Price Geek: finding the market price of things

pricegeekWe all like finding a good deal, but how do you tell what a good deal is? Well, that the question pricegeek aims to answer.

The service aggregates information scraped from Ebay and very prettily presents the results in an easily accessible format. The summary graphs out recent prices and also shows what is over- and under-priced.

While the service was created in Melbourne it is international, covering the US, UK, Canada and Australia.  Somewhat sadly, for those of us who like to know how much we’re being over-charged locally, there doesn’t seem to be a way to compare prices internationally.

I like the idea behind this, but there are some limitations. First the service focusses on Ebay which is not always going to be the best indicator of a local price point, especially if another one of your decision-points is wanting a reputable seller.

Secondly, it can be hard to limit your search in a way that makes it meaningful. For example, I was searching on Lego EV3 and got a range from a couple of dollars up to $540 – the lower end comes up not for the full set, but for individual spare parts (a $4.99 cable, for example) – which clearly completely skews the results. It doesn’t take much to interpret what’s going on and see where the best price-point must lie, but the useless outlier results must skew the detail such as the mean price. Given the sophistication of the service, it would be nice to see a big button that would limit the results and remove the ridiculous outliers (even better might be a slider on the graph itself). For not dissimilar reasons it would also be good to be able to differentiate between new and second-hand goods.

There’s a lot of potential in pricegeek and I can definitely see myself using it when I buy something on Ebay – I just very successfully got the lowdown on a good price for LED Christmas lights – but I can’t help but feel that it needs more to become a really useful general tool.

To give it a try head on over to: www.thepricegeek.com.

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