Comparative Shopping Engines
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If you're looking for the absolute best price for a digital camera or high-end digital camera accessory, instead of manually going to several online vendor websites, you may wish to try using comparative shopping search engines. These websites allow you to type in or browse for a particular product, then show you prices listed on a variety of vendor websites. Depending on the shopping search engine, other items may be listed along with the product's price at each vendor:
The shopping search engines below are designed to check prices at various online stores or locate e-commerce outlets by category. Jump to: Major Shopping Search Engines - Other Choices Specialty Choices - Shopping Search Articles Major Shopping Search Engines BizRate http://www.bizrate.com/ BizRate allows you to search for products from hundreds of online vendors.
If you set out to build a comparison shopping engine, there are basically two ways you can approach the problem. The first way is to " crawl " merchant (online store) websites in much the same way that a search engine like Google examines and indexes the information in web pages. This means that you build a software program to visit the merchant websites, analyze the HTML pages and find the information and prices for the products they offer. While crawling works great for general web search engines, it much harder to build a comparison shopping engine this way. That's because the information on and the format of merchant sites varies widely. The product description and even the product title can vary among merchant websites, so that it can be difficult for the shopping engine to even be sure that it is comparing identical products.