Sunday, November 14, 2004

Best place to buy books online

AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison

This link actually came from a comment from my good friend Ayush on one of my previous posts. I'm so impressed with the site, that I just had to blog about it myself.

Basically, you enter the title, IBSN, author, or keyword of the book you're searching for along with a shipping destination, US state, and currency, and AddAll searches "40+ sites" (as of today) for the best total price.

This service puts Google's Froogle to shame. AddAll calculates tax and shipping before returning results. The site is clean, intuitive, and add-free. Unlike Froogle and other price comparison sites, the prices are queried and returned instantly -- not added by users or spidered and cached. The site operators make their money through referral fees paid to them when books are purchased by users who click-through their site to order. These referral fees do not increase the price of the book.

The same people that run AddAll also operate the following sites:

A Music Area (music)
A Movie Area (movies)

The questions that come to my mind are:

1) Is Google working on improvements to Froogle that would make it as or more useful as these sites? (Same goes for other Froogle-like operations)

2) If substantially more people actually start using sites like AddAll, online stores will be driven even further into heated price wars. Will they still maintain the referral fees? Will sites like AddAll, with their newly given market power, begin to demand certain referral fees to be included in their listings? Will sites like Froogle that don't take referral fees push sites like AddAll out of the market?

All this said, I still think publishers are missing the boat by not selling directly to consumers through aggregators like Froogle and AddAll and cutting out middle-men like Amazon.com. Like airlines, they too can redefine their businesses to profit from new channels of distribution and innovations in search.

1 comment:

yush said...

It would be great if sites like addall started charging referral fees. That would provide a monetary incentive to create an even better price comparison site -- leading to "an even more free market" -- at the end of the day the internet is facilitating a buyer's market (which is great!)