Man comparing wine bottles

Whether you’re buying a new gadget or taking a trip, online comparison shopping for a product will save you time (information on different brands and products is compiled for you in one convenient location) and money (price ranges and product reviews allow you to make smarter purchase decisions). Without using comparison shopping sites and reviews, you could find yourself trawling through hundreds of sites for scattered information and missing out on the best deals. As with any decision, it’s smart to consult many different sources for expert information and varied opinions before making a choice; in the end, you’ll have saved yourself hassle of an ill-informed decision.

A number of websites out there can help you in making consumer decisions and finding the best deal. While navigating the sites, it’s helpful to have an idea of what kind of help you need. Do you prefer a social site, where users can connect and chat, or a purely informational site? Do you want extras — like detailed research information and news about various products — or a simple compare-and-buy approach? All these options are out there, so think about what will suit your needs.

Buzzillions.com

Buzzillions.com

Amazon.com — For all products you search for from electronics to toys, Amazon presents extensive options from all brands and price ranges, with lots of consumer reviews on different products and easy buying processes.

Buzzillions.com — Provides consumer reviews on millions of products. Search any specific product and get direct quotes from users to help inform your purchasing decisions. The site also provides “top 10″ lists of the best-reviewed products from clothes to cookware.

ConsumerReports.org — This site requires a subscription for full access, and provides comprehensive reports on different product categories. Updated research and information on topics including health and money advice is a key feature of this site.

ConsumerSearch.com — Compiles product reviews from a wide range of sites, analyzes recommendations, and then gives its opinion on the best product choice. This site does the work for you of combing through a number of site reviews.

Crowdstorm.com — Users can act as a guest or member of this site, which features reviews of electronic and outdoor-activity products and buyers guides compiled from member opinions. You can “ask the crowd” questions about items.

ePinions.com

Epinions.com

DPreview.com — Anyone wanting to comparison shop for a digital camera would find everything they need at this site, including extensive reviews, buying guides, news, and information on different brands and styles.

Epinions.com — Members review a huge variety of products including travel and hotels, with “Most Helpful” reviews featured.

PEbuzz.com — This site features personal electronics reviews including car products, computer, and entertainment items, and allows users to “link up” with other users of similar products.

PCMag.com — Billing itself as the “independent guide to technology,” this site contains news, blogs, and stories from the technology industry along with expert help on different tech topics.

RateItAll.com — This site contains a huge array of top-ratings lists including celebrities, music, literature, dating web sites, and politics, so for a consumer’s pop culture guide, check it out.

Reevoo.com

Reevoo.com

Reevoo.com — After reading through buying guides on products and making up your mind on something, it’s helpful to be able to purchase the item directly! This site allows you to click through to listed retailers to make a purchase.

Retrevo.com — A product advisor on this site helps consumers find products that match their interests. You can also browse manuals for popular brands.

Review.ZDNet.com — You can find product reviews, software downloads, blogs, news and analysis, videos, Webcasts, and white papers from editors and technology experts on this site, so for comprehensive tech information, look here.

ReviewGist.com — According to the main page, the average user of this site saves 3 hours of time — good enough reason to check it out. The review results from a search are displayed in a pleasing, user-friendly bar graph that provides detailed, yet easy-to-digest information.

Reviews.CNET.com — A site from CBS interactive, this one reviews technology products and lists products from top brands, editor’s picks, and video reviews.

Tribesmart.com

Tribesmart.com

Reviews.Omgili.com — Gives a visual ratings system on products based on consumer opinion, discussion, and debates gleaned from other sites and resources online, collecting a variety of personal opinions for the user.

Sazze.com — Socially buzzing users will appreciate the community aspect of this site where you can share information, post your own reviews and get feedback, and chat with users.

Skimbit.com — For getting information and comparing options for bigger purchases, like travel, weddings, house buying or baby info, this site will guide you along the way.

SmartRatings.com — Take advantage of the price finder feature for all different categories on this site that searches the web for reviews, comes up with an expert rating, and then ranks products based on scores.

Tribesmart.com — This free, social-shopping website features different “tribes” where you can connect with other users, and contribute to the site yourself by adding products.

Image credit: diego_cervo / iStockphoto

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