Before the pandemic broke out, my friends and I were planning our summer activities. The summer of 2020 was supposed to be perfect; my high school friends and I would all be home from college, and we were eager to go on adventures with the new friends we all made at our respective schools.
Obviously, the rise of COVID-19 forced us to rethink our plans. Although several of our plans had to be canceled, like going to amusement parks or spending a weekend camping, we tried to do activities virtually, including going to a thrift shop.
Through Zoom, some of my high school friends and I could video call and share our screens as we scrolled through thrift and specialty websites and apps.
Our favorite website by far was Etsy. Etsy offers a lot of handcrafted, homemade specialty and vintage items from independent sellers. I was most impressed with the Etsy app.
Using the app, I purchased a sweatshirt, a windbreaker and two necklaces. Every item looked exactly like it had in the photos and was practically perfect. One necklace chipped after about a month, but I suspect that had more to do with me than the seller. I have no complaints about any of the items I received.
Upon opening the app, users can access items they recently marked as favorites, a search bar, recommended items, and tabs that lead to favorite items, updates, the user’s profile and the user’s cart.
One of my favorite functions is the favorites section. Users can save items for the future without adding them to their cart. Unlike items in a cart, these favorites never disappear, even when the item is sold out. The app also offers the option to make different lists, which is especially helpful. I created lists for vintage clothing, gifts, holiday decorations and jewelry. These lists are perfect because the items are easily accessible.
I also love the updates section. The app updates users any time the shops they follow post new listings. The app also updates users whenever their favorite items go on sale, allowing users to get the best deal on every product.
Each item’s description is also easy to read. It includes item details, such as where it is shipping from, if it is handmade, what material it is made of and/or if it is machine washable. The description also shows estimated delivery time and shipping cost. Users can view the shop’s policy or message the seller from this page as well. However, I dislike that sellers can choose not to include this information. It can be frustrating when it is not included, but the option to message the seller can be helpful.
In the past, I have contacted shops to check sizing, if an item is machine washable and other criteria. Almost every seller returned my message within a few hours and answered my questions concisely. One shop even offered me a 20% discount for my interest.
I have no complaints about the app’s interface, and most of the sellers are polite and courteous. Despite some minor downsides, I would recommend this app to anyone interested in purchasing vintage, handcrafted or personalized items from reliable sellers.