4 min Read
12 Sep 2011

Written by Damien

Damien is one of the most widely quoted money and investment experts in the national press and has made numerous radio & TV appearances. He created MoneytotheMasses.com while working in the City when he became disillusioned with the way the public were left to fend for themselves because they could not afford financial advice.

More about Damien

InvisibleHand – Does it really find the lowest prices online?

In my general reading about new start-ups and web services I came across a browser widget called InvisibleHand (http://www.getinvisiblehand.com/).

The website claims “to show a discreet notification when there are lower prices available on the product or flight you're shopping for. It then gives you a link directly to the lowest price.”

So being the natural born cynic that I am, I thought I’d use InvisibleHand to try and find my last three purchases to find out just how good the results were versus my own personal web trawl.

So with the InvisibleHand chrome extension installed I searched for my recent purchases.

Round One

First up is a Remington R6130 Diamond 360 Rotary Shaver. I paid £49.99 for it just over a week ago. This was going to be a tough one as I bought it for half price on Amazon. After about 20 seconds a discrete bar appeared at the top of my browser and much to my horror it had found it cheaper at £43.98 on Amazon! It transpires that since I bought the item Amazon reduced it further and InvisibleHand quickly highlighted that fact. So I call that a draw.

Round Two

Up next is a pre-order of Fifa 12 on the Xbox 360. I found it via Kelkoo for £37.89 (plus £2 P+P) on Send.it.com. Again I was pretty confident that this was the best price on the net after running it through Kellkoo and several of my favourite online stores. However InvisibleHand pinged up a marginally better price of £37.85 on Shopto.net. So InvisibleHand won this round - all be it marginally.

Round Three

The last item was the book “One Day” by David Nicholls. I found a paperback version of the item for £3.78 on bookdepository.co.uk by using Kelkoo. However this is where InvisibleHand struggled as it returned a price of £12.37 on Asda-Entertainment (which I assume was a hardback version) which was also sold out. So after adding the word  'paperback' to the search term and trying a couple of variations InvisibleHand returned a price of £3.79 on Amazon. I was not bothered about the format of the book when I originally purchased it, I was only interested in the cheapest price. Therefore in my opinion InvisibleHand lost this round as the first price it suggested was far more expensive than the price I paid for the book.

Verdict

I have to say I was impressed with InvisibleHand as it ran discretely in the background and delivered some great prices. In fairness I was always going to prove a tough opponent having shopped online for a number of years and well aware of which sites and services are likely to deliver the best prices. Having said that, if you are a less experienced net user and don’t mind the programme having access to your browser data then it could save you time and money. However given my experience with the book I would recommend you also do a quick price check using other price comparison services like Kelkoo and PriceRunner. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

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