PriceCheck is a service that allows you to compare the prices of millions of products, in thousands of categories, from hundreds of South African shops.
Pricecheck has been around since 2006 and is a site, and also an award winning app, that allows you to compare prices of any particular item across any of the merchants registered with PriceCheck. That underlined bit is quiet important. PriceCheck joined the Naspers group in 2010 and can be considered South Africa’s leading price comparison service. PriceCheck has also branched out to Nigeria.
One of the coolest things about PriceCheck is the phone/tablet app that allows you to scan the bar-code of a product in shop and search PriceCheck for the price, reviews, store and location information.
You can sign up for a PriceCheck account although you don’t need to do that to use the service. Sign-up is painless and you get to decide whether you want to receive the newsletter or not. The account allows you to you can browse and leave reviews, rate products and toggle the newsletter option.
So … just to be clear … PriceCheck is not a shop, it’s a service that allows you to compare prices of an item. Basically you type in the name of the item on the site (or scan a bar-code with the app) and result will pop up telling you how many shops in their listings have that item. Then you click “compare prices” and you will be able to see the listings. Simple?
The problem is that the Pricecheck search function can be somewhat random and arbitrary to the point of frustration. Phrasing your search wrong will either get you no results or too many results. It’s also intolerant of spelling mistakes. And for a service operated by Naspers – it doesn’t speak Afrikaans!
A way around this is that PriceCheck is well indexed by the search engines. If you Google any item with South Africa as the location then chances are the first search results will be PriceCheck. Google IS forgiving and spelling friendly (but also not Afrikaans).
The site navigation is also a bit fiddly and does strange things. In addition, depending what you are looking for, you will also notice that places like BidorBuy and Loot seem over-represented. Why do you need PriceCheck then as you can head over to BidorBuy (another place that is great for checking prices) first yourself, and save a step.
I often use PriceCheck to check prices (hah), but in 9 years I have never bought at one of the stores based on their listing. The search is just too frustrating and for some reason they seem to list only the places that are expensive. I imagine the value online shops don’t have to trick you to buy from them. Then again it could be I’m searching the wrong things.
A decent place to check prices as they will show you the range across the shops listed. Their product descriptions are lacking sometimes which may account the strange search behaviour. The product listings also don’t age well and on occasion I’ve been led a chase to a product no longer available. This is not the ONLY place I would stop when researching prices but along with Takelot and BidorBuy one of the first.