04 August 2012

Buy more stuff

In case you want to spend some money on material possessions:

  • Cool tools is Kevin Kelly's index of reviews of all kinds of things ... including lots of unusual books. Most reviews talk not just about the qualities of the product, but about how and why it's useful, like tongue depressors or those glue sticks made of post-it note glue ... and many tools are just tips and tricks that don't require buying anything.
  • The Wirecutter is a useful index of reviews of tech products and more.
  • Better Living Through Design is an index of spiffy things. The bags and desk accessories are my particular weaknesses.
  • Macrumours' buyers guide helps you guess when an Apple product will come out, reducing your chances of getting something and then feeling frustrated to see a spiffy new version released right after you buy it.
  • Koyono and Zagg are great places to look for accessories for those electronic gadgets. (Koyono also sells other stuff, including some exceedingly spiffy raincoats.)
  • Jetpens sells, well, pens, and they have a bunch of weird cool ones if you're into that.
  • Garrett Wade sells absurdly beautiful tools. The garden implements make me almost want to take up gardening.
  • Kaufmann Mercantile is a bit like Garrett Wade, offering not just tools but a range of well-made housewares and “accessories” and whatnot.
  • Saddleback Leather make exceptionally handsome, sturdy luggage. My current gig calls for me bringing my laptop home pretty frequently, so I needed a backpack but wanted one that looked like it belonged to an adult; people comment on the one I got from them all of the time.
  • Thinkgeek, TopatoCo, bOing bOing, and Unemployed Philosophers' Guild offer a range of nifty/cute/clever tchotchkes. Caveat emptor about the more eccentric electronics on Thinkgeek, though.
  • American Science & Surplus is what it says on the tin, full of great, weird stuff. Visit the website just to read the entertaining product descriptions.
  • Deutsche Optik and The Sportsman's Guide both find some eccentric army surplus and related weird cool stuff. Deutsche Optic is at the fancy end of the spectrum; The Sportsman's Guide is more meat-and-potatoes (and features product descriptions with a hint of redneck whimsy).
  • American Giant sells exceptionally well-made cotton basic clothes for men, including a “the greatest hoodie ever made”.

4 comments:

Thorn said...

My only complaint with the inclusion of Jetpens and Sportsman's Guide is that there are perfectly good office supply and army surplus/camping stores in *brick and mortar existence locally*!!!!!

Really, do we want all local businesses to go under?

Jonathan Korman said...

I, for one, patronize my local military surplus and office supply stores. But even in domains like those where there are local retailers, there are weird things that are only economically feasible for an online retailer to stock.

Anonymous said...

> Really, do we want all local businesses to go under?


Honestly? I kind of do.

With a few specialized exceptions (eg, trying on clothes), the internet is so vastly superior a vector for shopping that I can't wait for us to get past the outdated tradition of preemptively-stocked stores and physical browsing.

The searchability, cross-referencing, and access to customer reviews and manufacturer metadata make the internet categorically The Right Way To Do Things.

My only actual concern is that I think we need a couple of serious competitors to Amazon *now*, before they become 90+% of all global commerce.


-- Conner

Chas Clifton said...

Nice backpack. See also Duluth Pack.

My wife uses this model, in black as a purse and loves it.