If you check out just one new web site this year, it should be www.priceprotectr.com.
Notice the funky spelling. Make sure you get it right because it's one of the best online consumer resources.
What you do is you shop for a product on one of priceprotectr's 150 "supported" web retailers. This is the only catch I've found on this site, but these are major e-tailers that everyone shops. We're talking Best Buy, Costco and Sears, just to name three.
You shop on their sites like you would normally. For example, I shopped Best Buy's site for a Dell Inspiron laptop computer. I found one with all the bells and whistles for $616.99.
On the page where I would add that product to my shopping cart, I highlighted the URL listing in the web address box, cut it, then pasted it the "product information page" box on the home page of priceprotectr.com. After registering (which was free and did not put any of my personal information in jeopardy) and clicking "start protecting," I just sit back and let priceprotectr.com track any price changes on that product.
A week and two days later, I received an e-mail from priceprotectr.com, informing me that the price on the laptop had dropped $17.
Here's where you have options. You can either continue to have priceprotectr.com track that product on that retailer's web site for another price change. You can go ahead and purchase the product on that retailer's site. Or if you already purchased it at the original price that priceprotectr.com started tracking, you can contact the retailer and arrange a cash refund of the difference!
priceprotectr.com essentially helps these retailers honor their corporate price guarantees. Best Buy, for example, will pay you the difference on a product if its sale price drops since you bought it, and you can prove you purchased it with a receipt. What's great about priceprotectr.com is you don't have to constantly visit the store or check its sales circulars for a price change. priceprotectr.com does that for you!
There are also two one-stop-shopping sites I recommend for comparing prices on a single product among several retailers. You can link to them from my Ask Andy story about those sites right here: http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9234307.