Stop Shopping, Start Surfing!

As you might know by now, I love to try new products BUT I hate to shop. I rarely go to stores anymore and truthfully I don’t miss them one bit. Therefore, continue to go long Amazon and go short regional malls (for my investors out there). However, this week’s Find shows you there are other Internet retailers beside Amazon!

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First things first, you need to monetize all the gift cards that are sitting in your desk drawer. Sure, you have been meaning to take a special trip to Toys R’ Us to spend the $25 gift card from a birthday party … but that was 5 years ago! I recently collected all these cards and contemplated going to each store and spending them. However, the time involved in going to the store, finding something of equivalent value, the likelihood for getting something I don’t need/want, and the likelihood for spending more the than the gift card is sufficient disincentive for me. Therefore, I downloaded Cardpool and exchanged the gift cards for Amazon credit (or you can choose cash). Some cards allow this transaction to happen automatically, others require that you send in the gift card with a pre-printed label, depends upon the retailer. Cardpool is the largest marketplace for such gift cards (you can buy them at a discount as well), and therefore the reimbursements rates can be as high as 92%. Go you!



Grocery shopping is a bore (to me). Who wants to walk aisle after aisle looking for the things on your grocery list and end up buying everything you never planned on (never shop hungry). Avoid this waste of time and likely temptation by ordering from the comfort of your home. Hiku has created a device for creating your list that is the next step in the evolution of not shopping in person. This device scans bar codes to add things to your list, as well as takes dictation. Anyone can use it and add things to the list. Now that you have your list, it automatically connects to your Peapod online account (just as good as Fresh Direct) and puts those items in your shopping cart. Just pick quantities and delivery date and you are good to go! Truly incredible!

Trunk Club

While ordering groceries from home (is somewhat of a necessity), ordering my style and fit clothes (without having to do anything) is a luxury! Shoes from here, shorts from there, and tee shirts from anywhere. Now imagine that a curated (to your taste) department store could be delivered to your front door? There would be no need to aimlessly walk the floors of a department store (mall), no need to look for designers whose clothes you might like, and no need to find the right sizes? What if you had a personal stylist than had great tastes, knows your fashion comfort level, and even sizes. Welcome to The Trunk Club!

I have been using this service for more than 3 years and love it. It was bought by Nordstrom in 2014 and the offering hasn’t changed much. You can use the web or app version, choose from clothing selected to fit your taste or needs, and they will send you a trunk on consignment. All you need to do is try it on, keep what you like, and return the rest in the trunk it came in with a pre-printed label and easy pickup by UPS. Only pay for what you keep. The ability to easily provide feedback allows your stylist to get the size or color right, or certainly they will know your style and fit better for next time. You will have a great wardrobe in no time! My stylist Elizabeth now knows that I like Rag and Bone casual ware, Earnest Sewn jeans, Eaton dress shirts, etc. It used to be exclusively for men, but in the Fall they started sending women’s trunks as well. I’ll let you know what my wife thinks, as her first trunk is coming Monday. Stay tuned!

I call this coach surfing (an active yet passive exercise) and consider CardpoolHiku, and Trunk Club Found!