The Wilderness Explores: A review of the Shopmium App.

Here at the Financial Wilderness we’re always on the looking for new apps, resources or ways of putting a little extra in our pocket.

One of the ways your author picks up some times is via his friend Laura who documents her moneysaving journey at the @ladylaurascrooge account on Instagram – give her a follow as she’s usually full of good ideas!

I was intrigued by a post regarding a new app called Shopmium, partly because it claimed to allow you to save money by shopping, and partly because it was offering free Ben and Jerry’s as a referral launch offer. And if there’s one thing your author loves it’s some ice cream…..

So I downloaded the app and signed up!

How it works

I’d describe it more to a free trial or “try something with a voucher” than a pure “save on shopping” app. Let me explain:

  1. On the app a variety of products are listed. These are accompanied by an offer for a discount or in some cases to try it for free!
  2. You purchase the product at full price at the supermarket.
  3. You then scan the barcode of the product to match it to the offer.
  4. Finally, you take a photo of your receipt to prove you’ve made the purchase.
  5. The money is put in your Shopmium account as cashback, and can subsequently be transferred to your bank account once you hit a threshold.

My experience

Keen to give this a go, I sauntered off to Waitrose and got my Ben and Jerry’s. Hooray!

Then I got home, and tried to scan it. And it didn’t work….. Argh!

I don’t know if I was my somewhat older (I prefer to think of it as mature) phone or the app itself, but I just could not get the camera to focus on the barcode within the required box on the app. It felt like the round and curved nature of the ice cream carton was causing me the issues. I gave it about 10 minutes, and then gave up. D’oh! Not a good start. Unfortunately, there’s no way to manually enter a barcode. (Shopmium people if you’re reading this – please add this feature).

Determined but thirsty, I set off to Tesco to pick up a FuzeTea which was being offered for free. Acquired, scanned and….success! No a problem at all.

So rather a mixed bag trial run on the practical side.

Conclusion

I can see how you would save some money with this and I will keep it on my phone, however can only see myself using it to check if there’s something I’d like to try when going to the supermarket anyhow. The product selection was somewhat limited when I first started using it, but seems to have expanded quite a bit since.

I think the biggest barrier is that some products are unique to certain supermarkets – great if you happen to be going to Sainsbury’s if that’s what you want, but a saving of £1 on some yogurt is unlikely to be enough to get me to make a special trip.

If it grows and can expand it’s product offering substantially, there’s a lot of potential for this to be a really useful moneysaving tool – but it’s still very early days. It’ll either fly or burn, and is at least worth keeping an eye on.

If you’d like to try Shopmium, their website is here and you can use referral code s32tu4. (This also gets you the Ben and Jerry’s – hopefully you have more luck!)

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