When you go into a store and select a item you would like to purchase, you may want to be assured that you are getting the best value possible for your money. If this curiosity is something you have ever felt before when buying things at a brick and mortar retail store, you may be interested to know about five iPhone apps that can do price checks and comparisons between many local to you and online retailers for the same things that you may be considering to buy. Albeit, they all have certain things in common; they all check various prices of an item for you, and they allow you to create shopping lists to keep or share by sending them to friends and family. All you have to do is scan the products’ barcode with your phone and let the app do the rest. It’ll bring up a menu filled with different stores and list the item up for question and the price they are selling it for, if it is available for that particular store. If you do not feel up to scanning barcodes, no problem, you can take the product’s picture, or say the products name into your phone, you can even just plain old type it in.
Google Shopper is the first app on the list, and to be honest, as far as a price comparison app goes, it does the job, but according to iTunes’ users it only does it mediocre at best, earning only three out of five stars in positive rating. What makes a price checking app that can save you money average at best? Well, the app has been reported to miss some of the sales going on in areas around the people using it, and when you are in the market for a good deal, this is just the kind of thing that you will not find acceptable. However, it is of course Google that we are talking about, so while the app may not win an award for best app of the year, it will certainly help you save some money, from time to time, on items in stores that you may have paid full price for.
Price Check by Amazon seems to fulfill it’s users expectations with a bit more merriment, as it comes in at four and a half stars, out of five. The reasoning behind the more positive experience is clear when you add in the fact that amazon checks it’s own prices for those products you’ve put into your phone, and get this, will price match any lower price you have found for one that they carry! Indeed, the online marketing giant may be on to something with their easy to use price checker/price matching app.
Redlaser, brought to you buy Ebay incorporated, receives applause and praise from it’s users, racking up a four and a half star review average on the iTunes store. It goes one step further than Amazon’s Price Checker, by letting you actually purchase from numerous retailers and then having the item shipped to your door, or letting you pick it up right at the store. This time saving feature has earned it the title as a top money saving app by prestigious sources, such as CNN Money and Smart Money magazine. Although, it should be noted that some people have complained about the apps usage of ad banners at the bottom of the screen, namely, the ones that are geared toward adults. Now considering that parents could keep their kids from using the app very easily, not that they would be overly concerned about saving money anyways, it doesn’t seem that intrusive to put advertising like that on the app, however, even some adults may not find it agreeable that, in order to use Redlaser, they must overlook something that may make them feel uncomfortable.
Milo Shopping; created by Milo.com, offers it’s own variation of a price checker that allows users to scroll around on the binary pathways, instead of on concrete and asphalt, in hopes of saving some of the hard-earned money in their pockets. Milo.com boasts that users may find the lowest price for the product that they are considering buying, and they can then, in limited stores, pay online through Paypal. While this feature seems good enough on the outside, Milo Shopping’s average user rating of only 2 stars exemplifies the lack of ability to find lots of the products searched for, and on occasion when they are found, not being able to use the online checkout, but at a very few locations.
Lastly, Decide Shopping & Price Predictor, designed by Decide, Inc, has it’s own flare to grab attention away from other bargain hunting apps, and for some it’s just the kind of tool a bargain hunter might find invaluable. In this day and time, it is quite common for retailers to give some sort of price matching guarantee to it’s customers; where they might return within a set number of days after they purchased a product, and if they have proof the price is lower elsewhere, receive a refund for the difference. Decide has done exactly that with their price checking app in hopes of wining over more users that it’s competitors. They offer a refund for the difference between the price paid, and the price the item goes on sale for. This kind of service may make them the best app to use then, hands-down, giving you two weeks to find a better price, right? Well, there is one catch to their price match policy; they use a price predictor that tracks a products on-going pricing and by some formula arrives at a decision of when is it is the best time to purchase a product, and only by buying when the predictor says buy, can one get the two week price match promise. Average user rating for this app is right at mid-level, or three out of five, which speaks the same message as users who say this app is great when it works out for something they want to buy, however the pricing predictor, more often than not, does not agree with you, as to when you should make that purchase.
So while all of these iPhoneapps have numerous things in common, they, like any form of competing business offer something a little different to try and entice customers. Some may be better at finding the right kind of deals you are looking for, but ultimately, it does sometimes fall on the store themselves, and how consistent they are with updating their online prices to be current and correct.