Making $ with my iPhone review
What is shopkick? I�ll warn you: it seems too good to be true.
Basically, shopkick is an iPhone/Android app that pays you just to walk into stores. You read me right. That�s all there is to it.
There�s a lot of similarity between Shopkick and Checkpoints, another iPhone and Android app that rewards users for scanning items in stores. As I mentioned in my Checkpoints review, the two apps provide a complementary experience, as you can often get credit for scanning additional items in the same store.
Shopkicks awards anywhere between 10 and 100 points for scanning product codes at specific store locations. Similar to Checkpoints, the products tend to rotate on a more or less weekly basis, and unlike Checkpoints once you scan an item you cannot scan it again for some time � although this seems to vary from product to product.Some stores also credit 30-50 kicks for simply walking into the store, which you can repeat on a daily basis. You can also unlock extra walkin-in kicks by looking through a short series of featured items called �lookbooks� �essentially a mini circular ad for the store. Keep in mind that you need to have the Shopkicks app open as you walk into the store, or otherwise you�ll have to walk in and out to get credit � a mistake I made the first time I tried to get credit for walking into a store.The third way to earn kicks is by linking a credit card to your Shopkicks account, and using it to purchase items in qualifying stores. The amount credited varies by store, but you can earn approximately 10 kicks for each dollar spent, which figures to be roughly equivalent to 2% cashback. I haven�t yet taken advantage of this feature so I can�t comment on it directly, and for now I�m more interested in free earning opportunities instead of new ways to save money on purchases. Having said that, I might choose to link my card in the future when faced with a qualifying purchase. Keep in mind also, that kicks earned as part of this program are held in reserve for a period of 30-45 days in case of returns.
Once you accumulate some shopkicks, you can start spending them in the Shopkick reward store. The reward options include electronic gift cards to several national retail businesses, including Macy�s, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Papa John�s, and Gamestop. The denominations for the gift cards vary in amount, starting with 2$ for 500 at Target. Gift card codes are made available instantly in-app, or are sent to you by e-mail. Personally, I�m a little disappointed with the reward selection, as I do not regularly shop at any of the stores with available rewards. Having said that, I�m sure that most of you will find something of interest among these options, and overall I�d rate Shopkicks reasonably highly in terms of their reward system.One of the things that impressed me about the Shopkicks app is how quickly and easily the software recognizes product barcodes using the phone�s camera. Despite the poor lighting conditions that often accounted for serious shadows or glare � not to mention the poor quality of the 3 megapixel camera on my old iPhone 3GS � the app recognized barcodes extremely quickly. The app also managed to cope well with the diminished cellular signal inside of cavernous retail buildings � even though I got an occasional �lost signal� I was able to scan items and receive points almost instantly.
TIP: If you want to buy that lacy frou-frou bralette from Aerie, put it back and try to forget about it. If you dream about it all night and wake up still drooling, then go back and buy it. You�ll get more kicks that way. But, chances are, you�ll forget about it. And then, in the shopkick game of shopper vs. retailer, you�re really the one that wins!
SUPER TIP: �Like� shopkick on Facebook if you want a heads up on ways to earn extra kicks! Today was 180 Walk-in Kicks Day at Target! Tomorrow, it�s 200 Walk-in Kicks Day at Crate & Barrel! Yay!
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