Just because you avoided Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and chose to patronize a coffee shop instead of a local toy store on Small Business Saturday, doesn’t mean you missed out on great bargains this holiday season. With the help of your smartphone and some shopping apps, deals and low prices can still be had – anywhere, anytime. You just have to know the right app to use. Here are some of my best finds to help you with your best finds:
Savvy.com is a mobile shopping app (and website) that helps shoppers save money by tracking price protection policies and price fluctuations. Available for free in the App Store and coming soon to Android, this handy little tool will notify you if a product you buy goes on sale shortly after your purchase it.
As you probably know, most retailers will honor a sale price within 30 days of a purchase and refund you the difference if you ask for it. Savvy.com makes getting that cash back a breeze. You simply take a picture of your receipts with your smartphone. They will notify you of a price drop and provide specific instructions on how to request a refund from that retailer.
Secret Santa has gone social! The new Elfster app, available for iPhone, Facebook, and Google Chrome (and coming soon to Android) makes gift giving and wishing simpler, social, and fun. It allows users to set up a social gift exchange or “secret santa” to share with friends, family, or colleagues.
Users are asked to add items to their wishlist in one of two ways: adding them through the Elfster website or snapping photos and bar codes with the mobile app. Elfster then shares these items with your friends.
With the app, you can see your friends’ wishlists, ask them secret questions like “What’s your favorite color?” or check out the hottest trending gifts while on the go. Find something special that you didn’t even know existed. Best of all, know exactly what your family and friends want for the holidays… and that saves you both time and money!
The Find App
Throughout the holiday season, you can scan and save items to you mobile device, either gifts you want or plan to give. Then you can check prices online on in stores, scan barcodes for detailed product information, get maps to local stores where it is sold, and set price watches.
The app will also identify promo codes, coupons, and shipping deals as they are available for each item.
Key Ring App
Don’t you hate when you get to a store checkout and they ask for your loyalty card, but you don’t even remember if you have one? Much less, where it is? So you search your wallet and your pockets and your purse, all the while a long line of customers behind you starts to fume and snort…
The Key Ring app puts an end to that. This free app scans and saves your loyalty and discount card info on to your mobile device. All you need to show the cashier is your Android, BlackBerry, iOS, or Windows phone handset at checkout.
Amazon Mobile App
With access to millions of products sold world-wide, Amazon Mobile App gives shoppers multiple ways to search- scan a barcode, snap a photo, or type a search– to quickly compare prices and check availability of the items on your shopping list.
This free app is available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry devices and is much easier to navigate than the Amazon mobile site. It also provides shoppers with full access to their existing cart, wish lists, payment and shipping options, order history, 1-Click settings, and membership benefits.
Android and Apple users can also pair it with the Amazon Price Check App to find the best prices or the Amazon Santa App to create and track wish lists (both free), for a truly exceptional shopping experience.
Better Christmas List App
Set a holiday budget and stick with it, using the Better Christmas List App. Available exclusively in the App Store, this app tracks what you spend on each gift and when it needs to be sent. You can set aside an amount for each person on your list and see what you’ve bought them in the past. It can also give you a quick status on what you’ve bought, and what you still need to get.
Sale Saver App
The Sale Saver App makes it easier to quickly calculate the actual cost of an item on your phone, so you don’t have to do it in your head… See your savings and final price, before you decide if your item is the bargain of the century or still cheaper online.
Sale Saver also allows you to place individual items in a “shopping cart”, so you can track your growing total as you browse the store. Keep on budget by comparing your items and deleting those that you can’t afford.
Don’t Forget Specific Store Apps
Many retailers have developed great apps for their stores. Shoppers can access discounts and coupons, take advantage of site-wide sales, find items in nearby stores, and much more. While these apps make for a fantastic shopping experience, their usefulness is limited to that one retailer.
These are some of the most popular store-specific apps available right now. If there is a store you frequent, you might want to find out if they have an app too.
App-y Shopping and App-y Holidays!
Image Credit: Jackie Kever, Flickr.com