Satellite orbiting Earth

Product/Service Name

PriceTrace

Brief Description

Comparing prices is necessary if you want to get the best deals on your purchases, but it’s a time-consuming process. PriceTrace is an online shopping tool that allows you to look for better prices, without hunting all over. You can all set alerts for price drops and check a price history chart for each product.

Target audience: Shoppers who are interested in getting all their price information in one spot.

Stores included: Tracks more than forty major retailers, including Amazon and Walmart.

Key Features

  • Toolbar. If you install the PriceTrace Firefox toolbar, you can see product price information wherever you’re shopping with just one click.
  • Current prices. See prices for individual products across many online stores.
  • Check history. Look at past prices for the product you’re shopping for and get a sense of when there will be a sale or a price drop.
  • Set alerts. Subscribe to alerts so that you can get notification whenever a product drops to a certain price.
  • Find filler. Since some sites offer free shipping as long as you spend a certain amount, you can look for filler to bring your shopping cart up to that amount.

Benefits

You can save a lot of time, as well as money, by using PriceTrace to shop around for you. The ability to set price alerts is particularly useful. If you know that you don’t need a particular product immediately, you can make sure that you get the best possible deal.

Costs

PriceTrace is free to use.

Similar Products/Services

There are several similar services out there, including comparison toolbars from Dealio and Shopping-Bargains.com.

Opinions from around the Web

  • Positive: “Firefox Add-on of the Week: Pricetrace…With Firefox extensions, most users want to avoid adding more bulk to their toolbar and prefer browsing the Internet in a minimalist manner. However, for the frugal bargain hunter, PriceTrace.commakes the clutter worth it with a nifty Firefox add-on that helps users find the best shopping deals online.” (Maximum PC)
  • Positive: “So you’re all set to buy that Widget Pro from Amazon, but just before you add it to your cart, you stop and think: “Am I getting the best price?” PriceTrace, a new add-on for Firefox, aims to give you a one-click answer.” (PC World)

Company Background

PriceTrace was founded in March 2009 in the Bay area. Its toolbar was made available on Firefox at the beginning of November, 2009. It’s become fairly popular, with regular downloads and positive reviews.

Smartlife’s User Advice

I try to keep the toolbars at the top of my web browser to a minimum — it’s easy to clutter it up with toolbars you won’t ever use. However, the PriceTrace toolbar makes sense as an addition to your browser. With comparing prices for a product across multiple sites a matter of just one click, it’s actually likely that I’ll do it. As much as I like saving money, the time it takes to research prices is often not worth the lower price I might get.

I’d love to see more sites added to PriceTrace, however. The site has most major online retailers, but there are some smaller sites out there with great prices that just aren’t listed and don’t look to be any time soon.

Smartlife’s Recommendation: USE IT

Image credit: cristimatei / iStockphoto

###

Product Watch is part of an on-going series that cuts through the sales propaganda and marketing hype, and reviews products and services from the standpoint of the user and how they actually help us get more out of life.