Berlin/Mainz On price comparison sites like “Billiger.de “, “Check24.de “, “Geizhals.de “, Google Shopping, “Guenstiger.de “, “Idealo.de “, “Preis.de ” or “Schottenland.de ” you can search for a specific product in a targeted manner, but you can also work on products according to categories or criteria.
“Often when shopping, you get the impression that everything is reduced. Such comparison sites help to get a feeling for the actual price level,” says Matthias Urbach from the online consumer magazine “Finanztip”, describing the advantages. Such an overview makes sense, because some retailers are constantly changing their prices. If you buy from the wrong dealer or strike on the wrong day, you are paying significantly too much in case of doubt.
But it is not only the direct comparison of competitors that makes sense, but also a look at the price history of a product: for many comparison sites, a curve shows how much a product has cost over time. This allows consumers to better estimate whether it might still be worth waiting with the purchase.
Cheaper after one year
“Especially with new technology, prices drop significantly after the first year. This can be read very well in these histories,” says Urbach. When searching for a specific product, the filters will help. “Model, color, size or storage space – in the case of fashion or electronics, this makes it possible to search for exactly what you want.
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Good price search engines only show retailers who have the product they are looking for in stock; you should definitely pay attention to this, advises Julia Gerhards from the Verbraucherzentrale Rheinland-Pfalz: “If the order is only delivered in a few weeks, the whole price comparison is invalid.” Because who knows what the dealers will demand at a later date? “Maybe it has become cheaper by then,” says Gerhards.
For a good overview, you should also see the prices including shipping costs. But one thing must be clear: the cheapest prices are not always found even on comparison sites. “This largely depends on how large the market coverage is. A good price comparison not only finds a lot of products, but has also connected many retailers,” says Matthias Urbach. Especially with expensive purchases, it is therefore worthwhile to compare the prices on several portals.
How much does it cost in local shops?
Julia Gerhards also advises to take a look at the stationary trade in the area. Because: “Dealers without an online shop do not appear in such price search engines at all.” Stationary offers could also be particularly important for all those for whom, for example, a contact person on site is important in case of possible problems.
If you decide to offer an online shop, you should not blindly trust the information provided by the price search engine, says consumer protection expert Gerhards: “The data feeds the retailers, there can always be errors.” The price search engines do not guarantee this. She advises to check the details on the shop page again. For example, whether the shipping and return costs are correct or the delivery time.
You should also take a close look at the dealer himself. True, the following applies to comparison sites: “Good providers check the dealers who are listed. And the reviews also help, especially if there are a lot of them. But even that is not a guarantee,” says Matthias Urbach. “In our investigation, for example, we found fake shops in the results list at Google Shopping.”
Cheap, cheaper, fake shop
Fraudulent shops that never deliver and only have the goal of taking money out of consumers’ pockets. “And some of them are almost indistinguishable from the websites of real dealers,” says Urbach. Therefore: Always take a look at the imprint.
If it’s inconclusive or missing altogether, that’s a warning sign – as are prices that are too good to be true. Help is also available from the fakeshop finder of the consumer Center North Rhine-Westphalia. Here, online providers can be checked for their seriousness.
Basically, price search engines are designed more for consumers who know pretty much exactly what they want or can also filter the offers according to reasonable criteria.
Those who are on this stand can comfortably click through the product categories and then narrow down further with the appropriate filters. Practical: Some comparison pages also point to tests by trade journals or portals that can help with the decision.