What are the BEST deal sites?
June 10, 2006 8:51 AM   Subscribe

What are the best sites on the Internet that guide you to finding the best prices on a wide range of consumer items? I want to do comparison shopping, by locating the biggest selection from reputable stores (sites), compare product features, prices, possibly read reviews, but that's not a must, to get the best deals, period. In the past, I’ve used: BizRate, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, and Froogle (Google). I know there must be more, or better sites out there, so what are they and let me know your experiences – pro & con.
posted by thebarron to Shopping (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Pricewatch.com for anything computer related, especially commodities.
posted by blasdelf at 9:38 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you're tired of the "mail-in-rebate" scams, I'd suggest heading directly over to NewEgg. Pretty-much the lowest price on anything, and amazing service to boot.

If you don't mind the "coupon game," head over to the Anandtech Hot Deals forum for the absolutely up-to-the-minute best deals around.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:53 AM on June 10, 2006

A new site -- DealCritic.
posted by ericb at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2006

My procedure for researching electronics/computer stuff is usually:

1. dontbuyjunk.com because it's got a very handy tool for drilling down into what models have the features I want. They don't actually have as many items in their catalog as other places, but it's a good place for me to start to get an idea.

2. Then, when I find some candidates, I go to amazon.com to check customer reviews. I only pay attention to them if I see a pattern of many people complaining about the same problem with the unit, or many people praising it on some characteristic that matters to me. Ever since they started telling you that "10% of people who looked at this item bought this item, 70% of people bought this other item," I usually try to figure out exactly what it was about this item and the other item that influenced other shoppers. That's been helpful.

3. Then, I compare the prices at Amazon to a froogle search. I generally don't buy from places I don't know, but I like to see if I'm being screwed, pricewise. It's generally for me a choice between Amazon or NewEgg for purchasing this kind of stuff.

4. If it's a major purchase, I'll find a couple models I'm interested in, then call up my local Fry's Electronics to see if they have it. I like to buy online, because it's way cheaper, but I still like to be able to physically touch and interact with the thing before I pay $500 for it, so I'll drive down there and palpate the gizmo if I can.

I supplement this with Google searches on particular subjects that pop up in my research at these other places. For instance, if I'm wondering whether or not such and such a device will be compatible with my system, or if there are DRM restrictions the manufacturer and seller aren't being up front about.

Also, if the particular item I'm looking for is something that I can wait a little while to buy, I'll keep an eye out on places like Bens Bargains, DealNews, and SlickDeals, which I've got in my daily bookmarks anyway.

I don't know if my methodology is usual or not. It doesn't really take all that much time, but I feel like spending 30 minutes to an hour doing research almost always gets me the best item for the least amount of money, so it's worth it to me.
posted by Hildago at 10:36 AM on June 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

Ack, froogle.
posted by Hildago at 10:37 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

I visit FatWallet's Hot Deals Forum. Sign-up and then you can sort by rating. I have mine show only the best rated deals from the last 2 days.
posted by Ekim Neems at 11:16 AM on June 10, 2006

I work the Amazon/Froogle/Pricewatch circut - but I round it out with an eBay serach. Often you can find refurbished or new items on eBay significantly cheaper than the other places. Of course you have to pay special attention to the fine print, shipping, seller feedback, etc.

I bought a Harmon Kardon amp on eBay which I've been lusting after for a while and saved $200 over what Froogle/Amazon had it for. It's spotless, good as new, in the box with all the stuff... certainly a great value.
posted by wfrgms at 12:14 PM on June 10, 2006

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