24 Jul 2024
YLC Picks: five fab shopping apps for expats
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YLC Picks: five fab shopping apps for expats

Tired of queues and snarky checkout clerks? Just want to peruse in peace? YLC’s Kirsten Smart finds that an app a day keeps the shop assistants at bay, so she presents five fab shopping apps to keep your credit card warm and make your life in the city easier.


As we have already established before here on YLC, apps have become part of our everyday life. In one fell swoop of your second little piggy you can now purchase just about anything directly from your phone. You can do your grocery shopping whilst on the loo, buy a pair of shoes in a budget meeting and browse for wedding dresses on a first date. This not only makes life easier, but also minimalizes direct human contact; two things Swedes seem to appreciate most.

So if you haven’t got with the times and bought something from your phone yet, but you’d like tentatively to explore the option, hold on to your hats (and wallets) because the following list will revolutionize your shopping experience:


The ‘Up and comer app’: Creddly

If you enjoy browsing Pinterest for aspirational pictures of gorgeous stuff, but want actually to be able to buy it, or like to share your most recent purchase on Facebook but get grief from your friends who frankly don’t care what you’ve spent your money on – then this newly released app is worth downloading. Bolivian-born Ivan Daza founded the Stockholm-based company, describing the app as virtual browsing, but “real shopping”. With an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use interface, Creddly allows you to like, comment, search for, save and share what you’ve found with friends and followers, making it a social shopping experience. The app also has a barcode feature, so when you’re in a store and spot that perfect French bulldog figurine, you scan the barcode with your phone (providing the store is one of the 100 stores who are in on the Creddly action already) and add it to your wish list. A Facebook for shopping enthusiasts it is jolly good fun and a great (if not unsubtle) way to hint at what you want for your birthday. Oh, and did we mention it is all in English?


The  ‘Expat Go-To App’: Amazon

If you’re an expat in Stockholm, chances are you’ve ordered something from Amazon. From books to pacifiers, you can find just about anything on Amazon. The mobile app is similar to the website and it’s just as user-friendly. There is minimal setup required as the app synchs with the website so your shopping lists and details are automatically transferred. The nifty thing about this app is that you can snap a picture of whatever you so desire and the “Amazon Remembers” feature will do its best to identify and find the product for you.

One downside, though, is that not all retailers deliver to Sweden, so don’t set your heart on that Buddha fountain until you know he can reach you.


The ‘Highly Practical App’: Mathem

If you’re tired of traipsing to the grocery store with your granny wheelie-bag, always choosing the dud trolley with the ADD wheels, having fights with your three-year-old in the candy aisle and getting stuck in the queue behind the guy that pays in coins for his month’s groceries, then this app, my friend, is for you.

As with the website, you can choose from a wide selection of produce, you can save previous purchases in your history and browse for recipes to inspire you. One advantage of utilizing the app instead of via computer is that there’s this handy little feature, which enables you to order more of your favourites by scanning the barcode of whatever you have in your fridge or pantry, putting the fun in functional. There are also often two-for-one deals to take advantage of and, when you’ve ticked off everything on your grocery list and finished funking around with the barcode scanner, all you have to do is select the delivery time that suits you and pay. Your groceries are then delivered straight to your abode. Of course if you’re particular about choosing your own meat or fresh produce, then you’re better off hopping to the shops, but the app is still great for those bulky household items… as well as for those of us who don’t want to be seen trundling through Östermalm with a family value pack of toilet paper.


The ‘Bargain Hunter’s app’: Groupon

Groupon is a favourite worldwide, but is particularly popular here in Sweden. It offers deals of the day in everything from dentist appointments to trips to Turkey (perhaps even dentist appointments for your turkey). It’s fun, easy to use and you really can find some great bargains. The problem comes in when you, who lives in a third floor apartment and suffers from a severe grass allergy, suddenly find that you absolutely, positively cannot live without that bargainous pair of purple gardening gloves…. Simply put, it’s the arbitrageur’s meth.


The ‘Cheat the system app’: Prisjakt (aka Price Spy)

Speaking of bargains, this is award-winning app is all about finding you what you want for less. Addictive in a different way to Groupon (and to meth), you can spend hours fooling around with this app. If you’ve ever um’d and ah’d over a pricey product and wondered if it was sold for less in a different store, then this is the app for you. All you have to do is scan the barcode of the product you’re deliberating over (or enter its name into the search bar) and Prisjakt will reveal to you the prices at which the very same product is being sold in stores near you. You can then compare prices, check out reviews and even look for similar alternatives. You cannot, however, purchase the products online, nor is there a guarantee that the spy will actually find any alternatives to what you scan. But it’s still fun to try!


Happy shopping!


Kirsten Smart

Kirsten blindly followed her husband from South Africa to the land of snow and snus in 2011 and proceeded to procreate. When she isn’t discovering the 101st use of the humble wet wipe, she can be found writing adjective-laden articles for YLC.

Follow Kirsten and Your Living City on Twitter!


  • Philip 18 Jun 2013

    Good one. I totally agree with Amazon being indispensable to expats living in Stockholm. I usually do enjoy the human interaction when shopping, but there are just too many things that are not sold in Sweden.

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