More so now than ever, time is money. NearbyNow.com wants to help shoppers save a little of both by “blending the best of online search with traditional retail shopping.” The website compares online prices and searches through the inventories of nearby stores for the item you want. (Similar sites that search local inventory include Krillion.com and ShopLocal.com.)
NearbyNow.com’s own search engine and price comparisson abilities are nothing to brag about; as we’ve stated before, many other websites do this job much more efficiently (see: The 15 Best Price Comparison Sites.) As expected of a hybrid, NearbyNow.com doesn’t do the best possible job at either function – it merely combines many abilities into one handy website.
The Inventory Check and Concierge: Heading to mom’s house in Sacramento, and forgot to pick her up that Digital-to-Analog TV Box Converter you’ve been promising to help her set up? NearbyNow.com finds several stores in your area that have the TV converter box you need, and lists all the applicable prices so you can compare. Save yourself time, and money, by heading directly to the store that lists the converter for the lowest price. Once you’ve decided on a product, such as the Apex Digital to Analog Converter, NearbyNow.com will list all the stores in your area which may carry it. Click “Is it in Stock?” and enter your contact information, and any special directions. For our converter box test, it took NearbyNow.com only 4 minutes to send us an email, notifying us that the item is indeed in stock and has been placed on hold for us. NearbyNow.com promises to get back to you within 10 minutes of your request, and can contact you via text message or email. (Of course, we quickly called Best Buy to notify them that it was just a test, and that they are free to sell the item to anyone else.)
Harder To Find Items: A second test for a different kind of emergency item, however, was less successful. We searched for the NuBra, the strapless and backless silicone adhesive, for our special event and special event dress. Unfortunately, NearbyNow.com did not find the NuBra at any local stores. However, a quick perusal of the website of a nearby department store, Nordstrom.com, confirmed that Nordstrom does carry the NuBra. Clicking “Contact Us” and “Live Help” allowed us to chat with a Nordstrom employee who located NuBra at the Nordstrom store only 4 miles away and placed it on hold in the cup size we needed. In this instance, when we needed a very specific item the old-school method of simply contacting a specific store worked much better.
Verdict: Even though NearbyNow.com works with more than 65,000 stores nationwide, there must be many more stores that it does not have access to. Therefore, countless numbers of products must not be on their radar. However, the website is great for very popular and widely available items – like a TV Converter. Nobody wants to waste time calling numerous different departments and driving from store to store; so, we definitely recommend it to save yourself both time and money.