I saw this on Boing Boing this morning and had to give it a try: Amabuddy. It’s pretty cool – put the Amabuddy phone number in your cell phone address book, then when you’re at a store wondering if you should buy something or just wait and order it off Amazon, call the number and punch in the ISBN or UPC code number. Amabuddy will then go get the average customer rating, retail price, Amazon price, and lowest used price for the item and read them to you. You can even find similar products, just like on the website.
As a big fan and customer of Amazon, and now Amazon Prime, I can see myself taking advantage of this service (it’s currently in beta – no word if there will be a cost after that). I’ve seen other Amazon front-ends for cell phones before, but most seem to require an Internet enabled phone, something my three year old model isn’t. This might make it easier for us to take advantage of our Prime membership too!
Follow up: I also came across another service called TicTap which lets you request price information from Amazon by text message. Same concept, different execution.
Update @ 3:20 PM: I found out today that Google has an SMS text message interface to their search engine. I think they’ve had this as part of their Google Mobile service for a while, but I wasn’t aware of it. It’s pretty slick – just send a text message to 46645 (GOOGL on most phones), start it with a keyword, and you’ll receive answers back from Google. Best part: No phone browser required!