Several new smartphone apps and websites virtually promise the best prices on any item on your holiday shopping list. And these sources for best buys can save you big bucks year-round, not just for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Use the FreePriceAlerts website on your computer and the FREE download for your tablet or smartphone, so you can be alerted to the best deal any time — including while you are shopping — you browse one of the shopping sites you normally visit. You can also set an automatic price alert on a particular product that you or the kids want for the holidays or a birthday, see user reviews and more. One of the company founders told me regular users can save $28 or more on most big ticket items using Free Price Alerts.
Decide.com is a free website that tells you what to buy when, including NOT buying on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, when prices just might be higher than closer to Christmas Day. As I wrote on sister site NYC on the Cheap, even in the 33 days between Black Friday and Christmas, you can save money knowing what’s on sale when.
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Red Laser is a popular barcode scanning app introduced by eBay. Just snap a photo of an item’s barcode on your smartphone to get instant prices from nearby retailers and online stores.
ScratchHard lets you sort by location, store or product category, and the more you “scratch” — or swipe — on your selection, the more offers appear. Right now, it’s available only on iTunes.
Citi Price Rewind is a service for those with a Citi credit card that gives you cash back on the price difference if Citi finds a lower price within 30 days after you purchase the item. You have to register the purchase to get the refund, and the program applies only to a price difference of $25 or more. Citi claims it finds qualifying rewards for one of four registered purchases over $100. American Express has a similar program.
Besides being free to use, all these money-saving websites, apps and credit card reward programs have one thing in common – it takes time to use them, so you have to decide how much time you want to invest to save money.
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