GIFT-BUYING season has arrived, and you might as well save some money while you’re at it. Plenty of apps can help make you a smarter shopper.

It may seem obvious, but the Amazon app is an excellent tool to have on your phone as you peruse the offerings at your local mall.

The app’s product pages can provide information about an item that you may not learn from an in-store display, and if you prefer to order the item from Amazon instead of buying in the store, the app has a built-in product-recognition system. Simply hold the item in front of your phone’s camera and the app will show Amazon search results that match the product.

I often use Amazon’s app to compare prices and check customer reviews, which may help me decide what products to buy. But the app’s design is beginning to look a little dated, and the menus and interface can sometimes feel clunky and confusing. The app is free on iOS and Android.

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The Amazon app is a helpful tool while perusing the offerings in stores.

Clothing is a popular shopping category, and a number of apps can help you find just the right outfit for the right price. My favorite clothes shopping app that caters to high-end fashion is Farfetch. It focuses on luxury brands and designer labels, including many discounted items. When you sign up for a free account, you choose to shop for men or women and then are presented with a selected list of deals on many kinds of clothing.

From there, you can choose to filter items by designer or by criteria like “new in today” or “sales,” or you can search for specific items. The app has many images, making it easy to navigate various submenus for accessories or jewelry. You can swipe through the many photos on the screen once you have narrowed your search parameters.

When you find, say, a nice-looking pair of Jimmy Choos, you can tap to see more product details. Then you can check size information and the shipping policy, click the “order by phone” button or go to the website to type in any questions you have about the product before you buy it.

Farfetch is upfront about delivery and return policies, and in general it’s a breeze to use. The app is free on iOS and Android.

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The ASOS app, a photo-heavy online shopping app.

If you want to browse lower-price clothing, the ASOS app has you covered. Also a photo-centric online shopping app, ASOS features deals on clothing items that typically cost tens of dollars instead of hundreds. It, too, is free on iOS and Android.

ShopSavvy is a different kind of shopping app: It searches the internet constantly, looking for deals in different stores for various products, and then presents all the results as a news feed of deals. You can search for sales in different stores, including big retailers like Target, or scan a bar code or search for a particular product and then ask the app to check for an in-store deal on the item nearby.

You can even set up price-tracking alerts, so the app will let you know if the price of a particular item you are eyeing has gone down. This app is fun to use, and it could save you money. ShopSavvy is free on both iOS and Android.

Lastly, Purchx is an app with a mission similar to ShopSavvy’s: finding you good prices for items. But while ShopSavvy focuses on deals, Purchx also incorporates customer reviews, collecting them alongside information on current prices. If you are trying to decide between, say, two similar television sets, the data in Purchx can help inform your choice. Purchx isn’t the prettiest shopping app, but it works well and is free on iOS and Android.

Quick Call

Swaying is an iPhone video-making app with a twist: It uses a faux 3-D effect to let you see around an object in a video. It records a clip when you circle your phone around the object you want to capture, and in playback mode you rotate your phone to see around the item. Unusual and satisfying, Swaying is free on iOS.

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By Kendal Perez

For many Americans, Labor Day weekend is the last opportunity of the season to kick back, relax and enjoy the summer sunshine before it fades into fall. While an estimated 15.6 million travelers will fly the friendly skies for a last-minute getaway, many consumers will set their sights on savings and shop their way through the weekend.

Though Labor Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, not everything is a great deal despite retailer efforts to convince consumers otherwise. Follow this guide to avoid overspending during this highly promotional holiday weekend.

Compare store ads. Comparing offers between retailers is key to saving money on your Labor Day purchases. Use Retale or Flipp to view digital versions of store circulars online or through your mobile device. You can quickly thumb through deals and note who has the best offer on your desired product. A comparison shopping app like ShopSavvy is also helpful in comparing prices between local competitors and online retailers based on the barcode of the product you’re considering. If you find a product you’re eyeing is priced for less at another store or online retailer, ask a sales associate or manager to match the better offer. You’ll likely be able to get it for even less without the hassle of running around town.

Read the full article: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/2016-08-31/how-to-save-even-more-during-labor-day-sales-events

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Purch 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research predicts opportunity for webrooming and a happy holiday for smartphone, laptop, and tablet makers

NEW YORK, NY (Novembers 19, 2014) – Purch, a digital content and commerce company, today announced the results of its 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research. As the No. 1 digital publisher for tech media content in the U.S.,[1] with a global reach exceeding 100 million monthly visitors, Purch surveyed its U.S. audience of technology and science consumers and enthusiasts to better understand online and offline buying trends, intent, and behaviors. The survey, spanning Q1- Q3 2014, was conducted online via site intercepts across several of its top consumer-facing brands: Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, Laptop Mag, Live Science, and Space.com.

Purch’s 2014 Tech Buying Trends Research monitors key indicators for consumer tech, tracking consumer interest in hot product categories, top brands, and retail venues. Waves of the research were conducted quarterly, and inquired about tech purchase consideration ‘in the next 6 months’.  The most recent wave of the research, conducted in Q3 2014, queries a timeframe that includes the 2014 holiday shopping season.

Key findings include:

  • Multichannel shopping continues to dominate in the tech category.  Over the full survey period, 74% of tech shoppers said they would shop both online and in-store for tech items, compared with 19% online only and 4% in-store only.  Amazon (61%) tops the list of retailers, ahead of Best Buy (45%) and Direct from manufacturer (30%).
  • The top 10 tech brands considered for the full survey period include Samsung (50%), Asus (40%), Microsoft (38%), Apple (28%), LG (28%), Sony (28%), Dell (25%), HP (25%), Lenovo (20%) and Toshiba (19%).
  • Laptops and Tablets were the top 2 tech categories considered for purchase in the Q1 wave.  Purchase consideration remained strong for both Laptops and Tablets throughout Q2 and Q3, while interest in smartphones continued to increase.  By Q3, Smartphones was the top tech category being considered for purchase.
  • Interest in emerging categories such as smartwatches and wearable fitness devices is not showing a spike in interest in Q3 with the Holiday Season approaching.  Over the full survey period, consideration of smartwatches is at 9% and wearable fitness devices is at 8%.
  • Among those considering purchasing a smartphone, interest in switching to new wireless service providers increased from 43% in Q1 to more than half (52%) in Q3.
  • Throughout the survey period, Verizon maintained its position as most considered wireless service provider for those considering switching or opening new accounts.  AT&T consideration began the year in 3rd place behind T-Mobile in Q1 (Verizon 36%, T-Mobile 33%, AT&T 23%), overtook T-Mobile consideration in Q2 (Verizon 36%, AT&T 33%, T-Mobile 28%), and maintained a slight edge over T-Mobile consideration in Q3 (Verizon 39%, AT&T 31%, T-Mobile 29%).
  • Information sources relied on for purchasing tech over the survey period include ‘Product Reviews’ (86%) and ‘News or Articles by Experts’ (74%) followed by ‘Info Provided by the Brand or Company’ (45%).  Social media (18%) and Advertising (12%) were among the least relied upon sources.

“Consumers value a multichannel shopping environment, and they look to product reviews and expert content to guide their purchase decisions,” said Greg Mason, CEO of Purch. “You can’t deny the authority and influence these resources have on technology enthusiasts, in particular.”

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[1]  Source: comScore U.S. Media Metrix, Tech-News category ranking by unique visitors, October 2014

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