Due 12 March 03
In this assignment, you will compare and contrast two price-comparison services.
If you don't know where to start, try searching Yahoo
or Google for "price comparison,"
and you'll get plenty of ideas.
Choose one product for which you want to find prices. Do a price search for
that product on both price-comparison services. In your report, consider some
of the following questions:
- How many price quotes do you get?
- How does the service display the price quotes?
- Do they help you figure out taxes and shipping?
- Can you sort by price? Can you sort by business name? What other sort features
- Can you refine your search in useful ways?
- How much price dispersion do you observe (range of prices)?
- Do firms in the price list offer differentiated versions of the product?
Does that account for the price differences?
- What determines the order in which firms are listed? Do firms have to pay
to be listed on the engine, or does the engine search different sites independently?
(You might be able to find this information on the site you're researching,
or you might be able to find it in a Lexis/Nexis search for news stories about
- How easy is it to find exactly the information you want? Does the screen
display make sense? Do the commands make sense?
- Which of the two services would you use in the future, and why?
Your report should be approximately two pages in length.
WRITING ALERT: Make sure to write a thesis
statement at the beginning of your paper. Papers without a useful thesis
statement will lose one full letter grade.
Passive verbs will also continue to result in grade drops.