How to save money on clothes with this Chrome shopping extension

beni

Screenshot by Greg Nichols

Get ready, the holidays are upon us again. For many, that means wincing at the wad of cash you’re about to drop.

Buying used, either for yourself or others, is a great alternative. Not only does it save a ton of money, it also reduces waste and keeps products out of landfills. Now there is a browser plug-in from the thrift retailer Beni that turns every product search into a digital thrift store trip.

How to use Beni’s thrift shopping browser extension

First things first, it’s time to destigmatize buying used stuff, and that includes buying gifts. Reducing waste and packaging makes second-hand purchases (or circular shopping as it’s known) a more forward-thinking alternative to new products. When it comes to many items, including electronics and clothing, buying lightly used items can have tremendous value with little downside.

Since 2020, online fashion resale in the US has grown 20% and is expected to reach $67 billion by 2025. Beni uses this trend.

Likewise: 5 Best Online Clothing Saving Apps

The plugin works by offering second-hand alternatives to your online shopping searches. It redirects users to the same or similar products on resale marketplaces like The RealReal, Rent the Runway, Vestiaire Collective, eBay, Kidizen and others. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for users to find and buy used items that offer better value and a smaller environmental footprint.

Get the plugin here. The plugin is currently only available for Chrome, so users of other browsers are currently out of luck. Once you have the plugin, pin it for easy one-click access.

One thing to keep in mind, be sure to read the privacy implications and adjust your plugin settings accordingly. To work properly, Beni needs to be able to read and change all your data on websites. There is an option to also allow it in incognito mode, although we do not recommend this for any plugin as Google Chrome cannot prevent extensions from recording your browsing history. Leave this option disabled.

That’s the easy part… just shop like you normally do. To use Beni, simply browse your favorite retail websites (e.g. Nordstrom) and find products to buy for yourself or others. In order for the plugin to work properly, it is important to click on the product page of a specific item. Beni works with a variety of major retailers including Patagonia, Nordstrom, Madewell and over 600 others.

Okay, so you have your product in mind. Now just click the Beni browser extension and instantly see a curated list of second hand alternatives from 25+ resale platforms. On the main brands page you can see specific used items for sale that match the product.

That’s it! Simply jump over to the used item, look at the description and if the price and condition are right, grab the used alternative.

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Screenshot by Greg Nichols

Beni has some additional features that make it even more powerful. For example, you can filter by size, color, brand, and resale platform. You can also save your favorite items and create your own size profile.

This means you can fine-tune the plugin to your specs, making for even easier searches for popular used marketplaces.

Last but not least, you can sort by price to ensure you get the best deal on great clothes while preventing goods from going to landfill and avoiding introducing new soft goods into the obsolescence chain.

FAQ

Is Beni available for all browsers?

Not at this point. Currently, Beni is only available for Chrome. The plugin has just been launched, so it is sure that its availability and compatibility will increase.

Are there other websites, apps or plugins that can help me with my thrift shopping?

Absolutely! Check out Depop and Asos Marketplace. And Ebay is still great for all sorts of things including electronics and gadgets which in many cases have a much longer lifespan than you might expect. For local alternatives, try Craigslist, OfferUp, and local Facebook groups that offer free or tradeable used goods.

What’s so great about buying used?

The fashion industry produces a tremendous amount of waste (not to mention its often horrific labor practices). Purchasing new products feeds a cycle of production and consumption that depletes enormous resources for consumables that generally end up in landfill.

Also, the culture is changing. With 93% of US shoppers open to secondhand purchases (up from 45% in 2016), the fashion resale industry has grown in popularity. Buyers now have access to a rapidly growing number of resale options, including branded resale offers.

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