Don’t you find it annoying when you get pinged with handling and shipping charges after you have added the product you want to buy to the cart, and (in some cases) that you were given the price after the mail-in rebate? Suddenly the price of that product isn’t as attractive any more.

At HealthPricer we’ve worked hard to rectify this. This is the third in our three-part blog. In this part I explain how we collect and present product prices. Here are the pricing areas I will be explaining:

HealthPricer pricing areas

Let’s go back to our example of Acuvue Oasys contact lenses and do a comparison between how we present product prices with another comparison shopping site. I’ve picked thefind.com this time.

At thefind.com, they list the box prices as presented on the merchant page – leaving out shipping and handling fees, and often reflecting the mail-in rebate prices. As with the data normalization mentioned in part 1, their engine basically grabs the information, but does not make it meaningful to you, the consumer.

Let’s take their price from VisionDirect, listed at $26.95. This is a per box price, although thefind.com does not clearly tell you this.

Search for Acuvue Oasys through thefind.com

Let’s look at the same merchant and product listed at HealthPricer. The per box price is the same, but the total for two boxes is different. Two boxes at $26.95 should come to $53.90.

VisionDirect listing for Acuvue Oasys through HealthPricer

We’ve set up rules for our price display to provide the total cost of the product, which includes the shipping, handling fees and mail-in rebates. Clicking on the details button shows you the exact breakdown of costs. No hidden fees. (Did I steal that phrase from ING Direct?)

HealthPricer price details screen

We’ve added some further features that help you determine what the best price is for you. Unit price, provides you the cost of buying one box of contact lenses, and in other departments, such as prescription drugs and supplements, the cost of each tablet or ounce for liquids.

We’ve also incorporated the option to include or exclude mail-in rebate costs. Some of you may not want to go to the trouble of filling in and sending the mail-in rebate before its designated date, so you can click on the mail-in rebate button to exclude those prices in the calculation.

Mail-in rebate search option through HealthPricer

Finally, you may want to opt for merchants that only provide free shipping and handling. Clicking on this button will refresh the list to those merchants only.

Free shipping and handling search option through HealthPricer

That’s the end of this three-part blog. I hope this series has been of use to you in learning more about how to find accurate prices, detailed product descriptions and the product variables that you need when shopping for health products online.