This year, we tested out two iPhone apps we believe will reduce the stress and hassle of running around from store to store, finding parking in crowded lots, waiting in lines, and comparing prices. Your iPhone can reduce the stress portion of Christmas shopping, and save you a lot of money.
We think you should give these a go:
- Shop Savvy – This app has been out for quite some time, but it has been updated in time for Christmas, and we think you will love it. Shop Savvy, of course, has a barcode scanner which a person uses to scan the UPC symbol of a product (its scanner is very accurate). You may also type in a search for the product. Once the object has been entered, Shop Savvy will search online for the product, but the results also include local retailers who carry the product, along with prices, and even a map on how to get to that retailer. Pretty awesome! On top of that, a blue dot appears next to those retailers who actually have your item in stock. Also included is information about special deals, rebates and promotions that might be available. If you want to read or write reviews about a retailer or a product, you can do that as well. We have found that some forward-thinking retailers are adding coupon codes for Shop Savvy customers. One cool addition is that a user can easily share all of the above with others via Facebook or Twitter.
- Price Check – We included this application from Amazon because it works almost identically to Shop Savvy, except it lets you comparison shop online retailers only. The advantage is that you can use this app with your iPod as well. Amazon produces very accurate and relevant results to a product search, with detailed product information and prices. Amazon is not always the cheapest. With Price Check, they readily admit when they are not the least expensive, and send you off to a cheaper competitor if you so choose. The advantage this app has is that it has a barcode scanner, and a voice recognition feature. The coolest feature is the optical recognition feature, where the user can do a search merely by taking a photo of the product. This generally works on DVDs, Books and items with text the application can recognize.
If you are on the lookout for iPhone accessories or iPod accessories for gift-giving, you will find that the Apple Store and the AT&T store are quite expensive compared to local iPhone repair locations and websites. If your gifts are not iPhone related, you will find that the online price is usually cheaper than the price you find at a retail location. Remember, however, that online returns can be a hassle, and cost you more with shipping should you need an exchange or refund.