"Boxed brings the savings of warehouse club right to your mobile device," says Chieh Huang, CEO and founder of Boxed. Membership is free, and Huang says most orders arrive within a day or two. (Free overnight shipping is available in select cities.) "Save your free time for things that really matter," he adds.
Best for: People who love buying in bulk but dislike the hassle of visiting warehouse clubs.
Many of us feel overwhelmed at some point during the holidays, and the app EasilyDo promises to act as a "personal assistant" to help us stay organized and save time. It deletes deal-related emails that have expired from your inbox, files e-receipts for you, tracks packages and lets you know when they've arrived, and makes it easy to store your lists in one place. It also sends you bad weather alerts.
"Most of us shop, travel and party more during the holidays than at any other time of the year," says Mikael Berner, founder and CEO of EasilyDo. "Jumping between airports, malls and holiday get-togethers can make it difficult to stay on top of our lives, and it's easy to miss something we care about when we are overwhelmed by all the little things we haven't had time to do. EasilyDo proactively makes sure you never miss anything."
Best for: Stressed out, overbooked holiday shoppers.
Slice, an app and online tool, collects your purchase and shipping information from online purchases to make it easy to track your shipments, make returns, get price drop alerts (and then assistance on requesting a partial refund from retailers to make up the difference) and alerts if one of your purchases is recalled. Since it collects this information automatically, you don't need to manually enter anything.
"Slice helps consumers effortlessly make sure they get the best price on the gifts they buy with price protection. Most shoppers don't think to monitor the price of an item after they've bought it, but Slice does it for them by automatically alerting them when the price drops, so they can recoup the difference and make sure they get the best deal," explains Thad Hwang, vice president of product for Slice.
Best for: Time-pressed online shoppers who want to make sure they always get the best deal.
8. Scoutfit or Shop It To Me
Instead of constantly monitoring items for potential price drops, ScoutFit tracks items on your shopping list for you and then sends you alerts when they go on sale. The browser button lets users track specific items, and then sends an email when it reaches the shopper's desired price or goes on sale. It also offers recommendations for related or similar products. Shop It To Me, an email service as well as a new app, lets you know when your favorite clothing brands go on sale in your size.
"Scoutfit saves all gift lists in one place, and if things go as expected, Scouters will receive emails every day with price drop alerts so that they can buy all of the items they're shopping for at a sale price. Scoutfit will also provide up-to-date coupon codes while you shop," says Scoutfit's co-founder and vice president of marketing, Lainie Herrera.
Charlie Graham, CEO of Shop It To Me, says his service "makes shopping all of the December sales easy. Put in your favorite brands of clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories, and your individual sizes. We'll track the store sales for you and let you know as soon as your favorite brands go on sale in your size." He adds that using the service also saves you time because you don't have to sort through retailer emails or aimlessly surf the web for sales.
Best for: Online window shoppers who don't want to buy until they know they're getting the lowest price.
Foolproofme.com, an educational website, offers an impulse buying test that calculates just how much impulse purchases can cost a person over his or her lifetime. For example, it reports that shoppers spend $11 or more on average each time they use a credit card instead of cash for small purchases, which can add up to $55,000 over one's lifetime. It also offers videos, articles and tips for staying in control of purchases. "The test allows you to see which areas can get you into trouble," says FoolProof spokesman Remar Sutton. "It gets you to slow down and have some fun online learning about how you waste money," he adds.