A reader recently brought a website to my attention and asked what I thought of it as a money management tool. The site is called PriceAmbush, and it purports to allow you to search the Internet for the best deals on stuff. But I have very mixed feelings about this site. First, it appears to find deals only through Amazon.com, at least based on the searches I ran. While this is not a problem, per se, the site doesn’t disclose this fact (at least that I could see). Second, because Amazon’s prices on products can change by the minute as can availability of product, I found PriceAmbush’s product availability and pricing information to be inaccurate on several occasions. There are, however, two features about the site that make PriceAmbush worth considering.
First, using a very simply and clean looking interface, you can search for any product you want. Of course, you can do this on Amazon.com just as well. I searched for a Nintendo Wii. The results show several places to purchase the Wii, ordered from the least expensive on up. The best price according to PriceAmbush is $574.99 through Amazon. When I clicked through to Amazon, however, the price was listed as $639.99. The second Wii listed was for $599.99, but when I clicked through to Amazon, it wasn’t available at any price from that reseller. In fairness to PriceAmbush, these problems are probably due in part to the popularity of the Wii. I did search other products, for example, where the price was lower than what PriceAmbush listed. This raises some questions about the second feature, price alerts.
You can set a price alert that will notify you via e-mail when the product you want is reduced to the price you want to pay. Setting the price alert is easy. This seems to be the only reason to consider using PriceAmbush. However, as noted above, if PriceAmbush is not aware of lower prices on some products, you have to wonder how effective the price alert will be. Also, while this is a potentially useful feature, it’s nothing new. Although there are many sites that have the same or similar feature, one is WishListBuddy:
Have you used PriceAmbush, WishListBuddy or Price Alert? If so, which one have you found to be the most useful?
Oh, and if you want to search for great deals on Amazon the old-fashioned way, here’s an Amazon search box (affiliate link) to get you started:
Published or updated May 23, 2011.