TheFind’s New Take on Shopping Search

By  |  Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm

The Find LogoShopping search engine TheFind has relaunched with a bunch of new features. It claims to cover 350 million products, and I believe it–I got tons of results when I searched for everything from cameras to camera accessories to specific books to baby products to condiments.

TheFind isn’t like a comparative pricing engine such as PriceGrabber, which returns results in a grid with lots of comparative info; nor is it like the review-centric Retrevo or Wize. Instead, it feels a little like a Google-style general-purpose search engine, except with extra features tailored to shopping–and all the results point to pages at e-commerce sites where you can buy stuff.


Among the shopping-centric features:

  • Links to relevant coupons with each result (they usually aren’t product-specific, but offer stuff like free shipping and discounts for certain product categories);
  • Results for both big-name resellers and small merchants you might not otherwise know about;
  • Filters on the right which let you limit your search to a specific price range, vendor(s), brand(s), or style (these are neat–they remind me of travel search Godsend Kayak);
  • Tabs across the top that take you to coupons, reviews, local retailers, and “green” options (in some cases, this last option seems to be equivalent to “things that don’t require batteries,” such as camera cases);
  • A toolbar at the bottom that automatically saves all your searches and products, and lets you track favorite products, brands, and stores.

TheFind Toolbar

TheFind’s interface is pretty slick, and both the coupon feature and the breadth and depth of items it finds can definitely come in handy when you’re hunting for obscure items. (When I searched for “Nikon D90” it pulled up intriguing accessories which I didn’t even know existed.)

But this site is more of an effective complement to other shopping engines than a replacement for them. For the tech products I searched for, at least, it’s not a very good place to go when you’ve decided on a particular product and want to quickly determine where to buy it. For one thing, it doesn’t cluster multiple merchants who offer a product in a grid with information about availability, shipping costs, and the like. For another, despite the wealth of products it includes, I had trouble finding some of the items I looked for: I couldn’t pull up any results for the iPhone 3GS or Palm Pre, and the only MacBook Pros it found seemed to be reconditioned ones.

And I found a few quirks: the site sometimes pointed me to coupons that were expired, and to local retailers who were indeed local, but who only sold the product in question through their mail-order arm.

I know I’ll use TheFind, but I’m still looking for a Great Universal Shopping Engine that’s so powerful and so useful that I don’t end up using several sites for different aspects of product research. If you’re aware of any comprehensive one-stop tools, lemme know, will you?

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  1. paul Says:

    In these sentiments, Sir, I agree