for insurance or groceries at the best deals available.
Comparison websites make money in different ways. Some get commissions every time you buy something they recommend. A few don’t take any commissions and rely on donations to provide unbiased reviews to you. Here is a look at the different types of comparison websites and how to take advantage of their offers.
Specialized Price Comparison
These days price comparison sites specialize in particular niches or products. Electronic websites only compare products for laptops, phones and other electronic devices. Shoe comparison sites don’t compare anything else. Some platforms narrow down to particular products. If the site settles on comparing generators, they don’t review anything else.
Specialized price websites tend to offer better deals because, well, that’s what they specialize in. Compared to a general price comparison website, you save more by using specialized platforms. On the downside, you are limited to one niche.
General Price Comparison
Price comparison websites liken and contrast the prices of groceries, clothes, electronics, vehicles and services on different merchants. When the industry began, most comparison platforms listed products in all categories. You could use one website to compare mortgage rates, clothes, vehicles and electronics. They also shared reviews, guides and ratings on the different products. You can still find general price comparison sites, and they are as popular as they were back then. The platforms are useful when you need to shop different types of goods. Instead of spend hours comparing prices on different products, use one platform. The most popular sites offer as many deals as you could find on a specialized platform.
Review websites are more popular now than ever. The big merchants are always paying marketers to refer customers to their platforms. Retailers like Amazon paying referral sites up to 50% of every customer they refer, making the affiliate marketing business a huge industry on its own.
If you want more than price comparison, referral sites are great tools. They are free and review products on different categories. The best review sites offer objective reviews and guides on how to use the products. They also show price differences on several retailers. Review platforms are better resources when purchasing machinery and electronics. In fact, a review of any kind is better than a plain price comparison. Even when the product in question is something you are familiar with, reviews point out details you could easily overlook.
Feedback Comparison Sites
In service industries like the legal world, users rate testimonials and customer feedback better than price comparisons. Customers want to learn other users’ experience before using the same services. A few years ago, it would have been difficult finding a feedback site worth using. Nowadays, there is a feedback website for almost every service. From bitcoin related-services to insurance policies, travel services to the hotel industry. In fact, feedback comparison sites have become so popular and respected that most people won’t buy services without checking them first. Websites like Trip Savvy have made and broken companies.
According to research, more than 80% of people who shop online buy products and services if they have good reviews. Feedback reviews are more popular because they express the experiences of people who’ve used the same services before.
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Web directories came before most other types of review platforms. They bring together different sites or professionals in a specific region. While they are not primarily designed for price comparisons, they act as such. A web directory for doctors will constitute a list of doctors in your city. Some may list their pricing and other details for easy comparison.
Unlike other comparison sites, directories are great for finding professionals near you. Some pf them list businesses or institutions rarely reviewed. A local directory could list all the museums in your state and their admission fees. The next time you think you can’t locate a veterinarian or plumber in your city, go online for a directory.
How to use Comparison Websites
- Use Multiple sites – Most comparison sites make money through referrals and advertising. If they are paid to review products to you, they will mostly omit the negative. Use different sites to find all the information you need. Using different platforms also exposes you to more prices and the companies offering them.
- Do additional Research – Don’t take a reviewer’s word for it. Make sure you do more research on your own. Many feedback reviews online are done by users who didn’t like the product. Satisfied customers don’t always give reviews. Don’t dismiss a product because of a few negative ratings. Find out more about the product and make an informed decision.
- Don’t Rush into the Sponsored Products – Some comparison websites accept payment to sponsor products at the top of their reviews. That doesn’t mean the products are better than non-sponsored goods. If anything, sponsorship doesn’t say a thing about the quality of the product. Make buying decisions based on research and not because they appeared first on a comparison site.
- Don’t follow the price blindly – A study done on Amazon customers in France last year showed that people change their minds quickly when product prices are lowered. In the study, people who expressed no plans of buying certain products changed their minds immediately free shipping was offered.
Free shipping doesn’t mean you are getting a good deal. Retailers overprice products and lower the shipping costs. Some offer extremely low prices for poor quality products. Don’t follow the prices blindly. Make sure each product you plan to buy meets your expectations.
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Comparison websites review products and compare prices to help you make better buying decisions. Almost all of them are free but some require you to sign up before viewing their reviews. Use them to your advantage. Compare prices and find the best deals whenever you can.