How to Save Money on Clothes with This Chrome Shopping Extension

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 deposit.

Buying used, whether for yourself or for others, is a great alternative. Not only does this save a lot of money, but it reduces waste and keep products out of landfills. Now there’s a browser plug-in from thrift store retailer Beni that turns any product search into a digital thrift store outlet.

How to Use Beni’s Second-Hand Shopping Browser Extension

First, it’s time to de-stigmatize second-hand buying, and that includes buying gifts. Reducing waste and packaging makes buying second-hand (or circular buying, as it’s called) a more forward-thinking alternative to new products. When it comes to many items, including electronics and clothing, buying gently used items can be huge value with little downside.

Since 2020, online resale fashion in the United States has increased by 20% and is expected to reach $67 billion by 2025. Beni is taking advantage of this trend.

Also: The 5 Best Online Thrift Store Apps for Clothing

The plugin works by offering second-hand alternatives to your online shopping searches. It directs users to the same or similar products on resale marketplaces such as 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 second-hand items that offer better value and a smaller environmental footprint.

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

One thing to note, be sure to read the privacy implications and adjust your plugin settings accordingly. To function properly, Beni must be able to read and modify all your data on websites. There’s also an option to allow it in incognito mode, although we wouldn’t recommend this for any plugin, as Google Chrome won’t be able to stop extensions from saving your browser history. Leave this option disabled.

This is the easy part… just shop like you normally do. To use Beni, simply browse your favorite retail websites (i.e. Nordstrom) and find the products you would like to purchase for yourself or others. 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.

Alright, so you have your product in sight. Now just click on the Beni browser extension and instantly see a curated list of second-hand alternatives from over 25 reselling platforms. You will see specific used items for sale that match the product on the big brand page.

That’s it! Simply switch to the used item, check the description and, if the price and condition are right for you, go for 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 tailor the plugin to your exact specifications, making it even easier to find popular second-hand markets.

Finally, you can sort by price, ensuring you get the best deal on awesome clothes while keeping goods out of landfills and avoiding adding new soft goods to the obsolescence chain.

FAQs

Is Beni available for all browsers?

Not at this time. Currently, Beni is only available for Chrome. The plugin has just been launched, so it’s a safe bet that its availability and compatibility will increase.

Are there other sites, apps or plugins that can help me buy used?

Absolutely! Check Depop and Asos market. And Ebay is still great for all sorts of things, including electronics and gadgets, which have a much longer lifespan in many cases than you might expect. For local alternatives, try Craigslist, OfferUpand local Facebook groups offering second-hand goods for free or for purchase.

What’s so great about buying used?

The fashion industry produces a huge amount of waste (not to mention its frequency horrible work practices). Buying new fuels a cycle of production and consumption that uses vast resources for consumables that usually end up in landfill.

On top of that, the culture is changing. With 93% of US buyers are willing to buy used (up from 45% in 2016), the fashion resale industry has become more popular. Shoppers now have access to a growing number of resale options, including brand-owned resale offers.

About Renee Williams

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