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Mobile App Review: Shopping on the Fly with PayDragon

PayDragon_-_Thank_YouWhat PayDragon Does

PayDragon is a new mobile app for iPhone and Android that allows users to bypass checkout lines when picking up food at restaurants and food trucks. The company has expanded the application’s offering, adding the Checkout feature.

Checkout allows users to search for groceries and everyday goods, or scan product bar codes to make purchases from their smartphones. Customers receive free two-day shipping, and surprisingly, there is no required minimum purchase.

The app is well designed and easy to use. It’s also free to install.

As you become a more proficient user of the service, you’re rewarded with points. Once you’ve collected enough points to become a Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond member, you earn a 1.5-5% instant discount on orders.

Major perk alert: they carry Trader Joe’s brand items.

I checked out some basic items on PayDragon and compared the pricing to Amazon.com. For peanut butter, Clif bars, toothpaste and laundry detergent the prices were pretty comparable, pre-tax.

PayDragon shows you a total that states, “total includes sales tax and shipping,” which is a tad confusing considering every page has a red banner claiming free two-day shipping. 

What I gleaned from the seeming discrepancy is that there are small shipping charges included, but not like what you would pay for two-day shipping at Amazon, without a Prime account. 

There are, of course, items that you can’t find on PayDragon. I tried to order my Oral B Pulsar toothbrush, for example, and it wasn’t there. I also tried to find basic Peter Pan peanut butter, but they only had the honey-roasted variety.

PayDragon Advantages

One of the big advantages I see with PayDragon, is the fact that most of the items I looked up on Amazon came in bulk. So, the toothpaste I wanted is only available in four-packs.

For some people, I’m sure this is great– especially if you’re paying hefty shipping charges relative to the cost of the item. But for me, bulk purchasing is annoying. I have a small studio apartment and zero inventory space. 

I have a friend who thinks I’m nuts for waiting until I put the last toilet paper roll on the holder before buying another big, multi-roll package. He has back-ups of everything. He also has a big bathroom closet stocked with them.

(Side note: I would use this abundance of storage space for toiletries that are in, what I call, part-time use: scented lotion that I almost never put on, wrinkle cream that I have used a few times but save because it’s travel-size, etc. So, to be fair, an argument could be made that my proposed use of space would be equally wasteful.) 

Back to the matter at hand: PayDragon’s new Checkout feature.

The best features, for me, are the bar code scanner and the fact that you can make purchases anywhere. The scanner function allows you, in one step, to find what you’re looking for. I have often painstakingly keyed items into the Google search bar, trying to find the exact size, color, or flavor of a consumer product.

PayDragon_-_Scan_NutellaOpportunities for PayDragon

And here’s where I think PayDragon can really zero in: baby goods and beauty products.

Women with infants rarely have time or energy to make multiple shopping trips. When they do go to the store, it’s likely a quick trip to the grocery store. So, to be able to scan the bar code of a trusted or well-liked product, purchase it, and have it delivered in two days would make life easier. 

Beauty and health products, unless they are really high end, are something I don’t browse around for at the store. I like a certain product and I pretty much buy the same thing every time.

So it would be easy for me if, when I’m running low on face wash, I could just scan my almost-empty bottle and have a new one coming. That’s the just-in-time kind of procurement those of us with no inventory space need!

Other Reviews

The iTunes app store had a few consumer reviews that caught my eye, mostly because they alerted me to ways others are making use of PayDragon. One reviewer said he scanned the barcodes on his office supplies to have them shipped to his office. Brilliant! If you’ve tried carrying a couple reams of printing paper and printer ink and binders, you know why this strikes me as a good use of the mobile app.

Another user complained that not enough name-brand household products are available: the same issue I mentioned regarding my toothbrush. Hopefully, PayDragon will expand the product offerings as more people begin to use the app.

Have you used this app, or any others like it? Check it out and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.


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