Services & Software

Amazon PriceCheck app: Use it, get a discount

The retailer is offering a 5 percent discount, or up to $5 off, on any item you buy, as long as you use the PriceCheck app to submit in-store prices.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

People who use Amazon's PriceCheck app to compare prices while holiday shopping can score a 5 percent discount this coming Saturday.

Here's how it works:

Amazon's free PriceCheck app lets you look up almost any item to compare the store's price with that of other retailers. You can either scan the product's barcode, snap a picture of it, speak its name, or just simply type its name. In return, the app shows you prices from both online and offline retailers, including of course, Amazon.

The new holiday promotion will start on December 9 at 9 p.m. PT and end on December 10 at 11:59 p.m. Any PriceCheck user shopping in a store at that time automatically qualifies.

After turning on location services for the app on your mobile device, simply find an item in the store that you want to buy. Then click on the app's Submit Price button to send Amazon the store price of that item.

Next, place that item in the app's Amazon shopping cart. You then have to pay for it within 24 hours, though you can buy it through PriceCheck, through other Amazon apps, or through Amazon's Web site. At checkout you'll automatically receive the 5 percent discount (or up to $5 off Amazon's advertised price).

So, what does Amazon get out of this? Besides more business, the retailer can use the store price data through this crowdsourcing approach to make sure its own prices stay competitive.

iOS users can download PriceCheck from Apple's App Store, while Android users can grab it either from Google's Android Market or Amazon's Appstore.

Amazon's PriceCheck is only one of a growing number of apps that help you compare prices on retail items. Amazon's own Flow app, Google Shopper, and RL Classic are just a few that can locate the best deals on products, both online and offline.