Gone are the days when shopping for Christmas still comes with a well-stocked wallet and warm clothes He visited the inner cities and hoped that they would find everything there. In the meantime, the brand stores are lining up in these inner cities, which present exactly the goods they can touch, which customers already know from the internet. Purchased from the desk electronically on the computer or just from the sofa via smartphone. At the same time, the smartphone is outnumbering the classic computer: Special apps present the goods very well even on the small displays and the GPS function shows branches near. Apps for used items will also find nearby products, which is very convenient.
Many shops only show their offers to those who register. If you order something, you have to specify your address anyway, that’s the argument. So it seems to be a matter of priority to bother customers with advertising emails.
The unmanageable mass of shops on the Internet, which includes foreign providers, has long since led large providers such as eBay or Amazon to intervene as mediators. On eBay, even the high fees ensure that the business with new goods the auctions of loft finds has long outnumbered the rank. Instead, many shops use the opportunity to sell their goods via eBay. And Amazon also sells its own goods, but also makes its shop system available to other providers. For the customer this has the disadvantage that with each purchase he has to look up who the seller actually is and from where the goods are sent. Because now many things are sent from abroad and not always you get a decent bill with VAT in the hands.
The apps of eBay and Amazon are quite functional and good, but also the most known, which is why we They have omitted at this point and want to point out alternatives that may not yet everyone knows.
Many alternative providers such as Brands4Friends, Westwing and the like understand as a kind of “club” in which you have to register. The basic idea of Brands4Friends is, for example, that the company belonging to eBay combines a large number of orders for individual articles into large bulk orders at significantly reduced prices. So you have to wait a long time and does not always get every item, but also saves on the purchase price – although you should never fail to catch up on comparison prices with other providers. Other vendors specialize in individual sectors, such as Westwing on furnishings or the Zalando Lounge on fashion. Other vendors, such as Houzz, do not see themselves as a club, but rather as a community in which members make themselves available as experts and give each other tips, but here too, goods are sold around the house – modern shopping is no longer just one nicely presented catalog.
With AliExpress, there is now an app for private customers of the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. With her can be found in more than 100 million products comprehensive range of goods from China possibly something suitable. With foreign orders is generally some caution and if necessary to keep the wallet ready: The shipping from outside the EU and especially from Asia can be extremely tedious and the packages must by the customs, which can be levied depending on the order value customs and especially import VAT can go into the money. However, a proper customs declaration is a pure coincidence, especially for consignments from China.
As with real shops, most of them specialize in something and all-encompassing “department stores” like Amazon are rare. There are shops for electronics, fashion, home furnishings and much more.
Monoqi, for example, is a shop that specializes in design articles and sells them in the form of promotions. The app with me a very pretty presentation and appealingly presented articles, which sets the app against loveless jumbled shops other vendors. Also more in the area of special interest belongs with Joidy a special shop for gifts of all kinds, which can be sent on request also packed nicely including greeting card – there even find people with less flowering fantasy an original gift, although its utility value is not always very high is.
Import into the EU
For orders from outside the EU from a value of 22 euros, the import sales tax is due. From 150 euros order value you pay the usually much lower duty. Below 5 euros, the customs does not invoice.
Etsy only specializes in handmade things, making it the right place to go for people looking for individual things. Since Etsy operates globally and has been active in the US for several years, many articles from America can be found here, but now you can also find things from local climes.
Second Hand Market
All up to here mentioned providers operate also normal Webshops and offer the apps usually only, in order to ensure an easier access to the offer. In the used market, however, smartphones can offer real benefits for two reasons: Firstly, the combination of camera and Internet connection ensures that you can set your own perfect articles, because you can also make the right photos without further detours directly in the app of the respective provider , And GPS tracking helps find what you need, find matching items nearby. Because just used things like many do not like to buy unseen and can be sent expensive, but rather first to personally assess and negotiate the price. Of course, this function can also be simulated by manually entering the search location on the computer, which providers such as eBay have been doing classified ads for quite some time, but the smartphone considerably increases comfort.
This principle is taken to extremes by Shpock, a service that was initially available only as a smartphone app and sorts offers strictly according to distance to where they were. Since the app is currently heavily promoted, is now also on this platform a lot going on. Especially clothing is on offer, especially as it can be sold better with photo in the neighborhood. The clothes gyro has specialized exclusively in clothes. Also a special case are used cars, for which there are the usual portals like Mobile or Autoscout24. Autouncle is an example of a smart meta search service that searches all providers in parallel.
Sales Platforms and Shopping Clubs
At Brands4Friends you have to become a member for free, before using the app view current sales promotions. Brands4Friends is just one example of one of the many “shopping clubs” that offer low prices through bulk orders and item purchases. The app is well made and very appealing. Of course one does not always find the desired article and also the evaluations of other portals are missing. You should also compare prices.
Developer: Private Sale GmbH
On eBay and Amazon, goods often come more or less directly from China. Since you can also grab the original and look at the app of the provider AliExpress, a kind of “Chinese Amazon”. If you want to save yourself the vending machine translations in the style of a bad menu, the app is better translated into English and will almost suffocate in the huge offer. AliExpress also helps with payment and tracking. Shipping from China often takes several weeks.
AliExpress Shopping App
Developer: Alibaba.com Singapore Ecommerce Private Limited
Asos (Picture: Screenshot)
Behind Asos is a classic online mail order company for fashion and beauty articles from the UK. Asos is not so special, but the app is good as a good example of how a catalog app should be made: The content can be browsed even if you reveal no personal information, which is often different in the competition. And all the articles are photographed in a very appealing and uniform manner, which ensures good comparability. The design is not overloaded.
Developer: Asos.Com Ltd
Houzz shows quite convincingly that shopping is often not enough. Because the acquisition of furniture and furnishings is almost in the background here, especially it is about photos, articles and discussions around the establishment. Experts from the interior designer to the kitchen studio also offer their services via the app. The products only show the price when you type on it. But overall, the app offers many great ideas and tips about interior design.
Houzz: Living, Interior DesignDeveloper: Houzz Inc.