Red Laser: My Favorite Smart Phone App!
I am excited to write this post as I am really excited about this application that I downloaded around the beginning of the year for my HTC Desire Android Smart Phone. There was no charge for it and it has already received several updates and saved me over $30! It is the Red Laser app, offered by EBay.
I was first made aware of this application by my son-in-law Nate Lyman (actually he just became my son in law June 24, 2011, but has felt like family for a long time). Nate is a Senior Software Engineer with EBay and, while Red Laser was initially developed by someone else, EBay bought it last year. Nate “wrote the code” for the app and basically created it for Android phones like mine. He also added a lot of new features for both the Android and IPhone versions. I think he’s a genius!
But, back to my love of this app. Shortly after I downloaded it, my husband and I were out shopping for a mount for a new flat screen TV we had received for Christmas. We were shopping at our local Walmart store and found the mount we needed for our 26”TV for $59.95.
That price was a little higher than we had hoped, so I shot it with the app and, low and behold, Red Laser told me that same mount was available from an online provider for $29.95. Needless to say, we headed home and I fired up my computer. Indeed the exact same mount was available from an online source that was very highly rated. In addition, they were offering “Free Shipping” and no sales tax was deducted. Sure, I had to wait an additional three days to actually receive my mount, but it was certainly worth it!
So, how does this relate to camping and RVing you ask? Well, most of the time we try to ensure that we have most of what we need before we leave home. But a few years back, we pulled into our campsite near Salt Lake City, Utah only to discover our cookstove was no longer functional.
Off we went to the nearest store to our campground, a Walmart, which was, of course located in a rather highly developed shopping area with a number of other such stores located nearby. We purchased the replacement stove we needed to make our meals while camping and went on our way. We were not about to visit 5 stores to see if Walmart’s price was the lowest. BUT if we had had the Red Laser app it would only have taken a minute to learn that the Target store across the street was offering the same stove for $5 less! What a great idea!
Now, you might call me a frugal shopper. I refuse to pay full price for anything. If it’s not on sale or I don’t have a coupon, I’m not buying it unless I have to. I even managed to get 20% off the beautiful dress I purchased for my daughter’s wedding! So for me, there are few apps that could be more exciting!
I’ve included a few photos to demonstrate exactly how this app works. When you select the app, a screen will come up with the word “Scan” on the bottom of the screen. You select scan and will be instructed to place the bar code of the item to be scanned within the box that appears on the screen of your phone. Hold it still for a few seconds and Red Laser will quickly and efficiently provide you with a list of locations you may purchase the item and the cost.
In my example, my guys went to the grocery store for some snacks last night. It looks like they did a pretty good job. Red Laser located the item at Kmart for $2.79. As you can see from their receipt from our local grocery store, they paid $2.39 AND, as you can see from the coupon on the package, saved an additional $.55! I’m pretty proud of my smart shoppers! Good job guys!
For another terrific app, check out Woodall’s main site for more camping information, including the new Woodalls app. Currently it is available only for the iPhone, but I have it on good authority that in fall it will also be offered for Android phones! You can now plan your entire trip from your smart phone!