27 March 2010

Things You Should Consider Buying Secondhand

In high school I bought t-shirts at the Thrift store (and occasionally I still do, hello favorite Texas/Grandpa t-shirt), in college I took a brief stance against excessive consumerism by only shopping secondhand for my clothing, and now in "the real world"/life post-college as I begin modestly furnishing my home and living my life, I've realized how much stuff I use and how other people are using just as much. So why not save a few of my hard-earned dollars and give new life to someone's discarded items? I can't think of a good reason not to.

So here is my list of (in no particular order) ...

Things You Should Consider Buying Secondhand:
  • Clothing - There is nothing quite like getting a compliment on something you're wearing that you paid $3 for at Goodwill. Fact. I don't go to Goodwill if I want to try a new trend or something, but I love to browse their goodies once a month or so. I have a policy though - I browse quickly and if it didn't grab my attention when I walked by, it probably isn't worth my $3. Also, although my favorite business-friendly black dress came from Goodwill, there are several wardrobe staples that I recommend picking up at a regular store - the LBD, the fitted pencil skirt, the white button down, the khaki or black pants, the pointed-toe black heels, etc. 

  • Furniture - Unless you need it immediately I recommend you scope secondhand places! For example, right now I'm looking for a not-so-bulky loveseat for my new apartment and I've been a Goodwill and Craigslist junkie in the search. I'm especially fond of buying furniture secondhand because not only do you get a great price, but you have no guilt about reclaiming and reinventing that piece of furniture! Paint it to match your space, change the knobs, reupholster it, etc!

  • Decorations - I essentially have all the same points to make here as I just did regarding furniture. And specifically - secondhand frames are way cooler.

  • Jewelry - Don't expect to find real-deal diamonds and pearls for great prices, but for nifty everyday pieces, definitely scope out the thrift shop! Earrings? Be sure to disinfect though!

  • Books - If you're just looking for something good to read, hit up a local thrift shop or check out a secondhand book store (dedicated Half Price Books girl right here). If you've got something certain in mind, HPB usually has a good selection, but you can also buy used books online at places like Amazon.

  • DVDs - My boyfriend might die if he reads this, but if you're not too passionate about movies and don't mind a scratched disc and an occasional skip, browse through the stack at the secondhand store! You could find some great older films you forgot you loved for just a few pretty pennies!

  • Kitchen Items - I can thank my mom for turning me on to this. Hello really cool mugs, plates, servingware, etc at secondhand places! Unless you're looking for a matching set (which you can even find sometimes). Electric items are hit or miss at secondhand places, but pots and pans abound! This is a great option for young people like me furnishing their first kitchen!

  • Tools - Any tools, all tools! Not all secondhand places have a good selection, but scope it out! If you just need a sander for this one project you might be able to find one for cheap! It's all about taking a second to look!

  • Little kids clothes, shoes, toys, etc. - Okay, I don't have a kid, but I'm just saying - kids grow fast and lose interest quickly. Why spend extra money on new stuff for them? Just disinfect it if they'll drool on it!

  • Anything - Just go look!
I found a great find yesterday but haven't gotten a chance to snap a picture yet! I'm also heading to Flower Child in the Short North of Columbus today to scope the furniture, so there is definitely going to be a photo post to follow!

Enjoy the sunshine as it melts the last of the snow and let me know - What are some of your favorite secondhand finds?!

22 March 2010

Tag, you're social.

I’ll get right to the point, I want to know what you think about location based social media. It’s supposedly all the rage amidst social media in general right now. Everything seems to have its eye on a location-oriented prize. Twitter (by the way, follow me @kristianmk) recently released the ability to broadcast your location with your tweets. That’s the whole point of Foursquare it seems.

I’ve been dutifully checking in all over Springfield, OH and really don’t feel like as a user I have reaped the benefits of Foursquare. The places that I’m going don’t seem to have any “tips” associated with them. I begrudgingly admit that this is possibly because we are in a smaller city in the Midwest – maybe in NYC, Chicago, or Miami the tips are abundant and hotspots are easy to pick out via Foursquare.

In April I’m travelling to Atlanta for a few days an am looking forward to using Foursquare while I’m there – to see if it really makes a difference in how I’m experiencing the city! I also vow to use Foursquare more the next time I’m in Columbus because I’m positive there’s got to be more at least going on there than here.

Okay – so what do you think? Here are a quick article from Social Media Examiner about ways to make geotagging work for your small b2c business, How to Drive More Customers to Your Local Business with Social Geotagging.