App Review: Shopkick

Today’s post comes from Stephen’s wife, Rebecca, who works alongside Stephen in their full-time FBA business.

We’ve posted in the past about ways to get “free money” to use for sourcing, and I’ve also posted about how I incorporate sourcing into my day-to-day schedule running a household with four kids. Today I want to share an app I’ve been using during my regular sourcing and shopping for the family that is earning us gift cards at popular locations: Shopkick.

shopkick-largeThe basic premise of Shopkick is that you use the app on your smartphone to “walk in” as you enter stores or to scan items within the store, earning points called “Kicks” for every walk-in or scan. Once you’ve accumulated enough Kicks, you can redeem them for gift cards. The gift card options include stores like Target, Starbucks, Old Navy, JCPenney, Macy’s, Lowe’s, and ToysRUs.

Since I do most of the shopping for our family as well as helping with sourcing at stores around town, I’ve found that Shopkick is an easy way to earn rewards doing something that I’m already doing anyway. Different stores participate in different cities, but in our area of town alone (not including other parts of town where we also shop) I can earn Kicks just by walking through the doors of Target, JCPenney, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Kohl’s, Home Depot, or Albertson’s. These are stores where we regularly source or do our family shopping — it takes a matter of seconds to check in as I enter, so why not earn rewards while I’m at it? The rewards can rack up even faster during the before- and after-Christmas clearance shopping when we’re sourcing at retail stores even more than other times of year.

shopkickI’ve found that checking in is the easiest and most time-efficient way to earn points on Shopkick, but I’ve also done a little scanning to earn extra Kicks when I have a minute to spare. Within the app, each participating store has a list of products that you can find and scan to earn Kicks throughout the store. For example, right now at my local Target I could scan a wide variety of items including toilet paper, air mattresses, men’s and women’s clothes, food products, and health and beauty items.

For me the key to making the most of scanning items in Shopkick is to pick only products that earn a high number of Kicks and products that include several items on the same aisle. For instance, yesterday at Target I scanned three different types of toilet paper and three different types of hair care products that each earned a high number of Kicks. I skipped going to find the two clothing items in the list because one was in men’s and one was in women’s, and both of them were relatively low earning.

Stephen also pointed out to me that scanning items for Shopkick could be a way to get you out of your comfort zone in your regular retail sourcing and put you in an area of the store where you’re more likely to notice a good resale item that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. If you always head straight to the toy clearance at every store, scanning Shopkick items on another aisle might help you find a new resale item in the health and beauty category, for example. You never know!

shopkick_app_logoIf you use it strategically, Shopkick could help you earn “free money” while doing something you already do anyway — shopping. You could easily waste a lot of time running around a store searching for items for Shopkick, when you could be focusing your energy doing something more productive and profitable — so be careful. But if you’re already going to a store and you’re already on the aisle scanning other items anyway, it could be worth it to spend a few seconds “walking in” or scanning products to earn some rewards.

To find out more about Shopkick, just click here and download it to your iPhone or Android device. If you follow the above link, you’ll get 50 Kicks just for joining!

Have you used Shopkick? Have you found it to be useful or a distraction?

23 responses to “App Review: Shopkick

  1. Thanks for taking your time out to write a blog to share with myself and others

  2. Today I went sourcing and found some great stuff to resell… I also racked up about 150 kicks just for walking in and scanning a few things!

  3. My wife and I have used the Shopkick app for a couple months now. We love it. Getting free gift cards while we are out shopping anyway is great!

  4. I would love to hear some more opinions on this App. because there are lots of complaints about people not getting their points, the App using a lot of battery with the GPS, not being able to check in at stores, etc.
    Not trying to bash it, just want to hear some more opinions. 😉

    • I’d love to hear some more reviews too! I’ve always gotten my gift cards without any problems, and no worries about battery power either. I’ve only had one issue, and that was not being able to check in to one Best Buy and one rural Walmart, but other than that, It’s worked like a charm for me.

      Anyone else out there like to post a review here? I’d love to read your comments.

  5. Thanks for the tip! I’m downloading it now!

  6. sounds easy enough but what is the intent of the app why are the stores doing this what data are they trying to collect from us is there
    anything we should be concerned about with them tracking your every move?

    • Patrick, the stores use this app to get you in the stores… and once you’re in the stores, to find the special items and scan them. They hope you’ll see the item, and want to buy them. It’s worth it to them and it seems to be working. I don’t think there is any concern about them tracking our data to use against us, rather it is data that should improve our shopping experiences.

  7. I had Shopkick for close to a year and then one day opened it up and my points were gone, completely gone. I believe I tried emailing or contacting some type of customer service, if there was one, and never received a response. I have been hesitant to reload, but may well try it. Just felt like a lot of wasted effort when the points disappeared.

  8. I LOVE Shopkick but there are a few pros and cons. Yes, it drains my phone battery like crazy so I’m sure to keep a phone charger in my car. When I have a few hrs, I will literally plan a Shopkick day just for the purpose of getting kicks! I live in Phx so I’m within 5-6mi from like every one of Shopkicks stores! Kicks recycle pretty quick so I can visit some stores every other day and keep getting pts! Walk in kicks are based on your GPS (which is what kills your battery) so as long as your phone GPS registers you being at a store, it will award kicks. Confession – I sometime drive really slow past the entrance and get my points without even leaving my car…but not all stores are like that. Best buy for instance, I swear my points don’t post unless I’ve been inside for at least 5 min. And there are some stores where I can never get the app to register…namely Macy’s and sometimes Target. Maybe it’s just my location. I’ve never had an issue with my kicks disappearing. I have a couple thousand and I’m saving up for best buy gift cards to buy a new computer so I hope it never happens! Overall, I’m obsessed with the app and if it means a couple extra miles and an hr or 2 out of my day, well that’s better than paying $$ for a new computer…and it’s fun!

    • I have not head any issues with ShopKick eating up my battery, so that is news to me. I use an iPhone 5, so maybe yours is different. I also have had issues with Macy’s and a few other stores, but it’s pretty rare. I almost always get my kicks.

  9. Thank you guys for caring and helping!

  10. I must not be using it right cause I am in Target and Walmart all the time and go by other stores and have yet to get the kicks.

    • Susan,

      Two possibilities why it might not be working that well.

      1. I find that the app works better when my bluetooth is turned on. It still works fine without it, but sometimes it “finds” me faster when bluetooth is on.

      2. Some stores have their “walk in” location saved in the wrong place. Some stores I get my kicks when i’m in the parking lot, and sometimes when I’m in the middle of the store. 95% of the places I go give me kicks when I’m just walking in, but some don’t have their “walk in” location at the correct spot. One walmart I actually got kicks when I was across the street getting gas! lol.

      Hope this helps. It’s annoying when it doesn’t work perfectly, but I’ve seen that 95% of the time, it works great. Hope this helps!

  11. Do you know why they require my microphone on the phone to be active in settings? seems weird they need this.

  12. I LOVE Shopkicks!! I’ve actually funded half my Christmas shopping in the past with gift cards I earned from Shopkicks, and that was before I started Sourcing. I also really like the MPlaces app… It is similar to Shopkicks, but you can grab points just driving by places, or checking into your weather app. It’s not as lucrative as Shopkicks, but free money is free money. 🙂

  13. Seems like a good idea, everything helps when sourcing and shopping for items. it only should take us few seconds to scan an item, I will let everyone know my progress with this app and any issues.

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