January 05, 2017


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Online Tools to Help You Shop Smarter

A group of women window shopping in Toronto, Canada in 1937
A group of women window shopping in Toronto, Canada in 1937 (City of Toronto Archives via Wikipedia.org)

Everyone loves a good deal, even the guys and gals at Tinker & Hack. But if there's one thing we love even better, it's being able to share these deals with you. That's why we'd like to show you a few essential online tools to help you shop smarter and save some money along the way.

Price Comparison Sites

Unless you are an obsessive coupon clipper who is constantly on the lookout for the latest deals and bargains, you probably don't have the time to visit every single store in your neighbourhood in order to save some money. Shopping online is the same. Unless you want to spend hours comparing prices across different sites, there are better ways. Price comparison sites are one of our favourite tools we use before making a purchase. They allow you to search an endless assortment of consumer products from hundreds if not thousands of online stores. This saves you both time and money, especially as some deals are never advertised in local flyers or newspapers.


One of our favourite websites for comparing product pricing is Shopbot.ca.  Since launching in 2004 Shopbot has vastly expanded its product categories so that now you can find virtually every type of product from electronics to clothing, toys to car accessories, pet products to furniture, and more - everything except food and groceries.
You can search product names, brands, and models by keyword.  Results can be sorted or filtered by relevance and price.  Links for products will take you directly to the online retailer's website where you can purchase or view more information.



Besides Shopbot, there are a number of other similar price comparison websites available to Canadians, including:

For a comprehensive roundup of all of the above price comparison sites, please see Stephen Weyman's HowToSaveMoney.ca, which is also a wonderful website for practical and useful money saving tips and techniques. 

Category Specific Comparison Sites

Certain categories of products have websites specifically for the purpose of comparison shopping. For example, when trying to price out your next trip or vacation, you may want to visit Kayak.com first to check the cost of airline tickets. Kayak will search hundreds of airlines in a matter of seconds to find you the lowest fares on the Internet. Kayak will also price compare hotels and car rental rates. Here are some other excellent resources for Canadians to compare prices, rates, and plans:

- Compare mortgage rates, bank accounts, credit cards, cell phone, home phone, Internet, and more
- Compare wireless plans for phones, tablets, and mobile Internet
CanadianISP.ca - Reviews of Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs)
Transportation and Travel
- Find low gas prices in the US and Canada
- Compare flights, hotels, and car rental rates worldwide
- Compare hotels worldwide
Student Tuition
- Compare tuition fees for arts and humanities undergraduate degrees across Canadian universities
GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca - Canadian university and college tuition fee calculator


Bargain Hunting Sites

One of the strengths of the Internet is the power to connect with others and to share information. With the rise in popularity of online shopping, a number of websites have emerged to help people find the latest bargains and the best deals.


Among Canadian bargain hunting websites, RedFlagDeals.com is probably by far the largest and most popular. With so many active members, new deals, coupons, and bargains are constantly posted. If you prefer shopping locally or in-store instead of online, RedFlagDeals also has most of the major flyers available for you to flip through so you can see what's on sale nearby. As well, you can find member posted tips and advice on local stores and businesses in the forums section.



If, however, you find RedFlagDeals a bit intimidating, here are some other Canadian sites to satisfy your bargain hunting fix:

To read more about the above bargain websites and for tips on others, please see Kyle and Justin's YoungAndThrifty.ca.

Every Penny Counts

They say, a penny saved is a penny earned. Well if you used some of the sites in this article before each purchase, you'll be saving and earning a whole lot of pennies! We hope you find this information useful. If you have ideas or suggestions for other great money saving websites, or you have a money saving tip, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Thanks and happy shopping!


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This page is copyright Tinker & Hack 2014.  Please contact us for permission if you wish to use, copy, or distribute the accompanying article.  You may freely link to this page.

Tinker & Hack
Tinker & Hack


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