Tag Archives: ShopSavvy

Prep for Black Friday Shopping 2020

How to Prep for Black Friday 2020

Black Friday is just around the corner – November 27, 2020. While many of us will eschew the crowds and instead do our shopping online, whatever you choose, it’s wise to go in with a plan. 

First and foremost, create a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away with the “steals and deals” promoted online and in-store, but remember, businesses are interested in making a profit, not a friend, so your budget is not their bottom line. Make a list of the must-haves on your list, and compare that to what you can afford to spend. If there’s still room in the budget, start planning additional shopping around that amount. Since many of us won’t be traveling this year due to travel restrictions, make sure you budget for shipping if you’re not having gifts sent directly to the recipient. 

Second, do your homework. This is especially important for those – must-have gifts. Use price tracker sites like CamelCamelCamel for Amazon, or Honey, a free browser extension that automatically finds, tests, and applies the best coupon codes at checkout for over 30,000 popular sites. You can see the price over the past several weeks and compare it to the current deal offered. For example, knowing that the Amazon Echo 3rd-gen smart speaker is going for $30 instead of its regular price of $60 means you’re getting a good deal. Go through online circulars – you can get a sneak peek here – and make a note of the cost of items that catch your eye, then compare with other sites. Better yet, let price comparison apps like ShopSavvy or BuyVia do the work for you. 

Third, opt for curbside pickup or delivery if possible. If you’re shopping big box stores like Walmart, Target, or Macy’s, shop online and pick up items curbside or have them delivered to avoid the crowds and the higher risk of COVID exposure. 

Beware of doorbusters and final sale items. Doorbusters are designed to get you in the store but be aware that these deals are often only available for a limited time, sometimes less than an hour, and there are generally a small number of the item available. Products with a “final sale” tag typically can’t be returned, and if they can be, there’s usually a restocking fee of at least 15%, so that expensive electronic item may not be that great a deal after all. 

As an alternative to Black Friday madness, consider supporting local small businesses by shopping on Small Business Saturday.  Amazon will likely close out the year with record profits, but COVID restrictions have hit small retailers and mom and pop shops particularly hard. This holiday season will be make or break for some of them.

Finally, be kind. 2020 has been a challenge for everyone, and retail workers are among those hit especially hard. Remember, that cashier has no control over inventory or pricing, and the security guard is there for everyone’s safety, not to referee a wrestling match over the last Instant Pot on the shelf. 

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.


6 Apps for the Serious Mobile Shopper

By Tracey Dowdy

Mobile shopping has been around for a while now and as shoppers get savvier, so do the apps. At this point there are almost as many shopping apps available as there are products to buy.

Most major retailers have jumped in with apps featuring their best online or in-store deals. Wal Mart’s app allows you to scan your receipt to compare prices in your area. If the item is available at a lower price locally, they will refund the difference. Target enables you to use your Apple Watch to build your shopping list or find items in-store by aisle number as well as use Apple Pay for online purchases.

Online retailers like Etsy, Amazon and eBay all offer mobile apps to alert you to deals, discounts on products you’re monitoring, or sales that are ending soon.

With all the options out there, where do you start?  How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal? These apps are a great place to start.

Retail Me Not

retailmenotTD1On its Facebook page, Retail Me Not states “We’re Out to Save the World (Some Money)™ and with a goal “to be the most useful site for internet shoppers looking for savings” it’s well on their way. Retail Me Not goes beyond clothing and products and includes deals on food and restaurants as well. Bookmark favorites, search by Today’s Hot Deals, browse Categories Trending Deals and get coupons from over 50,000 retailers and restaurants. They’ll even alert you when your coupons are about to expire.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Red Laser

RedLaserTD1If getting the best deal is important to you, you’ll love Red Laser. Simply scan the product barcode and the app immediately searches millions of products across thousands of stores and online retailers to find the best deal. Download store loyalty cards and coupons, and be alerted to the best deals when you walk into a brick and mortar store. You can choose to have items delivered in-store for pick up or delivered straight to your door.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows
Cost: Free


shopsavvyTD1ShopSavvy is a comprehensive barcode scanner, price checker, QR code reader and sale search engine bundled into one app. You can price match in-store to ensure you’re getting the best deal, browse by product category and be alerted to online sales as well as sales in your area for products you’re in the market for and share them with your friends.

Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Cost: free


shopularTD1Pick your favorite store, be alerted to nearby and online
sales, receive coupons, promo codes, markdowns, weekly ads and browse for deals all through one simple app: Shopular. Instead of jumping from one app to another to keep up with what’s on sale, Shopular consolidates your favorite stores into one convenient app. One of its best features is that it sends notifications for specific products you’re following and enables you to redeem the coupons directly from your phone.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


shopadvisorTD1ShopAdvisor bills itself as “Your personal shopping concierge for fashion, tech, decor and more.” Instead of telling you what to buy, ShopAdvisor tells you when. Browse preselected lists of sale items or create your own customized list and be alerted to when and where they’re available at the lowest price. By partnering with top magazines and influencers like Cosmopolitan, The Today Show, People StyleWatch, Real Simple, Men’s Health, This Old House, Cooking Light, Parent and Child among others, ShopAdvisor keeps you on trend while getting you the best deal.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free


polyvoreTD1150Take a quiz to see what you should buy or build your dream closet online or in real life. Polyvore definitely isn’t your typical shopping app. Instead of items being listed individually, they’re presented as outfits. Each item that you “Like” – tops, dresses, shoes, accessories etc. – is logged and your style preferences noted. You can save your choices and Polyvore will send you alerts when items are on sale. You can share your favorite looks on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and be notified when someone likes what you’ve found or created.

Platform: iOS, Android
Cost: Free

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.