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Price comparison websites

Almost half of all price comparison website users have admitted to finding that they could have saved money by not using one of the sites, according to research by ConsumerIntelligence.com

Its survey shows that 46 percent of website users have bought through a website only to find a better deal later on. Not that they're put off by the experience – a quarter of users have resolved to use the websites even more in the next 12 months.

And, predictably enough, Google is getting in on the act. Having bought BeatThatQuote.com for £37.7 million in March 2011, it is expected to launch its own swanky service that will simplify and speed up searches and put everyone else in the shade.

Ian Hughes, of ConsumerIntelligence.com, said: 'Price comparison websites have revolutionised shopping around but it is a basic failure of the service if users then find it was cheaper elsewhere. The advent of increased competition with Google in the market and FSA regulation demonstrates the attraction of the price comparison model and all the indications are that the market will continue to grow.'

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