Comparison sites have been around for a few years now and they’ve revolutionised the way people shop. They can be used to find the best energy provider, choose a way to travel, switch broadband, or take out a car insurance policy.
This type of website makes money by taking a small amount of commission when a customer clicks through and signs up for a product or service.
If you’re looking for the best deal, knowing where to look can be confusing. There are so many comparison sites to choose from, and how do you know which ones you can trust.
What is a Price Comparison Site?
There are price comparison sites for a whole host of consumer items. A comparison website lets you get quotes from a variety of different firms, all with one click. The process is so quick and easy that you’re able to compare prices and what’s on offer across the market.
GoCompare is possibly the most famous, thanks to a bunch of cute meerkats, but there are many others.
How to Use Price Comparison Sites Effectively
There are some things to be aware of if you choose to do your shopping by way of a comparison site. No one price comparison site, for example, is going to trawl the entire market for you. They tend to pick a select few. For this reason, it’s usually best to search several websites for the best deal.
It’s also important to realise that not all product or service providers choose to be featured. When it comes to insurance, for example, Aviva and Direct Line will not be included in any comparison site search results. To get quotes from companies like these you have to approach them directly.
Can Comparison Sites be Trusted?
There’s no denying that comparison sites are popular, especially for buying insurance products and holidays. However, recent investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority have shown that some of the sites might be ripping the customer off.
Doubts have been raised about clarity and accuracy. There are also concerns about consumers being enticed in with big savings but by the time you reach the checkout page the savings have all but disappeared thanks to extra fees and charges that are added. There have been cases when the initial offer price has increased by 75%.
The best way to protect yourself and find a comparison site you can trust is to be aware of the pitfalls and not get caught out.
The Pitfalls to Avoid
The most important thing to be aware of is that comparison sites make certain assumptions about people’s circumstances when you visit them for a quote.
Always make sure you check your excess when shopping for the best insurance deals. You can tweak the results of your quote by ticking certain boxes, and if you set the excess higher it reduces the price of insurance premiums.
Did you realise that the cheapest deals don’t always appear at the top? Paying annually rather than monthly can also make a huge difference.
Be very wary of unwanted extras. Companies often use free extras to make them stand out from the crowd. They can be a perk, if you understand the deal, but is the extra something you really need?
Armed with the right information, you can now approach a price comparison site with your eyes wide open. Be careful in how you use them and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to save money and find the best deals.