Equipster: Bargain Hunter

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Meet your own personal gear junkie shopping service. A new site, Equipster, combs the web to find deals on gear. Its goal is to be “hell-bent on finding the exact merch you need at the lowest possible price.”

Say you need a new technical shell jacket, but your budget is puny. Equipster will troll the web for you, searching for the jacket size, brand, and type that you specify. You can also sign up for email alerts to notify on deals for said shell jacket.

To see how it worked, I did an initial search for racing snowshoes. None were found. But a second search for Costa Del Mar sunglasses yielded more than a dozen pairs, some highly discounted. My third search found dozens of men’s casual shoes in my size, many at or more than 50% off.

But there are lots of sites that find discount gear, so how does Equipster stand out? Equipster’s Will Harlan explained it like this: “In addition to finding the best deal on a given product, we enable the user to drill down and really create focused searches to find what they need. The filters that we have not only allow people to specify certain features that they are looking for in an outdoor gear product, but also gender and, more importantly, size.”

The size filter is especially useful when retailers have big sales on very specific products down to the point where the same product has two different prices depending on size. Often times, it is easy to find a rock-bottom price, but only in very unpopular sizes, according to Harlan.

Another unique point: Once you’ve got your filters for price, features, brand, etc., just the way you like them, Equipster can save those filters so that if you don’t find a bargain on your first visit, you can come back later to see if any sales are going on.

How do they do it? Equipster is currently searching six major online vendor sites and will be adding more soon. The catch? None for you. Equipster states: “Our commission comes out of the retailers’ pocket, not yours.”

—T.C. Worley

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