Rather like using dynamite to fish in a lake, bargain hunting is becoming something of a killer sport, and the writhing creatures on the end of the line are the retailers, struggling to balance lower margins with increased price competition. Of course it’s technology that’s changing the odds in favor of the consumer, and a couple of new mobile apps are pointing the way to the future.
The first app is Basket Buddy for iOS and Android, which majestically delivers all the current special offers from a huge variety of stores in your area direct to your phone. The real secret to this app is the fact that the data is submitted by users as well, along with comments, rebuttals and a running commentary on best buy alternatives. What this means is you can pick up some great bargains if you’re prepared to hunt around a bit, and read some of the comments before you pay out.
It’s elegantly designed, very useable and has enough of a vibrant community to make it very valuable indeed. And it can only get better as time passes. UK only at the moment.
The second app is Smoopa, which has a similar theme except it focuses on the more Amazon type products, rather than groceries and other daily staples. It also runs on iOS and Android and is a US only product, and one cute feature is the fact that you get paid to submit pricing and product information. Submissions are done via barcode, and the company then compares it to their own database to see if it’s a bargain. It’s definitely much cruder than Basket Buddy, but does allow for price tracking on a particular item, which is neat.
This is just the start of this type of technology (and we haven’t even mentioned Google Shopper or the dedicated Amazon shopping app) so expect to see some more cool bargain hunting tools come down the pipe as smartphones become more popular with Joe Public.