Would you say your greatest addiction is your attachment to your smartphone, or of the retail variety? It’s no secret that we’ve been doing everything on our handheld devices for a while, but with the recent tech boom in San Francisco, that attachment has extended beyond selfie-ing and texting to smart (albeit dangerous) shopping opportunities. With so many apps and downloads popping up on the daily, it can be trying keeping track of not only updates, but also weeding out the true gems. To save you both battery life and bargains, here’s a quick rundown of popular Silicon Valley shopping apps with the potential to make your next purchase cheaper, quicker and more efficient.
Once you download Shopkick app, you’ll earn points and rewards solely for walking into stores affiliated with this Bay Area based company, and even more when you purchase from them. Points and rewards can either be cashed in for gift cards or merchandise, so there’s no reason not to give it a try. Further convenience, if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, comes in the form of this app’s push notifications, alerting you to deals and promotions offered by nearby partner retailers based on your current location.
Availability: iPhone and Android
Yes, your prayers have been answered. Wash.io takes the hassle out of your GTL, offering you the option to select pickup and drop-off times for a Wash.io “ninja” to grab your favorite sundress and return it to you in time for Dolores the next day. The start-up will even pick up the clothes you want to donate and drop them off at a charity. Philanthropy and convenience at the press of a button. Availability: iPhone and Android
Along with showcasing the website’s current inventory, eBay has introduced an “image swatch” feature, allowing users to snap pictures of items and match them to eBay sellers’ merchandise in every color, pattern and style. eBay Fashion is a treasure hunt way to track down apparel or accessories in the year’s hottest color, Marsala, or more often than not, that you didn’t know you needed but can’t live without.
Snapette offers a virtual window into boutique’s inventory and runs off of images added by users, in addition to the business itself. Snapette further stands out by adding a social component where different users can like and comment on each other’s images. What’s the benefit for international shoppers, though? The app allows you to get a quick view of the kinds of merchandise in stores not only in San Francisco, but when traveling to Los Angeles, New York and London. Availability: Androids
Available in multiple cities, including San Francisco, this app is a useful one to have at the ready when shopping AND dining out about the city. Like Groupon 2.0, Scoutmob features any local businesses that run discounts that are available for weeks or months at a time via the app. Open it when you’re in a store to check whether one’s available, and you might just find yourself with the deal of the century.
Availability: iPhone, Android and Blackberry