Get Garcia: Goodbye Coupons; Hello Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are allowing shoppers to snag the best deals with a simple scan.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New website Decide.com is letting shoppers take control this holiday season. Using sophisticated technology, the app can scan barcodes at retailers and tell where and when to get the cheapest price. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on December 21, 2012. (Published Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

    Thanks to mobile apps, holiday shoppers can forsake coupons and midnight-madness shopping for a digital way to discover the lowest prices.

    Armed with their smartphones or tablets, shoppers can scan a product and in a flash know if the in-store price is the best deal around or if they can do better elsewhere.

    Price-Comparison Services Help Holiday Shoppers Get Deals

    [LA] Price-Comparison Services Help Holiday Shoppers Get Deals
    Companies use algorithms to track prices in real time at multiple retailers – for everything from electronics to exercise equipment. Then advise their clients – other retailers – on whether they should drop or lower their prices. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012)

    The Get Garcia Team used used a mobile app from Decide.com to scan a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Search results showed that Best Buy’s price of $179 was the best deal available at about $70 cheaper than other stores, both virtual and brick and mortar.

    Decide.com also uses predictive technology to tell consumers whether the price will go down in the next two weeks, hold steady or rise. In the case of the Samsung tablet, it predicted the price would go up.

    "Hit-and-Run Pricing" Aims to Snare Shoppers

    [LA] "Hit-and-Run Pricing" Aims to Snare Shoppers
    Online retailers can change their prices at will in an effort to grab shoppers who care about costs and those who are less price sensitive, says Anthony Dukes, USC marketing professor. The technique has been dubbed "hit-and-run pricing." Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2012. (Published Friday, Dec 21, 2012)

    "You can really take our advice and buy with confidence because we'll stand behind the predictions," said Mike Fridgen, CEO of Decide.com.

    The company guarantees its prices so if it is wrong and the price for the product goes down, it will refund the difference to the shopper.

    Technology and apps like these have apparently changed the way consumers shop.

    "On Black Friday, about a quarter of all shopping happened from mobile devices, phone and tablets," Fridgen said.

    Based on the company's research, the best deals this holiday season are on small appliances like espresso machines and blenders as well as laptops.

    A subscription to Decide.com will run customers $5 a month or $30 a year.

    Other price comparison sites include:

    Amazon also makes a mobile price-comparison app called Price Check for both iPhone and Android.

    Meanwhile, shoppers may want to figure out how to change their browser settings to avoid falling victim to "dynamic pricing," which lets companies use web cookies to potentially charge a higher price.

    MORE:

    Price-Comparison Services Help Holiday Shoppers Get Deals

    How to Avoid Dynamic Pricing Online

    Goodbye Coupons; Hello Mobile Apps

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