The Holiday shopping season is crazy enough without having to juggle prices in your quest for the best deals on gifts. Price tracking apps do all the heavy lifting for you and can put even the most eagle-eyed pro shopper to shame. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best price tracking apps for tablets running iOS or Android. Our advice? Don’t comp shop without ‘em.
BuyVia is a versatile price tracking app that distinguishes itself through a helpful blog that covers all things deal- and gift-related. Product listings include descriptions that refer to third-party reviews so you can see what the pros are saying about a particular item (this can be helpful when buying tech gifts you know little about). Its search function is also bit more powerful than others in that you can key in generic searches to get a list of product results you may not have even known were available – like a pair of Star Wars-themed unisex clogs, an ideal present for the Lucasfilms nerd who has it all. It’s also equipped with a barcode and QR code scanner.
Once you set your location using GPS or by providing your ZIP code, you can search for local coupons. Shopping alerts are also supported, but they require you to create a BuyVia account, which uses Facebook, Google+ or Yahoo to log in – possibly an unwanted extra step for the deal hunter in a hurry.
ShopSavvy Barcode & QR Scanner
This app lets you scan a product barcode or QR code directly, which launches an in-depth product description page complete with high resolution images provided by the manufacturer. By geo-tagging your location, it pulls up a list of other physical establishments nearby that have the product in stock and lists them out by price and location. The added benefit of a map view tells you exactly how far away you are from said brick and mortar store – or, if you find a better price online and still have time to wait for delivery, the app also displays the best online prices and provides you with direct links to the website listing.
The inclusion of a button labeled “Find a bargain?” lets you add your own listing to the database if you happen to find the item cheaper or at a competitive price elsewhere. You can even attach a self-taken photo. ShopSavvy also acts as your own private deal finder by sending you push notifications to let you know if it finds something you’ve been looking for at a lower cost. If you’re not interested in leaving the house to comparison shop, you can also browse sales by category or by store name. You can also create alerts to send you push notifications when something you’re looking for goes on sale.
An app that bills itself as a “personal shopping concierge” ShopAdvisor is a step up from run-of-the-mill barcode readers in that it allows for personalization. It asks you a series of questions to better determine the kind of products you’re looking for and the kind of shopper you are, which may or may not be a plus when it comes to shopping for others.
ShopAdvisor keeps track of items in two separate lists – a “love” list and a “watching” list, the latter of which is the most useful in getting notified of special offers and price drops. Another distinguishing characteristic of this app is that it lets you set a specific price for a given product, alerting you via push notification if and when the price drops within your range. The app supports barcode and QR code scanning, and also includes the ability to scan a magazine page to find a product. Login requires you to create an account by providing your email address and setting a password, or you can login via Facebook.
Nothing hurts quite as much as finding the best deal and driving across town to get it, only to discover later that you could have taken advantage of price matching and saved even more. NowDiscount returns search results for your desired product and – when applicable – points you in the direction of nearby merchants willing to match the online price. The app’s search function includes a list of product categories that help narrow down your search.
It keeps a history of your searches, lets you tag items by putting them on your wishlist, and includes a powerful keyword search database for those times you’re just not ready to dive into the crowds to access the QR code data directly. Unlike other price tracking apps, it’s not set up to notify you of price changes.
This is a deal finding app with added oomph, a traditional barcode and QR code scanner that also lets you do your fair share of couch shopping by way of serving up available coupons in a variety of categories. You can search either by store or by product category, making it easier to find a gift for someone without knowing exactly what you’re looking for in advance. You can also take a peek into the “Hot” category to see the deals that are getting the most online and local buzz.
It gives you the option to set up wish lists for different people and events, and keeps a history of everything you’ve searched so you don’t have to start from scratch again. Better yet, the app enables you to check inventory status so you don’t have to pick up the phone and beg someone to hold an item for you.