Beware When Using Comparison Sites

Written by Karen Bryan

£1 coin stack2For years I’ve used comparison sites to help reach buying decisions for all sorts of services and products, e.g. finding the cheapest electrical appliances, energy and insurance supplier, hotel rooms and the highest rate of interest on savings accounts.

It’s a lot quicker to use a comparison site than to look on each individual suppliers website.

But I am aware that some comparison sites don’t always display the best deal for consumers in their results.

This can be because of the comparison site’s desire to earn referral fees from the service or  product provider.

Now you could argue that the comparison site is a business. Therefore, decisions will be driven by making as much profit as possible.

However, it becomes murky when the comparison site is claiming to find the best deal (e.g. the lowest price for a product or service, or highest rate of interest on a savings account) for the consumer. But then doesn’t include a provider who doesn’t pay referral fees in their search results.

So how do you ensure that you find the best deal?

I’d suggest using a few different price comparison websites, preferably ones which state they that they are unbiased and search the whole of the market.

One you have found the service or product at a good price, it’s always worth having a look for discount codes which reduce the price at the point of purchase.

You can also check out cashback websites to see if you could earn cashback on the purchase. Remember that cashback is not 100% guaranteed, I’ve had occasional problems with getting cashback e.g. with Aviva travel insurance.