By David Dorf-Oracle on Dec 10, 2008
The other day, just as I was leaving for a flight as it were, our washing machine died. Its about 10 years old so its not worth repairing, especially when we can get a more efficient front-loading model. So I did some research, found the best model in our price range, and found it on sale at Best Buy. But when my wife went to purchase it, they were out of stock. With three kids we could not go without a washer for three weeks so I asked my wife to try Home Depot and see if they would price match. It worked!
Price matching has gotten easier with the Web, and with smart phones it will get easier still. I recently read an interesting posting called Keep Your Barcode Scanner off My Merchandise over at AppsLab. The ShopSavvy mobile application discussed allows users to scan or enter the UPC of an item and get product information and price comparisons. Imagine scanning an item, showing the manager his competitors prices, and getting the price match. It couldn't be easier.
So I downloaded Snappr.Net, an iPhone application that does basically the same thing. Although I didn't have much luck with using the camera as barcode scanner, the rest of the application seemed to work well. Finally the in-store consumers may get to enjoy the rich information available on the Web. And of course retailers need to much more aware of their competition.