Mountain-Op.com is a newly launched search engine designed to help us find the best deals possible on new gear while simultaneously raising funds for charity and environmental causes. The site lets you search by the type of equipment you’re looking for (backpack, boots, etc.), specific models or even brands, and then crawls the web looking for the best bargains for the criteria that you input. You can also simply browse the best deals of the day or by various categories as well.
When you make a purchase through Mountain-Op 25% of the profits go directly to a charity that the site has elected to help fund. Currently their proceeds are being given to an organization called Endless Abilities, which works allow able-bodied and disabled athletes compete with one another on a level playing field.
I took the new search in for a spin earlier and found that the actual search algorithm could use some work. I typed in a number of common search terms and didn’t exactly get the results I was looking for. For instance, I searched for both “backpack” and “North Face” and the returned results offered a few items in those categories, they were far from the most prominent. Changing the display options to show the most “relevant” didn’t really help clear that up either.
Questionable search results aside, the site did find some good bargains although I had to mostly browse for them on my own. Perhaps the search function is still being fine tuned and it will improve over time, but so far I’ve been unimpressed with that aspect of Mountain-Op.
I do however appreciate their approach of sharing the wealth with charitable or environmental organizations. If they get their search formula figured out it could be a good way to buy new gear while also contributing to a good cause at the same time.
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