There was an article today in the Wall Street Journal about how smartphones are changing shopping patterns. For those of you that haven't used one, phones have a variety of apps that allow you to comparison shop while you are in the store. I have a few of these programs on my phone. They can search for products you find in a store and tell you where else nearby they are available and for how much (by using your phone's GPS and an internet search) or you an take a picture of the barcode to launch the search. You can look up reviews as well to see if you are getting a good product.
I have used these apps for over a year now. At first I felt a little funny taking pics of barcodes in stores, but the more money I saved, well, I got over it. It saves me running around a lot as well. If I find what I want, I have to go to at most two stores to find the best local price (the first one and the second) or I can bookmark it and order it online later. I have even had salespeople willing to deal when they see me using the cell phone, sweetening the pot to get me to buy there similar to what they mention in the story
So do any of you use smartphones to shop? What do you think of those of us who do? Are we simply leveling the playing field with powerful corporations or being total sleazebags taking advantage of our brick and mortar retailers and using them as a free showroom for Amazon?