April 02, 2008

E-commerce > Why I Love Nextag and Other Price Comparison Services

My day job is running an e-commerce operation. As part of that job I advertise on price comparison services. It's well worth it - I get great ROI by advertising our products on price comparison services. The people who visit those sites are in the final stages of buying. They want a reputable company who can deliver the product at a good price. Selling to those people is the easiest, quickest, most straight-forward transaction between an eager buyer and an eager seller.

Likewise, I use those price comparison services when I'm shopping for my personal use. I've used them to buy computer equipment, stereo equipment, and, lately, camera equipment.

My favorite of the bunch is Nextag.com. I've been shopping camera lenses on Amazon and Nextag. Amazon lists the features, has reviews from people who have bought the lens, and even has sample images taken by customers who bought the lens.

What Amazon doesn't have is the best price. One lens I'm looking at sells for $479 on Amazon. Checking the price on Nextag I found several online vendors offering it for around $400.

Nextag also offers user reviews of the products. Better yet, they have user reviews of the sellers, so you know who to shop with and who to avoid. I also like their price history graph showing the change in price over time:

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I sometimes use Nextag's price alert service. Enter your email address and a target price and Nextag will email you when the price drops below that amount.

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One little-noticed feature of Nextag is a record of the date the product first appeared on the site. I've occasionally used that to get a ballpark estimate of when a product was introduced.

Tip for consumers - The price search results are not sorted by price. That's typical of price comparison services (but not Google Products search). Resellers like me have the option to pay more to be at the top of the search results regardless of our price. Always click on the price column header to sort with the lowest price first. Better yet, enter your Zip code for Nextag's "TruePrice" which includes shipping and applicable sales tax. When you sort by TruePrice you're sorting by the total price with shipping and tax so there are no hidden surprises.

Tip for e-commerce folks - Among the paid price comparison services the most important to use are Nextag, Shopzillla/Bizrate, Yahoo Shopping, Shopping.com/DealTime.com/eBay.com/Epinions.com, and Google Products. Google Products, MSN Live Products, and theFind.com don't cost you anything so you're crazy not to use those three. Google Products (formerly Froogle) will drive even greater traffic once it comes out of beta and Google starts promoting it more heavily. There are products I don't list on most price comparison services because I don't think the ROI is good enough, but I can list them on Google Products because it doesn't cost me anything.

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack



Comments

So, I guess you don't buy into the spamdexing method of internet advertising.

Meanwhile, I can't believe there's a blog dedicated to messing with search engines. It's just kind of odd to openly discuss pissing of Google and the like.

Posted by: Alcibiades McZombie at April 02, 2008

Nah. I don't sell V1@gr@. :-)

Posted by: Les Jones at April 02, 2008
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