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    Shopping Arts

    July 30, 1999

    Those comparison-shopping engines, which claim to find the lowest price for a given widget, keep coming up with new tricks, but there's still no one "best" engine to check.

    Consider the latest two contenders, Bottom Dollar and DealTime.

    Bottom Dollar lists the online stores it checks prices at, so you can tell if it's overlooking your own favorite discounter, and it can also scan current auctions. But the site's search and browse functions need major work.

    DealTime, meanwhile, searches not just stores and auctions, but classified-ads sites as well; it can also track prices for you over time, e-mailing or paging you when it finds the best deal. But in random tests, a few "low" prices were substantially over what I saw at other price-finder sites – proving that it still pays to shop around.

    Rob Pegoraro

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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