Tech: Price Search Engines These tricks will help you find the best bargains online Consumers can quickly find cheap offers online via comparison portals. But not every search engine always spits out bargains. What should you watch out for in order to really save money in the end?
The majority of Germans now shop online. And for many, online research before buying is standard in order to find the cheapest offer. A study by Bitkom Research found that 55 percent of online shoppers used price comparison sites for this in 2018. This means that consumers can easily find out from which retailer they can get a product at the lowest price. These include, for example, Geizhals.de, Idealo.de, Google Shopping, Amazon.com, Looturs.com, Guenstiger.de, or Check24.de.
“Price search engines generally make it easier for you to find your way through the jungle of providers and price recommendations,” says Arne Düsterhöft from the consumer portal “Finanztip”. “However, that does not mean that consumers automatically get the cheapest price there or that they are the easiest to find their way around,” he says.
Depending on the product type, different portals were particularly suitable. And one provider does not necessarily cover all offers.
Tips for using price search engines on the internet:
For this reason, Georg Tryba from the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center advises to always use several price search engines and also to take a cross-look at the offers of the stationary trade, which are, however, more difficult to overlook.
If you use a comparison portal, you should definitely check the box there, advises Tryba. This includes, for example, clicks on “low price” and “including shipping costs”. Otherwise, high shipping costs can suddenly increase the supposedly low price shortly before the purchase. This causes frustration for the user.
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Many portals show the price development of products over a longer period of time. These so-called price trends are a very practical function, says Düsterhöft. In this way, it is possible to assess whether the supposed special offer is really cheaper than the regular price of the last few months.
Consumers shouldn’t be stressed by a particularly low price, says Tryba. “Nobody knows when the cheapest price is. We sell out every day on the internet. That goes on forever. ”He advises asking yourself two questions before making a purchase: Do I need a product? Is it of reasonable quality? Only then should you start a search on comparison portals if necessary.
Search engines can help you make decisions:
Sometimes a price search engine can also help if consumers don’t yet know exactly which product they actually want. Because the portals arrange them in many categories and sub-categories that can be searched using various filters. In this way, products can be screened down to the smallest technical details.
Cornelia Dlugos from the digital magazine “t3n” explains that it is worthwhile to fully utilize the filter options, especially with complex products. Because here equipment features are particularly important.
Delivery times are a criterion:
When searching, users should consider the delivery times of the shops. “So it can be that you can get hold of a smartphone cheaply, but have to wait two to four weeks for delivery because the dealer does not have the device in stock,” explains Dlugos. Some portals do not differentiate between new and used goods.
Consumers should not necessarily rely on reviews on the portals. That goes for good as well as bad. Dlugos recommends reading several product reviews on different pages in order to get an overall impression.
Pay attention to the payment methods for online purchases:
Once the product of choice has been found, payment is made. Here it is important to choose a secure payment method, says Tryba. “This includes, for example, paying by direct debit or invoice.” Credit cards and prepayment are uncertain. “If in doubt, you have to chase after the dealer to get the money back.”
What consumers should not forget: comparison portals are financed by commissions from dealers and also by displaying advertising, says Dlugos. The portals, therefore, make a profit when consumers use them.