If you’re budget conscious, you’ll know how saving a few bucks on several items might well increase your discretionary spending. Sometimes ordering an item online and waiting a few days for it arriving in the mail can mean savings of perhaps $30-$50. For those of us who look for the best deals before making a final purchase, a few helpful mobile apps on our iOS or Android device could lead to even more savings.
A still relatively new service, Decide.com provides product recommendations geared to helping consumers decide if they should purchase an electronic product or appliance at a given period of time. The online site now also has a iPhone and Android app that scans the net for price changes on products, and recommends if consumers should delay a purchase for a better deal or for the release of a newer version of the merchandise.
For example, their recommendation to hold off purchasing a MacBook Air seems pretty correct, in that Apple is due to release an upgrade of the product within the next few months.
The app also provides price comparisons between online and local street merchants. Depending how soon you need the product, Decide.com could save you money with its online recommendations. Remember, if you save $10 by buying online, that’s ten bucks you can use for a MP3 album or Kindle book download, or money toward a related electronic gadget accessory.
Other features for mobile apps include the ability to share product information on Facebook, Twitter, and via email. Through your Facebook account, you can also set alerts for better deals (price reductions or an upcoming new model) on selected products.
Since my wife and I are both Amazon Prime members, most of my gadget, book, and computer-related shopping is done with Amazon’s PriceCheck or their first Amazon Mobile app – both include similar functions and features.
Quite frankly I use the Wish List feature of these apps more than anything else, for it enables me to put off buying items until I can either afford it or realize I don’t need it.
These Amazon apps make it super easy to camera scan a barcode of an item, which in turn provides search results for prices on Amazon.com and its merchants. You can also do a quick search with these apps by speaking the name of a product, or taking a picture of it, and within seconds you get price comparisons for books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and many other items.
I feel a little guilty about checking prices in a bricks-and-mortar store this way, but as a budget conscious consumer it’s to my advantage to get the best deal possible.
Amazon Deals is another app that could save you money. It provides you with iPhone notifications about daily merchandise deals that can include up to 80% off the retail price. However, I’m not a big fan of subscribing to deal notifications because it can often lead you to purchase items only because of the reduction in price.
The website, Pricegrabber.com also covers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. It’s similar to the Amazon apps for providing comparative prices between online merchants, but it also gives results for local stores.
As with the other apps, you can save product searches to your wish list on Pricegrabber, and share them on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also browse a wide range of items and deals, including appliances, cameras, clothing, computers, groceries, jewelry, movies, toys and video games.
Browsing Pricegrabber is not like window shopping at the mall, but it could mean saving a lot more money.
For other articles on personal finance, start with these:
- Personal Finance Data page
- The 3 Best Free Personal Finance Managers For iPhone
- BudgetTracker: Personal Finance Calculator and Budget Tracking
- 10 Financial Websites That Help You Stay On Top Of The Market
- 15 Cool Tools for easy Expense Tracking and Budgeting
Let us know what you think of these and similar price comparison apps.
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