Pepcom’s mini tech trade show last Thursday featured a host of vendors showing off their latest gadgets and software, including one with a price engine geared toward shoppers.

FreePriceAlerts introduced a Web-based dashboard called “ziftr” that helps holiday shoppers find the best deals on merchandise. The ziftr dashboard appears on the Web browser and shows the latest and lowest prices for a given product, along with a historical graph to help them gauge whether the price is likely to change again. Users can also set up automatic price alerts for the products on their shopping lists or wish lists and receive a notification when an online retailer is offering the product at that price.

There’s also a dashboard showing trends of the hot products that are selling in different categories, along with a central place to find online coupons for favorite categories, highlighting the coupons that are the most popular and will expire soon.

With so many retailers jumping the gun this year on Black Friday sales, comparative shopping engines make it easier to keep track of sales prices. The folks at FreePriceAlerts pointed out that many retailers actually increase their prices ahead of Black Friday just so they can claim to be offering a bigger discount, and they can show historical data to back up that contention.