April 18, 2014

Wanelo: Want, Need, Love

The Wanelo app is available for most smartphones and tablets. However, the app has less features than the actual website.

BY KATE KINI, staff writer

   With all the adorable clothes, accessories and creative gift ideas, everyday essentials come together to create what most girls would call their dream online shopping site—Wanelo. With combined elements from other social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, Wanelo is a user-friendly site that provides shopaholics everywhere with innumerable unique styles and ideas to keep their wish lists overflowing.

   I first discovered Wanelo through the app, which is designed for both Apple and Android devices, but later found that the website has many more features. After making a free account, the website offers to connect users to Facebook to find friends. This is useful in sharing saved items with others.

   “My favorite part about shopping on Wanelo is that you can find all sorts of products that you would not normally find all on one website,” said senior Jessica Moranville.

   Wanelo is a great place to discover unique stores. Following these stores makes it easier to keep up with new products. Instead of categories there are collections, which are the equivalent to boards on Pinterest. Another way to find specific items is to use the search bar. Like Twitter, Wanelo uses the hashtag system to categorize products, making search results more accurate.

   “My favorite part about Wanelo would have to be how cute yet inexpensive everything is,” said junior Kaitlin Kitchens. “The clothes and jewelry are something that would appear to be in a boutique so I assumed they would be expensive, but it’s just the opposite.”

   Profiles allow users to make their own collections of products that they come across on Wanelo and view friends’ collections and profiles. Another useful feature of Wanelo is tagging friends in certain products to share it with them more easily.

   Most items are relatively cheap, especially those from eBay or Amazon; some are from the websites of popular chain stores, like Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters. Usually designer clothes and furniture are the expensive items.

   However, actually buying something from Wanelo is the hard part. The website redirects the user to the source website that is selling the product; in other words, Wanelo does not directly sell anything.

     “I wish Wanelo made it easier to buy the products,” said Moranville. “Currently you get taken to another site to purchase items and some sites also require you to create an account, even just to purchase one item.”

   Although purchasing products through Wanelo can be a hassle, the website has other features that make it more useful than just an online social shopping center. A “Wanelo Save Button” is available to add to any local website that sells products, which helps to promote those products on Wanelo. If users click the “Post to Wanelo” button, which is available for the bookmarks bar on any browser, they can share products from anywhere on the internet on Wanelo.

   “I think people who enjoy cute clothes and accessories but don’t want to spend a lot of money would enjoy this website,” said Kitchens.

   Wanelo is a wonderful website that anyone would enjoy—there are products for boys, as well. My favorite items to view are the T-shirts because they have humorous quotes and phrases from popular shows or movies, like “Mean Girls.” The amount of stylish and original clothes, accessories, and gifts seems limitless on the never-ending products page. However, Wanelo is a very addictive site. I will admit that it took me an hour longer than usual just to write this article because I was logged into Wanelo.

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