When is a Website not a Website?

Jul 17

Well, we have been online for a while now and the hard work is finally starting to pay off. What I have started to notice though is how different people use different shopping comparison websites to their advantage. There are a number of different sites that will happily list all your products and some of them are free, and some of them are a paid service. We subscribe to both but not all is as it seems. Let me see if I can explain.

Lets take Website No 1 who lists a product at $45.50 cents. User clicks on the link and is redirected to the product page for Website No 1. Well, this is interesting, they say and make a mental note of the price. Back to the comparison site they go and check another link for the same product, but this time the product is priced at $41.95 cents. Gee whiz! This comparison site is fantastic they think. I could actually save a whole $3.55 cents!! They click on the link for Website No 2 and are redirected to their product page. Hmm…different colors on the website, a few different advertisements, I still feel comfortable with how the site looks, I think I will buy from this site and save myself a little bit of money.

This would make sense to most people and they would simply receive their item in the post. BUT……what if the buyer knew that those who ran Website No1 were also the people who ran Website No 2?? Would they be happy knowing that they thought they were saving money but their money was actually going to the same person?? We should all take note of websites that we visit, especially when comparing products online. If you get the feeling you have seen a website page before, its probably because you have!

I am sure this is legal but is it ethical? This got me thinking and I checked more and more products on more and more comparison sites and could not believe how widespread this is! A bit of a look up on the internet and some have up to 50 internet domain names registered! I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this one and any experiences you may have had.

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