Wesabe, a company that takes your anonymized financial information from your bank-statements and uses it to figure out how you can use it to spend smarter, has just launched its "Tips" tab — a service that automatically recommends competitors of the places you presently shop at, based on superior feedback, repeat visits and lower average spends by other Wesabe users.
These tips are pulled out of the billions of dollars worth of transactions that members have uploaded to Wesabe. We look at how much people spend at a merchant, how often they come back to give that merchant repeat business, and what they have to say about their satisfaction with that merchant. From these points, we build a comparison that lets you narrow in on the values in your neighborhood, and decide which merchant is best for you and your needs:
In the case above, Wesabe recommended a local grocery store I've seen but have never been to, since I shopped at a more expensive option, Andronico's, in my area. What's great about this tip is that it shows me a cheaper option that also makes far more people happy. That's great for me to know, and it may very well change where I shop.
You can also use the very rich tagging data on Wesabe to find related merchants that might be hidden values, or might be well-known to you as brands but not as economic options:
(Disclosure: I am a proud member of Wesabe's advisory board)