New App Helps You Decide Whether to Buy or Walk Out Empty-Handed

Say goodbye to impulse buys.

Smartphone applications are quickly becoming an easy way to judge a product on the spot, and figure out when to walk away if it’s not exactly what you are looking for.

SearchReviews is launching an application today that provides input on the go, by aggregating more than 36 million customer reviews from more than 1,000 sites around the Web.

Reviews come from sites like TripAdvisor, eBay, Sephora, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Zappos and QVC.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based SearchReviews was founded in September by Ankesh Kumar, who has funded the start-up with $350,000 of his own money.

SearchReviews’ applications for the iPhone and Android are launching today.

Both of them work a lot like others in the market.

A consumer scans a product’s barcode, and then receives a list of results. Other apps in the market today from Amazon, Google and eBay are similar, but SearchReviews is hoping to stand out by having the most reviews. The other apps also tend to focus on price comparison.

SearchReviews may be one way to avoid buyer’s remorse, but to be sure, mobile applications like these are disrupting the way traditional retailers have done business for years. As we’ve written in the past, retailers used to be confident that they could close a sale as long as they could get shoppers into the store, and that’s where they focused all of their attention–on customer acquisition. Now consumers have the tools to decide to leave empty-handed.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus