Shopping Search and Price Comparison Engines

Capping off SearchDay's shopping search week, here's a roundup of some of the web's most popular and useful shopping and price comparison search engines.

This list is by no means comprehensive. Rather, it focuses on large, popular shopping search services.

Similarly, this roundup focuses only on general purpose shopping search engines. There are countless specialized engines for product categories such as books, computer hardware and software, and so on. I'll take a look at some of those specialized sites in a future issue.

Information on merchant services, including listing information for retailers, is included beneath the description of each site that offers these services.
BizRate allows you to search for products from hundreds of online vendors. Features include merchant ratings, reviews, tax and shipping information, as well as a list of your own most searches and recently viewed products. Business Services offers a number of e-commerce services for merchants, manufacturers, advertisers, portal/traffic aggregators, and vertical content sites.

Buyer's Index
Offers search of more than 20,000 web shopping sites and mail order catalogs with over 300 million product offerings. Incorporates reliability indicators from The Public Eye and Buyer's Index also has information about the year established and a 20 word description of each retailer.

Buyer's Index - Information for Merchants
If your catalog or Web site sells products directly to a nationwide market, Buyer's Index offers free listings and several premium listings options.

eShop - MSN Shopping
MSN Shopping is one of the most popular shopping guides on the web. Offers Buyer's Guides with tips and tools, editors' suggestions, and other features beyond the price comparisons offered by other shopping search sites.

MSN Advantage Marketing
Details for advertising on MSN, including MSN shopping.

NexTag is a shopping search engine that offers total price comparison (which displays tax and shipping), store ratings, product reviews, and photos.

List Your Products on NexTag
Drive traffic to your online store by listing products in this comparison shopping service. Control how much you pay per lead - the more you pay the higher you rank in the listings.

One of the original shopping search engines, now owned by CNET. mySimon was the creation of Stanford University student Yeogirl Yun, who later became the founder & chief technical officer of Wisenut, a crawler-based search engine now owned by LookSmart.

eCommerce services on CNET
Information on all of the CNET "tech shopper" sites, including mySimon. Click on the mySimon thumbnail image on this page for a popup window with details about mySimon users and opportunities for product listings.

PriceGrabber offers user provided merchant and product ratings, product pictures and specifications, and pricing information with "BottomLinePrice" to factor in estimates for applicable sales tax and shipping charges based on the delivery address. Available in English or Spanish, including specialized product searches for retailers in Mexico and Brazil.

PriceGrabber Merchant Listings is constantly adding new merchants. If you are a merchant who would like to become affiliated with, complete the form on this page.

PriceScan's database consists of publicly available product and pricing information, including data from magazine ads, vendor catalogs, web sites, etc. Unlike most other shopping search engines, information is presented for both online and offline merchants, and PriceScan does not charge merchants for listings. is DealTime, with a clean, sparse interface, with just a shopping search engine and a simple hierarchal directory. If you're a "power shopper" that likes DealTime, you'll appreciate's fast performance and uncluttered results.

For merchant product listings information, see yesterday's members-only version of SearchDay.

Yahoo Shopping
Yahoo Shopping connects you with thousands of merchants -- traditional retail stores, name-brand catalog companies, small boutiques, and specialty vendors.

About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was's Web Search Guide.