iPhone App Sherpa: Save Some “Benjis”

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With online shopping gaining more outlets and users everyday, you'd be a fool to ignore the bevy of great deals that come with shopping on the Web.

However, it’s still a major pain to pay for shipping and wait weeks for it. That’s why so many of us are still packing into Best Buys, Targets, Wal-Marts and local malls on the weekend looking for good deal.

Say “Hello” to a new iPhone app that will help make both your online and real-life shopping experiences more efficient. It's called Save Benjis (which is short for Benjamins, the first name of the man on the $100 bill and a popular hip-hop motif). The app allows you to shop in the real world and check up on all the Internet’s best competing deals for that product.

The site’s creators demonstrate how it works in this video. In it, they shop for a new washing machine, go to Home Depot (Stock Quote: HD) and find the model they want. Then they fire up the app and search using the product number listed on Home Depot’s price tag. Within seconds they get a list of other retailers (online and otherwise) who are selling the product for almost $70 less.

You can then elect to add your new find to your online shopping cart and complete the purchase all on your iPhone or have the specs and details e-mailed to yourself if you feel more comfortable making the purchase from your home computer.

Save Benjis allows users to enter the unique manufacturer’s product ID number, barcode number or ISBN book code for the item they are hoping to buy. This cuts down on typing time and saves you the hassle of searching through similarly named products in inventory for the correct model. Although Save Benjis currently has 15 million listed products, there may be some products not yet available.

You can also read customer reviews from other users who have purchased the product you’re considering. Save Benjis used to be a completely free app, but will now cost you $0.99 to download. That’s the price of success, I suppose.

Save Benjis is trying to be the go-to source for purchasing any item, however it currently shows the best results for searches in the following categories: appliances, baby supplies, books, cameras, car parts, computers, CDs, DVDs, games, tools, toys and TVs.

In a nutshell, this app gives you all the functionality and range of shopping online but also allows you to take it in a store and make the purchase immediately if it’s the best deal.

Save Benjis has been getting several positive reviews in the press. It was featured on CNBC’s On The Money show and The New York Times tech columnist David Pogue selected it as his favorite money-saving iPhone app in March.

Like many iPhone apps, there are some drawbacks and complaints on the most recent vesion. Negative user reviews on iTunes usually point out that there are too many search results returned for an item, making it difficult to sift for the right one. Also, many users are hoping future upgrades include camera integration that would allow them to simply snap a photo of a barcode or product to search.

When not using a mobile device, you can access the functionality utilized for Save Benjis by visiting FinderCheapers.com on your desktop browser.

In conclusion, Save Benjis is a cool simple app with lots of helpful functionality. Although it’s not perfect (prices only update daily, no barcode photosnap), I would still recommend this as a 99-cent download. You’re sure to save significantly more than on your first purchase alone if you bring it along with you on your next trip to the mall.

Summary

Application: Save Benjis

Cost: $0.99

Use: Allows users to comparison shop for products in-store and online at the same time.

Download iPhone App via iTunes.

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