It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.
After 16 years in a fixer-upper home, my husband is sick and f*@&ing tired of working on household projects. The easy and cheap projects are behind us, and what’s left is dull, expensive and not even slightly fun. So imagine my surprise when my husband excitedly told me this morning about a countertop that he saw in a bar last night. (He plays on an adult soccer team, and they went out for beers after practice.) It was stained concrete, and somehow, it sparked his deeply buried motivation for home improvement projects.
Our current kitchen countertops are inoffensive Formica with an oak edging that I’ve hated since the day we installed it. But the nasty, nasty counters from the previous owners needed to go, so we slapped down the cheapest option Home Depot had to offer. (Our house was uninhabitable when we bought it in 1996, and I am not exaggerating. We had to work on it for a full year before we could even move in!)
So now my husband and I have a date planned to check out the bar and countertop. Color me excited.
Is Your Right to Resell in Peril?
There is an upcoming Supreme Court case that’s catching the eye of many Non-Consumer Advocate readers. The newsworthy case involves a university student who discovered that English language textbooks sell for substantially less in his native Thailand than they do here in the U.S. So this entrepreneurial student set up his own eBay business.
Here are the details from the Wall Street Journal:
“The case stems from Supap Kirtsaeng’s college experience. A native of Thailand, Kirtsaeng came to America in 1997 to study at Cornell University. When he discovered that his textbooks, produced by Wiley, were substantially cheaper to buy in Thailand than they were in Ithaca, N.Y., he rallied his Thai relatives to buy the books and ship them to him in the United States.
He then sold them on eBay, making upward of $1.2 million, according to court documents.
Wiley, which admitted that it charged less for books sold abroad than it did in the United States, sued him for copyright infringement. Kirtsaeng countered with the first-sale doctrine.
In August 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that anything that was manufactured overseas is not subject to the first-sale principle. Only American-made products or “copies manufactured domestically” were.
“That’s a non-free-market capitalistic idea for something that’s pretty fundamental to our modern economy,” Ammori commented.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case on Oct. 29.”
I’m not worried about how this will affect occasional resellers such as myself. There is no way that law enforcement would be able to track vintage resellers, let alone take an interest in little ol’ us. However, I will pay attention to the Supreme Court verdict.
Flea Market Renoir Had Been Stolen
Do you dream of finding a priceless painting at a flea market, flea market or garage sale? Well, a recent flea market Renoir sale was halted recently, when it was discovered that the painting had been reported as stolen in 1951.
I feel bad for the seller, who must have already spent the expected $75,000 in her head. Not her fault she was holding onto stolen goods.
Such a bummer, but that’s not going to stop me from keeping an eye out for priceless paintings when I go thrifting. You never know . . . .
Could You Live Without Money?
An article from Shareable.com titled A Life of Abundance Without Money recently caught my eye. The article focused on Daniel Suelo, age 51 who has chosen a life dedicated to living without earning or spending any money. Eating perfectly good food from dumpsters, Suelo is bringing attention to the waste within our own society, blogging from the library computers and giving interviews. (I took a quick look though his blog, and please know I am not endorsing his ideas!)
“I’m not even sure what poor really means, because I don’t feel like I’ve been lacking since I gave up money. I feel in a lot of ways more wealthy and not so limited.”
It’s an interesting article, and worthy of attention. Of course, it’s not a lifestyle that many of us would sign up for, but there’s still food for thought.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
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