The “Nearby in stock” checkbox is by no means a new Google search feature, but its getting better everyday and I felt it was worthwhile to highlight it in case you missed it. Basically, when you search for a product online—be it replacement vacuum bags, an obscure nostalgia candy or a wacky herbal supplement—Google subtly marks items that are available at stores near you.
You can see this on the main search results page in the “Shopping results” section:
If Shopping results don’t show up on your first page of search results, Click the Shopping tab. Run your search again, if necessary, and then Click the In stock nearby checkbox on the left.
Here, you can see which stores have it in stock nearest to you. You can also narrow your search by store on the left.
In the case that you get wonky results, make sure that your location is set correctly. You can change it along the top of the screen on the Shopping tab or on the left on the main search page.
That’s all. Just a quick and easy tip that’ll save you from driving from store to store in a frenzy. Note that there are some limitations. Only stores that are wired into Google’s Shopping search engine will show up on the In stock search. For example, my local grocery store has Fenugreek, but Google still tells me that the Vitamin Shoppe ~20 miles away is the only one that has it, just because they are the only store with their inventory indexed. So, don’t take it as gospel. Still, it’s an amazing feature. I would never have looked at Walgreens for Red Hots or Best Buy for vacuum cleaner bags. Thanks, Google!