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Finding And Evaluating Deals Online

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For the cash strapped startup, it is often important to find the best value at the lowest cost. Here is a collection of web sites that can help you find and evaluate deals. The services I cover are generally geared towards the tech entrepreneur.

DEAL FINDING WEBSITES AUCTION / CLASSIFIEDS SERVICES

  • eBay.com  
  • Even if you are leery about buying from eBay sellers, this is a useful starting point to find out the current market value of an item.
  • CraigsList.com
  • CraigsList.com is perhaps the worlds largest classifieds service. You can often find the item you are looking for locally; if not, you can get an idea for how much a certain item is being sold.
  • uBid.com
  • This is an online auction service that has been around for ten years. Like eBay, you will have to work for your deal, but it may be worth a try.
  • Kijiji.com
  • This is an eBay.com owned classifieds service. There is already a great amount of activity here and I assume that growth will continue.

SERVICES

  • ThemBid.com
  • If there is a service you need, and you don't want to waste time looking through directories, post your request at ThemBid.com and business will bid to serve you.
  • Guru.com
  • If you need to hire a freelancer, Guru.com may be your solution. They claim to have over 600,000 freelancers available for hire.
  • eLance.com
  • Here you will find the same service as with Guru.com; however, eLance.com appears to have much greater traffic (at least according to Alexa.com).

AGGREGATION SERVICES

  • DealSea.com
  • I have been using this site for years and it has consistently been a source of quality deals for me.
  • FatWallet.com
  • This website comes highly recommended by several of my friends and associates. According to Alexa.com, it is much more popular than DealSea.com.
  • Google.com
  • While Google is not an aggregation service, you will likely always find some comparative pricing on most items you are looking for.

DEAL EVALUATION WEBSITES COMMUNITY BASED

  • Epinions.com
  • At Epinions.com consumers provide ratings and reviews for a large variety of products.
  • Amazon.com
  • Amazon.com allows users to leave ratings and comments for products sold on their website. The reviews are also rated by the Amazon.com community.

CORPORATE BASED

  • Consumer Reports
  • They are a non-profit organization that rates and reviews a variety of products.
  • PC World
  • Here you can find both hardware and software reviews.
  • TomsHardware.com
  • At TomsHardware.com, you can often find in-depth reviews on the latest hardware.

TIPS

I usually find that when I need a deal, it is nowhere to be found. To save time searching, you may want to set up RSS feeds for your favorite deal aggregators in Google reader for easy searching.

Often you can find valuable items at a very low cost, using the resources above, that you don't need. In those cases, I suggest you purchase those items and use them as giveaways whenever you host an event or as an online prize.

To determine if a company is legitimate to buy from, I will first Google them, then check the BBB and finally, take a look at their Alexa.com ranking.

This list is comprised of web sites that I have found personally useful. If you know of some services that have saved you time and money, please feel free to list them in the comments.


Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com. Digital archives can be found at BlackVoiceNews.com and IngleWoodToday.com.

Elmer Thomas Jr. is Founder of Above the Limit, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at www.AboveTheLimit.com.

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