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Eardex is a free website to compare cost of living worldwide. It works like a wiki for prices in all the towns and cities, regions and countries of the world. Our database collects the local prices of more than 45 products such as Big Mac, hotel, eating out, food products, beer etc. The data is provided by our users, this means by all of you ("wisdom of the crowd" principle). A perfect source of information for backpackers, tourists, business travelers, expats and globetrotters of all kinds!

Question overview
MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ON EARDEX

Why do I have to sign up to be able to enter prices?
Is signing up on Eardex.com free of charge?
What are the advantages of signing up?
What is the advantage of being a "commercial or business" user?
Where does the data come from?
How precise and reliable is the price information?
Is the price indication up-to-date?

THE EARDEX PRODUCTS AND LOOKING AT PRICES

What’s the purpose of the information following the products’ names in brackets and of the further details provided via mouse-over?
Which units of measurement (and quantities) are the products based on?
Is there something special to take into account for certain products?
Sometimes I read „product n/a“ instead of a price. What does this mean?
Sometimes I read „no entry“ instead of a price. What does this mean?
What do the two colored boxes next to the prices under “Details” stand for?
Is it possible to add further products to Eardex.com?
Is there a list comprising all products used by Eardex? Can I print it?

QUESTIONS ON PRICE ENTRIES

In principle, what do I have to take into account when entering prices?
Is there any important information for single products I have to take into account when entering prices?
As regards "Trademarks": Why don’t you want that I enter the price for a competitor’s product?
For which town or city can I enter prices?
How often and how many prices can I enter?
Why can I enter prices for a town or city only, and not for a country?
Can I enter different prices for the same product in the same place?
How can I update my price entries?

THE EARDEX FEATURES: Individual settings

Some products are more important to me than others. Can I create my own basket of goods?
Can I determine the units of measurement (and quantities) products are displayed in?
Can I determine the currency of the products displayed?

FURTHER QUESTIONS

What does the word Eardex mean?
I really like the Eardex idea. How can I help?
Why is my town or city not in your database?
Why are there no entries for "my" city (or another place)?
How much countries are there on Eardex.com?
How many entries are there for a specific city or country?
Which sources have been used on Eardex.com?
My questions haven’t been answered. What can I do?

Answers

MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ON EARDEX

Why do I have to sign up to be able to enter prices?

Because it is essential that we are able to relate a price entry to a specific user. The reason behind this is that we seek to collect reliable information. To achieve this, you have to ask as many different persons as possible, based on the "wisdom of the crowd" principle. Of course everybody can make an own judgment as regards reliability, but in general one can assume that a certain price is quite reliable if based on several entries by many different users. Therefore, we think it is essential to know on how many different users a price indication is based on. Consequently, this information will accompany any single price (see What do the two colored boxes next to the prices under “Details” stand for??). In addition, the registration will help us to avoid manipulation of our price indications, as it enables us to identify users who try to manipulate our database by intentionally entering wrong prices several times. In addition, signing up offers several further advantages – and is, of course, absolutely free. By the way: A simple facebook login is possible as well.

Is signing up on Eardex.com free of charge?

Of course, absolutely! (By the way: A simple facebook login is possible as well.) However, we kindly ask you to enter as many prices as possible when signing up, as this is the basic principle of our website (see "Where does the data come from?"). But there is no obligation to do so! If you like our website and want to support us, you’ll find more information here ("I really like the Eardex idea. How can I help?").

What are the advantages of signing up?

There are several advantages... Non-registered users will still find our website useful, but some features and functions are limited or not available. It might be best to just find out yourself by signing up, as it is free, of course. (By the way: A simple facebook login is possible as well.) The advantages: You’ll see prices for all our products (and not just for the top 10), you can compare prices between different places, and you’ll find more detailed information on our price indications. In addition, you’ll have a profile. There you can add places of interest to a list of favorites, create your own basket of goods (“My Eardex Products”) and select your preferred units of measurement, quantities as well as currencies. And entering prices is anyway possible only after signing up (see also "Why do I have to sign up to be able to enter prices?").

What is the advantage of being a "commercial or business" user?

We offer commercial or business users to place a link to their own website on Eardex.com, provided that these users enter prices for all products – for the respective home town – and update their entries at least every three months. In particular, this addresses smaller local companies such as bars, restaurants, hotels and hostels, travel agencies, tourist offices and several more...

This is how it works: Whenever a user searches prices for a country, for example, links of companies domiciled in this country will appear. For this purpose, there will be a box on each "country page" showing up to five relevant company websites in rotation. It exactly works the same way when it comes to towns/cities instead of countries, provided that the place of business is listed in our cities database.

You´ll find further information on conditions and criteria for adding a link in our Terms and Conditions.

Where does the data come from?

The data is provided by our users, so by all of you... After signing up on our website, which is quickly done and absolutely free, any user can enter prices for his or her home town (as well as other places). There is no alternative to this approach, as we can’t research and collect all this data worldwide by ourselves. Therefore, Eardex doesn’t work without you. The more people contribute, the more data will be available. So go and tell everybody you know about Eardex!

How precise and reliable is the price information?

For one thing, this depends on our users, on you, as you are entering the prices. The more precise you do so, the more precise are the displayed average prices. In principle, however, validity of results increases with the amount of data collected; the more users have entered the price for the same product at the same location, the more reliable is the price indication. In addition, we apply measures based on statistical methods in order to identify and remove extremely misleading, clearly wrong entries, e.g. by filtering outliers. But the most important thing is that we decided to stay transparent all the time and just tell you how reliable and meaningful the data is. For this purpose, you’ll see two colored boxes next to the prices (under “Details”): the left box shows reliability at a glance. Green means reliable data, yellow means relatively reliable data, grey means scarcely reliable data. Via mouse-over you’ll find further details on the price range and the number of entries as well as the information, how many different users have entered prices. Our goal is to always enable you to assess by yourself if the price information can be trusted.

Is the price indication up-to-date?

This depends on our users, on you, as you are entering the prices. The more frequently you do so, the more up-to-date are price indications. Therefore, we kindly ask you to enter up-to-date prices as often as possible. Even if the price of a product in one city has not changed, it would be great if you entered the price again after a while, so that other users will know the price is still up-to-date. And if a price has changed, the new entry is even more useful (see also How can I update my price entries?). But the most important thing is that we decided to stay transparent all the time and just tell you how up-to-date the information is. For this purpose, you’ll see two colored boxes next to the prices (under “Details”): the right box shows how up-to-date the information is at a glance. Green means up-to-date data, yellow means relatively up-to-date data, grey means not very up-to-date data. You’ll find further details on this aspect via mouse-over. Our goal is to always enable you to see when the data has been entered.

 

THE EARDEX PRODUCTS AND LOOKING AT PRICES

What’s the purpose of the information following the products’ names in brackets and of the further details provided via mouse-over?

The purpose of this information is to define the product, as price comparisons are only meaningful when based on (if possible exactly) the same product. Imagine that a product is more expensive in one country. This information is only meaningful if the price really refers to the same product. An example: You see that tomatoes are more expensive in country A compared to country B. This information is meaningful, if the prices refer to comparable tomatoes. If, however, prices for country A were based on very expensive tomatoes and for country B on the cheapest tomatoes available, you don´t know what to make out of this information. This is because "expensive" tomatoes are more expensive than "cheap" variants even within one country, of course... So when looking at prices, this information lets you know, what product we are talking about. But, in particular, please take our product descriptions into account when entering prices. As this is very important, the information is more detailed in the price entry area…

Which units of measurement (and quantities) are the products based on?

We tried to take all internationally common units of measurement into account. Whether entering prices or looking at results – you can always select your preferred unit and quantity. The default setting will be the unit of measurement and quantity which up to now have been used by the most users for this product in this place. However, if the default setting is not what you want, just use our drop down boxes and select the unit and corresponding quantity of your choice. It is not always about classic units of quantity, weight or volume, in some cases we listed other criteria there (see also Is there something special to take into account for certain products?). By the way: registered users can permanently assign a fixed unit of measurement including quantity to any single product in their profile. This setting will then become your default setting, as soon as you are logged in. So think about signing up – you could just give it a go as it’s quickly done and absolutely free and offers several further advantages.

Is there something special to take into account for certain products?

In general, when changing a unit of measurement or quantity, the corresponding average price will be converted accordingly. However, as regards certain products with “special units of measurement” such as price range, we do not calculate average prices based on all price entries, but separately for each individual setting, in order to keep average prices meaningful. A good example to make this clearer is the hotel, where it makes little sense to calculate an average price for 5 and 2 star hotels, for example. So basically, these are several single products in one, you can always switch using our drop down boxes and then you will see the average price for the chosen setting only (e.g. for the 3 star hotel only). This applies to the following products: Hotel, Other Accommodation, Rental Car, Eating Out, iPod, Fuel, and the Daily Newspaper…

Sometimes I read „product n/a“ instead of a price. What does this mean?

This means, that – according to user input – this product is not available in this town or city, it cannot be bought there. A good example is Starbucks´ Caffè Latte: Not every single town has a Starbucks Coffeehouse… When entering prices, you can tick the appropriate box, if this is the case.

Sometimes I read „no entry“ instead of a price. What does this mean?

This means that up to now no user has entered a price for this product. But please note in this context: For certain products we do not calculate average prices based on all price entries (i.e. regardless of the chosen unit of measurement and quantity), but separately for each individual setting, in order to keep average prices meaningful. A good example to make this clearer is the hotel, where it makes little sense to calculate an average price for 5 and 2 star hotels, for example. So basically, these are several single products in one, you can always switch using our drop down boxes and then you will see the average price for the chosen setting only, e.g. for the 3 star hotel only. So regarding these products, it is possible that you will see “no entry” which, however, might not concern the whole product, i.e. each setting. So if you, for example, see “no entry” for the 2 star hotel, just check 3 stars, maybe we already have entries there… This applies to the following products: Hotel, Other Accommodation, Rental Car, Eating Out, iPod, Fuel, and the Daily Newspaper…

What do the two colored boxes next to the prices under “Details” stand for?

These colored fields provide information – at a glance – on how reliable and up-to-date the data is. We believe that this is a crucial factor in order to be able to assess the quality of our price indications yourself (see also "How precise and reliable is the price information?" and "Is the price indication up-to-date?"). The left field shows reliability of the information. Via mouse-over you’ll find further details on the price range and the number of entries as well as the information, how many different users have entered prices. The right field shows how up-to-date our data is. Here you’ll find further details via mouse over as well. The meaning of the colours: green means reliable/up-to-date data, yellow means relatively reliable/relatively up-to-date data, grey means scarcely reliable/not very up-to-date data.

As regards "Trademarks": Why don’t you want that I enter the price for a competitor’s product?

As you know, our goal is to collect prices of internationally comparable products, in order to convey a picture of the cost of living or an awareness of prices in a country, region, town or city. To achieve this, any price comparison between different locations must be based on (if possible exactly) the same product. Therefore, brand products are the perfect choice, as they are standardized and, in general, the same worldwide. Therefore, price differences of such products provide the most precise information on the respective cost of living, as the difference in price is really a difference in price only and not attributable to other factors such as differences in quality, for example. If, however, prices for alternative brands were entered as well, this advantage would be lost. By the way: If you think there is an important product missing, please just click here and let us know.

Is it possible to add further products to Eardex.com?

It is, of course, possible to add further items to our range of products. If you find that we forgot an important product which is relevant for most users and internationally comparable, please just click here and make a proposal. We’ll then consider adding this product or service.

Is there a list comprising all products used by Eardex? Can I print it?

Yes, of course, just click here (pdf-file 47kb). This list will not contain any prices. It is there to help you in case you are without online access but would like to write down prices somewhere in order to enter them online on Eardex.com later on…

 

QUESTIONS ON PRICE ENTRIES

In principle, what do I have to take into account when entering prices?

In general, there are five aspects which are always important when entering prices. Firstly, please enter up-to-date prices only. Secondly, please enter actual product prices only, and not a rough estimate. Thirdly, please always enter prices including VAT. The next point is: please take our product descriptions into account (info in brackets and via mouse over). And the last point is: Please always enter “usual prices”, and no special offers or something alike…

Is there any important information for single products I have to take into account when entering prices?

Yes, there is… This is, by keyword:

Supermarket:

As regards the whole supermarket-category or other products where we mention “supermarket” in brackets, we always mean product prices in a "normal" supermarket (no prices for bars, restaurants etc.), and not prices in a kiosk or gas station, for example, or a special offer or something alike. We want to collect the "normal supermarket price" in the relevant town or city.

Medium price range:

As regards the whole supermarket-category (except for water) or other products where we mention “medium price range” in brackets: Please neither choose the most expensive product nor the cheapest one. What is the price in between those extremes? This is exactly the price we are looking for, we call this the "perceived mid-price level". Of course, we are aware of this being subjective to some degree, but we hardly see a way of being more specific. And we believe that this still is precise enough in order to convey an approximate picture of a price level.

Price range as unit of measurement:

As regards some products, in particular in the Tourism &Travel category and the product “Eating out”, there are price ranges as "units of measurement". This has to be assessed by yourself when entering prices. We are aware that price segment classification is subjective to some degree, but we hardly see a way of being more specific. And we believe that this still is precise enough in order to convey an approximate picture of a price level. By the way: Of course, we do not calculate average prices combining all such price categories as regards such products, but separately for each individual price category, in order to keep average prices meaningful. So basically, these are several products in one, you can always switch using our drop down boxes… The same also applies to the product “Hotel” with its stars as „unit of measurement“, as well as to iPod, Fuel, Rental Car and the Daily Newspaper…

For which town or city can I enter prices?

After signing up on our website, which is quickly done and absolutely free, you can enter prices for your home town, in particular, but as well for any other place in the world, if you know the up-to-date prices there. It would be perfect if everybody currently staying abroad – whether for a longer period or as a traveler or tourist – entered prices for these places as well. The more, the better! We would appreciate it, and our database would profit. By the way: of course you can also enter different prices for the same product in the same place, if you know about such differing prices.

How often and how many prices can I enter?

As often and as many you like, the more price entries we receive on Eardex, the better for our database: If you enter prices for many products, naturally our database will offer more comprehensive information. And if you enter prices often, our price indications stay up-to-date. By the way: of course you can also enter different prices for the same product in the same place, if you know about such differing prices.

Why can I enter prices for a town or city only, and not for a country?

Product prices must always be attributed to a specific town or city, so that we’ll be able to display prices on all levels (town/city, region, country). Anybody searching for prices in a specific city should be able to find the desired information, as prices vary in between one country as well. But, of course, input for a city is input for the relevant country as well. Prices for a city will always form part of the data basis for the next "level" (from town/city to region to country) on which the calculation of average prices is based.

Can I enter different prices for the same product in the same place?

Of course. If you know that a product in a town or city has a certain price in one store, but another one in another store, you can enter both valid prices. This is possible one after the other, so please enter one price first, and the other price later on.

How can I update my price entries?

You cannot overwrite an older entry you made, and there is no need to, as this price was valid at the earlier time you entered it. But, of course, it would be great to always keep our database up-to-date. Even if the price of a product in one city has not changed, it would be very useful if you entered the price again after a while, so that other users will know the price is still up-to-date. And if a price has changed, the new entry is even more valuable. So the best is to enter up-to-date prices as frequently as possible…

 

THE EARDEX FEATURES: Individual settings

Some products are more important to me than others. Can I create my own basket of goods?

Of course you can. It’s very easy, but only available to registered users (signing up is quickly done and absolutely free). When you are logged in, you can create your own basket of goods in your profile. Whenever looking at prices in any place, your own basket („My Eardex Products“) will always appear in addition to our product categories...

Can I determine the units of measurement (and quantities) products are displayed in?

Whether entering prices or looking at results – you can always select your preferred unit and quantity. The default setting will be the unit of measurement and quantity which up to now have been used by the most users for this product in this place. However, if the default setting is not what you want, just use our drop down boxes and select the unit and corresponding quantity you want to use. Registered users can also permanently assign a fixed unit of measurement including quantity to any single product in their profile. This setting will then become your default setting, as soon as you are logged in. So think about signing up – you could just give it a go as it’s quickly done and absolutely free and offers several further advantages.

Can I determine the currency of the products displayed?

Yes, of course you can. In general, all currencies are available. Whether entering prices or looking at results – you can always select your preferred currency. Registered users can also select a permanently preferred currency in their profile. This currency will then become your default setting, as soon as you are logged in, so you don´t have to change settings in every single price research. So think about signing up – you could just give it a go as it’s quickly done and absolutely free and offers several further advantages.

 

FURTHER QUESTIONS

What does the word Eardex mean?

Eardex is short for Earth Index. As we seek to create a platform providing information on cost of living worldwide, we thought this is an appropriate name, because what we offer is, so to speak, a price index of the world. And not least we just liked the name. By the way: pronunciation of the first part follows the pronunciation of "earth", there is no link to an "ear"...

I really like the Eardex idea. How can I help?

First of all thanks a lot, we are happy that you like Eardex and appreciate that you would like to help us. We are dependent on your support, as no one has to pay anything for using our website. You can support us on entirely different levels: For one thing, you help Eardex by actively contributing which means signing up and entering prices, if possible for all our products and all places where you know up-to date prices. In addition, it would be very helpful if you repeated price entries regularly, e.g. entering up-to-date prices as often as possible (please find further information under How can I update my price entries?). If we all do so, our database will quickly comprise a large number of entries to the benefit of all of us. And don´t forget to tell everybody you know or meet while traveling about Eardex. The more people contribute, the better!

An entirely different level of support concerns our income situation, as, of course, we need some money to permanently maintain our website. If you want to help on this level – which is also possible at no extra cost for you – you will find all options on our support page.

Why is my town or city not in your database?

In general, our database should comprise all places worldwide with a minimum of 1,000 inhabitants. If your town is smaller, please assign yourself to the place in our database nearest to your home town. If your home town has more than 1,000 inhabitants, please let us know here. We’ll then be able to add it to our database.!

Why are there no entries for "my" city (or another place)?

Because no user has provided price information for this place yet. You could change that quickly! To do so, you just have to sign up, which is quickly done and absolutely free, or login, if you are already registered. If you are looking for prices in a city where you don’t live yourself or know the up-to date prices from a recent visit, you could consider if you know someone living or staying there. Is this the case, you could ask this person to visit Eardex and enter prices. We ourselves can’t really do anything, as we don’t enter prices (except for our home town and the spots we visit, of course), so we need your help. So just contribute and also tell everybody you know about Eardex. If we all do so, there will be less and less places without entries over time...

How much countries are there on Eardex.com?

Our list currently comprises 242 countries; however, not all of them are sovereign and independent states. We decided to list interesting territories of some countries as well as other well-known regions separately. Thus, they are easier to find. Another factor is that it just makes more sense, in our view. An example: Someone looking for Guadeloupe island, will find this easily as an own entry, and not just as an overseas department listed under France.

How many entries are there for a specific city or country?

This, of course, depends on our users, on you, as you are entering the prices. We hope that over time there will be a sufficient number of entries for nearly all towns and cities and countries. But we are not able to give a general answer to that question. In the beginning, in particular, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there are more entries for major cities compared to smaller ones. But in the end, this is all up to you. As we consider the number of entries per location and product a very important factor in assessing how meaningful and reliable our price indications are (see also How precise and reliable is the price information?), we always provide transparent information on this aspect. For this purpose, you’ll see two colored boxes next to the prices (under “Details”): the left box shows reliability at a glance. Green means reliable data, yellow means relatively reliable data, grey means scarcely reliable data. You’ll find more detailed information via mouse-over, such as the number of entries and how many different users have entered a price. Our goal is to always enable you to assess by yourself if the price information can be trusted. So if you want to know how many entries there are for a specific product in a specific city or country, just search prices for this city or country and have a look at the left detail box.

Which sources have been used on Eardex.com?

Our Price Information and some other content is based on input of our users. Other information and content available on Eardex.com is obtained from freely available or open sources, other parts are own translations thereof or were directly created by Eardex.com. The freely available or open sources used on Eardex.com are as follows:

The World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html): Part of our country information was obtained from this source.

Geonames (www.geonames.org): Part of our country information and some towns/cities of our cities database were obtained from this source.

The Noun Project (www.thenounproject.com): Some of the icons used on Eardex.com were obtained from this source.

The maps shown on Eardex.com have been created by Milan Walker (http://www.32volt.de/).

My questions haven’t been answered. What can I do?

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