I made a price comparison site. Looking for feedback.


I hope this post is allowed. I rarely post about personal projects, but I am really excited about a new website I've been working on for quite some time. It's called PriceZombie. It's a price comparison website and I'm looking for feedback if anyone wants to check it out. It's brand new as of this weekend.

There are many price comparison sites currently available. They all suck in one way or another. The main reason why most are terrible is that they only list affiliate sites. This means bias towards one or more companies, and an exclusion to others that might be selling the same product. This means the price comparison results are inaccurate and incomplete.

The feature set is about 50% complete. But I think it's already better than most of the competition.

Current features include:

- Direct cross shopping against multiple stores. If PZ knows about a webcam that is sold in more than one store, that one product will be listed with all known stores on the same page. There is a tabbox on the left with the stores and current price.

- Watchlist. You can't sit around all day watching prices on things you want. On each product page is a watchlist entry. Enter the price you want to buy the item for, and PZ will email you as soon as that price point is reached. If you're a registered user, you will have a nice list of all your watched items in one place. What they originally cost when you added it, what they cost now, and if it's ready for you to buy.

- Historical data. Knowing the best price where you can buy something now is only half the battle. Knowing if it's a good price based on past pricing will be a really good indicator if the current price is actually a good deal or not. Many stores will fluctuate pricing on items multiple times during the day. Some items have regular price drops based on time of the year. PZ has a price range for each store, as well as a price chart. The chart is zoomable and clickable.

- Screenshots. On the price chart, you can click to get a thumbnail of the website when it was indexed. Sometimes prices are too good to believe, and so the screenshot will function much like google's cache of a website for shoppers.

Known deficiencies:

- Product listings take time to acquire. It is in it's infancy, so it will take a few months to grow and gather historical info.

- Only about 8 stores indexed right now. As the parser is fine tuned and resource management refined, the store list will grow exponentially.

- Categories: this is a really difficult thing to do. Each store has it's own category system. It's hard to merge them together because one might have: TV > Pop Culture > DVD, another might have: Media > DVD > Pop Culture. Or completely different words. I haven't cracked this yet, so category browsing is somewhat limited.

- Search results need a way to limit based on category, otherwise if you search on "nails", you will get hardware/home building stuff and women's nail polish. The user will only be looking for one of them, not both.


Let me know what you think. If this post is too spammy, please delete. I figured it isn't motorcycle related, so it would be OK.
i like the concept alot. im a big online shopper and a site like this is very handy. one thing i noticed, whats it mean when a product title is lined out and it says its deactivated? does this mean its unavailable from that site?
The interface is quick and easy to use. Seems pretty fast too. I tried a few products and had some good hits and few misses. Looks good to me. I'll use it a bit more and see how it does.
2006busa, crossed out should mean the item is no longer sold (if you mouse over a deactivated item, it should have a tooltip that tells you as much). However I've had issues with amazon 3rdparty items and had temporarily disabled them from the site.

The interesting thing with amazon is an item is 'sold by amazon' till it's out of stock, then it's only listed under 3rdparty sellers till amazon gets it back in stock. This causes products with the existing code to show disabled as it switches between 3rdparty and amazon.

I have a solution now, so 3rdparty will be going back in. They will be listed as an alternate for a given item (e.g; you can see amazon's price and 3rdparty pricing separately).

twobrothers, thanks for the feedback!

I'm accelerating the product list. It's about twice as large now as it was last week. Half a million products. The goal is to get in the neighborhood of 20 million, so there's going to be a lot of misses till it's been running for a while.

The system is self learning, so as you look for things (and don't find them), it will locate those items and have it the next time you visit.
hey. just checked out the site.. looking good.. a couple things that I would look into.. on the main page where it shows all the items that are on sale I would try to BOLD the font and maybe change the color of the font as the grey kinda blends with the all white background. Makes it easier to read. just my .02 . I will be checking it regular as I do most of my shoppiing online and from deal sites. GL
I'll make the text darker. I initially made it lighter as a way to include additional info on the front page, but without drawing your eyes to it (as a lot of dark text would make it look more busy).
That's a cool site. I'll play around with it tonight

What did you think?

I'm working on the mobile app, browser plugin, and more data feeds.

The site is now at the point where I can actually use it myself for shopping. There's stores like IKEA where no one indexes right now, that I want to get in :)
There is now a daily deals area on the front page. Someone told me they didn't like it because it looks deemphasized, and it takes up too much space.

You guys agree or not?

Also new search engine back end. It's a lot nicer.
With Amazon now charging tax in a bunch of states (Including Florida) being able to comparison shop is now getting to become important.

I'm going to see if I can figure out taxes based on the user's zip code.
Should be done with the Safari extension tonight... looking at adding ebay to the results.

Awesome! Now just need to make a motorcycle specific one with MotorcycleSuperstore, Revzilla, BikeBandit etc on it :thumbsup:

Going to start using this too! I spend much more online than I do in bricks and mortar, because in AK.... the selection just isn't here!
looks like I can get motorcycle-superstore.com .. applying for access.

edit: Also applied to bikebandit. cycle gear, and revzilla.

I already have motosport.com indexed
Just got approved to motorcycle superstore. Should be able to get it added by the weekend.

The others are still pending.
Performance boost...