ShopWiki is an Internet shopping search engine founded in 2005 and launched in early 2006. It was founded by the former DoubleClick CEO Kevin P. Ryan, the former CTO and DoubleClick co-founder Dwight Merriman and Eliot Horowitz. Their primary distinguisher is crawling the internet for stores instead of using data feeds from merchants. In 2006 they received 6.2m in venture funding from Generation Partners. So ShopWiki crawls the internet for every store out there, regardless of whether the stores have paid ShopWiki to have the exposure or not. (I'm not sure yet who pays for this whole set up or where the profit comes in...) It's like a search engine for shopping possibilities, and I must say my first impression is that it works quite well.
Kirkpatrick, Marshall. "ShopWiki announces $6.2m in funding." TechCrunch. July 2006.
I started out at the ShopWiki Health and Beauty Guide. Wiki Buying Guides are created, edited and moderated by the ShopWiki community, much like the Wikipedia community works. From the Health and Beauty Guide I went to the Organic Health and Beauty products page, 'cause you know I'm all about using as many natural products as possible, for health and safety reasons. Plus I just think natural products are usually nicer all around. I'm pretty sure when we finally figure out what's causing this epidemic of chronic illnesses, it's going to have something to do with environmental pollution, whether the environment is the larger community and world we live in, or if it's our own personal environment of products we wear and/or consume. There is lots of really excellent information on this page, for the beginner or for the more experienced organic health and beauty product user.
Then I got to looking at the ShopWiki Gift Guides, and then at the ShopWiki Holiday Gift Guides. There are really some great ideas there, from traditional to out-of-the-box, from DIY and "buy nothing", to sky diving and name a star gifts.
There are all kinds of ShopWiki Guides; check them out in the Directory of Wiki Guides.
Then I started to get specific. I've been looking for a good source to buy Swivel Lobster Claw Clasps for a jewelry project I've been thinking about for awhile, and the fourth search result down has my best previous price beat by almost 50%. And I've been looking off and on for these things for at least six months now.
Long story short, I have a new Number 1 go-to source for any purchase I plan to make, from here on out.