Shall I Buy gathers instant feedback for the indecisive shopper in all of us

Shall I Buy gathers instant feedback for the indecisive shopper in all of us

There’s nothing quite as bad as buyer’s remorse when it comes to #firstworldproblems. We’ve seen socially-oriented shopping happen via different outlets and recommendations engines seem to be all the rage right now, so combining the two in order to combat remorse seems to make sense.

Shall I Buy is a new app for the iPhone that aims to end buyer’s remorse by providing an easy way for you to get instant feedback from friends (and complete strangers) about a purchase that you’re considering. Instead of relying on a random message sent out over Facebook or Twitter, Shall I Buy has its own network inside the app, allowing you to pull in recommendations that are then driven to you via push notifications.

Firing up the app, you’re taken to a screen with a menu along the bottom. Your feed, as you might expect, is the incoming stream of items for which people are seeking advice. Explore will let you find people nearby or browse popular items that around Shall I Buy. Share takes you to your camera where you can share a picture or a short video of an item, its price and its location. There’s a News section for new followers and comments and of course your Profile link as well.

Interestingly, though, Shall I Buy doesn’t ignore Twitter and Facebook entirely. When you’re listing a new item you can share a link to the services, which takes the viewer to a page that looks like this:

The app is done simply, taking heavy styling cues from Instagram, but in doing so it’s effective and easy to use. But, I do have two gripes, and both of them have to do with notifications.

First off, by default, you have a LOT of notifications. You’ll get push notifications for comments, thumbs up and down and you’ll also get an email notification of each comment and new followers. Though I understand the idea behind the app is to get information pushed to you quickly, it’s probably worth having an opening screen that will encourage you to set up your notifications before you start using the app.

Secondly I wish that there was a way to configure notifications inside of the app itself. Yes, you can turn them off globally inside the Settings menu of your iPhone, but it would be really handy to be able to configure what ones you do and do not get from inside the app instead of having to go to the website.


Robert Scoble is quoted, in the press information, as saying that Shall I Buy is like “Foodspotting for everything else”, and I think that’s a pretty great summary of what this app does. By giving you instant, frictionless feedback it can help you with those difficult buying decisions.

Best of all, the app is free. Unfortunately, it’s only for iOS at the moment, but perhaps that will change as it gathers more users.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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