Black Friday Deals: What's the best price tracking app?

7 On Your Side tests out apps that track the price of an item you're looking for and alerts you when there's a good deal.
November 19, 2013 10:57:49 PM PST
You can stretch your budget this holiday season by finding the best deals out there. 7 On Your Side is doing stories all week to get you ready for Black Friday with ways to help you save.

As you put together your wish list, wouldn't it be great to be able to monitor the best prices available for the items on your list. So are you always getting the best price? There are several websites and apps available to help you do that, so we decided to grade them.

Jillian Goodman of Berkeley is on a student budget. She told us, "Price is always a consideration."

Noel Garcia of San Mateo just graduated from college. She says she finds shopping "very stressful because [she is] not making as much as [she] would like to be making."

And Morgan Fiske of Tiburon makes it a habit to keep her eye out for the best prices. She says to her "price is a big deal."

All three of our 7 On Your Side staffers agreed to help us search for the best way to keep tabs of the best prices. DealNews, Hukkster and Nifti track the prices of the items you want to follow and alert you to the best deals available. Sounds good, but how well do they really work? Our three testers find out. On Hukkster, you simply find the items you want to follow and "huck" it.

"Then they'll email you specific notifications when just that product goes on sale," says Goodman.

On Nifti, you can actually track the highs and the lows.

"You can see the items on the website right there with the percent that they've gone down or the percent that some items have even gone up in price," says Fiske.

Garcia likes the way DealNews laid out its website. She says, "DealNews looked very similar to Amazon or eBay on the side where you can choose your preferences and go in-depth of what you're looking for."

So how much did our three really save?

"So using Nifti, the item that I would have saved the most money on is the Vitamix 500 blender which started out at $700 and now it's $599.95," says Fiske.

But Garcia had the exact opposite experience, finding a better deal for a blender on Hukkster over Nifti.

"It was a $98 difference between Hukkster & Nifti," said Garcia.

Goodman scored with a 49-percent-off sale on a pair of boots from Hukkster.

"I would have saved $50 on a pair of boots that I wanted. They were originally $100," said Goodman.

So which site came out on top? With 1 shopping cart being the low and 4 the high, DealNews scored an average of just 1.5 shopping carts. The three agreed DealNews sends them too much irrelevant information.

"I know with DealNews, it flooded my inbox and every day I was deleting 50 emails and keeping two or three that were relevant to what I was looking for," says Goodman.

Nifti and Hukkster ended in a virtual tie with Nifti getting 3 shopping carts from our panelists and Hukkster 3.2 shopping carts. So to break the tie we turned to consumer expert Andrea Woroch.

"Hukkster. It will track price drops, so if a price goes down or if the good goes on sale or coupon becomes available they'll email you or text you," says Woroch.

Congratulations to Hukkster for being our price tracking champ.

On Wednesday we'll take a look at the best door-buster sales on Black Friday.

Here are some resources to help you with your holiday shopping:

Checkout our Black Friday Resource page here.

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