What to do if you don’t fancy schlepping along Ku’damm in the run-up to Christmas? Three Berlin shopping start-ups claim to make gift buying simple…
Launched in spring of this year, Joidy enables you to send gifts to loved ones over Whatsapp or Facebook. After all, who knows anyone’s IRL address these days? It’s incredibly easy to use – just download it, pick a gift from their online store for one of your contacts, and then send them a virtual message. The offerings, which come from small Berlin firms or unnamed partner designers, start at €5 and lean towards the hipster (wooden toothbrushes, retro watches, beard grooming sets and Steve Jobs Lego figures), though you can also opt for an e-voucher for Flixbus, cleaning service Bookatiger or online sex shop Amorelie. When your friend opens the message, they can then download the digital gift or input their address to receive the physical present. If they’re not totally thrilled, you get your money back. Just make sure they live in Germany, as international shipping is not yet available.
A twist on the likes of Ebay and Etsy, Yeay lets hip brands and independent sellers showcase their goods via short, snappy videos. With bright graphics, bold promos and no lengthy product descriptions (the videos are meant to do the talking), it’s definitely got a young, attention-deficit millennial audience in mind. Since anyone can sell anything, the quality of your options is vastly uneven: from tiger-patterned knitwear from Brooklyn-based designer Greenpoint Girls (€60), to cute ramen-bowl enamel pins from private seller “cuteasbuttons” (€4.35), to an unopened Libertarias DVD in Spanish with Italian subtitles by user Jane, who sadly doesn’t own a DVD player or speak Italian (€5). While the swipe factor proved quite addictive, nothing was sufficiently tempting to make a purchase and the app did have a nasty habit of crashing with so much content to load. Call us old-school, but we’re not convinced yet.
If you want to send a subtle hint to the man in your life that his dad jeans and baggy t-shirts aren’t cutting it anymore, Outfittery is the way. Simply fill in a survey about your shabby homme and then a personal stylist will put together outfit suggestions from their catalogue of brands and designers, including Joop!, Pierre Cardin, Drykorn and Ben Sherman. Prices end up the same as in stores (€20 for t-shirts, button-downs from €40 and jackets from €60), though the intention is of course that you love and order a whole outfit (€200 and up!). It usually takes around five days till the outfit or pieces arrive, but gift vouchers are available for lastminute shoppers.