Christmas shopping: Five apps to help you find the perfect gifts

Christmas shopping can be a mammoth task and with only a couple of weeks left until the big day, if you haven't started it's time to get moving … fast.

Luckily it's much easier these days, as you not only have the internet on your side but apps are also helping you do it from the comfort of your couch.

Amazon offers almost everything, Groupon helps you find a bargain (it's the thought that counts), and notonthehighstreet.com has just launched an app designed to help men find the perfect gift for women by using filters to figure out what she's like.

In all honesty, finding the ultimate present should be as easy as tying your shoelaces, especially with these five apps at your fingertips.

Amazon

The Amazon app is an obvious one, but it's also one that can't be left off the list when it comes to shopping apps.

You can browse and shop by department, which you would expect, but it also lets you compare prices, find deals and read what other people have to say about the product you are looking at.

Once you have found what you want, the app lets you purchase directly and if you are an Amazon customer you will also be able to see your wish lists and existing basket so you can move between devices but still have access to everything you've been looking at.

If that's not enough, you'll also be able to scan a barcode and the app will give you instant information on pricing and availability so you'll know straight away if you need to look elsewhere for the PS4 you desperately need to get hold of.

Groupon

You might not be a fan of sale shopping, but Groupon makes it so easy it would almost be rude not to take the discount when it's right in front of you.

Whether you are looking for a pair of Swarovski element earrings or a romantic weekend getaway, Groupon will more than likely have something for you. In fact, the 50-90 per cent off price has a knack of making you really want something even when you would never have originally considered it.

 

The app lets you buy and redeem deals directly, as well as track purchased vouchers by location and expiration in case you get a bit bargain happy. You'll also be able share any deals you find with your family and friends using Twitter.

Groupon has themed collections for holidays and events so finding something for Christmas should be a piece of cake (not literally).

Download the Groupon app for free from Google Play, iTunesWindows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Gift King

Ladies, you will need to take a back seat here as the Gift King app is notonthehighstreet.com's seasonal app "just for men". Don't be too put out though - it claims to make buying for women much easier so you could end up with an even better present.

Gift King works by asking a few questions about the kind of woman you're buying for, diving into factors like how into her jewellery she is, her love for her home, whether she is all about family and how sentimental she is, along with your budget.

 

You use sliders to answer the questions along the scale and the app will then filter gifts from the notonthehighstreet.com website that it thinks are suitable. It also asks if you need it in time for Christmas, making sure you only see items that will meet the delivery requirement.

Gift King can be used to find quick gifts for family and friends too using the categories on the home page, but trying to decide how sentimental someone is wins on the fun factor.

Download the Gift King app for free from iTunes.

eBay

The eBay app is a bit like Amazon in that it offers almost everything, but you can also sell pretty easily on this app if you need a bit of extra cash.

In terms of buying, you can search through the various categories and bid, buy or make an offer on a product you like. Once you have purchased, you can track your packages and leave feedback, plus the app also lets you save your favourite sellers and searches.

 

When it comes to selling, it doesn't take long to list your item and there is a barcode scanner to find similar items to compare prices or start a new listing so you don't have to do it all yourself.

You'll get alerts when there is activity on products you are selling, or products you are buying so if someone outbids you, it won't take long to get back on top.

Download the eBay app for free from Google Play, iTunesWindows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World.

Thoughtful Gift Finder

The Thoughtful Gift Finder app is another one from notonthehighstreet.com but this time it is designed for everyone to use, not just those buying for women.

It allows you to add events into the app so you can add friends' and family's birthdays, or an anniversary so you never forget any of those special occasions you're supposed to remember. There are also push notifications which you can set to remind you of the events, or special offers and news from the site so you really do have no excuse.

 

Like Gift King, Gift Finder uses sliders to filter through the 60,000 products available on notonthehighstreet.com to find a perfect gift for someone. Where it differs slightly is this app has a broader spectrum of questions such as whether the person you are shopping for is a keen traveller, or a sports lover, or a top chef.

Once you see something you like or think they will like, you can buy it straight from the app, or tag the item to an event if you see a great anniversary present for example.

Download the Gift Finder app for free from iTunes.