Archive for November, 2007

Tips for Buying Second Hand Clothes

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I have this problem where I want to wear name brand clothes, but not pay name brand prices. This leads me to spending a lot of time dealing with Second Hand Clothes. Some people couldn’t imagine wearing second hand clothes because someone else wore them. What they don’t know is, I’m buying brands like diesel and FCUK second hand for prices 90% below retail. So how do we know just what we should buy in a second hand shop?

Here is 10 Tips compiled from GetRichSlowly.org:

1. Set a budget. This is difficult at first — you don’t know how much things cost. But eventually you’ll be able to tell yourself, “I’m going spend $20 today”. It becomes a game to see how much you can buy for $20.
2. Discard your prejudices. Some people consider thrift stores and used clothing shops nasty dirty places. Some are. Most aren’t. Explore your neighborhood. Find a shop or two that you like, and you’ll be hooked.
3. Go with a friend. It’s good to have a second opinion. Your friend may have an eye for what looks good on you — and vice versa.
4. Try things on. Sizes vary widely between manufacturers and even by eras. (Today’s clothes have looser fits.) But go in knowing your general size and measurements. Note that some places don’t have dressing rooms, so it’s smart to wear a modest thin layer in case you need to strip down in the aisle.
5. Examine each item thoroughly. It sucks to get home to find your new shirt has a hole in the pocket. Or that the slacks you thought were a steal actually have a broken zipper.
Check washing instructions. You don’t want to pay $3 for a silk blouse if you’ll never dry-clean it.
5. Use the tags as a guide to find quality brands you like, but don’t limit yourself. Sometimes a brand you’ve never heard of can yield a favorite piece of clothing.
6. Think layers. Maybe that shirt with a stain on the sleeve has a great collar for wearing under a sweater. For $3, you can afford to buy a single-purpose shirt.
7. Use thrift stores as a way to diversify your wardrobe. Buy colors and styles on which you normally wouldn’t spend much. Wear the new clothes a few times to see how you like them, and to gauge the reaction of others.
8. Think about getting certain accessories. Why pay $30 for a new belt in a department store when you can get a better belt in your size for just $2? I like to shop at second-hand stores for hats. (Nice hats.)
9. Look for clothes new with tags. Sometimes unsold department store inventory finds its way to used clothing stores and thrift shops. You’ll generally pay more for these items, but not much.
10. If you won’t wear it, don’t buy it. You don’t save money buying a $3 shirt if it just sits in your closet for two years.

In response my post yesterday about Cheap Flights
After yesterday’s dedicated search for a flight, I found a flight for $600 after tax from farebuzz.com. What farebuzz is, is a considator meaning that they buy lots of tickets in quantity and sell them for less. The same flight that was $900 buying off Northwest’s website was only $600 with farebuzzz.com.

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Where to find the Cheapest Flight

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Where to find the cheapest flight? There is no one site offering the cheapest flights. The price of a flight can change like the weather. A nice sunny cheap flight one day and a terrible price if you wait too long. I’m trying to get from Detroit, Michigan to Frankfurt, Germany for the winter holidays to see my girlfriend. A few days ago I found a price for $420 round trip. Now that I’ve decided to buy the flight, it has gone up to over $900. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is.

How to get the cheapest flight
1. If you are a student use StudentUniverse.com. They offer special student prices. I managed to get round trip ticket for $490 from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany when I was a student.
2. Try the major flight search engines. I prefer travel.yahoo.com, kayak.com, and expedia.com. Try different dates and different surrounding airports. Most of the time there might be a better deal at an airport just farther away.
3. Fly during the week. I’ve found that Wednesday is often the cheapest date to fly. Try a day before and after Wednesday.
4. Try low cost airlines. I often look at Air India for cheap flights. Though there is nothing special about this airline, they have very flexible change flight fees.
5. Book early. The longer you wait, the more you probably will have to pay. Changes in the economy, such as the rising price of fuel, will affect flight prices.

There is no one place that offers the cheapest flight everytime. There are so many variables, yet another reason to just drive. Too bad they didn’t build a bridge over the Atlantic…

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High Foreclosure rate in America

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Foreclosures, it seems to be happening across the US. As the foreclosure rate in American worsens so does the exchange rate. The dollar is at an all time low against the Euro. Where as 2 years ago the $1.20 US Dollar to 1 Euro, today you have to spend $1.50 to buy one Euro. For us that like to travel to Europe, this can put a strain in our wallet. Can we cash in on the high foreclosure rate in America?

The Top 5 Foreclosure Cities
1. Stockton, CA = 7,116 or 1 in 31 homes.
2. Detroit/Livonia/Dearborn, MI 25,708 or 1 in 33.
3. Riverside/San Beradino, CA = 31,661 or 1 in 43.
4. Fort Lauderdale, FL = 16,595 or 1 in 48.
5. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV 14,948 or 1 in 48.

Stockton leads even depressed Detroit with 1 home in 31 in foreclosure, while for the first time all of the top 10 homes in foreclosure are have at least 1 percent of their housing inventory in foreclosure. Source: Realestatebloggers.com

Is this a great time to buy a foreclosed home?
Though considered difficult, this may be the best time to cash in on a foreclosed home. When you buy a foreclosed home, you could save 30% off the price of the home.

Before you decide you are going to go right out and purchase a foreclose home, consider the disadvantages.
1. There are probably many reasons why this home became foreclosed. Was it a meth house? Meth houses could cost up to $40,000 to fix.
2. What kind of area is the house in? Many times the area would not be one you would like to live in.
3. Will you have to kick someone out? Many times this might be a single mom living with kids.
4. Is the house even in good condition anymore? There might be plenty of repairs that need to be made.

American Express Wishlist, AMEX Wishlist 2007

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Every year, American Express comes out with a wishlist for the holiday and offers products far below their actual retail price. However, you have to act quick to catch a great purchase. Usually the American Express MyWishlist promtion gifts are available in very limited quantities meaning everything comes on a first serve basis.

Use your American Express Card to Save
Thoughout the day, a new deal will pop up on the American Express Wishlist. Today its expresso machines and coffee makes for $120. One of my favorites on the wishlist is tommorow’s deal, the Virgin Atlantic London Experience. For $3,000 you get limo service with an onboard bar, in-flight spa treatments, and an Upper Class Suite. On top of that you get 3 Nights at the Metropolitan London. Not a bad way to spend 3 grand right?

Hottest Items on the Wishlist?
* $25,000 luxury vacations from Abercrombie and Kent (wishlist price: $2500)
* $3,000 Vespa scooters (wishlist price: $800)
* $1,999 Dell Flat Screen LCD televisions (wishlist price: $650)
* $1,999 Tourneau Watch Set (wishlist price: $800)
* $1,750 Bellagio Penthouse Package (wishlist price: $750)
* $1500 Jacob the Jeweler Evil Eye Bracelets (wishlist price: $400)
* $860 Sigerson Morrison Sigmor Bag (wishlist price: $200)
* $400 Panasonic D-Snap SV-AV50 Video Camera (wishlist price: $150)

If you don’t have an American Express card, join the crowd, I don’t have one either. Is this a reason to get one?

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