December 01, 2008
| by Rachel Cericola
Wondering if the store you’re shopping in has the best price on Blu-ray players, Bratz, Wii or any other must-have holiday item?
Amazon can help you avoid impulse purchases by offering a comparison shopping service on your cell phone. Amazon TextBuyIt allows shoppers to compare prices via text message. Sadly (and naturally), it only works if you want to compare an in-store price to what Amazon is selling it for.
Just text an item name, keyword or even a UPC code to 262966 (AMAZON). The service should send back the Amazon price within seconds. We tested it out by texting the word “Wii.” We did get a response in seconds, but it delivered a bunch of crazy commands that we couldn’t understand. We randomly chose one and ended up with info about Nunchuk controllers. Then the service kept sending messages, including one asking for our email so we could purchase our product.
Another request for “TomTom 125 GPS” yielded a much easier response. The company says you can text the word “compare” to the same number to get instructions on how the whole system works. However, it just told us to text a name, keyword or UPC to get prices. Hmm. It sounds like it might be a good idea to be as specific as possible because if you don’t have an unlimited text plan, it could get annoying—as well as wipe out any potential savings.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.