Android phones may be expensive, but yours could end up paying for itself if you use some of the great shopping apps available. Here’s a current roundup of some of the great apps for Android.
Search and Comparison
ShopKick is a brilliant little app that will alert you of special deals the minute you walk into the store! You need to have your GPS turned on so it knows your location. It works in many major U.S. cities and chains that are in smaller cities, with plans to expand as close as reasonable to nation-wide.
This is the app for the site The Find. It’s another location-aware app, with a huge user base of 24 million people on its parent site, according to the app’s page. This is also a social app, which allows you to share your “finds” with others. Also comparison shops via barcode scan and finds coupon codes. You can save shopping lists and finds by store, and it will even highlight which stores you’ve liked on Facebook right on your phone. It also syncs to its website to access your saved finds there. It even gives you maps and shipping codes! It does include a few grocery items, but for the most part they’re gourmet/boutique-type things.
Milo is a handy app that allows you to input what you’re looking for, and does a search to find it locally. It even tells you where it’s actually on the shelf, and what the inventory is! This in particular will save you a lot of driving around and hunting. Sales clerks everywhere who no longer have to handle lots of calls for “Do you have this?” should thank Milo. Like most of these apps, it’s mostly big retailers. This is the one of these that I find myself using most frequently.
This is another app that’s hard to live without once you’ve tried it. Rather than having to have a slew of apps like Restaurants.com, Groupon.com and LiveSocial, you can check this app and see what deals are available from all of them right on a map of your area!
ShopSavvy is another shopping search app, but it allows you to scan barcodes from the product or the shelf, and will do both an online search and a local search to find where you can buy the item the cheapest. The item might not be in stock, but it’s a start. It will also allow you to save items in wishlists, and will present you with a map and driving directions.
Shopper does a lot of what ShopSavvy does, but not as in-depth as far as having wishlists and other features. It seems to be iffy at finding products other than books, movies and other media items (so it might not be productive to scan that special soup you just found). It is, however, very, very quick and includes both online and offline store.
Scanlife combines the functions of Milo, above, and Coupons, below, to give users the ability to scan barcodes to get deals nearby, coupons, and even product reviews, and nutritional data, in the case of food items. It can also take you right to websites to buy the item (as does ShopSavvy).
Grocery IQ, Our Groceries, Grocery King
These three apps share many overlapping functions. Which one is right for you will depend on your needs.
Grocery IQ is a multi-function app. It allows you to build a grocery list by scanning barcodes, so that if you simply scan the barcodes of staples you’re using before you throw the container away, you can keep kitchen stocked. You can also use your voice to add items. Add items to your Favorites and then put in lists by store and aisle. Tap the item on your list as you put it in your cart, and as you check out, those items will be removed from your list (because you’re buying them). You can also sync lists, although not as simply as in the next app. Finally, Grocery IQ allows you to use savings cards from the Safeway family of stores, and pulls in coupons from Coupons.com, its parent company.
Our Groceries makes syncing groceries between several family phones a snap–or a tap. Each family/household member with a smartphone can add items to the list, even while one person is actually at the store shopping. You can set up lists for different stores, so if you’re running a lap of errands, others who are synced can add items knowing you’re headed to the hardware. Our Groceries does not have a barcode scanner, so you’ll need one of the other apps if you want to do price comparisons. It also doesn’t sync with coupons or store rewards cards.
Grocery King is a paid app (currently $4.95), but according to many enthusiastic users, well worth it. It includes just about every feature of the above two apps, and then some. It has a backup feature on the account it creates for you on its website, it remembers your most recent lists, and it is exceptionally clean and easy to read.
This app allows you to store reward cards for almost 650 chains and counting, including nearly 30 grocery chains. Because some of these chains will now allow you to load store coupons onto your reward card, this could mean major savings for you. All those times you forgot to redeem your CVS rewards will be a thing of the past! Uses a barcode scanner and allows you to back up your accounts on its site as well.
Cellfire is a major coupon clearing house. This service is used by many grocery chains to allow you to save coupons to your rewards cards. It also ties into Red Plum, the coupon insert company. So it’s similar to Keyring Rewards Cards, but has the added benefit of Red Plum. Coupons are automatically applied at checkout. Recommended by The Grocery Game.
This isn’t just groceries, but restaurants and all kinds of entertainment and deals local to you. Uses your GPS to give you daily deals close to your location.
Second Hand Shopping
Craigslist by Notification allows you to specify something you’re looking for and your location, and the app searches your local Craigslist and alerts you when the item is offered. You can even set various parameters, like price, and only items with pictures, as well as setting your preferred alert. It also has easy ways to respond quickly so you can be an early responder. You can mark items as read if you don’t want to respond so you won’t keep seeing them, and you can also mark items as favorites.
This is a similar app to Craigslist, only for eBay. Set notifications for items you’re looking for so that you can quickly respond to auctions and Buy It Now items. Official app from eBay.
Honorable Mention: Scan-Fu
Scan-Fu is the only app around that will allow you to scan an item’s barcode, and then download coupons for it, download reviews about it, and “like” it on Facebook. It’s a brand-new app, but the few users who have tried it really love it.
What shopping apps can’t you live without? Tell us in the comments!
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