Following from last issue's articles about shopping in Turkey, we were asked by a reader to take a closer look at price comparison sites in Turkey. Price comparison websites can provide a quick and easy way to instantly save money. They search numerous online stores to find the best price for a given product - so you don't have to. However, many websites claim to offer a comparison service - but how do they stack up?
We took 18 Turkish price comparison sites, and searched for the best price for 5 household items. We analysed the results from all the searches (over 650 prices from around 70 stores), to give you our guide to which price comparison website to use. The five items we searched for were: LG 32LD550 LCD TV, Beko 2012 CX Washing Machine, Canon Ixus 105 Digital Camera, Arçelik 5231 Fridge-Freezer, and an Apple iPod Touch 8GB (4th Gen). These higher value items were chosen to help demonstrate the differences between prices. However don't forget the same rules apply for smaller items - whether its small kitchen appliances or even pet food - delivered straight to your door.
So, onto our guide. First, here's a table showing the 18 comparison sites which we looked at, together with how many of the 5 products the site found, and the total number of prices it found for those 5 products. We found that only 4 of the sites successfully found all 5 products, also 4 of the sites failed to find any of the products - effectively ruling them out of the rest of this review. We also found that all sites are only in Turkish, however, only a basic grasp of Turkish is needed to navigate the sites.
|Average number of
prices per product
Analysing the prices provided, we also assessed the range of products and online stores covered by each comparison site, the accuracy of the information i.e. did it instantly find the appropriate product, did the prices given actually exist etc. We also looked at the ease of use of the site, and any extra features e.g. store ratings, sort options, ways to filter prices by different payment methods, ability to send price email alerts etc. We also provided an overall rating:
Having used these sites extensively, the top 3 were an easy pick - although it's worth noting that both akillifiyat.com and idealfiyatrehberi.com provided the same pricing information (i.e. they compare the same stores), but for us akillifiyat.com just pips idealfiyatrehberi.com. However, we consistently found that akakce.com found the best prices with the least effort - for this it becomes our recommended price comparison site.
How much can online shopping save you?
So, while we're here, let's look at the cheapest prices we found versus in-store prices. The graph below shows that over these 5 products an average of 27% was saved over store bought purchases - this represents a saving of nearly 1,000TL. All without leaving your living room! Note; prices accurate at time of writing (April 2011).