Online Buzz - Shopping Apps

7:47 AM, Dec 1, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY/WZZM) - Want to score huge deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well you're not alone, and you can bet that whatever stores you're planning on hitting will be filled with like-minded shoppers. It's a war zone out there, and if you want to emerge victorious you'll need to use the ultimate bargain-finding secret weapon: your beloved smartphone and a suite of powerful apps that will leave your bank account healthy and your Christmas list conquered.

SHOPPING APPS ARE NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL

How much you spend on gifts this year could very well depend on the shopping apps you use - paired with what kind of shopper you are. That's right - shopping apps are not one size fits all. Each has its own purpose and the trick to scoring the best deals often means double dipping on apps to get rewards, coupons and discounts - all at once.

PAYBACKS ADD UP

If you haven't tried eBates yet, this is a good year to give it a whirl. Start by booting up the brand new eBates app to see which stores offer the most cash back on the products you're searching for. EBates offers flat cash back rates at many popular stores, so you can score bonus bucks in addition to saving money with store-specific coupons and discounts.

More of an extreme coupon fanatic? Put the scissors down and pick up Yowza. Just boot it up, and bingo - it alerts you to coupons and deals all around you. Many come directly from merchants, and are options that you likely won't find anywhere else. If you've got a Windows Phone, just boot up RedLaser, scan your items, and the app will tell you if there's a nearby store with a better price.

Now that you've got your coupons and store rebates on lockdown, using an app like Shopkick helps you slice even more savings from your holiday gifts by scanning nearby stores for great deals. Then scratch your social shopping itch with Smoopa, which lets you earn rewards for finding and then sharing the best local deals with others. Double dipping with these apps is a great way to double your kickbacks!

Windows Phone users can get in on the social action with SlickDealer, which just added a new Black Friday feed feature on a recent update. SlickDealer relies on the power of social shoppers to source the best deals from an endless list of stores. The more shoppers who spot a great deal, the more visible it becomes, just like a mob of crazed shoppers running for the discount isle!

There are even apps to make your holiday meals more affordable. Download Favado on your smartphone and scan for coupons to cut your grocery bill down to size. Then use the Pushpins app to sync your purchases with your store loyalty card to find even more savings.

Too busy to mess with any of it and just want to get your shopping done lickety-split? Check out Pounce. Just have your family circle the gifts they want in the ads that are flooding your mailbox this time of year. Snap a photo, click purchase, and you're done! It doesn't get much easier than that.

Now, if you want to wait in a freezing cold line with a bunch of crazed bargain hunters - pushing, scratching, smashing your way toward that one knock-down, drag-out doorbuster deal, be my guest, but there's a good chance someone else has an even better deal right in the palm of their hands.

For your time-waster of the week, as your are awaiting Cyber Monday, check out Consumerist.com .  They have a lot of frequently updated content that will be very busy on Black Friday.  They highlight a lot of things you need to watch out for while shopping, as well as many customer service blunders.

Follow the Online Buzz on Twitter - @wzzmonlinebuzz

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