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Become a Savvy Shopper Overnight With These Price Comparison Apps

Motley Fool - Wed Nov 29, 2023

A young couple sitting on a bench at a mall with a phone and credit card in their hands.

Image source: Getty Images

If you, like me, are a lazy shopper, price comparison apps are essential. These apps take the guesswork out of finding the lowest prices by comparing thousands of merchants for similar products. They're not flawless (read: they're loaded with advertisements), and they don't have every local business or merchant in their database. But for comparing prices among popular retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart, these apps can save you time and help your personal finances tremendously.

Let's take a look at four price comparison apps that could help you save money and change the way you shop.

1. ShopSavvy

Shop Savvy is a classic price comparison app that has a strong barcode reader. While you're looking at an item in a store, scanning its barcode through the app will bring up online merchants who are selling the same item. Alternatively, you can look up items in its search bar to compare prices across a broad list of retailers and websites.

The app has a massive database of sellers, but the user interface is a little clunky. You can also sign up for ShopSavvy Pro, which costs $2.99 monthly or $29.99 per year. I've never used it, but from what I can see, its main perk is that you don't have to watch ads after you scan a barcode.

2. BuyVia

BuyVia is similar to ShopSavvy in that you can scan barcodes and research items through the app. This app, however, is easier to navigate and it even compiles coupons for a large database of stores. That said, in my experience, ShopSavvy has the better barcode scanner, as it compares prices across tens of thousands of merchants, while BuyVia is limited to big names like Best Buy, Target, and Amazon.

3. Fabulessly Frugal

This is an app I just discovered, and I'm already hooked. The app's strength is in letting you set alerts for specific items -- like a Nintendo Switch -- and getting notifications when that item is on sale. It doesn't have a strong price comparison functionality, but it does give you a good idea of ongoing deals for popular items.

One unique feature is its "price point" function. This feature tells you what's a good price for items sold by popular kitchen and toiletry brands, like Crest and Tide. For example, if you wanted to buy Tide Plus powder, the app would tell you to look for a price that's below $11.66. If you then found one that's $10.07 or below, that would be a "stock up" price, or a price that's rare and worthy of buying the item in bulk.


Of all the price comparison apps I've used, is my favorite. It's easy to use, compares prices across a wide inventory of stores, and applies cash back coupons automatically when I make purchases through the app. Its barcode reader isn't as strong as ShopSavvy, but searching for products by name is made comprehensive by including both new and used items. Its clean interface also makes it easy to navigate.

One downside is that isn't always accurate and doesn't always include shipping charges. For example, I looked up a Nintendo Switch and found that it was $240 on eBay. That was the best price at the time (the runner-up was Walmart, at $279.99), but when I clicked to view the listing page, I found that there was a $30 shipping charge.

Occasionally, it lists websites that don't exist. For the same Nintendo Switch search, I found one website that was selling it for $137.50. The website -- Woot -- does exist, but the listing page has become a 404 error.

All things considered, these four apps make finding good deals no longer a chore. Use them to track item prices, get some extra cash back, and snag low deals before they're gone. Who knows -- you might even find something for yourself at a good price.

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We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Discover Financial Services is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. The Motley Fool recommends Discover Financial Services. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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