NEW YORK (CBS 2) — In many ways, the Internet has made shopping so much easier. All it takes is a click of the mouse from the comfort of your own home.
A problem, however, often arises – do you ever really know what you’re getting until it arrives in the mail?
Now, some Web sites hope to help consumers answer that question – finding the best price in the process.
You know the feeling. You find something online that you want to buy, but what does it really look like? Does it really work? Is it worth the money?
A new type of Web site promises to help you take the guesswork out of buying online.
“The reason I started the site is because I buy cheap,” Max Levitte, of cheapism.com, told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.
Levitte, a self-proclaimed cheapskate, created Cheapism to help consumers make the tough decisions.
“Many people just can’t afford to buy the best product out there and spend a lot of money,” Levitte said.
Wasting money on a bargain basement item can be even more frustrating for a frugal online shopper.
“I’m really thrifty,” one shopper said. “Not cheap, but I want to get something that’s a good value.”
Cheapism relies on a team of experts to investigate all the products. They tell you everything you need to know, from how the product performs to how it compares to other brands – and even where you can buy it at the cheapest possible price.
“We have what we call a ‘don’t bother’ section, which are products that are cheap but don’t really do the work,” Levitte said.
Other sites, like RoboShopper, PriceGrabber and Shopzilla also compare prices but rely on customers to review the products.
“People outline their strategies on how to purchase items for the lowest price,” savvy shopper Jason Kraft said.
At sites like slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com, landing you the best available price is the top priority. Fatwallet strikes deals directly with merchants, then passes the savings on to the consumer.
“It might be coupons, might be free shipping, might be discounted items,” Fatwallet’s Jim McIlroy said.
Kraft said using these various sites has helped him save thousands of dollars every year.
“These are the same shirts you find in the stores for like $30. They were available online for about $8 to $9 each,” he said.
There are countless other sites that help you save when shopping online. To see the rest, click here.