The best shopping apps are often barcode app scanners that can compare prices when shopping for the same item both locally and online. When you find an item you want in a store, whether it's electronics, toys, or linens, these apps make it easier to purchase the item immediately, find another store that sells it cheaper nearby, or add the item to a wishlist. By scanning a barcode or QR code, or doing a search for the item, you can see a list of stores and prices. Some retailers, like Best Buy, will match online prices if you can show them the same item displayed on your phone with the lower price.
Here are a few shopping apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones:
Red Laser--red laser.com (for Android, iPhone, and Windows phones).
What makes it special? - Listing prices at nearby and online stores, buy immediately or get directions to another store, reviews, product details, and suggestions of accessories.
Red Laser has continued to add new features and remains the best shopping app available. It's like having your own personal shopping assistant to tell you whether you should buy the product in front of you. If you can scan the UPC code on the product's box, or a QR code, Red Laser will instantly find and display the product with a number of options. If you can't scan the item, you can take a photo of it, or its package, or speak the style number. (I found searching this way to be too slow to be useful while in a store.)
To see if the price offered in the store is a good deal for this model, tap to see online prices. If the price is in a green box, you can tap to immediately buy it from that website. Tap "local" to see a listing of the nearby stores the price they have for the same product. Prices are listed or marked with pins on a map so you can get there fast.
Let's say you are looking to buy a media player, the NeoTV Max, and want to know if this is the model you should buy. Tap on "details" for a brief description or reviews from other customers who own it. "Suggestions" lists other similar models and things you might want to buy to go with the searched item.
What makes it special?- All the convenience of Amazon including Wish Lists
PriceCheck finds prices on items that are sold on Amazon. (Is there anything that isn't sold on Amazon?) When you find an interesting product, scan it, shoot a photo of it, or speak the model number, and PriceCheck will display the item with both new and used prices. In fact, it takes you to the Amazon product page listing reviews, product features, description, and "what other customers bought." And of course you can immediately buy it from Amazon.
If you aren't ready to buy, or it's something you want others to buy for you, add the item to your Amazon Wish List.
What makes it special? Gift categories for suggestions of what to buy for different people on your gift list—gadget lovers, couples, fashionistas, for him, her, and more, shopping list to keep track of what you find, and a list of weekly sales at local stores.
Like the other apps, you can search for products by bar code, by voice, or type in the product name and Shopper will provide a list of prices both online and locally (if available). Tap on the listing of a nearby store to call for prices or to see if they have the item in stock. Shopper can also search by taking a photo of CDs, DVDs, book covers, or a magazine ad. When you take a photo of an item in a magazine, Shopper will tell you where you can buy it locally, or online.
When Shopper finds an item, it lists reviews, product specifications and details, and a link to do a Google search for the item online. It is like having a personal shopper with you to tell you if you this is the right model and the right price.
With these apps, you will never again shop alone.