Update: DealTime is now called Shopping.com.
DealTime is one of the largest and most well-known price comparison shopping services on the Internet. It is easy to use, completely free and compares prices on a multitude of products from many different stores. DealTime also offers additional services and information to help you choose a merchant and find the best deal.
With DealTime.com, it is quick and easy to comparison shop for the best prices on almost any product. The ability to instantly compare prices from more than 7,000 stores makes it one of the most comprehensive online comparison shopping services available. In addition to the United States, DealTime has international version for the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.
DealTime covers a wide variety of product categories including appliances, babies, computers, electronics, flowers, food, wine, health & beauty, home & garden, jewelry, watches, office, pet supplies, software, sports & fitness, tools, hardware, toys, video games, wireless and telecom.
After acquiring EvenBetter.com earlier this year, they are also an excellent comparison shopping resource for books, movies and music. So many products are covered that it is shorter to list what is not covered. DealTime does not provide comparison shopping for any services such as insurance, loans, financing, airline tickets, or travel reservations. It also does not cover new car, used car or auto parts prices. DealTime's shopping bot does include most categories of general merchandise with the exception of magazines, luggage and cigars.
Using DealTime.com is simple. Just enter the specific name or model number of your product and DealTime will return a list of major categories, sub-categories and specific categories that contain products that match your request. Pick the specific category that applies to your product and DealTime will display a list of products under that category that match your search request. By dividing the results by specific product categories, they keep the results relevant. For example, if you wanted to buy a Palm V personal digital assistant, you would probably search for "Palm V". If all matching results were returned, you would be swamped by hundreds of Palm V software products and accessories. However, by selecting Personal Organizers -> Palm and Handspring, just the prices for the Palm V are listed without being buried in the results under lower priced accessories.
By default the price listings are divided into two tiers. Stores that pay a fee for a premium ranking are listed first, while merchants that haven't partnered with DealTime make up the second tier. Within each tier the stores are sorted by price. However, the second set of stores may not be noticed since they will be at the bottom of the page or on subsequent pages underneath even the highest priced partner stores. To work around this, always click on the "Sort by: Price" link after the results are first displayed. This will give the complete list sorted by price, so that the merchants with the lowest prices are first regardless of whether they paid a premium listing fee.
In addition to merchant names and prices, the search results also include very brief product information and links to the stores where you can get complete information or purchase the product. When available they also include the shipping cost under the product price, but this is not available for the vast majority of merchants. DealTime also includes the Gomez Certification ratings for each merchant. Gomez Merchant Certification is an independent program that validates the performance and service of online merchants, so you can select trustworthy merchants for your business. Click the link for a detailed Gomez checklist that indicates which shopping features the merchant supports in areas such as customer service accessibility, secure server transaction system, and a clear statement of privacy and return policies.
DealTime also offers additional services to help online shoppers save. They provide buying guides to electronics and wines that explain the terminology and important product features so you can compare products effectively and get your money's worth. They also have a "Track It" feature where you can be notified by email if the price on a product drops to within a specified range.
DealTime.com is a very fast and easy-to-use price comparison shopping service. Since they are one of the most comprehensive shopping bots, both in terms of
number of stores and breadth of products covered, they are a good first choice for price searches. However, since other price search engines cover different merchants, it is always best to
use multiple comparison shopping services to make sure you find the best deals. (10/28/00)