Mike's NBC-TV stories

Barcode scanner shopping apps for Black Friday and beyond

We all know retailers use barcodes to move shoppers through the checkout quickly, but shoppers also can use them to find the best deals on Black Friday and beyond.

All it takes is your smartphone’s camera – along with one of the following apps – and you’ll be virtually guaranteed to find the best deal.

BuyVia compares prices at national and local outlets, even online sites like Amazon, to find the best deal. Set up the app and you get alerts for products when they go on sale – even help in finding them at the closest physical location. The app is free for Android and iOS and works with Apple Watch.

Purchx is a great app for not only finding great deals, but also reading reviews. Use the Purchx barcode scanning feature and get a list of reviews about just about any given product. It also returns a list of the best online and in-store prices, as well comparable products for consideration. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Quick Scan finds the best prices, along with inventory status, coupons, and even the ability to create shopping lists. Like the other apps, all it takes is a quick scan of a product’s barcode to open a world of information about where to find the product quickly and at the lowest possible cost. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.