Friday, November 22, 2013

Better Black Friday Shopping with Your Smartphone

Best Buy #281 - The Night Before 'Black Friday'
Best Buy #281 - The Night Before 'Black Friday' (Photo credit: Croixboy)
It's about that time - Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.  There is less than a week to go, and some people are even camping out at Best Buy as we speak.  I guess we all have our Thanksgiving slash holiday traditions...

Personally, I think it's crazy, and I usually avoid all stores on Black Friday and pretty much every day between Thanksgiving and a week or two after Christmas.  Can any deal really be worth all the waiting in lines and fighting the crowds?  I'd rather just stay home and shop online.  If I want to shop at all.  I worked retail for several years.  If I ever thought shopping was an enjoyable activity, which I sincerely doubt, that took care of that!

For those of you who wouldn't miss Black Friday shopping, and you know who you are, there are some great apps available for your smartphone that can help make this year's Black Friday shopping even better, whether you're shopping for the latest tech gifts like the iPhone 5s, 5c and iPad Air (now available at U.S. Cellular for the first time with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast 4G LTE network with speeds up to ten times faster than 3G.) or just that perfect toy for your adorable grandson.
  • Black Friday App lets you browse "leaked" and "confirmed" ads from dozens of major retailers, create and organize shopping lists, compare prices, get notifications of the latest deals, and even shows you similar products that you can buy now at Black Friday-like prices.
  • Use CardStar to import all those store savings cards to your phone. Lighten up your wallet or your keychain and never miss a reward or discount again. This is one of those apps that will come in handy all the time, not just on Black Friday.  Cashiers can scan the cards right from your phone, and you can get special savings, deals and coupons right through the app.
  • and for people like me who would rather just stay home, there's Amazon Mobile, which lets you browse, search, compare prices, read reviews, and shop - right from the comfort of your own home.  (According to Mobile Commerce Daily, on Black Friday last year alone, mobile shopping accounted for 16 percent of online sales and that number is expected to exceed 20 percent this year, and a recent U.S. Cellular survey showed that 39 percent of their smartphone customers use their smartphones for shopping.) But if you are out shopping in some actual stores - on Black Friday or any other time - the app makes it easy to compare prices. Is that deal in the store really a good one, or can you get it cheaper on Amazon?  Now you'll always know.
  • Insert your favorite app here.  Are there any apps you've found that you make shopping and scoring the best deals easier, faster, or better?  Please share!
So, if you really must grab some of those hard-to-resist Black Friday deals, be sure to check out the available smartphone apps that will make it easier to find the best deals and help you get your shopping done and get back to spending time with your family.  I suppose shopping together could be a way of spending time with the family... 

At the very least, if you have to split up to get those deals, you can use your phones to keep track of each other and be sure you can find each other at the end of the day!

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade as well as receiving a new phone.  My experiences with and opinions of U.S. Cellular are 100% mine.
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