I'm looking for a phrase or a single word that denotes the act of buying an item after analyzing the price and features of different products across several shops. The closest I could get to was "discerning" shopper. I would like to have a word that directly refers to the act of extensive research done before buying a product.

Thank you

  • Bargaineer. It's not a real word, yet (it's not in any dictionary AFAIK) but it is a term that is in use, mostly for magazines offering cheap deals. A web search will bring up some examples.
    – Frank
    Apr 19, 2014 at 19:22
  • In marketing (and other places where people are studied making buying or usage choices, such as usability studies or positive psychology), there are two types of buyers. The ones are satisficers (they get the first option which is good enough for them) and the others are maximizers (they do the comparison process you described). I don't remember a term which denotes the process itself, but "a maximizer's buying process" will be understood by people who know the theory. It isn't widespread outside of research circles though.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 19, 2014 at 21:53
  • 1
    It won't fit exactly in this case, but you may be interested in the name market maven.
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:44
  • I finally went with maven but it is not an answer. So I couldn't select it.
    – user72545
    Nov 12, 2015 at 9:51

8 Answers 8


The standard phrase is...

shop around - to compare the price and quality of the same or a similar object in different shops before you decide which one to buy.

This chart shows how the expression has become increasingly common over the past century, and here are thousands of written instances of [you] should shop around (standard consumer advice).


In the US, the term comparison shopping is fairly standard, as reflected in this article about comparison shopping websites.

  • I haven't heard the phrase actually used before, but it's clear enough to be understood by someone who doesn't know the name, and fits in this case.
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:40
  • FWIW, this term is equally if not more popular in my area (Southern US) than "shop around", and more clearly connotes what the OP is asking about. "Shop around" is casual, like "look around", and may even imply a simple survey of what is available on the market. Comparison shopping much more clearly IMHO describes a deliberate comparison of items sought in a way that will directly influence the purchasing decision. Apr 20, 2014 at 9:07

There's informed purchases and bargain hunting. Making the shopper an informed buyer or a bargain hunter, respectively.


"Due diligence" is a phrase that captures most of what you are looking for. This phrase doesn't apply directly to shopping, but it represents the work that is done before making a final decision.


I gave a +1 to FumbleFingers and RedDwight for the most correct-yet-broad choices. But since you asked for a single word, I felt like posting this answer. You could shorten either of their suggestions to:

bar·gain -ing [bahr-guhn]
verb (used without object)
6. to discuss the terms of a bargain; haggle; negotiate.

see also: synonym: haggling


shop -ed, -ping
verb (used without object)
8. to visit shops and stores for purchasing or examining goods.

Both of these could refer to multiple acts of examining/negotiating-then-maybe-purchasing, but they don't have a strong connotation for that. Consider a not uncommon conversation:

I've been shopping all day.
Oh? What did you buy?
Nothing. The bargains weren't good enough.

There is another term, a recent neologism, that is creeping up in usage; it is still definitely in the realm of slang, but has a closer meaning to the single-word that you are looking for: sale-ing. I know its weak that the best reference is Urban Dictionary, but I have heard it used a lot recently without the prefix. Specifically like so:

I'm going sale-ing on Black Friday! Gonna shop all day and find some sweet deals.

I wouldn't use this word, except to make a pun. ("Oh your in the market for a new boat? I hope you get to go sale-ing!" I'm sorry.) But if you don't mind slang, you could try it out.

  • Please explicitly name the source for citations in plain text. Hovering on a link does not count as an actual attribution. Plus it does not work on all interfaces.
    – tchrist
    Jul 6, 2014 at 23:45
  • @tchrist I wasn't aware the attribution policy was so strict. This being a website, I thought an HTML hyperlink was sufficient. Is there a relevant meta post?
    – Patrick M
    Jul 7, 2014 at 0:46
  • There isn’t a relevant meta post yet. We’re working on one, and there will be one soon. There are multiple reasons for including the attribution in plain text. It works for everybody. It doesn’t require chasing a link. It still works if the link is dead or unreachable. And it allows us to judge the “respectability” of the source without a lot of bother; there’s a difference between quoting from a published and curated source like the OED versus from some crowd-sourced anonymous source like Wictionary or the Free Dictionary that doesn’t provide proper references versus some random page.
    – tchrist
    Jul 7, 2014 at 1:18

How about the neologistic "storehop (can also be written in two words or hyphenated)?"

My husband would storehop to find the best that would fit on our budget.

Subsequently to bib's answer, consider also the intransitive verb "comparison-shop (or comparison shop)."

comparison-shop: to compare items while shopping in order to see which one is the best or has the lowest price.

I just comparison-shopped online and purchased a health plan for my family.

  • Sorry, but I don't think storehop has any meaningful level of currency. Your main citation is from a clearly non-native speaker (the preceding post from that blogger starts off with Today most of us has Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace account, which I doubt even the most illiterate or careless native Anglophone would ever write). Note that your first link doesn't really represent a valid "verb" usage, and the second link doesn't work anyway. Apr 20, 2014 at 12:52

Professional shopper could be what you're looking for? Though the term is more associated with personal shopper.


After much deliberation, he/she elected to purchase the Orange smartphone as it provided better features than the Pear smartphone; even though the Pear was cheaper, and the Orange was on back-order.

  • I don't see why elected (or similar verbs such as decided, chose) should have any particular association shopping, purchasing. Apr 20, 2014 at 12:55

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