Five apps to help with Black Friday shopping

Hayley Tsukayama (c) 2014, The Washington Post. Even the most die-hard retail junkies don’t like to linger for too long on Black Friday. While the experience may be more orderly than the anarchic door-mobbing days of yore, it’s still an experience that’s best when you can get in and out with a limited amount of fuss.

Here are some apps to download before you go shopping to make your Black Friday a smoother and more fruitful operation, both in and out of the stores. One thing to note: generally speaking, these apps require you to tell them your location — so they can find you deals nearby — and access to your camera, for price scanning features.

PriceJump: If you’re shopping on Black Friday, you’re probably a person who really likes deals, and likes to do some comparison shopping. Otherwise, why would you leave all those great Thanksgiving leftovers to go stand in lines? This comparison app, made by, crawls the websites of over 5,000 retailers to give you a great snapshot of what the prices are out there. It scans nearby stores — you can set your own radius up to 20 miles — as well as the price from Amazon, the site most people probably use for comparison shopping. In all searches, you see the best online price, the best local price and the best Amazon price. One caveat: PriceJump doesn’t always factor in all shipping and tax costs, so keep that in mind if the price difference is small. (Free, for iOS devices)

Ebates: The premise of Ebates is pretty simple: you get paid to shop. If you’re going to be in a store anyway, you may as well get something for it, right? Thanks to a partnership with over 1,700 retailers including big names such as Wal-Mart and Sephora, the app will let you earn up to 26 percent when you shop. It does require a free account for the benefits. In addition to the rebate aspect, the app also gives users coupons and other offers to get items on the cheap, plus some tools for price comparisons (Free, for iOS and Android devices)

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Splash Shopper: Making a list? Consider Splash Shopper, which is a pretty good list app any time of the year but is particularly helpful when you’re madly searching for gifts for multiple people. Sit down with this app before you head to the stores to organize your thoughts and get a good handle on what you want to get the most out of the app. On the gift front, the app will suggest items for you (i.e. Barbie or smartphone) with rough prices that you can edit to fit your budget. It will also sync with desktop versions of the app, sold separately, for the truly organized. ($1.99, for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.)

Chameleon: Not only does this app aim to get you deals, it also has the maps of several malls so you can always find the restroom if you need it. Plus, it features user reviews that often tell you where in a store an item is, so you can plot a course to exactly what you want. Chameleon also offers users the chance to collect points — and ultimately some gift cards — by simply walking into a store. The app promises that it’s plugged into stores’ inventories so you’ll know whether the item you want is still in stock or not before you get there. It also includes a new perk for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users this year: a guide to which stores accept Apple Pay. (Free, for iOS devices.)

TGI Black Friday: As you may be able to tell from the name, this time of year is really this app’s time to shine. The app collects as many Black Friday sales ads as it can and pulls them all into one place, so that you don’t risk getting papercuts and smudgy fingers. You can look up deals by category, location and store name. You can also save favorites for reference and pick up some coupons from from within the app. (Free, for iOS and Android devices.)