Smart Shopping: Sleighful Of Bargain-Tracking Apps

1/16/2013 9:22:32 AM

Smarten up your festive gift-hunt with this sleighful of bargain-tracking apps.

1.    Wish

Price: Free / iPhone


There's nothing worse than demanding relations forcing you to play Xmas present roulette and ‘surprise’ them. Better to use Wish. Like a Twitter for present ideas you can Mow Wends and relate via the app or Facebook to see what they're pining for-and even buy it all in-app

2.    Gift Plan

Price: $3 / iPhone

Gift Plan

This gift-organizing app is so handy it’s probably used by Santa himself. Each of your giftees gets their own profile page, where you can keep tabs on their interests, clothes sizes and gift ideas. You can also get reminders for anniversaries. It certainly beats scribbled lists on the back of receipts.

3.    Amazon Windowshop

Price: Free / iPad

Amazon Windowshop

Face it – Amazon’s site is hardly tablet-friendly. In fact, it’s an almighty pain in the fingertip. This sleek, intuitive iPad app should help. It makes buying and browsing products dangerously easy, with tablet-optimised product pages and drop-down menus.

4.    Sculpteo

Price: $free / iOS


Hoovering up cheap stocking fillers from the pound shop won't win over the in-laws. Use this 3D printing service create personalised mugs and cups based on the profile of lucky recipient. Sculpteo will 3D print the results pop them down the Chimney (or in the post, at least).

5.    3DPCase

Price: Free / iOS


Picking up any old iPhone case for a present hardly shows off your imaginative side. Another app from Sculpteo, 3DPCase lets you 3D print an iPhone sleeve designed by your own brain. Custom prices start a $26 and face it anything’s better than that leopard print case you got them last year.

6.    Fancy

Price: Free / iOS


Before you give in and buy everyone book vouchers, consult this handy gift haven. Like a Pinterest for presents, you can trawl through ideas for everything from leftfield Geekdom (a USB stick that transforms into a leopard) to leather bags or dog gadgets. Tap on the price tag to buy it in-app.

7.    Etsy

Price: Free / Android, iPhone


If your giftee wants something original, give Etsy a go. It’s a home for small business selling millions of unique products from scarves to wallets to armchairs or toys. You can browse by product, category and season, so you can snaffle loads of Christmas goodies that you won't find in an M&S.


Price: Free / Android, iOS

The perfect app for the parsimonious, will ensure you don’t get stung when buying gadget gifts. Tell it what you’re looking for and it’ll predict whether prices will rise or fall, and let you know if a new model is on the way. You’ll also find reviews and price comparisons to help make up your mind.

9.    RedLaser

Price: Free / iPhone, Android, Windows Phone


Tracking down that obscure power drill for your uncle is only half the battle - next you need to know whether the DIY store is ripping you off. With this app you can scan barcodes to compare prices in nearby shops or online, and you can buy directly or pick up in-store.

10.  Discogs

Price: Free / Android


Giving relatives CDs at Christmas isn't quite the same now everyone’s hooked in to Spotify. But for still those obsessed with discs and vinyl, this app is ideal. It plugs into the store catalogue, so you can search out LPs on the go. You’ll never miss out on that limited-ed vinyl again.

11.  Jessops Phone Album

Price: Free + from $9 / iOS

Jessops Phone Album

If you don't quite have time to make a personalized photo book with a service such as Blurb, try this instead. Arrange up to 12 snaps from your iThing into a 6x4in or 7x5in booklet, complete with cover and title. It’s delivered straight from the app. Shame it's a bit buggy though.

12.  Quidco

Price: Free / Android, iOS


If you need to save cash while still buying toys to keep you top of the gift leaderboard, get this handy penny-saver. With Quidco you ‘check in’ to shops, Foursquare-style sometimes getting a small payment for doing so. If not, there are deals to be had, and the option to look for cheap goodies nearby.

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