Online sites that really, really want to save you money
DotHomes.com -- Two entrepreneurs started a home-selling web site right about the time the home market is collapsing. Smaaaaart. Or maybe it is. People need all the help they can get these days, and there are several neat features to this. For starters, you can look for homes around the world and not just the United States. Then there's the fact that many sellers have video tours of their homes at DotHomes. And one of the really nice features for the seller is that it's free to put your home on here. And it's free for the buyer, too, of course. So how do you make money, I asked Douglas de Jager, one of the founders. They're still working on that, he admitted, saying: "We don't make income. Income spoils people."
Become.com -- This is an online comparison shopping web site, which compares prices between 5,000 online and local stores. This is a very cool site, at least it looks cool. I haven't done enough searching on my own to say whether you should try it. But certainly, go check it out. The basic idea is that you type in a product in their search engine, or go to one of their categories like "computers," and you can comparison shop. I'm told by the Become.com spokesperson that they know of a customer who saved $800 just by looking at the price for the same TV and TV stand at two different stores. The customer chose the cheaper one, of course.LetsTalk.com -- This is an independent site that helps find the best bargains among a huge array of cell phone plans and cellphones.
CouponWinner.com -- It does look like a winner. They specialize in every type of coupon imaginable, for brick and mortar stores or online stores. They have a section for expired coupons. If you're a bargain hunter and shopping for products or at stores that tend to have coupons, this site seems pretty amazing.
OKCupid.com -- They purport to be the largest free online dating site in the United States. Supposedly there are 2 million visitors every month. In doing my research, I checked it out for about 9 seconds. (Hey, I'm married. The last thing I need is my wife accidentally stumbling on some dating site on my computer.)
Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).