Consumers pay an average of 44.2 percent more at local retail outlets than they do in online stores, according to an internal survey performed by Vendio. The company, a provider of software to help merchants manage online transactions, identified a selection of popular CE products and used its Dealio comparison shopping toolbar to search for their lowest online prices. It then contacted five local brick-and-mortar retailers to find a representative offline price for each of those same products.
A sampling of some of the products surveyed, and the price discrepancies between online and offline offerings, appears below. The Vendio noted that the prices found via Dealio reflect sales tax and shipping costs while prices found in brick-and-mortar stores do not include shipping but do reflect an 8.25 percent California sales tax.
- Panasonic PVG 5500 camcorder: lowest online price: $613.90; average offline price: $1,082.49
- Canon PowerShot SD550 digital camera: lowest online price: $248; average offline price: $324.74
- Xbox 360 console: lowest online price: $399; average offline price: $432.99
- Panasonic TH-42PX60U 42W-inch plasma TV: lowest online price: $1,522.95; average offline price: $1,984.58.
- Pioneer PDP-4270HD 42W-inch plasma TV: lowest online price: $1,974; average offline price: $2,922.74
Vendio says its Dealio toolbar scours the inventories of more than 100,000 online merchants to find the lowest available online price for an item. The toolbar has been installed more than 1 million times since its launch in November 2005, the company said.