Saturday, April 21, 2018

Toys And Accessories, Toys And Add-ons, When Do You Stop Buying

After buying toys for my kids I am sometimes overwhelmed by how short a time it takes before the latest toy that they always wanted is discarded. Left for dead under the bed or tossed into the wardrobe to be forgotten about. Or sometimes, and these are the times I like, the imagination takes over and the toy is transformed into something else or combined with other toys.

I have spent countless dollars on little Barbie dresses and now Barbie is wrapped up in a handkerchief with a shoelace for a belt. I don't know where this idea for the latest fashion came from, but then again children see things differently from us.

This same philosophy of children losing interest is possible behind why the toy makers are always adding to the existing models.

Barbie has been going for many years and she is always being upgraded with different accessories. The latest Barbie is a rather elegant model that came out as the Chinese New Year Barbie with an elegant price to match.

One toy set I like and my kid keeps collecting is the Littlest Pet Shop. This has been around since the 80's so now the older stuff would be collector's items. There are untold pieces and many different accessories. This little playset is reasonable priced and buying up the little pets won't break the bank. Every time another add-on hits the market there are usually only two new pets in the box, but on the picture on the box you see pictures of many lovely little pets.

This is an excellent marketing strategy and should guarantee future sales. But us parents are at the receiving end.

Looking around the toyshops many different toy sets do the same thing. I suppose it keeps the children interested and looking forward to something new.

MEGA BLOKS has many different add-ons for each new series. For example the Pyrates series has two main boats-Dread Eye's Phantom and Captain Cutlass's Stormstalker. The other main bases for the series are the Pyrates Cove and the Smuggler's Fort with the Pyrates Treasure Pack and Pyrates Skull Cave and any number of figurines as add-ons. So if your little boy falls in love with the Pyrates there would seem to be a never ending supply of toys to choose from.

A slight variation on this theme is the classic game, Monopoly, which now has countless versions all based on the original game. These are not really add-ons they just make the game more appealing to a wider audience. Instead of just the property game, now you can get dinosaur, cat, car and sports monopoly along with scenery and fishing and many more.

If you are a dinosaur fan then Dinosaur Monopoly, to find out if you end up extinct or not, is the game for you.

Kids love new things, especially popular toys they can show off to their friends. But we parents have to fork out our hard earned cash. I must admit in most cases I do it willingly because I like to see my kid happy. Now I'm starting to check myself and before I buy I like to think my money is going to good use. So if I buy one in a series and the kid does not play with it I do not buy anymore, despite the tantrums.

When we parents are up against modern advertising and exquisite packaging designs we have no chance. So the best weapon we have is to say "NO" and mean it.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Which Air Hockey Table Is Right For Me?

Because the popularity of the game of air hockey has grown immensely, consumers can now buy an air hockey table in a multitude of different sizes & forms.

A standard air hockey table is just as the name implies: a stand-alone unit with two paddles or strikers and two pucks. Many of them are the same ones you see in your local arcade or game shop. These arcade-style units come with an electronic scoring module that automatically tabulates each goal while you're playing. Depending on the size and price, each unit comes with its own distinct features. Some air hockey tables come with two or more blowers or motors for maximum air flow, which markedly improves the speed at which the puck is able to glide across the ice. Others might come with more exotic features, such as glow-in-the dark capabilities through a blacklight system. It all depends on what you're looking for: a grandmother looking for a toy for her 11 year old grandson might not necessarily want or need all of the features that come with the advanced air hockey tables that professionals & bar owners need. In addition, stand alone tables often require at least some assembly: something for you parents to keep in mind.

A table top unit on the other hand, is much smaller than a full size unit and is made to be set up on table or countertop surfaces. As such, the game (and its accompanying parts) are much smaller than the normal sized units. A unit like this is probably much more suitable for a younger child or someone just learning the game of air hockey as it is much easier for youngers to get a handle on.

There are also combination units that combine air hockey with other games, such as ping-pong or pool on the same table. All one has to do is flip the tabletop to the other side, and you have two games in one. It's easier than you might think and buying a table like this saves time and money, since you don't have to buy separate units for each game and subsequently find room in your basement or rec room to put those games (which if you're trying to create the ultimate game room, is probably the most difficult part.) These units come pre-packaged with all the equipment for either game and our sometimes made with different wood finishes, which ensures that the unit will blend in with the surroundings of your bar or game room at home.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

How to Buy Quality Running Shoes at Discount Prices

One would think purchasing a pair of running shoes would be a fairly simple matter. Sadly, or probably for the better, it has become quite an involved process. I would suggest you visit a local store before attempting to purchase online. The key aspect is to understand your foot profile. In truth this is not a difficult task and certainly doesn't need fancy computer technology.

Visit and obtain your profile as far as arches type, strike type and over prontaros. Once you have this information find you category using the guide below;

-Motion control : for runners with low arches, moderate to severe over pronators with maximum rear foot control and extra support on the arch side of the shoe, eg. bigger runners.

-Stability : mild or moderate over pronators, low to normal arches, shoes has a combination of good support and mid sole cushioning.

-Neutral cushioned: maximum mid sole cushioning and minimum medial support, bio mechanically efficient runners, mid foot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.

-Performance Training: for racing, generally lighter, if you are bio mechanically efficient you can use them for training.

So that is step one in your process. Next is to establish how and where you can find nicely discounted shoes, and also grasp a basic insiders guide to the athletic shoe market.

The basic industry premise is that new product sells at a premium as older models are off loaded through various channels. Therefore you could hope for discounts on new items from 10% to probably a maximum of 20% and all the way up to 40% on older year models. However it is still possible to find discounts on eBay on the newest styles, especially if they are very lightly worn. Think about it, trying on and testing running shoes is difficult at best. Therefore many runners discard a pair after a first light run. There is a nice fluid market for both new and slightly used running shoes on eBay.

With a large volume of most shoe brands being traded everyday, this is the ideal efficient market. One can study the dynamics of this micro-market and determine some useful buying rules. With a little more information than the rest of the marketplace, one can almost certainly make some intelligent buying opportunities. This article focuses on how to identify these gaps and often purchase running shoes for 20-40% below retail.

This article should be read together with my longer piece and a web site, which produces the information required to identify buying nuggets. Find the links and URL's to these two sites at the bottom of this article. The niche site focuses specifically and only on data from the runners shoe market.

Most information on eBay focuses on the selling element, i.e. how to sell your shoes. I have tended to specialize on the buying end and trying to identify market opportunities and price in-efficiencies to really capture excellent deals. To do this we need to understand the dynamics of the eBay market place. Like any other market it is supply demand driven, and like a large flee-market if a buyer has knowledge of how many items are for sale at what prices and how many other buyers are in the market, then that buyer can capture the upper hand. Lets focus a little more on supply.

The eBay supply dynamic is a little different in that supply of an item must be seen at a point in time. In other words, because auctions end at different times, one needs to grasp the number of auctions ending in close proximity for the same item. This gives you a feel for the supply of items or in our case cameras. What makes this interesting is that today there could be a large amount of auctions ending for a particular model, but next week there could be very few. This is one element driving the price.

The demand side is slightly more complex and hidden from the average eBay buyer. This is where that the web site I refer to at the bottom has some useful data. Demand in eBay terms is measured (by sellers) as a number of factors - how many people view my auction, how many people ask questions, how many people place me on their watch page, and how many people actually bid. Obviously as we progress down this list the data become more reliable as an indication of demand. Page views are not easy to obtain, although some sellers place a publicly viewable counter on their auction pages. Questions and watchers are available to sellers, and the special web site mentioned below will expose this information. Number of bids is available for all to see.

Now if we happened to produce a graph as the auction progresses of the changes in the number of questions, watchers and bid's one can easily see how the demand is changing as time progresses. Typically if questions are high and watchers are high, but bids are low, this may indicate some confusion and a possible buy opportunity. If watchers are very high and climbing, but bids are low, this can point to a last minute bidding war, and a stay out indicator.

Armed with this information and also a quick summary of other similar auctions ending soon, plus a quick feel for the skill set of the seller and the current highest bidder, one can see a picture very different from the average eBay buyer. Soon the trained eye will observe some nice buying opportunities. For the professional or amateur runner this will soon bring in a number of athletic shoe buys that are quite a bit cheaper than retail. For example it is quite possible to find gems at 20-40% of retail prices. Sometimes a lightly used athletic shoe will offer some unique bargains and discounts, especially if you are comfortable with a brand and model.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

4 Tips on Buying Casual Clothing

Oh, we all know women love nothing more than a sale or a bargain, don't we? And casual clothing for women is always on sale - if one store isn't on sale, the other one probably is! So, in terms of casual clothing for women, there are absolutely no problems in finding sales.

Here are some quick tips to help you pick and choose casual clothing for women during sales and closeouts:-

Examine the casual clothing before you buy

Before you pick it up, remember, the casual clothing that you're looking at has been probably tested a few hundred times before this. So, a little bit of wear and tear on the casual clothing is to be expected. If they're not worn out or at least a little bit stretched, the casual clothing store probably won't be putting it up for sale, don't you think?

Check the seams and edges to see if they are OK. And if you want value for money, check for holes and detached labels and discoloration too. Yeah, we know, it's on sale and we shouldn't expect TOP QUALITY casual clothing for that kind of pricing, but STILL, you want value attached to the casual clothing. You're still PAYING for it, not getting it for free, surely.

Testing the casual clothing out before you take it to the cashier

I know, this sounds so logical and yet so important. Never buy casual clothing or any other types of clothing without testing them out first. The sizing and cutting is very, very important. What looks good on the shelves or mannequin may not look as good on you. The shape and size of your body is very different from the mannequin, so, take it to the fitting room and try the casual clothing out for shape and size. If you have fussy kids with you, come back another day (maybe tomorrow) for it. A time when you can test the casual clothing out.

Is the casual clothing REALLY on sale?

I don't know about you, but I think this is when window shopping actually makes sense. Let's say if I see a casual clothing that I like, I'll go in and take a look and note the pricing. When they hold a sale or discount, I'll know if they're cheating or not. Some casual clothing stores DO actually cheat and they say their normal pricing is $49 when it's only $35. I know, I know. it sounds petty and calculative, but hey, you want to get value casual clothing or what? I don't know about you, but I don't want to be one of those easily excitable casual clothing enthusiast (erm...which, I think I am).

Check out other casual clothing stores before you decide

This lesson, I learnt one time when I bought a fabulous and chic looking casual clothing blouse to the counter, paid for it, and walked out to see a similar casual clothing on sale in the store opposite the store I bought it from! Boy, was I fuming. So, what I do now is to note the casual clothing that I like and the store, look around other casual clothing store and then if I can't find something similar for a cheaper price or something better, I'll go back to the casual clothing store and GRAB IT!!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Choosing Quality Triathlon Sunglasses

If you are in the market to find a pair of quality triathlon sunglasses , consider a host of factors before you make your purchase.

In addition to the look of your shades, you should also consider the durability of the frames and lenses, the quality of lenses, and the comfort of their fit.

Choosing shades based on the look alone will quickly leave you looking for another pair, therefore costing your more money.

Just as with any other item, you get what you pay for when purchasing a pair of quality triathlon sunglasses .

Although you can certainly purchase a pair of shades for your sports of choice on a budget, do not have great expectations for a cheap pair of shades.

There are a variety of shades that are geared towards the biking crowds that also pertains to individuals who are interested in purchases triathlon sunglasses .

These glasses have been specially designed to fit the conditions and activities related to cycling and will be an excellent choice for any triathlete.

Other sunglasses are geared specifically for runners, so you may want to try on several pairs when searching for the one that best fits your wants and needs.

You may need to have a budget when searching for the shades that best fits your sport of choice.

There are glasses that run the gamut from reasonable rates around $50 dollars to brands that run into the hundreds of dollars.

If you are beginner athlete, consider investing in a less expensive brand to ensure you to not spend an exorbitant amount of money into equipment for a sport to which you are not completely dedicated.

However, if you are unsure if you are going to enter a career into a tri-athlete, most of these glasses can be used for biking or running.

So, if you plan on cycling in addition to other activities, choose a pair of glasses that best represents your interests.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Three Things You Should Know About Gold Wedding Bands

When it comes to buying a gold wedding band, things can get confusing fast. What color gold do you want? What karat will suit your lifestyle?

Gold is the most popular choice for wedding bands, and very popular in dress rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches. Gold is easy to accessorize with, and it is durable. There are three things to consider when looking at gold wedding bands.

First, you should look at the karat number. A karat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metal alloy to make up the final metal. There are several karats available for gold, but most men's wedding bands employ 9-karat, 14-karat and 18-karat. Since an 18-karat ring has a higher proportion of gold than a 14-karat, the 18- karat will be more expensive. Although there are higher karats than an 18-karat ring, it is generally agreed that 22-karat and 24-karat gold is too soft to make men's wedding bands.

Karat stamps do not indicate the durability and hardness of gold, however. When choosing your wedding band, it is important to consider your own lifestyle. How often will you wear the ring? Do you work with your hands? Could your ring be easily scratched or bent?

Metal hardness is measured by what is called the Vickers scale. The higher the Vickers score, the harder the metal. A 9-karat ring has a Vickers score of 120 and an 18-karat has a score of 125. The difference is so slight that 9-karat and 18-karat rings are much the same in terms of hardness.

Next, you should consider the color of the gold. Gold comes in several colors: yellow, white, rose, bronze, and lime. Wedding bands can also be made using two or three different tones of gold, creating a unique color.

Adding an alloy to the gold creates different colors. For example, rose gold is made using a mix of pure gold with alloys including copper. The copper provides the reddish color. Yellow gold forms from a mixture of pure gold and alloy metals such as copper and zinc, while white gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals (silver and palladium.)

Natural white gold has a gray tinge to it, which is covered up by adding a plating of rhodium. The rhodium also serves to make the jewelry harder, but it does wear off after about 12 to 18 months. You can get your jewelry re-rhodium plated at your local jeweler.

There are many options when it comes to choosing a wedding band, but ultimately you should be certain that the ring you choose is right for you and your lifestyle. After all, the ring is a symbol of your love and marriage, so it should suit you perfectly.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Advantages of Digital Microscopes

Digital microscopes are a marvel of modern science. A digital microscope consists of a regular microscope with a digital camera built into it. The images seen through a digital microscope can be projected to a computer monitor and saved on a computer file. A digital microscope is perfect for education because it lets many people view the specimen at once. The data saving capabilities of a digital microscope make it a great tool for research.

A digital microscope is a microscope that contains a tiny digital camera and is connected to a computer. Most digital microscopes connect to computers via a USB port. Once the microscope is connected to the computer, the images seen through the microscope's eyepiece can be shown on the computer's monitor and saved on the hard drive for future use. Images can be printed if the computer is equipped with a digital printer.

Digital microscopes are great for educational purposes. Many students can view the specimen at once when the camera is hooked up to a computer. This saves time and ensures that all of the students will get to see the same specimen. People can save images viewed through digital microscopes to computers, allowing them to access the image later. This is perfect for a school setting as it lets students recall the image if they need to later describe it or write about its details.

Scientific researchers benefit greatly from digital microscopes. They are able to save and print images from the microscope, allowing for close examination. When the images seen through a digital microscope are viewed on a computer screen, it enables several researchers to examine the image at once.

There are several different models of digital microscopes. Some have one eyepiece like most conventional microscopes. A handful of models are stereo microscopes, meaning that they have two eyepieces. All digital microscopes have numerous features that make them great tools for education and research.