It’s every man for himself on Black Friday, so why not call on some smartphone apps to give you a hand? Armed with a smartphone and these holiday shopping apps, you might actually stand a chance against frenzied shoppers and dubious discounts. Here are the best Black Friday and holiday shopping apps I could find:
TGI Black Friday
With Black Friday looming, the first thing you’ll want is an app to keep track of all the crazy deals. TGI Black Friday, a free app for iPhone and Android, shows you the most popular and most recently posted deals, and lets you browse by store or by category. For each store listing, the app tells you what time the doors open. It also lets you create a list of your favorite deals, which you can then e-mail to yourself or to your personal Santa.
(MORE: Increasingly, Black Friday Is a Day to Stay Home, Not Hit the Mall)
SlickDeals.net is one of my favorite websites for bargain hunting, powered by savvy shoppers who vote on the best and biggest discounts. Although there’s no official SlickDeals app, third-party apps do a fine job of feeding the latest deals to your phone: SlickDeals Reader for Android (free), iSlick for iPhone ($1) and Slick Deals for Windows Phone (free). You can also point your browser to m.slickdeals.net.
That “50 percent off” sticker you’re staring at sure looks enticing, but is it really the best deal out there? When in doubt, use ShopSavvy to scan the barcode or type in the product name, and it’ll give you a list of prices at local stores and online retailers. The ShopSavvy app is free for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone.
Decide.com for iPhone
Decide.com is kind of like ShopSavvy, but with a focus on electronics. In addition to listing nearby and online prices, this app goes a step further and tells you whether to buy a product or wait for either a new model or a lower price. For example, when I searched for “Eee Pad Transformer,” the app told me to hold off–good advice given that the quad-core Transformer Prime is coming soon. The app is free, but unfortunately, it’s only available for iPhone.
Christmas Gift List Apps
Sooner or later, you’re going to need a way to organize all those gifts, so you might as well pick up one more app just for that purpose. On the iPhone, the $1 Better Christmas List lets you create groups, set budgets and mark your progress. It also includes password protection. Free Christmas List for Android and Christmas List for Windows Phone.
(MORE: Black Thursday: Will Shoppers Really Show Up at Stores on Thanksgiving Night?)