This year, stores were introducing unbelievable deals earlier than ever and already as we head towards Christmas the discounts are getting deeper. Still, sometimes I wonder whether or not I’m really getting a good deal; it’s easy for a store to say that a price is 50% off, but is that from the suggested retail price that no store ever really uses, or 50% off of a price that was already higher than competitors? This is where holiday shopping apps can make a big difference in the way you do your shopping.
One of the biggest benefits to having a smartphone is the ability to use apps on the go. It seems like there is an app for everything, from simple tasks like determining the weather forecast or a fair price for a holiday gift to more complex issues, like managing your finances. Even better, most of these apps, including the best apps for holidays covered below, are free.
No matter which mobile device you’re using, what you’ll soon be calling the best Christmas shopping app is out there. However, if you’re considering buying a new phone just to upgrade the apps available to you, buyer beware. Some smart phones may be no more than a flashier package at twice the cost of the old model, like the iPhone 5. Read more about the iPhone 5 with Stumble Forward’s review here.
The 10 Best Holiday Shopping Apps for 2012
Before downloading any mobile shopping apps to your device, you should remember that scammers are everywhere and not all apps are legitimate. Cyber Monday scams were everywhere this year, as our recent Stumble Forward article on these cheats showed.
The success of these scams means that they will continue to pop up across the web, and that includes posing as holiday shopping apps. Be sure to do your research before putting your device – or your identity – at risk. The following 10 best holiday apps have been researched for you, so take a look and see if your holiday shopping could be easier!
- Slice. Slice is the perfect tool for making sure that none of your Christmas orders are forgotten, by you or by the sender. This app tracks orders, alerts you to price drops, and can even track your spending by managing receipts. Slice is available on the iPhone and Android platforms.
- Redlaser. Redlaser is one of the most popular comparison shopping apps out there, having been downloaded some 22 million times. Using the scanner on your mobile phone, you can scan a barcode in-store and instantly see competitor prices for that item. Even better, Redlaser is completely free. Available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows platforms.
- GoogleShopper. GoogleShopper is much like Redlaser, except it also includes real user reviews for the product. Plus, special offers are sent directly to your mobile device. The app is available for Android and iPhone.
- Gift Plan. Gift Plan for the iPhone lets you organize your gift shopping for any holiday, including Christmas. It follows birthdays, sends you alerts, and lets you mark presents purchased.
- Christmas Gift List Planner. The Christmas Gift List Planner is similar to Gift Plan, except it is only for Christmas and works on the Android system. This app also lets you track which presents have been shipped and wrapped, while tracking spending.
- Cardstar. If you’re anything like me, you get fed up with the multiple rewards cards that stores ask you to carry around just to get a discount once or twice a year. Cardstar solves that problem by allowing you to keep your rewards cards digital, stored in the Cardstar app. Cardstar is free and works with iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry.
- FastMall. Have you ever gotten lost in a busy mall during the holidays, or just couldn’t find the right store? Never let it happen again with FastMall, which provides step by step navigation for any mall, even when GPS is unavailable. For iPhone and Android.
- CouponSherpa. CouponSherpa is a great app at any time of year, but is particularly useful during the holidays. This app allows you to instantly access mobile coupons, special offers, and more, and for all that, the app is still free. The app works on iPhone and Android.
- GasBuddy. During the cold winter months when you’re rushing to get holiday shopping done in time, it’s a pain to drive around looking for gas prices that approach a reasonable level. The GasBuddy app does the footwork for you, especially useful in unfamiliar areas. Available for Android, iPhone, Windows, and Blackberry.
- Cozi Family Calendar. For most of us, no other time of year is as busy as the holidays, with extra social and family activities packed into just two months. The Cozi app helps you keep track of everyone’s obligations so nothing is missed. The app is free and available for Android and iPhone.
If you already consider yourself a bargain shopper, you’ll be unbeatable with one or more of these holiday shopping apps on your mobile device. Plus, with the ability to track gifts and expenses on the fly, you’ll be sure that no one on your list is forgotten this year!