The scores of web pages we view on a daily basis are littered with ads and sometimes it's hard to see the wood for the trees.
However, there are legitimate websites which can help you save money - especially if you know how to use them to your advantage.
A YouGov survey recently carried out by Saveitbuddy.com estimated that price comparison websites earn over Â£650 million in annual commission from consumers.
While this may seem like a lot of money, around 10.1 million British adults used price comparison websites last year specifically because they can save you time and money.
But there are a few important points to take into consideration when using these sites.
Firstly, work out the most important costs and aspects of any product you want to buy. For example if you are purchasing a loan, you need to make sure that the representative APR is within your budget and timescale. If the comparison site you are using does not have the information you need in a clear and easily understood way then go somewhere else - if they don't make your life easier then there's no point using one.
Secondly, don't just pick the first thing you see. This may sound obvious but it is all too common for people buying even the most serious financial products to buy the first item deal come across. But it's worth taking time to analyse the products to find the best deal. When looking at loans, for example, the cheapest may seem to be the one with the lowest APR but the repayment period may not suit you.
Price comparison websites offer a service designed to save you time and money by listing the most important facts about products which you want to buy.
In some cases - due to the volume of customers sent to a company by a website - the deals offered may be cheaper than elsewhere. But even where this is not the case comparing different deals on loans, foreign exchange, credit cards, insurance and many other financial products which affect our daily lives is a sensible thing to do.
Like all companies, these websites have to make a profit to survive. Most generate profit through advertising revenue from their sellers and are often paid a fee or commission by third parties for introductions. It's also common for sites to allow advertising outside the comparison tables to gain more revenue. Some sites, such as whichwaytopay.com, do not allow this form of advertising as they believe the purpose of their site is to compare, review and sell financial products and say these ads are confusing and distorting.
Price comparison websites are there to make your life easier and to save you time and money. Absorb the information available in order to get the best online deals available.
So be aware but take care if the message to savvy internet shoppers.
And remember, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.