If You Want to Find Products for Less, You NEED To Read This Google Image Tutorial

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Remember last week when you guys voted on console tables for my office? I bought one, and it wasn't even one of the six I had asked you to vote on:

Here is is at for $1020 at almost every store (hereherehere) and a bit less here, and substantially less at Wayfair for trade members (here). I almost always end up buying from Wayfair because it is almost always the best price (and customer service is incredible).

Anyway, I had initially ruled it out for price, thinking I'd prefer to pay less for this very similar one (and the one that won the reader votes) and just paint the legs:
But I didn't really want to paint the legs. So I decided to take my own advice and do a Google Image Search on the one with gold legs and see if I could find it for less, or at least something similar for less. And it worked. I got it for $510 - exactly half of the Joss & Main price.

Here's how.  

I have showed you this tutorial before, but it's been a while and I want to show it again because seriously.
It. Is. Invaluable.
I save thousands and thousands of dollars a year on everything from furniture to shampoo (true story - I decided I needed an $80 shampoo and got it for $30).

If you are pretty familiar with how to do this, skip to Step 8, where I have my tips for getting the best results.

Ok, here we go....

1. Get Your Image (and Crop if Necessary)

Find the item you are interested in from any website and either drag it to you desktop or images folder, or take a screen shot. If you DO NOT know how to take a screenshot, click HERE

The easiest way is to simply drag the product image to your desktop. 

NOTE: If you need to screenshot (some sites don't let you drag images), crop in to just your item, in this case the desk. When you take a screenshot for these purposes, you do NOT want the entire screen. This full image won't do me any good in Google Images - there is too much non-relevant material there and it would bring up results for "Add to Cart" and Facebook logos and stuff: 

So however you do it (dragging or screenshotting), you need to end up with this:

If you are at all serious about being able to search for things for less, you need to master screenshots - it's not hard! Just Google it if you don't know, and if you need help, email me.

2. Go to Google Images

It is https://images.google.com and looks like this:

3.  Click the black camera icon

See it right here under the red e?
When you click the camera icon, you get this screen:

4. Click "Upload an Image"

(I know there is also an option to "Paste URL," but it never ever ever works. In my opinion, skip it).

Clicking "Upload an Image" takes you here:
5. Click "Choose File"

It looks like this when you do it:

6. Select Your Image to Upload

Mine is right there on the desktop, from when I dragged or screenshotted it in step 1. So now I click on that - "Screenshot" and click "Open" at the bottom right:

7. View Your Results

After you do step 6 and hit "Open," your results pop up. Here are mine:

8. Analyze

Ok, lots to show you from the results I got.

A. The Search Bar

The bar at the top is telling us that Google interpreted this as a "black glass console table." I did not type this is - it's what Google found. Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. Here, it came up with that because this table is offered in black, too, and that is the primary image on most sites, so Google actually kinda-sorta got it right (i.e,. the results will show the table I want in both colors):

You can change this if Google gets it wrong - see "Deep Search Method 2" below.

B. Click Relevant Links

The blue links are pages that Google thinks have this image.

If they are blog posts, they are not usually as helpful as if they are stores. So I click the stores. In this case, Polyvore, Wayfair, Zinc Door, etc. pop up and take me right to the table when I click them, so I can compare prices. There are a few non-relevant results here, (Fads, Burke, etc.) so just ignore them, and click the ones that look like stores selling the table:

C. Searching Deeper

If you want to take it further, you can. I call it "deep searching" and it is really where you get the best deals. Up to this point, it's pretty much like doing a word search, like "white console table"- you'll get the same results. It's these next steps that usually pay off more.

Method 1: Click the "Visually Similar Images" that pops up every time you search an image. Here, none of them are the same, but when you click in you never know what you'll get:

When I click it, sure enough some come up that I am interested in. This is REALLY useful for when you know you're item is discontinued, you know you can't afford it, etc., because it shows you SIMILAR products from all over the internet. I find a TON of products this way, and honestly don't know what I would do without it. I wouldn't click all the results, but there are a few that I would (and did):

After exploring those, I then do this next and final search:

Method 2 to "Deep Search":

Go back to your initial Google Image Search "Results" page. Remember how it said "Black Glass Console Table"? CHANGE that text to something more accurate, like "White and gold console table" and hit search with the image still uploaded.

Here is what I get.  MUCH better:
Then do the same as before - click the relevant links, click the visually similar images.

I put about 10 minutes into this, and found my exact table here:

With the 15% coupon I got it for about $510 (remember it was $1020 almost everywhere else).

SO worth it.

When to Use Google Images

Ok, one last point on how you can use Google images, and why you should. Say you are browsing Zappos and run across these cool shoes, but would never pay $455 for them:

You already know the brand, so there  is really no need to use Google Images to find other stores that sell them for less. You'd just search "Stuart Weissman Exilir" in regular Google to compare prices. But you know as well as I do that since these are new this year, they are likely about the same price everywhere, and are too expensive.

SO. This is where you use Google Images to find similar looking shoes for less money. I dragged the Zappos image to my desktop, searched by image, and got these: 

Gee, #1 and #4 look pretty close, and are waaaay less.  You can try it yourself - Drag the Zappos image from above and try it.

And when I change the Google guess of "footwear" to "woven wedge heel" (I got that from the Zappos description), the results are even better:

Another Example

Here is another one I did today. I like this rug, but what if I only have a photo and don't know the name of it? I can go to Google and search "teal rug," and after about a week, I might find it. But no guarantee!

So image search instead, and it pops right up:

When I click through, I see that it is at Shades of Light and Zinc Door, and I can get the manufacturer  and rug name. Then I do a regular Google search for that - "Frontier Moroccan Aqua Hand Woven Wool Rug" to see who sells it and for how much.

And note in this case I had guessed it would be a "teal" rug, but it is actually labelled as "Aqua," so a regular Google search would likely not find it. See how invaluable Goggle Images is?!


And Another Example

I'm really excited about this one. I saw this chair on Overstock last night:

But I found it here for a lot less:

(Overstock is not so great in my opinion. Their prices are too high, and usually Wayfair has their items for less.)

I really want to help you guys learn how to do this. I know a lot of you already do, and I hope you're not insulted by the detailed instructions. I get a lot of questions about this, so I thought the details might help some of you. If you still can't get it, email me and I'll walk you through it.

And if you want to help me, pin this image for me. You all know how rotten Pinterest has been lately, and I could use the help getting things seen...

See you tomorrow

Katherine said...

Stacy, - the post title should be 'the most valuable search info ever'. I'm pinning this so that I don't loose site of your details.... and this is very detailed.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Stacy - I will DEFINITELY be using this!

Richelle Milton said...

Absolutely adore you, Stacy! You are the BEST!!

MCM said...

Awesome reminder, Stacy, thank you!

Kashinka said...

About screenshots--if you have Windows 7 or greater, you have a built-in utility called Snipping Tool. It's very easy to use--you just click New, then click the kind of snip you want (full screen, rectangular--that's the one I use the most--free-form, and Window). Then save the resulting pic.