Handy internet tool offers to hunt down lowest prices

Finding the best price for a product online may have just got a little easier with the launch of InvisibleHand.com, a free internet browser plug-in which automatically compares prices while you surf the net.

Instead of manually searching for the best prices on the many price comparison websites, InvisibleHand alerts you to the cheapest online prices for a particular item via a discreet drop-down bar within your browser.

"With InvisibleHand working away in the background, people can shop wherever they like, safe in the knowledge they'll automatically get the best deal," says Martin McNulty, a director of Forward Internet Group, the operator of InvisibleHand.com.

If, for example, you're browsing online at HMV, the tool stays invisible until you click through to a specific item. It then notifies you if you could save money at another online retailer. It even provides a link to the exact product page. If you're already on the cheapest website for a specific product, the tool will tell you that too.

InvisibleHand is still in its infancy and only covers a few retailers so it won't necessarily find you the very best price. Also, the notifications do not include the cost of postage and packaging. It is currently available as a plug-in only to Mozilla's Firefox browser.