Tag Archives: Sale

3 ways to refresh your wardrobe (without spending any money)

It’s no surprise that we as human beings get bored with our lives every once in awhile. So it should come as no surprise that sometimes we just hate everything in our closet and want to burn it to the ground. Instead of turning to arson, here are a few quick tricks to reviving your wardrobe without spending any money (or doing any jail time).

Decisions, decisions. I may be a pro at this sport, but even I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to toss.

1. Get rid of stuff you don’t wear anymore. It’s important to regularly cleanse your closet of things that are old, don’t fit or are just simply never worn anymore. Once a season usually suffices for this (although I usually do it way more than that because I’m OCD and get bored easily). This is important for two reasons. First, when you begin to accumulate a lot of things, it’s easy for you to forget what you actually have in your closet. Organizing and getting rid of things may help you rediscover those pants you used to wear all the time or that dress you thought you lost. Second, getting rid of the old makes way for any new items you might want to buy later on. If something in your closet hasn’t been worn in over a year, those can be the first to go. Whether you realized it or not, you moved on from these pieces of fashion and they’re doing nothing but collecting dust at the back of your closet, so say your farewells and toss ’em. Also, if there are items in your closet with tags on them that are more than several months old, ask yourself why you haven’t worn them yet. Were they impulse buys you ultimately weren’t happy with and will never wear? If you can return them, get your money back, otherwise toss them on the pile with the others. The easiest (and also the hardest) way to determine if you should part with something is to make sure it still fits. We are all guilty of hanging on to certain favorite clothes with the notion of one day fitting back into them, but they are clogging precious real estate that could be used for things that actually fit. It’s painful, I know- I’ve parted with many a-favorite dresses and shirts that I outgrew or shrank in the dryer (woe is me, I know)- but it must be done. Once you’ve compiled a collection of give-aways, make sure you get rid of them properly (don’t throw them away, like I’ve known some people to do). Give them to a friend, donate them to Goodwill, sell them online. Some stores, like Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor, will even give you cash on the spot for your name brand clothes (which I like to use to buy more clothes, duh). Whatever you decide to do, say a quick goodbye and move on (just think of it like dumping your ex, you don’t want them hanging around forever, so part ways and get the hell out of there).

2. Rearrange your closet. Sometimes we get bored with what we already own simply because we’re tired of looking at it the same way. I’ve found that rearranging the order of my closet can change things up for my style without really having to change anything at all. Maybe you’re one of those people who likes to color-coordinate their closet. Try ROYGBIV-ing, but by type. So, instead of everything being all mashed together, separate your tanks from your tees, your skirts from your shorts, your pants from your dresses. If you don’t color-coordinate, try it. Or simply move things around. If you hang your shirts on the left side of the closet and your pants on the right, try flip-flopping them. Make it easy for yourself to walk in, put together an awesome outfit and walk out- no more of this standing in the closet for 20 minutes staring at everything and sighing, wishing you had all new clothes (which I do about once a day). You’d be surprised how differently you’ll feel with just a simple change.

3. Mix-n-match. The best (and most enjoyable) way to spruce up your wardrobe is to mix things you wouldn’t normally wear together. Get out of that routine of wearing the same shirt with only that one pair of pants. Mix colors and patterns. Take an extra five minutes every day to go through your jewelry box and accessorize (that’s why you bought all that crap anyway, right?). You don’t have to be a fashionista to look good. The most important thing is to have fun with it. After all, that’s what fashion is all about. Well, that, and avoiding nakedness.

And just remember, if none of these things work for you, you have issues and should default to retail therapy immediately.

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Society, Uncategorized

Why I will never use eBay again

eBay sucks.

I used to think eBay was the only way to buy and sell crap on the internet (besides the ever-reliable Craigslist. HAH). And I hated eBay for monopolizing the trade. With all their seller fees (I rarely buy; always selling my shee-at), including the fees they tack on to set a fixed price (who wants to wait for the bidding wars to conclude?), it was basically impossible to make a decent profit. Plus it was just super annoying to have to pay them for doing nothing except letting me post my shit. I’d rather go to Craigslist, a thank you.

But then, one day, one of my friends opened my eyes to an incredible new way to buy and sell. A way that didn’t require me to pay stupid fees just to unload my junk onto someone else. A way that allowed me to break free from the traditional auction-style selling I’d come to hate with eBay.

What was this magical new world?

Yardsellr.

And what an appropriately catchy company name.

I’ll admit, there are still some areas they can improve on, but they remain miniscule areas in the larger picture.

UM, hi. Look how much I’ve racked up in the last few months and half dozen or so items I’ve sold. Thank you.

The fact is, I can post my items, with as many pictures as I want (no fees to add more than one, EBAY), set my price, set a shipping fee, choose how I want to get paid (check or PayPal) and monitor activity on the item. Oh, not to mention I can tweet the item and post to Facebook right from the same screen.

Yardsellr is also very much about convenience. I didn’t have to jump through 20 hoops to enter my account information or sign my life away swearing to adhere to ridiculous guidelines. I simply logged in with my Facebook account and started selling.

The coolest part about this nifty new site is that they don’t charge the seller any fees whatsoever. Did I mention the seller pays nothing? The way they make this possible is by charging the buyer (small) fees and in return, are generous enough to dish out “Photons” (basically, dolla dollas) in exchange for paying buyer fees, which can later be used towards future purchases.

So it’s a win-win for everyone involved, and it’s way simpler and more user-friendly than eBay will ever be.

So there.

I am never going back to eBay again. In fact, I should probably close my account so I can stop getting charged stupid fees every month just for having it active. Unless you want to buy it from me. I hear people will pay a pretty penny for an active, valid eBay account. Just saying.

 

UPDATE: Unfortunately Yardsellr no longer exists (wahhh) but I’ve recently discovered Tradesy as my new go-to for selling the clutter in my closet. Enjoy.

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Filed under Consumerism, Entertainment, yard sale

The pros and cons of Black Friday madness

We’re all guilty of it. Wanting to find that perfect holiday gift for friends and family. Or maybe just finding a great deal for ourselves. Either way, our society is one heavily built on the idea of gift-giving, and we consider shopping something that isn’t necessarily needed for survival, but one that is required to find some pleasure in life. We are a society that feeds off of the latest, greatest gadget or the newest wave of trendy clothes. Everyone has to be one step above their friends. Everyone has to have the best of the best, even if it means spending rent money on the newest iPhone when you already have the one that came out right before it. Most importantly, we like to find good deals. Most of us will feel a tiny pang of guilt when buying something we want, rather than need- except those few who don’t even know the balance of their checking account it’s so high. We contemplate putting it back on the shelf, and we even think about turning it over to the cashier once we get in the check-out line. But in the end, we always swallow our guilt and self-indulge anyway. When there are guaranteed good deals on a variety of material things, it’s hard to turn your back and say “no thanks.” But is the madness and chaos, and the staying up shopping until 8:30 a.m., really worth it in the end? Here are some pros and cons I’ve found over the years of Black Friday shopping.

Most of the insane deals are limited. Stores like Best Buy and Radio Shack usually offer incredible deals on TVs and gaming

"No way." The 12 a.m. insanity at Target was too much for me.

systems for those who arrive right when the store opens, and who are lucky enough to get one of the few available. All I could do was laugh at the line of people waiting to get into Target at midnight. I wanted a really good deal on Weeds season 6- a boxed TV on DVD set for $8? yes please- but there was no way I was stepping foot in that line. By the time I got in, they’d probably be gone anyway, and it just wasn’t worth it. ‘While supplies lasts’ is an issue to begin with, but when combined with the added insanity of shoppers camping out in line, there’s virtually no guarantee you will ever get your hands on those unheard of deals. Unless you commit to popping a tent and sleeping on the ground for a few nights, you won’t find a spot in line nearly close enough to the front door to promise any sort of doorbuster deal.

Found a 2-piece ottoman set for half-off. Score!

There’s a sense of satisfaction involved. Most stores only offer a low percentage off of their inventory, and more times than not it doesn’t help- Express had a measly seven-hour, 40% off deal that hardly reduced the prices of their expensive picks. But buying anything on sale, no matter what it is, leaves us with a “job well done” outlook, a sort of figurative pat on the back. Black Friday shopping may make us want to pull our hair out- or may make us actually pull our hair out- but the excitement and the rush of finding a good deal is enough to make all the chaos worth it.

It’s a lot of work. Especially for those who don’t nap before heading out for the late-night/early-morning shopping- my first mistake this year- forcing your body to function at such a weird hour has its consequences. Instead of giving our bodies the good night’s rest it so desperately craves, we force them to operate above normal levels. After all, plowing down little old ladies and clawing some guy’s face off to get that last, free Xbox is no easy feat. And don’t forget the standing in line part. Even if you make it through the store’s front doors without hassle, finding a register that doesn’t have a line out the door is impossible. Most likely, you’ll crowd together in one giant line with half the people in your town, all of you waiting to pay and get to the next store. With wait times up to, and over, an hour, be prepared for stiff knees and a sore back.

Black Friday may mean great deals, and could be the way you cross everyone off your Christmas list. But with all the chaos, and the notion that most sales will last through the weekend, it just doesn’t seem worth it. In the end, go to bed after Thanksgiving is over. Get a good night’s sleep and wake up at a reasonable hour and go out and spend your day shopping. If you don’t get there right at midnight, the world will not end. There will still be plenty of great sales when you show up the next day, at a normal hour, well-rested and ready for the long-haul.

Although I doubt I’ll follow my own advice come next year…

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Filed under bargains, Black Friday, community, Couponing, Entertainment, family fun, Money, Pro/con, Savings, shopping

The pros and cons of yard sales

Over the years, we amass such a collection of knickknacks, mismatched housewares and random odds & ends it’s no wonder yard sales have become an American institution. How else would we unload ourselves of our unwanted possessions, or stock up on someone else’s discarded treasures? As a somewhat minimalist, I’m more for having the sale then prowling local neighborhoods in search of unique and oftentimes quirky finds, but that doesn’t mean filling your yard with clutter comes without it’s annoyances. It may seem like more of a chore than it’s worth, but knowing what your in for ahead of time makes it easier to be successful.

Plan ahead. Check the weather in advance for the day you plan to hold your sale. There’s nothing worse than setting everything up only to have it rained on, and nobody wants to buy someone else’s soggy leftovers. If it’s going to be a hot day, and you plan on sitting outside awhile-you should plan on about 4-5 hours for your sale, more if a steady flow of people continue coming-make sure you have plenty of water and food to keep you energized. I recommend sitting in a shady area, or putting up an umbrella to hang out under while people shop your goods. This also gives you a chance to keep an eye on everything while staying cool. There are going to be lulls in your traffic- people seem to either come all at once or not at all-so you want a comfortable place you can relax and keep an eye on the road while you wait for the next wave of customers.

Depending on how much stuff you’ve accumulated, set-up could be a pain in the butt. You need to make sure you have plenty of table space to set your things out on display, and you want to make sure the sale is visible from the street. This is especially difficult if your yard is hidden from view or your house just isn’t in a good location, but proper signs directing people to your sale will help increase intentional traffic; the likelihood of passers-by simply stumbling upon you might be lower, but don’t get discouraged, they will come. Putting signs out and taking them back down again can also get annoying, but if you have others helping you run things, planting signs can be quick and painless. Just make sure you have someone manning the sale while you run around, because the second those signs go up, people will start stopping by. And don’t forget to take them down again when you’re ready to call it quits. For serious yard-salers, an end time on your sign is not going to deter them from coming anyway. I recommend taking the signs down first, then packing up.

If you can, host a multi-family yard sale. As far as yard sales are concerned, the bigger, the better, and the more friends you get to add their junk to your collection, the more enticing it is for passers-by to stop and browse. It also tends to be easier for everyone involved to host one collective sale instead of several individual ones. Not only is it more desirable for shoppers, who have more choices in a single location, it’s more effective for you. The bigger the sale looks from the street, the more customers you get, making it easier to sell most of your things.

Stay organized. If you do host your own sale, try and recruit a few friends to spend a few hours of their day helping out. Having a few extra hands will make things a lot easier on you, especially when it’s time to deal with customers. Most times, you’ll have several people inquiring about items at once, so you want to make sure they have more than one person they can go to.

It’s also a good idea to keep your money in a central location, especially if you have more than one person helping you sell. Keep it in a lock box, or even an old pencil case. You can get them at Office Depot for a couple bucks, and they come in handy for other uses as well. Make sure you start the day with some change, too (not everyone walks around with a pocket full of singles). Twenty or thirty dollars in 1s and 5s should be plenty, just something to get you started before you start raking in the dollar bills.

Be reasonable. It isn’t necessary to put price stickers on every single item you have out, or even at all. Sometimes it’s in your favor not to have stickers, because most people will get deterred if they see a specific price, and might walk away from something they were about to buy or at least inquire about. It’s a good idea to have prices in mind for certain things, and if you have friends helping, even making a list of your items with tentative prices will be helpful when they’re negotiating with customers. Always start a little higher than you know someone’s willing to pay- a buck or two higher will suffice- because most shoppers are professional bargain-hunters, they know how to play the game and they’re going to do everything they can to bring you down on your price. And that’s okay. Just remember to negotiate fairly; this is, after all, a yard sale, not an auction house, so expect most things to go pretty cheaply. If you have something you just can’t bear to sell without getting a specific amount for, label it as such. Anyone who really wants it will be willing to inquire and work out a deal. Or, just keep it out of your sale altogether. There are other avenues you can use to get what you want for it, like eBay and craigslist.

Just remember, no matter how much or how little you sell, you will have less things by the end of your sale, so packing back up will be much quicker. You can put the things you don’t sell away for future sales, or if you’re feeling particularly charitable, there are plenty of organizations that need and accept donations of any kind. Bigger orgs, like Salvation Army and Goodwill, will even make house calls to pick up your donations, making it easier to get rid of some of your bigger items, like furniture.

In the end, it’s a bit of a commitment to hold a yard sale, but if you don’t do anything with your stuff, it’s just going to continue collecting dust in the back of your closet or garage. You may no longer have any use for your things, but, like they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

It also doesn’t hurt to put a few extra bucks in your pocket, too.

Happy selling!

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Filed under bargains, how-to, yard sale