Eight Apps That Will Make You Go Broke
The days when the only things you'd purchase on your phone were e-books and bulk toilet paper are long gone. Now you can tap to buy everything from a yacht in Croatia to a 1940s American Expressionist painting. In fact, buying big-ticket items has become so easy it's almost dangerous. Here are eight slick apps that make spending boatloads of money shockingly simple; we recommend that you download them—but when it comes to drunk shopping, let the tapper beware.
1stdibs is essentially a hub giving shoppers access to dozens of dealers offering vintage furniture, jewelry, art, and, importantly, watches, ranging from the inexpensive tchotchke to the $100,000 Patek Philippe. The newly launched app has a beautifully simple interface and lets buyers browse by theme, type of object, or creator. It'll also direct you to objects in stores near you. Just a few taps turns you from a casual onlooker to a burgeoning collector.
When your legacy carrier apps lock up, don't worry, just call a private jet. The app itself feels familiar, letting you select your starting location, your destination, and when you want to leave before displaying your options in an organized list. Plus, unlike a lot of jet services that are limited to small fleets, JetSmarter has more than 3,000 registered planes in its database, so whether you want to book an unused leg on an empty jet or create a custom itinerary for your Gulfstream ($100,000+), you're covered. It's like hailing a taxi. Except it's a jet.
The Real Real
Luxury flash-sale consignment is a mouthful of a concept, but you can ignore it and focus on the goods with the Real Real. All you need to know is that verified Hermès Birkin bags, Tom Ford suits, and Cartier jewelry will appear for a few days at prices meant to encourage impulse buying—$9,000 for an oversized Birkin? OK, fine.
SPG Starwood Hotels & Resorts
During a cold walk home from your local bar in the middle of a slushy New York City winter, a trip to Hawaii sounds like the perfect fix. Just pull out your phone, open SPG, and the $3,675 Bali Hai Signature Suite at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai is right there waiting to be booked. You don't have to go full-on royal honeymoon, though, Starwood's entire global hotel network is all available through one app, and there's a full gallery of photos and detailed service descriptions for each property.
Berry Bros. Wine & Spirits
Ordering magnums of Château Margaux ($13,240 for a case of six) has always been such a hassle, hasn't it? While Berry Brothers & Rudd's app can sometimes offer a little too much information and looks a little antiquated, it lets you check scores on different vintages, order futures years in advance, and have bottles delivered right away. Now comes the hard part: one case or two?
The Netbook / Mr. Porter
Leave it to Net-a-Porter to turn furtive smartphone shopping into a social experience. The Netbook is an invite-only community that lets you share, suggest, and indulge in some retail therapy. Sadly it's limited to women's clothing, but the Mr. Porter app is a more than sufficient backup for now and lets you admire that $9,400 Berluti suede field jacket from every possible angle (except on your body ... that requires one more tap and a little patience).
Get My Boat
OK, the name's a little on the nose here. You select the type of boat you're interested in renting, from a $15-per-hour canoe to a $5,000-per-day mega yacht, browse a map for available vessels, and book your charters. The boats are rented through their owners and are not owned by Get My Boat, so the selection is constantly changing. Think Airbnb, but with fewer futons.
Your black turtleneck collection might be below average, but that's no reason to stay out of the art market. Lofty makes sure you're getting exactly what you think you're getting, whether it's a print from someone you've never heard of or an original $25,000 Christopher Wool that you'd expect to find at Christie's. You'd better start freeing up some wall space, since Lofty's endless scrolling keeps the art coming and coming.
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that JetSmarter allows members to book single seats on private jets, a service the app does not provide.