Retail Search Engines
March 8, 2004 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Are there any location based retail search engines out there? [more inside]

I live in NJ. My mother is out visiting her family in Muster, IN (zip 46321) and is in search of a remote control operated recliner (lift feature a plus) for my grandmother. She'd like to pick something up today, or at least be able to go see and test out some models in stores in the area (within a radius of 20 miles or so). I'm looking for a list of different places where she'll be able to find models to look at.

I've tried using the yellow pages and things like mysimon and epinions, etc... to no avail. Maybe I'm just missing some obvious search engine somewhere?
posted by MsVader to Shopping (5 answers total)
It isn't specifically retail oriented, but I've had decent luck with google's search-by-location feature.
posted by duckstab at 8:42 AM on March 8, 2004

Here are a few suggestions:

Look in the yellow pages under "wheel chairs" or "medical equipment" - these companies usually sell lift chairs.

Find a nearby town on this list. Pride Mobility is a major manufacturer of lift chairs.

If those suggestions fail (and I doubt they will), have her phone a local furniture store. They either carry lift chairs or will be able to point her in the right direction.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:55 AM on March 8, 2004

Yes. Enter your address at and get to the point where you're looking at a map of where you live, or whatever point you want to start from. Then look for the "nearby businesses" link and you will find yourself at a taxonomy of business types. Click down to the kind of business you're looking for, and you should be able to get a listing by distance from the original point. You will by default be shown "featured businesses" first, and you'll have to re-sort to get them by distance.
posted by scarabic at 5:47 PM on March 8, 2004

Thanks for all of your suggestions. They're not exactly what I was looking for (as I tried some of these techniques already), but I appreciate the help. I actually used the list that Steve provided to give my mom some phone numbers. I don't yet know if she was successful in finding anything.

It would be nice to have some kind of search engine like mysimon where you could specify that you want to search local businesses instead of just online stores. Of course, I guess this would require all businesses to have their inventory online and available for queries. That probably isn't going to happen any time soon...
posted by MsVader at 8:10 AM on March 9, 2004

You're probably right about local businesses not showing up on these services any time soon, MsVader. Many, if not all of the geographic-based serch engines, charge businesses for online listings. Depending on where they're located, I have the impression that most small businesses would rather invest their advertising dollars where they perceive as "local", meaning printed yellow pages and local newspapers.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:18 PM on March 9, 2004

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