Originally posted on August 9th, 2017 at: https://www.tangerine.ca/forwardthinking/spending/tips-and-apps-to-help-you-shop-savvy
In an age of the sharing community and social media, it's easier than ever to creatively save while you shop. Whether it's consignment shopping, buying secondhand, or using trading apps, you can make purchases without breaking the bank.
Before buying that cute summer dress, why not dig into your own closet first to see what you can sell? That's precisely the concept behind consignment shopping—give a little to get a little. These stores will buy your gently used clothing and accessories, which will put a bit of extra cash in your pocket, or let you shop from their selection at a fraction of retail cost. In most cases, you can get back about 25% of your original purchase price. It's also best to do your research online before taking your goods in, because some of these stores can be very specific with the brands they'll buy.
"They were quite selective. They only took about 2 pairs of shoes and 5 articles of clothing of my 3 full bags," says frequent consignment shopper Annastasia Liu of her experience at a Toronto store. "They'll make an offer based on how much they can resell the items for. Typically I'll get back around 25%. I bought things from their store with my cash back. The quality was good and the prices were great—some still had the price tags on."
Buying secondhand from thrift stores can save you a bundle, and often items are as good as new. Reusing gently used goods and valuing what we already have instead of throwing things away is good for the environment, in addition to our wallets. Shoppers will find anything from 50 cent books to $5 dresses, and anything in between.
"The best thing I ever got was a perfectly fitting $8 dress. Aside from the savings, the real added value is the uniqueness. You'll never find the same thing twice," explains Armida Ascano, who's found a few secondhand gems.
Other trendy money-saving options include trading apps, which take money out of the equation altogether. The concept behind an app such as Bunz is akin to a bartering system, in which you post items you no longer need online and try to trade them for something of equal value.
This method is unique as it doesn't involve any money. For instance, you may trade something as big as a couch for a table, or something as small as bus tokens for dish soap. These apps offer a sense of shared community: users create a forum for conversation, helping one another find what they're in search of. Also, no money changes hands, and with any luck, two people will both walk away with something they need.
Whichever method you chose, we hope these ideas help you stay savvy while you shop!