Be smart with your smartphone

I read recently that over half of U.S. adult cell phone owners used their phones for some type of shopping assistance during the 2011 holiday shopping season. Maybe they used it to call someone for buying advice – maybe to read product reviews online – or maybe to scan barcodes to do comparison shopping on the spot.

If you have a smartphone and haven’t checked out the money-saving apps available for free, where have you been? there are tons. Go to your phone’s app store, do a search for price comparisons, and take your pick. Red Laser, Amazon’s Price Check, Shop Advisor, and Google Shopper are some of the better-known ones, but those don’t even scratch the surface. Read up on a few, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect one (or several).

With most, your download enables you to scan barcodes with your phone and find out if there’s a better price available, either nearby or online. there is at least one where you can set up lists of products you want to buy if they get down to a certain price point, and you’ll get an email when that price is available.

To counter the notion of shoppers not having to go in and out of stores to make purchases, there is ShopKick, an app that gives rewards (called kicks) for simply walking into a physical store. More kicks come, of course, when a purchase is made. Bank your kicks and use them to get free stuff… almost like a modern take on S&H Green Stamps, isn’t it? (Eek – – am I the only one in the world who remembers those?)

When I first heard about iPhones, I didn’t understand the concept of apps at all. I asked my son whether or not I would have any use for them, and what they did. he asked me what I wanted to do. When I told him I didn’t know, he told me “there’s an app for that”. not very helpful to me at the time, but he was right. there are apps for fun, for information, and for savings. Smartphones aren’t cheap, but they’re sure useful, and using them to save some money is just a smart thing to do.

Be smart with your smartphone

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