As any shopaholic will tell you, it’s all about getting the best price. And that’s never more true than when you’re stretching your holiday shopping budget to its max. But armed with the right smartphone apps, you can quickly compare the price of an item to ensure you shouldn’t move across the street before making your purchase. These apps generally work by scanning a product’s barcode and checking prices at other stores in your area.
Google’s app can scan barcodes on most products—books, DVDs, and video games. You also get nearby offers from businesses on Google Places, and users in select cities (as of press time, Portland, Oregon; New York City; and San Francisco) receive a different local discount alert each day. Best of all, Google Shopper leverages voice recognition, so you can speak a product name to search.
The iOS-only myShopanion app includes keyword search and browsing by category in addition to barcode scanning. The app even adds a social twist to your quest for the lowest price, letting you share products with friends via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter. iPhone owners can also view how friends rated certain products, thanks to the shopping feed feature.
Offering the full functionality of Pricegrabber.com in a mobile format, this app includes local deals along with the standard search and scanning features. If you’re not ready to make a purchase, you can save it to your Favorites list or set a Price Alert that will notify you when an item falls within your specified budget.
Like all other apps in this category, RedLaser scans QR codes and offers price comparison for products both in stores and online. The app also uses location-based services to find nearby stores that match your search criteria. Users can browse results from eBay, Google, Shopping.com, and more.
This free app lets you scan barcodes in EAN, UPC, and QR formats, and it shows prices at competing stores so you can find the best deal. For when you don’t have a product’s barcode, you can also search via keywords. In addition to barcode scanning, ShopSavvy includes coupons and updates on nearby sales and discounts.