Treasure-tiques App Makes Thrift Shopping Smart

Santa Ynez Valley’s Gail Gower Creates Digital Tool for Antiques and More

Treasure-tiques, a newly developed app for the iPhone, is making it easy and efficient to hunt for new treasures and keep track of the ones you already have. Boasting an inventory tracker, price checker, MapQuest, Craigslist, and a yard-sale finder all in one, Treasure-tiques helps both buyers and vendors make the most of their antiquing experience. Creator Gail Gower, a Santa Ynez resident who’s been a thrift shop enthusiast since the ’60s, first got the idea for the app in late 2009 after noticing a boom in her own resale business following the recession.

“A lot more people are shopping at thrift shops and Goodwills nowadays,” said Gower recently. With Treasure-tiques, users can find sales in their area, get directions, and price check the available items, or they can enter a description and photo, and Treasure-tiques will search eBay for its estimated value. “Vendors mark up prices,” explained Gower, “so I can bring up eBay and find out if he’s overcharging or not.”

She created Treasure-tiques with vendors in mind, too. As a storeowner in a Solvang antique mall, Gower is well aware of how time-consuming it can be to keep track of inventory, especially one-of-a-kind trinkets. “I would have this big binder, and I would have to write down what I bought an item for, sold it for, when I sold it, and so on,” she said. “My thought was, everyone has a phone. If I have my phone with me, I can always look an item up, say if the price tag falls off and I need to know its value.”

It’s not just for professionals, either. “A lot of people who don’t have jobs started looking for a way to supplement their income,” said Gower. “People who sell their own personal things at garage sales need to keep track of inventory, too.” After users input data about a specific item, the app stores it in their master inventory, which can then be accessed on their app, email, or even as an Excel spreadsheet.

Gower believes Treasure-tiques is the first app of its kind. “The whole idea was to make it easier to keep track of purchases and sales and to make them available to you at all times,” she said.


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