Creating a registry? You can add on a videography package from Evoke Media
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For big events like weddings, gift registries can make life easier for buyers and recipients alike. But it can be difficult to make a registry that has everything you want at the best price in one location.
Now, a site called Myregistry.com is seeking to simplify the process with a new application that lets gift-seekers use their iPhone to scan any item their heart desires and add it to a single online registry.
To get started, I opened a free account on Myregistry.com and downloaded the accompanying $1.99 app onto my iPhone. A free version of the app is available, but it limits the number of items you can scan.
Logging onto the Web site, I was able to sync registries I’d already created at other stores that partner with the site, such as Crate & Barrel and Target. I tried merging a list I created at Crate & Barrel and found it to be an easy process. However, Myregistry.com only partners with five sites currently, and some popular stores like Macy’s aren’t yet available. Myregistry.com says it plans to add more partners soon.
To add items from online stores that don’t yet partner with the site, I installed a button on my Web browser. Whenever I saw an item I liked in an online store, I clicked the button and it transferred the items to my list. I added a vase from Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods, as well as a set of measuring cups shaped like Russian nesting dolls from Modcloth.com. I would never have been able to add these gifts otherwise since neither site offers a gift registry.
Once I’d completed my online shopping, it was time to browse some real stores. I headed to the mall.
I used my iPhone camera to photograph the barcodes of items I wanted to add to my list. In theory, the app would pull up a description of the product from its database and offer me a list of online stores that sell the item, along with prices.
However, I ran into problems right away. Barcodes that were too small or not well lit stumped the app. Other barcodes simply weren’t recognized by the app – including those at a Williams-Sonoma store, even though a registry from Williams-Sonoma could be synced online.
I was also disappointed that items at some popular stores, such as Baby Gap, weren’t available in Myregistry.com’s database. The company says it will reach out to the stores to make sure their items are available in the database.
Still, I loved the comparison shopping portion of the app. When I scanned a video phone that was listed at $40 or more in some stores, the app alerted me that it was also available at Amazon.com for $26. This could save your guests some money.
Myregistry.com also let me request cash gifts, which can be paid through a PayPal account. Asking for cash can be tacky, but I had the option of adding a photo and description of what the cash will be used for, making the process more appealing. One especially nice example for a baby shower registry was requesting cash to start an education fund.
To buy items from Myregistry.com, guests can go to the site and look up the recipient by name. The site works much like a normal online registry, except once guests select the gift they want to purchase, they are then directed off Myregistry.com’s site to complete the transaction.
The process isn’t quite as seamless for buyers as it is on most ordinary online registries. Once the guest has purchased an item, they often have to click a button in the pop-up window to alert the recipient that someone has bought the item. If the guest forgets to click this button, the recipient won’t know that the item has been purchased, which could result in duplicate gifts.
Is Myregistry.com worth it? It’s hard to argue with something that costs only $1.99. I liked being able to add items from many stores and automatically compare prices to find the best deal.
But the faulty barcode scanning was frustrating and the guest checkout could create a few problems. If those are improved, it could be a great wedding registry.
Write to Jennifer Valentino-DeVries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Filled Under : Wedding