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[November 21, 2012]
Apps shed light on the best bargains for Black Friday
Nov 21, 2012 (Boston Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Black Friday has already arrived in many stores.
Toys 'R' Us has a three-day sale online with 20 percent off any purchase over $100. Target has a beat-the-rush sale, and Macy's has slashed prices between 30 to 70 percent for its Thanksgiving sale.
One of my favorite deals: Target is offering the Dyson DC41 Multi Floor Upright Vacuum at just $399, $150 off the retail price.
But in some cases, the deals aren't as great as they look. Some stores stock low-end models of high-end products like Blu-ray players and HDTVs for Black Friday, near or at wholesale prices, just to get you in the door.
So be smarter than the stores. Research the consumer reviews of the exact model of the product or device that you're planning to buy. That's one of the ways that mobile apps can come in handy.
Once you're at the store, use a mobile shopping app to scan the barcode of the product you want to buy. Try either RedLaser or ShopSavvy. Both are free apps available on most platforms. They should give you a good sense of whether the product you want to buy is of good quality.
Make sure your price is really the lowest by using Amazon Price Check as well. This app is loathed by brick-and-mortar retailers, which is good evidence of its worth. An in-store scan of the UPC barcode allows consumers to view prices from Amazon and other stores.
There are also a number of highly rated apps that track Black Friday deals at large retailers. One of these, simply called Black Friday App, made by dealnews.com, is available on Android and Apple mobile devices. It categorizes the deals, allows you to shop for those available online and allows you to save them in a wish list.
And don't forget to download the app for the store where you're shopping. Walmart and Target have apps to help you shop in their stores. For the first time, Walmart's app is offering maps of individual stores to guide you to the deals. So if you're planning to brave the crowds on Black Friday, your smartphone really will make you smart.
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