Essential Apps For NYC Holiday Shoppers

Holiday Spirits Gift Bundle | Courtesy of Spring
Holiday Spirits Gift Bundle | Courtesy of Spring
Photo of Chelsea Baldwin
8 January 2017

For the first time ever more people are using their mobile devices for shopping than they are desktop computers or tablets. The proliferation of shopping apps has given mobile users a competitive edge with endless resources for price-comparison and coupon codes. However, these apps have now evolved beyond that, offering consumers all kinds of convenient solutions for shopping. With so many options to choose from, we have highlighted the top 10 apps for tech-savvy holiday shoppers in New York.

Holiday Spirits Gift Bundle | Courtesy of Spring


Spring is launching a new feature for the holiday shopping season called Unwrap Spring, a gift tab in the app, which will allow users to discover and buy better gifts. The tab will feature themes like ‘Gifts under $[a certain price point]’ and ‘Home for the Holidays’ to create easy browsing for users with the ability to buy gift bundles for everyone on your list. Users will also have access to holiday pop-up shops right on their phones as well as the ability to purchase custom wrapping paper prints. The best part about the app? There is free shipping on everything.

madhouse Macy’s at Xmas | © Eric Mueller/Flickr


For those who already know exactly what they’re looking for, ShopAdvisor allows users to search for a specific item, or scan its barcode, to add it to their shopping list. The app will then notify the user when the item’s price drops and finds the best deal at a nearby location. Users can also set the price alerts to be notified once the item is under a specific price. You can also use ShopAdvisor to browse magazine editors’ picks and recommendations as well as other items that have been featured in your favorite fashion magazines.

Present | © jayneandd/Flickr


Walking down the streets of NYC, we’ve all seen someone’s outfit and had some serious envy. Now, instead of having to stop someone and ask where he or she got that particular item, you can snap a picture with ASAP54 and it will take you to a website where you can buy that product directly on your phone. The app’s image recognition feature recognizes color and pattern to match users with coveted items. You can also use the app when browsing on social media; take a screenshot of an image you like and get connected to a shop-able product instantly.

Wrapped Christmas Gifts | © m01229/Flickr


While out Christmas shopping, earn rewards just by walking into stores – no purchase necessary. Open shopkick when you walk through the doors and rack up points that can be traded in for gift cards to mass retailers such as Tiffany’s, Target and Starbucks. By using the Favorites section in the app you can also unlock exclusive sales and discounts at the stores you love.

Courtesy of PS Dept.

PS Dept.

Founded by fashion industry veteran, Michelle Goad, and tech guru, Wolf Klinker, PS Dept. allows its users to text in-store experts at over 40 different luxury brands from Stella McCartney to Theory about a specific item request, and personal shoppers will then find the goods in-store for them. Users then receive free shipping and free returns from luxury brands that typically don’t offer it. Manhattan residents can submit their credit card info, purchase the items they like and receive them the same day. If you do not have a specific item request, the in-store experts will also answer your questions about gift ideas for everyone on your list and handpick those items for you.

Grönt är skönt! | © Jonas Nordlund/Flickr

NYC Sample Sales

Featuring Apple’s location awareness technology, NYC Sample Sales app brings users information about current sample sales happening in NYC. While walking down the street, the user is alerted when in a 1-mile range of a sample sale. Now when you’re out holiday shopping in New York, you won’t miss out on any opportunities to score discounted designer goods for everyone on your Christmas list.

Grafton Street Christmas Shopping Dublin | © Ben and Kaz Askins/Flickr


A product of eBay, RedLaser allows you to scan a barcode of any product with your phone’s camera and it will search thousands of online and local brick-and-mortar stores to find you the best deal. It also displays product reviews and users can track products of interest, store loyalty card information, receive notifications of special prices and make purchases right from the app.


For those who are thrifty shoppers or want to be charitable this holiday season there is StuffEx, an app created to help users find places in all five boroughs to buy, repair, sell or donate clothing, furniture and housewares, including high-end and designer items. The app was created by the NYC Department of Sanitation in an effort to reduce waste. Venues are organized in increasing distance from your current location and each venue page includes a description of the store, the types of items you will find there and donation drop-off directions and store hours. Vintage and thrift store enthusiasts will delight in discovering lesser-known shops to visit to score their next unique find.

wrapped gifts under tree | © jimmie/Flickr


The pressure of giving the perfect gift every holiday is a lot to handle. Luckily, Giftster has created a wish list registry for families and large groups so everyone can get exactly what they want. Users can create a group within the app and build gift lists for any occasion, ranking items in order of most wanted and adding in preferred size and color with links to websites. Members of the group can view everyone’s lists and then, once decided on a gift to purchase, members can change the status of any item on someone’s list to ‘purchased’ to avoid duplicate gifts.

Wrapped Gifts Retirement Party 7-8-09 8 | © Steven Depolo/Flickr


The old standby in online coupon codes, RetailMeNot has a special feature that will come in handy when shopping this season. The geo-targeting feature will send alerts about any special deals nearby your current location, so when you are walking around the city, you won’t miss out on any opportunities to save. Aside from this feature, the app is known for giving users the ability to search for online coupon codes to favorite stores, which also comes in handy when making purchases on your phone.

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