7 On Your Side: Does shopping on different devices save money?

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, April 17, 2017
7 On Your Side: Does shopping on different devices save money?
7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Savvy shoppers know comparing prices at different stores will get you the best deal. But did you know online prices for the same thing can vary depending on what device you're using?

7 On Your Side found cheaper prices on the phone versus the laptop, so here are some tricks to save you money.

We compared prices for a weekend getaway to Sin City on Vegas.com, checking on a desktop computer and an iPhone at the same time. Two nights at the Stratosphere Hotel on the strip cost a $596.61 on the computer, but just $535.40 on the mobile device. That's a savings of $61.21. You could spend feeding the slot machines instead.

We also checked Travelocity. The Hooters Casino Hotel in Vegas was $201 per night on the computer, but just $177 on the mobile device, $24 bucks cheaper. And the phone beat the computer for a night in Miami too. We saved $14 a night on Travelocity by booking the Room Mate Lord Balfour via the phone.

Travelocity said the price difference is due to "mobile exclusives," and that sometimes, you'll find a lower price when using your phone.

We also found prices for the same item can be cut on the same website if you change your location. A Toro Lawnmower lists for $399 on Home Depot's website, but when we simply switched our home store location from Orlando to Manhattan, the online price dipped to $374, $25 less for the exact same model.

Home Depot to explained the price disparity by saying, "The online price reflects the price in the store, and that price can vary by region. The prices do not change based on the device the customer is using."

But the prices did change by device when booking vacations. Vegas.com explained that hotels control costs and discounts, and prices depend on device and location.

The big takeaway is that it pays to shop around and compare using both your phone and computer to get the best deal. Also, deleting your "cookies" or browsing history helps because retailers can keep track of what you're looking for and sometimes won't lower the price.

Next, change your search location region and try inputting different zip codes to see if that give you a lower price. Finally, become a member at sites like Travelocity, as a company rep said members sometimes get better deals than non-members.