The comparison sites are almost thirty years old. One of the first was BargainFinder which discreetly appeared in 1995.
It wasn’t particularly well received by companies suddenly finding themselves losing out to their competition. But when energy comparison site U-Switch arrived online in the UK, price comparison became much more than mere tit-for-tat rivalry.
Price comparison sites held businesses to account, especially those providing utility services on a grand scale. This gave price comparison sites a degree of integrity and their value started to increase, and not by half measures.
In 2005 Experian purchased PriceGrabber for a whopping $485 million, five years later, a range of price comparison sites had reached emerging markets. Fast forward to today and they are dozens and found all over the world.
Why Are Comparison Sites So Popular?
To answer the first question in a word: convenience. If you’re looking for a quick solution, without having to go around the houses, a price comparison site is ideal.
Speaking of houses, lest we forget, back in the day we’d have to physically leave the comfort of our homes and visit stores! Now all you have to do is fire up the PC/smartphone and within seconds you can start comparing (say) washing machines.
And you don’t have to spend hours sifting through a bunch of options that aren’t suited to your requirements. When comparing a dozen or so machines you can choose a range at your desired price point with all the features you want.
How Do They Work?
To answer the second question, they work by charging a small fee to the companies that use their services. This also brings us nicely to the (minor) downsides of price comparison sites.
That fee (as small as it is) will be paid for by you, the consumer, and bear in mind, not all companies use price comparison sites.
There are many industries online where you can use price comparison sites, it’s not just for typical things such as insurance. Many casino players now head to comparison sites like bonus.ca to compare the best online casinos available in their area and the best promotions on bonuses on offer for them. Casino comparison sites have become invaluable tools for both seasoned gamblers and newcomers to the world of online gaming.
These websites serve as comprehensive platforms that analyze and assess various online casinos, helping players make informed decisions based on their preferences and requirements.
The primary objective of casino comparison sites is to offer an impartial and unbiased evaluation of different online casinos, covering crucial aspects such as game selection, bonuses and promotions, payment options, customer support, security, and overall user experience. By presenting this information in an organized and user-friendly manner, these sites empower players to compare and contrast different gambling platforms effortlessly.
In addition to providing essential data, these sites often feature reviews and feedback from real players, offering invaluable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each casino. This user-generated content adds an extra layer of authenticity and credibility to the comparisons.
For new players, casino comparison sites serve as a reliable guide through the overwhelming world of online casinos, ensuring they can begin their gambling journey with reputable and trustworthy operators. Even experienced gamblers benefit from these platforms, as they keep them up-to-date with the latest trends, promotions, and changes in the online casino industry.
A Look at The Most Popular
As more industries utilise comparison sites to offer their products and services to their customers, let’s embrace the price comparison site by drilling into some of the most popular.
Somehow, Compare the Market has managed to almost transcend what they do in favour of selling cuddly toys! But Meerkats aside, this is one of the best price comparison sites out there.
Compare the Market cover a broad range of services: home, insurance, energy, travel, car etc., and they offer rewards for using selected features.
If you’re in the market to buy a car, in fact, for anything vehicle-related, confused is a good place to begin. They also offer a decent rewards scheme, but only if you buy a vehicle or related insurance through their site.
They also offer price comparisons for utilities -broadband, energy, phones etc- and financial services from loans to mortgages.
Many of us will be unable to look at ‘Go Compare’ without operatic accompaniment, that aside, this might be the best on the page for rewards. How about £250 of excess cover if you buy a home or insurance policy from them?
Indeed, insurance is their speciality but, in line with most price comparison websites, they offer other products: utilities, travel, mortgages, and so on. Dig a little deeper and there are some handy home tips as well.
If you were to take all of the above and compress it into one, then you’d probably get Money Supermarket. This popular price comparison site covers all of the above in terms of services with a few top rewards thrown in for good measure.
Their price match feature is a nice touch, get £20 just for finding a cheaper like-for-like quote from the same provider and they’ll refund you the difference too.
Idealo is one of several shopping price comparison sites -Kelkoo, Price Runner, Price Spy, Google Shopping etc., that do pretty much the same thing. But Idealo may be the best.
It has a broad, eclectic range of products, from ice cream makers to camera cases, and everything else in between. But its pièce de resistance, if you’ll pardon my French, is its 12-month price tracking feature.
This allows the consumer to check the average cost of an item over a year to ensure you’re getting a great deal. And you can set alerts if the price of your item goes down.
Before we leave you to go and compare stuff, bear in mind the word ‘convenience’. ‘Convenience’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’, so do your local high street the occasional favour too!