Holiday Shopping Apps Field Tested By FOX 17

Posted at 10:49 PM, Nov 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-21 22:50:30-05

‘Tis the season for using technology to get you where you want to go this holiday and we’ve got the low-down on the hottest apps to get the most out of your holiday shopping experience.

While some may choose the old-fashioned way to camp out for the best deals this Black Friday, others are taking to their cell phones instead.  FOX 17 researched what apps are available and has a list of the latest ways to keep you on top of your game this shopping season.

Wednesday, we found the Wilder family of Walker cruising the aisles of a local retailer for Christmas toys for 3-year-old Regan. The youngster didn’t seem particularly picky about prices as he looked at toys on the shelves. However, his parents, Mike and Shannon are very alert for the best deals.

What many like the Wilder’s don’t know is there is a huge world of cell phone apps that can help you to save money. One of the most popular choices are the bar scanner apps. We offered the Wilder’s a chance to field test them with us as they were looking to price toys. We went with them through the store with our phone apps locked and loaded.

Jen: “This app is called the Red Laser, and you`ve never tried any of these before?”

Shannon: “No, no.”

The Red Laser App is fairly simple. You hit a button on the app that says “scan” as you position a window over the bar code on the item you are looking at. The app searches millions of products across thousands of online and local retailers for the best prices.

Shannon positioned the phone over the bar code on the item she was looking at and commented to her husband as a long list of prices both in store and online popped up. “Wow, that`s pretty awesome Mike” said Shannon as she looked at a list that gave her the numbers right down to the Penny.  It indicated there was only one store that had a cheaper price, which was only a penny less than what she would pay in Target.

Jen: “You`re impressed by this?”

Shannon: “Yes!”

Jen: “You really like it?”

Shannon: “Yeah, I do.”

Jen: “Are you going to use it this Christmas?”

Shannon: “I think so.”

Mike Wilder: “As soon as I can download it, I would say yes.”

We also found the Shop Advisor scanner app that compares items to online prices. Shopper Sara Andrews of Gowen did some testing for us and immediately found a better deal on a doll. “That was hanging where it said 33.24$ and online, it`s $6.00,” says Andrews. The Shop Advisor app also stores a list of all your research in a type of wish list.

And, if you like to keep extensive lists of what your friends and family want for Christmas, there are apps for that too. “I think that`s great you can have a whole list of things,” says Andrews.

Andrews also tested the free Christmas list app. It contains a budget calculator and room for typing what each person wants, there are even spaces for clothing sizes. “You can add sizes, shirts, general notes,” says Andrews.

For Black Friday shoppers, there are lost of apps with cash kick-backs and the chance to get the deals early. “It says it`s available now so I don`t have to wait until the Black Friday sale,” says Andrews.

Those who are exploring the apps for the first time this holiday seem to be sold. “I love it, I`m going to use it everywhere I go now,” says Shannon Wilder.

Jen: Did you ever imagine Christmas could be this uh, technologically savvy??

Shannon: “No, this will help a lot, especially with the pocket book this year.”

Some of the apps do take some time to get used to. From my research in the field, I would suggest looking through them for a little bit at home before you hit the stores.

List of Apps Enjoyed by Our Test Shoppers:

Free Red Laser App:  (Uses a bar scanner)
Searches millions of products across thousands of online and local retailers to find the best pieces. Also finds deals and coupons from hundreds of stores.
It also gives you alternative as related products or accessories for what you’ve scanned.
Available for both Android and I Phone

Free Shop Advisor App:  (Uses a bar scanner)
This app keeps looking for the products you want and alerts you when the price meets your budget.
Your list will be stored on your mobile phone.
Available for I Phone

Free Christmas Gift List Planner App
Gift list planner helps you to organize, plan and keep track of  your gifts budget
Available for Android

Free TGI Black Friday App
Contains a list of deals for Black Friday at various stores and a countdown to Black Friday