How to find competitors' prices

One of the more common requests in competitive intelligence is competitor pricing. In B2C, this is easy. Go to the shop, or build a web scraper to scour your competitors' websites. In B2B, it is more difficult. Often the only way is through primary intelligence, but in some cases you can find competitors' prices through secondary research.

Below are four ways to find competitor prices.

1. Government contracts

Tenders for government contracts often include very detailed proposals from competitors. These will include prices, timelines, service level agreements and many other details. Such information is available directly from state or country government websites, or from private aggregator databases. A tender document for the competitor you need, or the details you need, may not be available, but when it is - you have hit a gold mine. Even if the RFP responses are out of date, the data provides excellent approximations. See, for example, this list of Oracle prices:

Or see this list of prices which is almost a competitive intelligence exercise in itself:

2. Competitor websites

Although not on the same scale as consumer websites, B2B companies do sometimes post their prices online. In some industries, particularly media, public price lists (rate cards) are common. For example, this very detailed document:

Companies sometimes upload data to their websites that may not have been intended for public sharing, such as this from Sage::

3. Google file search

As with most competitive intelligence queries, Google is a useful source. For various reasons, thousands of price lists are available online. For example, this basic search yields results like:

4. Resellers and distributors

Resellers and distributors often make price lists public, for all the vendors they represent. This type of source works best in the IT industry, but similar types of sources exist in other industries. One example is this detailed list from a reseller:

These are not the only ways to find competitors' prices, and there are more sophisticated ways of using the above than shown here, but this introduction should alert you to the great potential of secondary research for finding competitors' prices.