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How does the Wikibuy browser extension work?

See if this Capital-One-owned savings app is worth downloading.

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Wikibuy logo

Wikibuy is a free browser extension that automatically compares prices and checks for available coupons while you shop online. Co-founded in Austin by Walt Roloson and Jonathan Coon, Wikibuy was acquired by Capital One Bank in 2018.

Like other similar browser extensions, Wikibuy works by collecting a user’s personal data to offer a customized online shopping experience. It might help you save money, depending on where you shop and which Internet browsers you use. But understand the ins and outs of how Wikibuy works before signing up.

How Wikibuy works

Wikibuy is an extension available on Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari and iOS and Android mobile devices. The extension scans the web for better prices, coupons, loyalty card perks and other deals that could help you save money while shopping online. To scan for coupons, click the Wikibuy button before checking out.

Wikibuy also lets you earn credits for purchases made on certain sites like eBay and Walmart to redeem for gift cards. Use your mobile device to scan items in-store to see if there’s a better price elsewhere, or use the product search feature to compare prices for the same item from major retailers.

When you find a deal or coupon, all other Wikibuy users are alerted to the savings opportunity as well.

User privacy when using Wikibuy

Like other similar browser extensions such as Honey and Amazon Assistant, Wikibuy requires permissions to view and interact with web page data. This allows the extension to view and track personal data, which is how Wikibuy can find similar deals, products and coupons for the items you’re looking for.

Does Wikibuy track your personal data?

Yes. As outlined in its privacy policy, Wikibuy may use clear GIFs, or web beacons, to collect personal data including, but not limited to your:

  • IP address
  • Browser and device type
  • Browsing history
  • Order information
  • Pricing information
  • Precise location data
  • Purchase history
  • Coupon codes
  • Social media preferences and data
  • Interactions with email messages, such as opening or forwarding messages

Wikibuy’s privacy policy also explains that the company “may obtain information from third parties and sources outside of Capital One Shopping, such as [its] partners, affiliates and advertisers. This information may include, but is not limited to, order references.”

We reached out to the company on June 9 for clarification on what “order references” are. A representative confirmed on June 10 that these are the order details Wikibuy shares with a merchant to confirm a purchase has been completed and whether or not Wikibuy can issue credits to a customer.

Does Wikibuy sell your personal data?

Wikibuy says that it shares your data with “trusted third parities who are contractually obligated to keep such information confidential and to use it only to provide the services [Capital One has] asked them to perform.”

The policy goes on to state that “Capital One Shopping does NOT share or sell your information with third parties for the third party’s own purposes such as marketing as described in the Capital One Shopping Privacy Opt Out Notice.”

Overall, Wikibuy’s privacy policy is more complex and less transparent than that of some similar browser extensions. For example, Honey’s privacy policy states that it never sells your information, though it does track a select set of your personal data. And because Wikibuy is owned by Capital One, it is not the only financial service included in the company’s privacy policy, making parsing through the documents more arduous.

Is Wikibuy secure?

Yes. Wikibuy is secure in that it is backed the major bank, Capital One. However, Wikibuy and all other browser extensions can be susceptible to malware. Be sure to download the extension from a reputable web store and install up-to-date virus protection on your device.

What Wikibuy users say

Online reviews for Wikibuy are mixed. The general consensus is that while Wikibuy is a legitimate service and not operating as a scam extension, price savings may not be worth the cost of your personal data. Its value might also depend on the type of products that you’re shopping for.

For example, one Quora user states:

Wikibuy does nothing that the average customer can’t do on his/her own.
I recently priced out two products before asking Wikibuy to do the same. Yes, they did find lower prices on both items than I did. HOWEVER, the shipping charges were much higher than the free shipping I was able to find on my own.

On the other hand, some users like this Redditor have said that they’ve personally saved money using Wikibuy:

Was just looking for a solar cover for my pool and the best price I could find anywhere for the specific cover was $179.99 either on Amazon or elsewhere. Clicked the Wikibuy link from the Amazon page and it gave it to me for $143.88 also with no tax and free shipping. That was a savings of $36.11, I’ll take it.

Wikibuy alternatives

There are lots of browser extensions out there that offer a similar service to Wikibuy, including Honey, Amazon Assistant and Shoptimate. But these extensions all work the same way: by collecting and tracking your personal information. So if you’d rather not share your data, manually checking prices, comparing products and finding coupon codes yourself can offer peace of mind.

You can also use our Coupon Finder to take the legwork out of your search and find top deals, coupons and seasonal sales all in one place.

Bottom line

Wikibuy can help you save time by comparing prices and finding coupons around the web for you, while earning credits along the way. But as with all browser extensions, you do have to allow tracking of some of your personal data and browsing habits to use this service.

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