Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ShopSavvy Review

Take away: If you have an android phone, you should have this app.

One of my favorite apps on my Android G1 is called ShopSavvy. It uses the camera on the G1 to scan the UPC bar code, then it does a server trip to check prices and availability. It's not infallible, but damn...

I was in a big box electronics retailer a couple of weeks ago. The first item I scanned was a GPS/Cell phone holder with weighted friction pad for 'mounting' on a dashboard. One of these thingies:

This particular retailer had it for $39.99. ShopSavvy returned two retailers in the area selling it for less. ShopSavvy then offered the me the opportunity to call the store or draw a map to the store. ShopSavvy also returned hits from the web and then gave me the choice of going to the website or e-mailing the link. Bottom line: I didn't pay $39.99.

In addition to searching for products, users can maintain wishlists organized by groups, set price alerts for items and keep a history of scanned items. Once an item is scanned ShopSavvy also presents the user with user reviews of the item.

The history function is more handy than I had first thought. You see I still haven't bought or ordered the friction mat thingy. But just the other day I retrieved my scan from history, and ShopSavvy re-executed the server trip and returned updated information... more stores locally and even cheaper.

I scanned an item that returned an incorrect graphic and description, but had the right prices. I fired off an e-mail to the developer, Big in Japan. I received a prompt and courteous reply that told me how the error happened, which was more than I needed to know but very much appreciated.

ShopSavvy has also saved me money the old fashioned way... by not giving in to an impulse to buy. Scanning and comparing is almost as good as buying. Like that 46" Sharp Aquous 1080p LCD TV with 4 HDMI inputs I saw at BJ's for $1,200... a price that ShopSavvy couldn't beat.

I wonder if I can scan some diamonds for my wife...

Similar apps: Compare Everywhere, Barcode Reader.

1 comment:

streetstylz said...

NeoMedia Technologies grandfathered this technology back in the mid 90’s and has been doing mobile code scanning and comparison shopping via UPC codes long before any other company in this space.

NeoMedia on ABC & NBC News circa 2004:

NeoMedia has a rich patent portfolio that covers scanning barcodes with a camera enabled mobile device to connect to the Internet, comparison shop, and/or retrieve online content.