Comparison Websites – The Benefits & Limitations
Comparing apples to apples
When you’re shopping around for insurance, credit cards, home loans, investments, and bank accounts, using comparison websites can be quite helpful- but they do have limitations. We’re going to explain those limitations and provide some things to keep in mind as you use them for your purchases.
- Using comparison websites
- Limitations of comparison websites
Using Comparison Websites
Here are some suggested ways to use comparison websites:
- First, go ahead and decide the features you’d like to compare before beginning your search. For example, you may want to look at certain fees and interest rates associated with the products or services you’re comparing.
- Look at each provider’s website before going to comparison websites, and use both types of websites to compare key features.
- Make a shorter list of the top results you reach from your search.
- Take the top one or two results, and compare them by reading any disclosure statements that outline their fees, features, and interest rates.
- Once you’ve made a decision, call the provider and ask about the application process. Keep asking them questions until you feel the most informed before making your purchase.
Limitations of Comparison Websites
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using comparison websites:
- Comparison sites monetize their services in many ways, oftentimes through sponsored or promoted affiliate links, providing them commissions.
- Most comparison sites will lack many products within the market, and only cover a portion of the products available to you.
- Search results may prioritize sponsored links ahead of non-sponsored links, which offer better deals that you simply don’t see.
- Some ratings and rankings on these comparison sites aren’t clearly defined or explained, increasing the importance of you understanding how these ratings work and compare with other sites.
With insurance comparisons, remember:
- Some comparison sites have a relationship with the insurance providers and lack the transparency of their defined relationship.
- The price is never set in stone- it’s simply a featured price. Your focus with insurance policies is that you have the right kind of insurance and coverage that you need.
Comparison websites are a great way to understand what deals are available to you, but always check the details so you can make sure you’re comparing with a fine-tooth comb.