Some people think that when they go to Google Shopping (formerly the much cooler named Froogle) and get a list of prices, that it is defacto, the lowest prices possible. Those of you who are Websitetologists, or just smart shoppers, know that Google isn’t omniscient.
To get listed in Google’s pricing matrix isn’t as simple as “build it and they will come”- there is a whole series of things to fill out, optimize and then, you wait.
Most serious ecommerce outlets spend considerable time working this- but, others opt out.
The two factors that can make the most difference are shipping and tax. Now that Amazon charges tax in Ohio- a little research can save you a lot of money.
So, when I first look at Amazon- I often check the “other sellers on Amazon” – and realize, they are paying Amazon at least 10% to list their stuff on Amazon’s site, so check out their site direct. Sometimes being fulfilled by Amazon now causes sales tax to be added in Ohio- and, going directly to their site will help you skip it.
There are also price comparison sites- Price Grabber being one of the oldest. But even these sites can have internal biases.
One of my favorite sites is Deal News, which started out as Deal Mac. Gotta love their tagline- “How to go broke saving money.” Often times, I go here and look at “expired deals” to find out what the best price has been as a good indication of what’s out there.
A new ecommerce clearing house, Jet, is trying to compete with Amazon- and to build that all essential “critical mass” are often losing money even more than Amazon used to. The membership fee they started out with- is now gone. Their gimmick- the more you buy- the more you save, and- if you decline “easy returns” they’ll deduct some more money from the cost.
There are browser plugins than can look up what you are browsing and tell you better prices, but I’m getting really wary of browser plugins spying these days- your CC info may be too easy to steal once you grant access to your browser. Plus, the prices weren’t always that great.
And, although it can be intimidating- for a lot of stuff that you know is made in some factory in China- you can try to go direct via Alibaba. The tough thing is sorting out the actual manufacturers from the many middle men- but if you are looking for quantity of any item- it’s the place to go.
Ebay is also another secret resource. Many manufacturers now have their own Ebay outlets, where they sell blemished, open box, refurbs or discontinued items. The stuff can be found with full warranty at a fraction of the price. And speaking of Ebay- if you bid any time other than the final split second, you are bidding against yourself. Look into a sniping application like eSnipe and always get what you want at the price you want.
And, of course, if you want to learn how to build a website that really works- don’t forget to take the www.websitetology.com seminar, now in it’s tenth year.