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Mobile Shopping for Bargains

Fifty-eight percent of smartphone users use their phones in stores to check prices and then buy online.

Shoppers at the mall are skipping the checkout line and buying online instead.

A survey by rewards company Parago found that 58% of smartphone owners use their phones in stores to check prices, then buy later from an online retailer — usually Amazon.

Cost is the key motivator, says Parago. But getting quotes from large e-tailers is just one of the ways you can use your mobile to land a deal.

Smart (phone) strategies

Get a match. Using results from the free comparison-shopping app RedLaser as a bargaining tool, ask for a reduced price.

Should the store balk (and you’re feeling guilty about going online), request a deal sweetener, suggests frugal-living expert Erin Huffstetler — a free accessory for your purchase, for example.

Related: Holiday spending questions answered

Log in to the same store. Promotional apps from big retailers such as CVS and Target offer personalized in-store discounts, says Michelle Madhok, founder of the deal-hunting site

One neat trick she likes to try: If a chain sells a product on its website for less, buy it online — and get it shipped to the store free.

Look beyond price. Stores can offer customer-service perks you can’t get for goods purchased online, such as free maintenance for a bike, software setups for a new tech tool, or a promise of ongoing help.

Does the worth of these extras outweigh the online discount? If so, Huffstetler recommends staying in the store.

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