My ex-wife handled all the Christmas shopping for the family. On Black Friday, she'd get up at 3 a.m. and come back with most of we wanted for the three kids at stunning savings. This year, it's my turn.
And you know what? It's a whole new badass world of discounts, savings, coupons and deals. Who knew?
Maybe I'll get my post-turkey nap a little early this year and hit the new Thanksgiving day deals. Maybe I'll get ambitious and do an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shopping spree. But, whatever I do, I will have my handy iPhone in hand, assisting me along the way.
Here's a small survey of some of the apps available to help you with your holiday shopping needs:
TGIBF | Android, iOS; free
Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure come Friday I won't be chanting "Thank God It's Black Friday." But, I will be happy to have this app on my phone.
TGIBF has been providing me with regular updates on the latest deals. It also has been helping to put me in a shopping mindset (a state of mind foreign to me). I've created a nice list of deals based of what my kids want. The popular deals are heavy on WalMart and Target, which my sister tells me are exactly the places to avoid on Black Friday. Well, we'll see.
Shopular | Android, iOS; free
"Full price is so passé" is the slogan on Shopular's website. It delivers advertisements to your phone as they appear in a newspaper. The font is a little small and it's tough to read, but you can expand the individual ads to make them readable.
What's super-cool about this app is that there is a clever little geocoding element that allows your phone to be updated with the latest coupons and deals once you walk into your local mall. Want to know what deals there are on that store up ahead? Check Shopular! Now that is some targeted advertising!
Black Friday Ads | Android, iOS; free
There are a couple of different ways to access deals here, including by categories and by stores. It plays to my shopping tendencies (if they can be called that), which are to go to stores I know (and which I think I will be able to buy gifts for my kids). This app allows you to click on stores and see what deals are available – a great little feature for us impulse buyers. You can also access information via categories – so if you want to buy a camera, you can see where the best deals are located.
RedLaser | Android, iOS; free
The cool factor here lies in the ability to scan barcodes and QR codes to see if there are better deals nearby. More importantly, it maps where the stores with deals are, and shows addresses and phone numbers. You can also scan in your store cards to have them all located in one area. Nice.
Zoomingo | Android, iOS; free
The sheer volume of stores and deals here is appealing. The app boasts of having items from 70,000 plus stores and input from 1.5 million users. When you first load the app, it asks you to pick your favorite stores and the type of products you're interested in. If you find an item you like, the app allows you to find the nearest store carrying it.
Amazon | Android, iOS; free
You can't talk about Black Friday and Cyber Monday without mentioning Amazon. When I checked out the "lightning deals," I found a nice pair of running shoes for my son. The app told me how many had claimed the deal and, more importantly, how much time was left on the deal. If you're an Android user, Amazon has a whole suite of apps available, including Amazon "Price Check" –- a bar code scanner app which also allows you to take a picture of a product, or speak its name into your phone to compare prices. Cool.
So, now what?
You have all these apps on your phone, it's Wednesday and Black Friday is nearly here! Well, take a deep breath and have fun! Hey, it's the holidays!