The RedLaser app is a very popular smartphone app that has been out for a few years now and many of you may already be using it. If you are in that category, don’t leave! Because after I explain how it works to our newbies, I have some secrets on how to maximize your savings that you ain’t gonna find anywhere else. Well, to be honest, I haven’t looked everywhere else as I do have a life and the Internet is fairly large, but I like to think of this as a Rather-Be-Shopping.com exclusive. OK, I’ll shut up now and get to the review…
The Nuts & Bolts:
- The free RedLaser app allows you to scan the barcode of a product and get instant price comparisons from both offline and online stores.
- The offline prices allows you to find local stores via your smartphones GPS and get instant directions.
- In addition to the price comparison piece, you’ll get user reviews, ratings, and detailed info about the scanned product.
- Once you find the cheapest product, you can order it directly from the app (select retailers) and have it shipped to your home or make arrangements to pick it up directly from the brick & mortar retail location.
- When you scan a food product the app will actually identify all the possible allergens for you.
How the app improves your life:
- The app puts you more in control of your spending decisions and lets you play one retailer against another. More on this below.
- You won’t ever have to say this again, “I wonder if I can get a better price on this karaoke machine by shopping online?”, as the app automatically gives you online and offline pricing. By the way, never, ever, under any circumstances, buy a 5-year old girl a karaoke machine. To this day, I still wake up in a cold sweat, yelling, “Hey Taylor Swift, turn that dam thing down before I throw it out the window!”
- If you have a child with food allergies the app could be a great asset to have when shopping. Just scan the barcode in the grocery store and have instant access to possible allergens.
How the app could be better:
- The app won’t list every “Mom & Pop” store in your town. The technology is just not there. Yet. The app works best for your Best Buys and Home Depots of the world.
- If you’re trying to scan the barcode of a real shiny or round object the app struggles. But you always have the option of entering the barcode number manually. Yeah, I know, that’s probably not going to happen. Your best bet is to avoid glare and bright lights right on the barcode.
- While not necessarily a big issue, you should be aware that a few years ago eBay bought RedLaser. Will the app eventually start to bring eBay auction listing into your price comparison results and skew the playing field in their favor? Just something to keep in mind.
- It would also be better if allowed you to add more loyalty card merchants. It has some now but it is fairly limited.
RedLaser Tip Stores DON’T want you to know:
- Become a price negotiating bad-ass. Many big box stores are starting a price-match policy that includes online prices. So the next time you are shopping at one of these stores that match online prices just whip out RedLaser and negotiate for a better price. (The big ones include Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Toys R Us)
- For example, Best Buy will now match the price of the following online retailers: Amazon.com, Apple.com, Buy.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, Fry’s.com, HP.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowe’s.com, Newegg.com, OfficeDepot.com, OfficeMax.com, Sears.com, Staples.com, Target.com, TigerDirect.com and Walmart.com. So when shopping at Best Buy there is absolutely NO reason you shouldn’t be getting the best deal possible.
- The cool thing about price-matching with the app is you don’t have to be a hardcore, in-your-face, negotiator. You have the lowest price on your phone so it’s just a matter of finding a sales associate, informing them politely of the price discrepancy, and getting them to lower the price.
- Real world example time! A couple weeks ago I was in need of a new flash drive so I walked into our local Best Buy knowing exactly what I wanted, a 16GB Kingston DataTraveler. Best Buy sold it for $14.99, see image below:
So I decided to whip out the RedLaser app and low and behold, Amazon.com sold the same exact flash drive for $11.09!
So I quickly grabbed a sales associate who was apparently texting his girlfriend and didn’t want to be bothered, but once I finally got his attention, he did a quick price adjustment and I was on my way having saved $3.90. Now you might say “Big deal, you saved $4?” But the flash drive was all I needed at the time. Just think of the possibilities for savings when buying a new TV or laptop. You’d be dumb to not download this app and give it a try in situations like this. And no, RedLaser did not pay me to write article, I just think there are some excellent ways you can use it to save significant money.
Download the free app and give it a try:
Ask the Reader: Do you currently use RedLaser? If so, do you have any tips for getting the best deal that I may have missed?
By Kyle James