Gone are the days when a new phone came out every year or so and people with financial leverage huddled up at this single arcade to bust it all on whatever price the dealer saw fit. No, now we’ve got a dealer every stone’s throw away. And that’s not all where it ends; we’ve upgraded from phones to tablets as well, so the options have spread like wildfire. What the question really comes down to today is where you can find the latest product, for the cheapest price, offering the most perks/benefits/add-ons.

Quite a list of criteria to fill, I know. Apart from scanning the local papers to manually compare prices, scouring social media or visiting multiple physical stores, there really isn’t another way of doing this whole thing. So for the lack of time/patience, most of us just tend to go for the most convenient option, aware that we might be paying a bit more, but just can’t be bothered doing anything about it.

Then along comes “IdeaBeam” to save the day; slightly cliché, I know; but that’s what it is. When I stumbled upon the website, I wondered that for all this time, why nobody else had come up with it; the problem was smack right in front of us and nobody sought to take up the initiative apart from the thoughtful people behind IdeaBeam.com. At this point, you’re probably wondering what in the world I’m on about, so let me fill you in all the brilliance of this site.

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The core functionality of the website is quite simple – to help you get the best deal in town by letting you compare prices with a simple click of a button. Their user interface is something you rarely find anymore; straight and to the point; without all the nonsensical clutter; it’s easy on the eyes and doesn’t distract you from why you went there in the first place. Now although their range spreads from phones, tablets to cameras; their prime focus however seems to revolve around mobile phones alone. So let me break this down for you; if you’re looking in the market to buy a phone, then they’ve got all the right tools to help you narrow down your search. First off, you’ve got the option of selecting from the available fields; which basically include: the product, brand and price range; and the site shows you all your potential products available.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a specific phone in mind, then you could always resolve to the standard “search” option; that works too. Apart from it all, if you’re just window shopping, then the home page happily features a spread of ‘Popular Products’ and ‘Latest Products’ that showcase some pretty tempting deals.

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Once you’ve clicked on your desired product, it takes you to (go figure) the product page. Now this is where it gets interesting. Let me start from the top. It features a customer rating next to the picture; I can’t really vouch for the legitimacy of it; but hey, it’s something. Next, they mention the price comparison from the lowest to the highest priced store; in addition to the number of stores that were considered as well. Scrolling down, you get to check the stores out for yourself; I tried my hand at the Galaxy S2 plus and had a choice of 11 stores to skim through. Not only do they mention the stores and prices, they also let you know which stores offer free warranty, delivery and other benefits. Once you’ve decided on a particular store, you’ve got the option of clicking a button and going straight out of IdeaBeam to that particular store’s site for checkout, or simply obtaining the store’s contact details.

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What really got my attention though is that once you scroll down past all the stores; the site auto searches for second hand sellers and displays it under the ‘Used’ section. Despite most of these searches; a good 99% of it at least; tails from ikman.lk, I still find it quite helpful that the feature is there at all. Hypothetically, if you wanted to check out a phone you really wanted, scrolled through the stores and thought- ‘Oh well, definitely not in my price range’; the site goes all ‘Hold on there, here’s a few used ones you could go for instead!’

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Going past all of that of course, you find the usual ‘Phone Details/Specifications’ and a handy Facebook integrated User Feedback section; and to top it all off, the site offers you a few other phones that you ‘Might be interested in’. Safe to say, IdeaBeam caters to all your deliberation needs during your purchase and saves you the hassle of having to travel from store to store or scan through the blurry ads that appear on the papers. You can explore through a specific brand alone and see what there’s to offer or you could do the same with a particular store you know of. They’ve got a majority of the brands and stores down; so looking for it shouldn’t be much of a task. I’ve only run through the process of phone shopping here, but I highly recommend you run through their sections of Tablets and Cameras too, there are some pretty good deals available.

Wrapping it up, I’ll admit the name “IdeaBeam” could be a little misleading, seeing as their logo is a vector of a humming bird as well. Leaves you wondering what both elements have to do with anything available on the site; but hey, they make up for it quite well with a stellar website providing a cost free service that was; as far as I’m concerned; much needed in the Sri Lankan market. So, kudos to the people at IdeaBeam, keep the good stuff going.

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