RedLaser allows Apple
It's a hot program, and it's only going to get bigger. As of last month, RedLaser had been downloaded 2 million times, with nearly half of those remaining active users. More than 50 million barcodes have been scanned using the app. Now eBay has nixed the application's $1.99 price tag and made it free for all users. It's currently one of the Top 50 most downloaded free apps through Apple's virtual storefront.
There's naturally a reason for eBay's generosity. In its current incarnation, RedLaser relies on comparison-shopping sites, including TheFind.com and Google's
eBay's namesake auction-site application and mobile PayPal program are already hits in the smartphone space, so RedLaser will be one more way to reach out to Web-savvy consumers who are affluent enough to afford high-end wireless devices.
eBay's in a unique position as a third-party marketplace with its own transaction platform, allowing it to make wider bets when it comes to comparison shopping than Amazon.com
RedLaser is a perfect fit for eBay, leaving search engines and other comparison-shopping sites with no choice but to shop around to compete.
Have you ever tried a barcode scanner app? Share your experiences in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user with 177 positive feedbacks to show for it. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.