We all have that friend who always seems to get the best deals while shopping. You know the one.
You spend $100 on designer jeans and she seems to find the exact same pair for $55. His 4K TV is bigger, thinner, and smarter—yet you paid the same amount.
They remind you about this fact. All the time.
Well, perhaps it’s because they’re using shopping apps that help them save money while shopping online or in store.
Regardless, it’s about time you got in the game.
As we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday, these five shopping apps will help you score the ultimate holiday deal. All you need is an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
Rather than sorting through all the paper flyers you get each week, Flipp calls out the best deals in your area. First type in your postal code and you’ll see local flyers—whether it’s a big box electronics store, clothing chain, home improvement centre, supermarket, and so on—and you can flick through them, search by keyword, or tap the Deals icon. With its smart shopping list, you can also type in a word, like “headphones,” and see all the related deals near you. The app, which was created by a Toronto-based tech company, also holds all your loyalty and rewards cards, so you don’t need to carry a pocket—or purse—full of plastic.
This one is tied more to online shopping. The premise is simple: shop where you already like to shop, and you’ll get cash back after your purchases, whether you opt for a cheque or a PayPal deposit. The percentage varies depending on the online retailer or marketplace, and there are more than 2,000 to choose from, including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, American Eagle, and Groupon, to name a few. The app will also notify you of sales and special offers, plus there are in-store coupons and promo codes, too.
Similar to Ebates, the free Swagbucks app rewards members for shopping online through participating retailers. Here’s how it works: sign up for a free account and then every time you shop at one of the supported stores (or watch videos, search the web and answer surveys), you’ll start earning SB points that can be redeemed for cash (via PayPal) or gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, and The Home Depot. For a list of eligible Canadian stores, visit swagbucks.com.
There are two popular misconceptions about eBay: almost everything listed is second-hand, and you need to place a bid on auction items. In fact, more than 80 per cent of items on eBay are brand new, and if you don’t want to bid for something, more than 85 per cent of items can be purchased outright. You can find some amazing deals on eBay, including exclusive, hard to find and out-of-country items, that can be shipped to your door—or a loved one’s residence or place of business. The app is also super easy to use and lets you chat with the seller directly within the app. Just make sure you factor in shipping time and possible duties if you’re buying from an international seller.
If you don’t want to wait for shipping, online classifieds sites like Kijiji let you buy, sell and trade locally. You’d actually be surprised how many brand-new items there are available to wrap as holiday presents. Plus, with Kijiji, there is often room to haggle with those you’re buying from, too (seriously, it’s expected, so you won’t offend the seller). If you’re meeting someone to buy a product, try to arrange your meeting in a public place and during the day, just to err on the side of caution.