Would you rather pay Dh2,499 or Dh3,999 for the new Samsung Galaxy S6? Most people would prefer the former option – and that is where shopping comparison websites come in. Such sites promise to make shopping around less of a chore, by comparing prices across online retailers and, with some services, physical stores. But even these websites vary in the deals they list, as The National’s comparison of the comparison sites found on Tuesday:
Pricena.com was listing the Samsung Galaxy S6 available to pre-order at Dh2,599 through Jumbo Electronics – rising to as much as Dh3,999 with the King Souq online store. Pricena tracks 350,000 products across 90 online stores in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Other items listed include a Samsung 65-inch curved LED television, ranging from Dh9,999 to Dh16,999 depending on where you buy it.
Users of Bkam.com can find the best deal on Galaxy S6 pre-orders. The site lists a price of Dh2,499 via CrazyDeals.ae, Dh100 cheaper than that shown on Pricena. Bkam tracks prices in selected stores in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but unlike Pricena it also has categories including hotels, flights and books. In The National’s test, however, many links to external websites did not work. Bkam, which launched in Egypt in 2012 and the UAE in 2013, has attracted investment from the Jabbar Internet Group.
Surprisingly for a price comparison site specialising in phones and tablets, Cellsouq.com was not listing Samsung Galaxy S6 pre-orders as of Tuesday morning. The UAE-focused site lists products from more than 40 stores. A search for an Apple iPhone 6 16GB found the cheapest on sale at Dh2,349 with Awok.com – and the most expensive at Dh2,999.
This site, focused on the UAE, also specialises in electronics. It was not listing the Samsung Galaxy S6 but had the Apple iPhone 6 16GB at Dh2,349. It found other big differentials on phones such as the Blackberry Z3, with a price range of Dh598 to Dh999.
You have bagged a bargain on the latest smartphone, but what about the more basic needs? Dubai’s Department of Economic Development runs a web service called Sallety.ae, which tracks the price of hundreds of food items at major supermarkets. The National picked a trolley of 14 products, ranging from milk to meat, and compared prices at nine retailers including Carrefour, Spinneys and Choithrams. Only one, Hyperpanda, had all the products listed, so a full trolley comparison was not meaningful. However, Sallety.ae illustrated some interesting differences in individual prices. For example, the price of a 5kg bag of Indian basmati rice ranges from Dh69.95 at Hyperpanda to Dh86.25 at Choithrams, according to the site.
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