Price comparison sites are everywhere now, for a huge range of products and services. There’s now no excuse for not shopping around to find the best deal – pretty much anything you could want will be listed on a price comparison site somewhere.
Even something like student accommodation prices can now be compared via a handy third-party: a site like Uniplaces can find the best prices on student flats in the whole of Manchester, or near to even the most specific universities like the LSBF. There’s even sites for wine – just look at Quaffers’ Offers!
There’s loads of them around, and some of the most helpful ones haven’t quite broken in to mainstream consciousness like Amazon and eBay have, despite having millions of users around the world.
What are price comparison sites?
Price comparison sites are one of those rare things that really do exactly what they say on the tin. Displaying a range of options and prices without requiring multiple searches, juggling between browser windows, or filling in the same form again and again, price comparison sites are a useful tool for saving both time and money.
Even if you think you’ve found a trusted retailer who always gives you the best deal, you could be missing out on a bargain if you don’t take a look at the other options. Price comparison sites dig great deals out of all corners of the internet so you don’t have to.
What are the best ones?
Kelkoo is one of the biggest in the world, with millions of products of all kinds. There’s a really broad selection, making it the third biggest ecommerce site in the world after Amazon and eBay, but you’d be forgiven if you’d never heard of it before.
Idealo is nowhere near as broad as Kelkoo, but allows you to run much more specific searches for technology products. It’s ideal for people who know exactly what they’re looking for.
But it’s not just for shopping – financial service comparisons make up a big portion of what’s out there, with sites like Money Supermarket, Compare the Market and Go Compare offering comparisons on all kinds of insurance, energy suppliers and loans, making a complicated and time consuming process a lot easier.
Travel is also something that’s worth shopping around for, and sites such as Skyscanner offer comparisons on flights and hotels, helping you plan and book an entire trip from one site.
Things to watch out for
Although they’re a great resource, it’s important to be wary. The big price comparison sites are businesses too. They’re all in competition with each other and all have access to different deals. They might have preferred partners, too. It’s important to not just stick to one price comparison site – if there’s plenty for the same service or product, you’ll do a bit of cross-referencing between them if you really want to be smart.
Comparison sites for financial services like loans or insurances may also make assumptions about your circumstances to provide you with a quick quote – keep an eye out to make sure the standard quote applies to you to avoid running in to trouble later on. In some situations, it’s best to just use them as a guideline.