A price-comparison app that lets you find the best deals online and nearby.
As we enter the busiest shopping period of the year, most consumers are looking for ways to stretch their budgets as much as possible. With so much technology at our fingertips in the form of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, etc.—it is becoming easier to find the lowest prices in a matter of seconds. There are a number of price-comparison apps out there, and this week we look at one of the most popular: RedLaser. The app, which was purchased by eBay in 2010, allows users to scan bar codes and then comparison-shop at online retailers and local brick-and-mortar stores to find the lowest price available.
The app is free and is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. After you download the app onto your device, you can begin by using your phone’s camera to scan product bar codes. Once you do that, the app will show online outlets selling the product, listing them in descending order by price. You can also search manually for products. While testing the app, there weren’t any problems scanning product codes or having the app recognize the product that was being scanned. Beyond listing the prices, the app also provides a description of the product, reviews and suggestions of similar products. Furthermore, the app will suggest accessories for a given product. So, for example, if you are buying a digital camera, the app may suggest a lens, camera bag, memory card, etc.
Recent updates to the app have also added “geofencing” capabilities, which allow the app to use your device’s GPS to identify local deals and offers. It can even identify “open box” inventory—products that have been previously opened and are being sold at a discount. RedLaser recently partnered with Best Buy, so when you open the app while in a Best Buy store, you are shown current Best Buy deals. Then, when you scan an item, you can choose the option of buying it in the store or online while also checking the fulfillment options—store pickup or shipping. Currently, RedLaser only supports Best Buy locations, placing it at a disadvantage to other apps such as Shopkick, which has partnered with Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel and more. However, the app does allow you to search and shop online at Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us and GNC.
The app also lists deals from dozens of retailers, including Best Buy, The Home Depot, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, Target and Walgreens. Tap on the Deals tab within the app, choose the store and the app lists all the current offers.
You can also load your customer loyalty cards into the app so you don’t have to carry them around with you. The app will highlight available deals at these retailers so you can get their rewards.
For anyone who loves technology, and saving money, having RedLaser is really a no-brainer. As the app partners with more retailers to broaden its “in-store experience,” it will become even more useful to those who prefer brick-and-mortar shopping to buying online.