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Consmr Review

Posted by Dale Culp on October 19th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: Consmr
Price: Free
Version: 1.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

iOS Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Re-play Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


It's great to have choices, especially when it comes to shopping for a product that's just right, but sometimes it can be tough to choose. Consmr aims to take the guesswork out of shopping and make it easier to buy the right thing.

At its core, Consmr is a social network of people who like to review and compare products. Each member might have their own motivations, such as determining whether a product is safe, healthy, or if a cheaper, generic brand exists, but they all unite under the same drive to improve the shopping experience.

To start, a user simply scans the barcode of a product they're thinking of purchasing. The app quickly brings up all available information on the product, including reviews, ratings, better buys and nutritional information (if applicable.) There's even an option to see where the product might be on sale for less, though it doesn't always work. From the same screen, a user can rate the product themselves, even writing up a review if they choose. They can also save the product to a list of favorite products, share it on other social networks or pin it to their Pinterest account.

Where Consmr really shines is under the "Better Buys" tab, where they can see a list of other products along with descriptors such as, "Higher Rated," "Less Fat," "Fewer Calories," or "Trending." These selections allow the user to make a more informed opinion about the product they're currently thinking of buying.

If there's one failing, it's that Consmr doesn't have a complete list of every product under the sun. A lot of products come up in the database, but don't have reviews because no one has reviewed them yet. There's also a "Discover" section that brings other products to users' attention, but doesn't seem to be based on any reason for doing so. I think it would be more useful if the app based suggestions on other products I scan and shop for. Meanwhile, it does show me what friends are looking at, which lends a little more weight to what I'm shopping for as I'll often consider my friends' opinions over those of a total stranger.

Finally, the Search option is a great way to go shopping for new or existing products while filtering for items that are gluten free, have no preservatives or inclue other features a user might be searching for.

Right now, Consmr seems limited to products most likely to be found at a grocery store, and I think that's a fine scope to be limited to. However, I could easily see the scope expanded to include any number of products, from consumer electronics to vehicles and toys. As mentioned, this app has become my best friend on recent trips to the grocery store. It's exactly the kind of thing I've wanted for a long while.

Amazon Student Makes Comparison-Shopping a Snap for Everyone

Posted by Rob Rich on August 17th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

It's been done with with many iOS devices before. In public, no less. Pretty much everyone has done it, but there's no shame in it. I am, of course, referring to using an iPhone/Pad's wifi (or 3G) capabilities to look up an item's price online while still in the store. Maybe it's to check for a better price or even to see if it can be "flipped" for a decent profit, but no matter the reason people do it all the time. Now TechCruch has pointed out a new app that makes the process super easy.

Amazon Student, along with a few other Amazon apps, enables users to do all that and more. A quick scan of a barcode is all it takes, really. The idea is that it makes looking for a good price on textbooks easy, but it works on just about everything sold en-masse in a retail environment. The big difference here is that it also allows users to scan their own items to sell on Amazon if they're eligible for trade-in. Just scan it, and if it's a "yes" then Amazon will pay for shipping and send out a gift card.

I think the word "neat" pretty much covers it.

[via TechCrunch]

Amazon Launches Price Check App Just In Time for Black Friday

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on November 24th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

The holiday shopping season is an incredibly stressful time. You find what you think is the perfect gift, but it seems a little expensive and you start to wonder if you couldn't find it cheaper somewhere else. Of course, if you walk away now you may find out that the price is no better at other stores or, even worse, by the time you decide to buy everyone is sold out of the product you want. Amazon is trying to alleviate your fears at least a little by launching the new Price Check app, which should go a long way in helping shoppers find the best deals.

Price Check allows users to scan a product's barcode with their iPhone, or even take a picture of the item in question or say or type its name into Amazon's database. The app then scours the Amazon Marketplace to find the item in question and provide a price list. If the online price is better than what you can find in-store then you can buy the item with one click and then go on your merry way.

The app is constantly being updated, but Amazon promises that there are already "millions of products" in the database so hopefully you should be able to find what you're looking for. All searches are automatically sorted with the lowest prices at the top, as well as information on shipping costs or if the product qualifies for free shipping. Is it handy? You bet it is.

Apps like these also force physical stores to be very upfront and honest about their prices. While department stores may claim that sweater or camera is "on sale," a quick perusal of Price Check will let you know if the price being offered is truly a good deal or if the store is just deflating the price of an outrageous markup. For the informed shopper, the power is now in your hands.

[via TechCrunch]