February 3, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Pros: Advises users about the best prices and times to purchase new items
Cons: Price comparison has limited number of retailers, not always available
When I buy electronics, I like to scan the barcode to price check, do a search for customer and industry reviews of the product, and ask around to see if anyone else has experience with that particular item. Decide.com adds another step to that decision process by determining if you should buy now or wait.
Decide offers all of the functions that I previously mentioned in one app. Users can scan a product barcode in stores and see if there are better prices available nearby or online. But it also provides a quick note about whether you should buy at all today. The app predicts whether prices are likely to fall given a product’s age or sale history, so it might tell you to wait. However, you might be in the midst of sale right now, so the app is just as likely to give the thumbs-up sign and make a purchase now.
Price is not the sole reason to buy a product, and Decide helps make an informed decision. On each product result page, surprisingly informative users reviews are pulled in from BestBuy.com. There’s an average 1 to 5 star rating displayed and technical specs on gadgets to help make a decision. And if you’re frustrated that a new model is announced just after you purchase, there are cautionary warnings that a product refresh with better specs might be on the way.
Once you’ve settled on a product, Decide lists how much it costs at several online retailers (tax and shipping included). Shoppers looking for instant gratification can also get a price comparison of nearby retailers, along with distance or directions from your current location. This is sadly one area that Decide falls well short of ShopSavvy. While ShopSavvy was constantly able to track down local retailers who have products I searched for, Decide returned an “Unavailable” list or showed a bias towards Best Buy and Radio Shack.
The Decide application is a useful utility when shopping for electronics, games, Blu-ray, and various accessories. It doesn’t keep pace with other apps when it comes to price comparison, but as for its overall virtues, the app does a great job of helping consumers choose the right kind of product and the right time to purchase it. Android 2.3.7 or higher is required to use this app. If you don’t have that version, borrow a friend’s phone, download Decide, and choose a phone to purchase that has been updated.