July 24, 2008

TextBuyIt Helps You Find Prices That Click


NEW YORK TextBuyIt, a recently launched shop-by-cellphone service from Amazon.com Inc., seemed like the ultimate comparison shopping tool perfect for an unabashed bargain hunter like myself.

As it turns out, TextBuyIt is fun to play with and useful for getting deals on some products, but the service's limitations will likely make people wary of substantial purchases. Even for cheaper items, shipping costs will probably make many people think twice before text-buying.

The service is easy to set up on a cellphone or at Amazonpayments.com.

Purchases through TextBuyIt are charged via the payment method that you select in Amazon's "one-click" checkout feature, and product deliveries go to the address you register there.

After the setup, TextBuyIt is pretty simple. If you're in a store and want to compare prices on something that seems appealing, you can text the item's name or bar code number to "262966," which corresponds with "AMAZON" on the phone keypad. Then the service sends back matching items available for sale on Amazon.

To buy something from Amazon, you just reply with a text message listing the number of the item you want. Other commands are possible, too, such as "M" to get more item listings, or "D" coupled with a product's number to get more information.

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