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eSmarts: The Community for Bargain Shoppers

All About Shopping Agents

Shopping agents check the prices of the same product at many different online stores. While these agents can be a great resource to online shoppers looking for the best prices, they are rarely comprehensive except in the computer industry. You can often find a lower price using our buying guides.

We have prepared a list of pricing agents and commentaries on comprehensiveness and accurateness.

KillerApp
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Computers
A tremendous source for both hardware and software products. Their site is extremely well organized, easy to use, and many products include detailed product information which is lacking at many of the online computer stores. Prices in their database are updated daily.

BidFind
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Auctions
At BidFind, you are able to quickly search to find what auctions are selling a particular product. You will be amazed at the price disparity across different auctions, in some cases you can find identical items at a fraction of the cost by looking around.

ComputerESP
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Computers
ComputerESP indexes over a million prices on over 80,000 computer products from the best web stores. We found the service comprehensive to a fault. They often have so many different items that it can be difficult to find a specific one.

NetBuyer
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Computers
NetBuyer, brought to us by the guys at Computer Shopper, is a very well organized price agent specializing in computers. Because they are part of the Ziff-Davis publishing family, you have access to their product reviews in addition to the pricing information. This service is ideal for the shopper interested in comparing the features of several different models when making a buying decision.

PriceScan
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Computers
PriceScan guides you to the best prices on thousands of computer hardware and software products. In addition to electronic updates, they gather data from magazine ads and vendor catalogs. We found their service very easy to use, but not as comprehensive as other sites.

Acses
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Books
Acses allows you to search 25 bookstores to find the lowest price for up to ten books delivered. Their agent technology is amazing. Rather than a regular keyword search across the merchants, they have integrated their agent with an ISBN database, so you look for the exact same title at each bookstore.

BottomDollar
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General
BottomDollar is a good all around pricing agent. Their service is easy to use, and allows you to compare the prices at many different stores. We found they sometimes lacked the cheapest stores in their categories.

Jango
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General
Jango is a high powered electronic search that scans hundreds of online merchants to tell you who offers the lowest prices. Their search engine covers many different categories. However, we found they sometimes lacked the cheapest stores in their categories.

MX BookFinder
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Old Books
Unlike most of the other book agents, MX BookFinder specializes in rare and out-of-print books. They only search a few sites, but it is definitely the place to go if you are looking for a rare or out of print book.

mySimon
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Old Books
mySimon covers many different areas. The service is easy to use; however, we found it often did not turn up the lowest prices.

a1bookmall.com
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Books
a1bookmall.com also maintains a database of books on their site to ensure that you are searching for the same book at all of the stores. They have six of the most popular stores in their search.

BestBookBuys
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Books
BestBookBuys searches fourteen different bookstores to help you find the lowest prices. They link their search into the ISBN numbers to make sure that you are searching for the same book across all the different site. Amazingly, four of their stores are not in the Acses database.

Junglee
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General
Snap!
WebMarket.com
Yahoo!
Junglee searches participating merchants to help you find the store with the lowest price for a particular item. You can find Junglee at many different sites, and each service differs from the others because the merchants contract with the sites directly, not Junglee. In general, we found that the sites using Junglee had a limited number of participating merchants causing the search to be incomplete.

PriceWatch
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Computers
PriceWatch allows retailers to advertise their product in real-time. Their service is limited to the items that the retailers list with them, and they do not offer side by side comparisons to help you find the lowest prices.

ShopFind
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General
ShopFind searches many stores based on the keywords you supply. Generally, we were disappointed with our searches because they often returned results that were totally irrelevant to our search, even when we were very specific with the model numbers.


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