And the Best Website for Shoppers Is …

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Amazon vs. eBay vs. Wal-Mart: A WSJ and SmartMoney columnist who usually writes about investing pits the three giant shopping sites against each other in a price-comparison cage match—and also chimes in with insight on which are worth investing in.

In James B. Stewart’s experiment hunting online for DVDs, Legos, and home appliances (what, no Zhu Zhu? Couldn’t handle it, huh?), the web winner was Amazon, followed by eBay, and, straggling along in third, Wal-Mart.

Why Amazon?

Amazon won through a combination of price and availability. When it was undercut on price, it was usually by a negligible amount.

And why such a poor showing from Wal-Mart?

In two of the three shopping ventures, Wal-Mart didn’t have nearly as good a selection, or didn’t have an item being searched for in stock. When Wal-Mart did have the goods, its prices were cheap. But overall, in the writer’s opinion:

If my experiment is indicative, Wal-Mart needs a lot more than cheap bestsellers to challenge Amazon.

Oh, and in terms of investing? He also likes Amazon best.


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