Apps Take the Labor Out of Labor Day Deals

Holiday Tips & News, Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance
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Retailers commonly host sales on holidays, but that leaves you torn between two choices: relaxing on your day off or bargain hunting.

But don’t fret — you can do both. Here’s how to fit in discount shopping over Labor Day weekend with minimal effort and the help of a few smartphone apps. All are available for iOS and Android.

Find a deal

We tested ShopSavvy by scanning the barcode on a book. Here are the price results.

We tested ShopSavvy by scanning the bar code on a book. Here are the price results.

Labor Day is filled with discounts on everything from apparel to electronics, but you’ll need to know where to find the deals.

Enter ShopSavvy, a free price comparison app. Scan a bar code or search for a product by name to compare prices across an assortment of retailers.

Armed with this knowledge, choose the best place to buy. Or, if you find a lower price elsewhere, show the proof to ask for a price match.

BuyVia is a similar shopping app that also features bar code scanning so you can quickly compare prices.

Apply a coupon

During some sale periods, you can bring prices down with a coupon. But you’ve probably been there — standing in line, two people away from the register, when you realize you forgot the mailer coupon at home.

Don’t worry — in most cases, if you have the proper app, you just need your smartphone. The Coupons App, RetailMeNot and Coupons.com all offer free apps. These can keep you up to date with deal news from top retailers, including coupons, weekly ads and more.

Or, download free store-specific apps before you hit the mall. Department stores like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Kohl’s compile current offers in their respective apps.

Earn cash back

You can also maximize your Labor Day shopping with cash back. With some cash-back websites such as Ebates and BeFrugal (along with their accompanying apps) you can earn money back when you shop.

You’ll have to sign up for an account, then click through to a retailer’s website from the cash-back portal. If there’s an offer at the store you’re shopping at, you could get a portion of your purchase price back.

Cash-back websites can earn you money when you shop online, but Ebates says it’ll also pay you cash back at certain brick-and-mortar retailers if you add a credit or debit card to your member profile and link available in-store offers.

Get a refund

Wal-Mart's Savings Catcher.

Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher.

Finally, set yourself up to reap additional savings after your Labor Day holiday purchases.

Earny is an app that allows you to score potential refunds at certain retailers. Sign in with the email you use for shopping so Earny can detect receipts in your inbox and check for price drops. Earny says it will claim the difference on your behalf and notify you of refunds. The app is free, but it’ll charge 25% of any refund you get.

Another option is Wal-Mart’s app and its Savings Catcher service, which do post-purchase price comparisons for you. Scan a Wal-Mart receipt, and Wal-Mart will search for competitor prices on identical items. If a retailer in the area had a lower advertised price, you’ll get the difference refunded via an e-gift card.

This Labor Day, let your phone handle the hard work.

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