online shopping

3 great apps to make your life a little bit easier [Awesome Apps]

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Planta, Plex, and Pretzel app icons
Awesome apps to try All starting with letter P This haiku ends here
Image: Ian Fuchs

Another week has passed, and even more of you have come through with your app recommendations and suggestions! This week, a bit of a grab bag of new apps, new features, and new discoveries. From a shopping app to simplify your life to an excellent replacement to Apple’s infuriating TV app, we’ve got some awesome apps for you. And as always, if you have an awesome app to share, email your suggestion or tweet them to me!

Earn cash back and gift cards with the free Fetch Rewards app

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Fetch Rewards is your free ticket to the luxe life.
Fetch Rewards is your golden ticket to free Apple Gift Cards.
Image: Fetch Rewards

This post on earning cash back and gift cards is brought to you by Fetch Rewards.

Who doesn’t love getting great deals? If you’re into shopping, you probably look for every advantage in your favor. You want low prices, or course, but how about also getting rewards points that give you cash back or let you earn a variety of gift cards for shopping and dining?

If you want your in-person and online shopping to be truly enriching, Fetch Rewards might be the best app for you. After all, it’s not “America’s No. 1 rewards app with over 13 million users” for nothing.

Even better, it’s free. We tell you how it works and how you can benefit from it below.

Plus, there’s an exclusive for Cult of Mac readers: Earn big and get 2,000 points for free! Before we get down to the app, let’s take a moment to share the Cult of Mac referral code, so we can both receive an excellent bonus for your loyalty: CULTOFMAC.

Former Apple retail boss on track to revolutionize tech shopping again

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Ron Johnson when he was with Apple
Ron Johnson, with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at the grand opening of an Apple Store.
Photo: Richard Agullar

In a former life, Ron Johnson changed how people buy Apple products.

The retail chief who helped launch the Apple Store continues to tweak how we shop for our gadgets. Johnson’s Enjoy Technology Inc. brings online device delivery to your front door with a person to help you set it up.

If you haven’t heard of Enjoy Technology, that may change thanks to a new round of investment that will help Johnson’s company reach beyond its 50 markets in the U.S.

Shop online securely this holiday season

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Shopping online can be safer (and less annoying) with Dashlane password manager.
Shopping online can be safer (and less annoying).
Photo: Bruce Mars/Pexels CC

This post is presented by Dashlane.

Christmas season used to mean spending days dashing between stores to rack up presents for loved ones. Now it means buying online from people and companies all over the country, maybe even the planet.

Online shopping is the norm now, so protecting your credit card information involves more than covering the keypad as you enter your PIN at the cashier’s stand. To avoid losing your payment information this shopping season, the best line of defense is a good password manager.

Apple extends return policy for holiday shoppers

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Apple gifts bought now can be returned in January.
Apple gifts bought now can be returned in January.
Photo: Apple

For the next month, you have a lot longer to return items purchased from the online Apple Store.  This is intended to allow shoppers to buy holiday gifts now and not have to worry about returns until January.

Holiday shoppers should also be aware that Apple offers free two-day delivery on items bought through its website.  Returns are always free.

How to get the lowest prices from Amazon

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Amazon plays tricks with pricing, but you can beat the system.
Amazon plays tricks with pricing, but you can beat the system.
Photo: Thoroughly Reviewed/Flickr CC

Shoppers frequent Amazon every day, trusting the site’s algorithms to show the best deals. But a recent Pro Publica report suggests that Amazon is becoming more biased, with its own products and “Fulfilled by Amazon” offerings being prioritized over those from other vendors — even if the other vendors have the cheapest prices.

10 biggest tech shopping myths, busted

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10 Tech Shopping Myths
It's time to debunk these 10 common myths about buying tech gear.
Photo: Jarmoluk/Pixabay

One of the best things about living in the digital age is the ease with which you can compare prices. It’s never been easier to find great deals, especially on technology. But even though finding discounted gadgets is pretty easy, some people still end up overpaying for tech because they’ve put their faith in misguided shopping myths.

If you’re looking to save money and get the most value for your dollar, make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these common misconceptions about buying electronics. Read on to learn more about the biggest tech shopping myths out there, why we believe them, and why those myths are just dead wrong. Our guide busts some Apple-specific myths, as well as some more general misconceptions about how to save money when shopping for gadgets.

Amazon barges into mobile payments ring

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$1 trillion
Pay with Amazon buttons have plenty of ammo given the over 200 million Amazon accounts.
Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon will start taking more advantage of the millions of credit cards it has on file with new “Pay with Amazon” buttons. The expansion to Amazon Payments will allow third-party developers to include these buttons in their mobile apps and have users quickly sign in to process payments. Since all their payment information is already with Amazon, checkout processes should be much speedier without having to reenter everything. It looks like Apple Pay and PayPal need to watch out.

How a grandma with a bum hip sparked a shopping revolution

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Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo: Courtesy of the Aldrich Archive
Jane and Ned Snowball shopping online in 1984. Photo courtesy Aldrich Archive

A 72-year-old grandmother with a broken hip started the revolution with a television remote in her hand. She pointed it at the screen in her living room in 1984 and bought eggs, cornflakes and margarine.

Jane Snowball of Gateshead, England, spent a few pounds and became the first online shopper. In 2013, online shopping generated more than $1.2 trillion worldwide (with the promise of higher figures when 2014 numbers are reported).

Snowball did not use the computer as we know it. She used a device called Videotex, which merged media and business information systems and made them available to “outside correspondents.” She pressed a button on the remote with a phone icon and was able to connect to her local Tesco supermarket with a telephone number. The store received her list and delivered the items to her door.

How my iPhone and Twitter bought me a car

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It's a pretty sweet ride. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The Internet helped me land this Ford Escape. It's pretty sweet ride. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When my 2001 Subaru Forester died on the side of the highway a week or so back, I was not excited about trying to find a replacement.

Buying a car is right up there with heading to the DMV, going to IKEA and attending your ex’s next wedding. It’s depressing. And inevitable. The load of anxiety-ridden, “hurry up and wait” BS that has marred my every interaction with car dealerships both new and used is overwhelming.

So it was with glee that I bypassed all that crap and used my iPhone, email and Twitter to buy myself a new car. Let me explain.

The Vaultskin Lexx Wallet Case For iPhone 5s/5: The Slim And Stylish Solution That Keeps Everything Together [Deals]

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redesign_vault_mainframe5

Some people prefer to keep their phone unfettered with additional functionality. But for the pocket-space-optimizing pros out there…this is a dream come true.

Introducing the new Vaultskin Lexx Wallet Case for iPhone 5/5S. It’s a protective phone case, it’s a wallet, and it’s only $35.99 – including free shipping – during this very limited time offer.

iOS Kicks Android’s Shiny Metal Ass When It Comes To Mobile Shopping

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Apple wins this round.
Apple wins this round.

According to a new report from IBM, the greed consumer-driven shop-fest known as Black Friday.

The report shows a new high for online sales for this 2013 reporting period, as well as a soaring rate of mobile shopping, in which folks used smartphones to browse for deals while people were more likely to complete purchases with tablets.

The most interesting finding, however, was how much more iOS users spent than those on Android. Take that, Google!

Online Shopping Is A Favorite Activity For Many iPad Owners

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Online shopping is the favorite activity of one-third of iPad/tablet owners.
Online shopping is the favorite activity of one-third of iPad/tablet owners.

 

Back in June, we reported on a study that showed that the average iPad user is extremely likely to make a purchase or research a product after seeing an ad on his or her device. A more recent study supports that research and notes that for one-third of iPad/tablet owners, shopping is their favorite tablet-based activity.