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Don’t be fooled by price comparison websites

Don’t be fooled by price comparison websites

As consumers flock to the price comparison sites in search of the best deals, one UK tech start-up has exposed the “dirty secret” of price comparison sites: their prices aren’t reliable.

Robin Landy, Founder of InvisibleHand, comments, “Today’s consumers rely on the price comparison sites to find the biggest bargains and lowest prices. But these sites have a dirty little secret. Most depend upon the retailers to update their price data, which means that many can be up to a week out of date.

Consumers are lured in by what appears to be a good deal, and then disappointed after clicking through and discovering the real price is completely different.”

Today, most internet savvy folk are demanding real time news, real time information and real time social networking, so why aren’t the price comparison sites offering real time prices? InvisibleHand enables consumers to automatically get the lowest real time price, without using a price comparison site, and regardless of where they shop.

Between Monday 7 and Monday 14, December, InvisibleHand has been price-monitoring this season’s hottest sellers, minute-by-minute, at some of the biggest retailers and has revealed the following price fluctuations that may well shock consumers:

• A 13 inch Macbook Pro’s price fluctuated by a massive £626 with the highest price being £1329.57 and the lowest being £703. As the cheapest listing was only up on the site for two hours, price comparison websites would have certainly missed it

• GoGo Hamsters were subject to 24 price changes over the course of a week Real-time bargain hunters however would have, at one stage, been able to bag themselves this year’s hottest toy at a tiny £9.78

• For all those happy snappers, the research found that the Nikon D90 could have been picked up for just £441 for about an hour in the afternoon on the 8 December. With some retailers only updating their price comparison feeds once a week, how can budding photographers be sure of the best deal?

“Price comparison sites can’t keep pace with retailers jostling for the right price. As a result, in the last week some consumers will have missed out on some amazing deals.”

“It is time for a change in the way we shop online. Consumers should be demanding real time prices and online technology that puts their bank balance first. Christmas is a time when all retailers will be looking to outdo each other by putting forward their best prices, it is now up to the customers to shop smart and ensure that whether it’s a Danger Mouse box set or a Delia Smith cook book, they are getting bang for the buck,” Landy concluded.

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