Author Topic: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?  (Read 584 times)

ender

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Today, I wanted to buy some Sterillite storage totes. These are carried nearly everywhere at Target/Walmart/Lowes/Home Despot/etc. Often times they are on sale though at one of those stores.

I would love love LOVE an app that lets me put in an item or list and shows me which stores have that item the cheapest. For my example I have to manually check all those stores to see what the cheapest deal is. At some point, the hassle factor of looking this information up is more than the discounts I would get. Or even to put a pricewatch on that item. Maybe if it goes below $7 then I get an alert (similar to camelcamelcamel for Amazon and all the 3rd party sellers there).

Another use case is with grocery stores. Put in a list of items I plan on buying and then show me which store they are cheapest at. Even better would be to select a few stores I plan on going to and give it a list and have it tell me where they are currently cheapest.

Does anything like this exist? It feels like something which would be super useful.

Nona

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Re: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 12:43:42 AM »
I don't live in the US so don't have any personal experience with any of these (I use a similar local website/app and love it), but here's a list that might be of help: https://thedroidguy.com/7-best-grocery-store-price-comparison-apps-in-2019-1095323

chemistk

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Re: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 01:25:03 PM »
I, too, wish there were such an app.

You can sort of circumvent the comparison shopping by looking around at all the retailers who offer online ordering. Most of the prices via online ordering are fairly accurate, and although it's time consuming to fire each one up, it's easier than leaving the house to physically compare.

But that's not a catch-all solution. I imagine a savvy person (not myself) could write some program that scrapes the websites of all the stores that offer online ordering and delivery to comparison shop, but it would not be a perfect implementation.

It's still very much in the stores' best interest to obfuscate the prices of the majority of the things they stock. Much of their profits come from impulse purchases, and many grocers try to maintain an edge over others by offering a different selection of loss-leaders than the competing stores, so that you're drawn to shop in one place and hopefully purchase items that are a little bit pricier than the competition for the sake of convenience.


ctuser1

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Re: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 05:41:35 PM »
But that's not a catch-all solution. I imagine a savvy person (not myself) could write some program that scrapes the websites of all the stores...

You'll quickly get a cease and desist letter if you tried.

Ask how I know!!

Home Stretch

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Re: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2020, 09:09:32 PM »
Quote
Ask how I know!!

How do you know? More specifically, how did you get caught?

ctuser1

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Re: Is there an app that lets you compare local prices of various goods?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2020, 09:19:25 PM »
Quote
Ask how I know!!

How do you know? More specifically, how did you get caught?

It was a long time ago - back in 2006/7.

On the technical side, it is not too difficult for websites to detect when you have a bot doing things in an automated fashion. I wasn't all that sophisticated or knowledgeable - so I just let a script run at regular intervals to try and build an initial price database. I don't know how they figured out my name and such. Must be some early form of the "profiles" that the big tech gathers that mapped me with the IP address.

Now, when data is all the rage, I'd presume it would be even more difficult to fly under the radar on these things.

(Sorry, I can't be *too* specific, because that can easily trace back to me. ).