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Price Comparison Site Combines Algorithms With People Power

BeatMyPrice.com searches the Web for the best online shopping discounts.

K.C. Jones

November 13, 2008

2 Min Read

Holiday shoppers and bargain hunters have a new tool to turn to as they seek the best prices online.

Web developer Stateless Systems, of Melbourne, Australia, has launched BeatMyPrice.com, a people-powered search engine that scours millions of prices on the Internet to find the best discounts.

The company, which also created the coupon Web site, RetailMeNot.com, lets shoppers enter a product with a link to an online store, then search for deals found by other shoppers and other price-comparison tools. Buyers can refine results by eliminating stores, and adjusting a price slider to find results below their target price.

If there aren't any better offers on a particular product, the link that the consumer provides becomes the price to beat.

"Most price comparison services have stagnated," Guy King, co-founder of BeatMyPrice and RetailMeNot, said in a statement Tuesday. "They pull data from the same sources and often favor commission structures over delivering good results."

King said his company's system has developed a search platform that improves results every time a consumer searches for a product. It also adds 100,000 coupons from RetailMeNot into the results "to make sure no opportunity for savings is missed," he said.

Stateless Systems boasts more than 10 million visitors to its Web sites each month. It claims that BeatMyPrice is the first price-comparison engine to leverage people power and metasearch algorithms.

Thirty-two percent of online shoppers use price comparison Web sites, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by RetailMeNot.

Competitor PriceGrabber.com said 97% of shoppers in a recent survey plan to shop online for gifts this year, and 71% plan to spend less money than they spent in previous years.

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