Archives for November 2013

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MIT Study on Prices Ending with $9

price tagFound this post from Daniel Scocco on his great site: DailyBlogTips

Did you know that around 60% of all retail prices end with a 9 digit? No one is sure about why the digit 9 in specific, but most marketers and economists know that ending a price with it tends to increase sales.

For those who want empirical evidence, back in 2003 some MIT folks did a quite interesting study around the subject. The basically used a mail-order company that sells women’s clothing, and the priced the same pieces at three different levels: $34, $39 and $44. Care to guess the results?

The $39 price tag outsold the other, by a factor of 15% up to 30% in some cases. If you didn’t get the insight yet, let me re-phrase it: the same product sold more units with a price of $39 then with a price of $34!

The same results were found when they used $44, $49 and $54 price levels, as well as $54, $59 and $54. In other words, the price tag ending with a 9 virtually always outperformed the other price tags, were they higher or smaller.

Here’s the conclusion from the paper:

We have presented three ?eld experiments demonstrating that $9 price endings increase demand but that the effect is context dependent. The effect is stronger for new items that customers have seen less frequently in the past.

Pretty interesting huh? Here’s the link to the PDF if you want to read it in full.

Christmas lights in Australia claim Guinness World Record


An Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home.

Guinness World Records official Chris Sheedy confirmed Monday that the Richards family of Canberra set the record for Christmas lights on a residential property with 502,165 twinkling bulbs.

The family first entered the famous record book in 2001 with 331,038 multi-colored lights. But they were trumped last year by a family in LaGrangeville, New York, who illuminated their home with 346,283 lights.

The Richards home with its lights on more than 50 kilometers of wire in suburban Forrest will be open to the public from the weekend to raise money for charity.

Apparently their electricity bill will run about $2,000 for the month.

See photos and full story here: CBC.

For the best-ever take on one-upping the Christmas-lighting-Joneses, check out this guy’s lights in England: Daily Mail.

A Little Inspiration

Mandela quote“There is no passion to be found in playing small — settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

— Nelson Mandela

5 tips to help you downsize

downsizing your homeThe pre-holiday rush is probably the last time you think about downsizing unless (a) you know how many presents your kids are getting, and it ain’t pretty, (b) you need to fit ten extra people in the house, or (c) you need a better excuse not to fit ten extra people in the house.

So, call it getting a head start on your New Year’s resolution list, and take a look at these five steps to downsizing provided by Erica Sofrina at Care2.

Incidentally, we’re going to throw in a tip to get you started: Take deep breaths.

Now, go.

Do the clutter test with everything you own….do I love it, is it useful, when was the last time I used it? If more than a year old, decide whether you are going to give it away or sell it. Be very thoughtful about what you save. Is everything you own worthy of a space in your home or office? Do you really want to spend time and money maintaining it and housing it?

Rent or borrow the things you only need periodically. There are companies and organizations you can join that allow you to rent the camping gear, tables and chairs for Thanksgiving dinner, fishing gear or skis you need every two years. Do we all really need the huge garages to house the things that we use infrequently? I borrow the tables and chairs for large parties from my neighbor whom I do favors for in exchange. This practice encourages us to get to know our neighbors and become a part of our community.

Full story at Care2.

Villa Kanousan: Odd-Angle Apertures for Light & Views

villa kanousanThis has to be one of the most intriguing homes I have ever seen!

It looks like some kind of space/time disaster has struck this otherwise modest and minimalist house, pierced wildly with strangely-shaped voids that connect interior spaces and provide exterior illumination.

hole punched kitchen

hole spiral

hole exterior cube

In fact, from the outside this home by Yuusuke Karasawa is all the more ordinary at first – a basic cube on all sides, surrounded with wood siding. At least it seems typical until you start to notice the slanted windows that draw your eye inside.

hole interior void

hole bedroom

hole entry stairs

Between rooms, strange geometries and surprising framed views are formed both between rooms and toward the surrounding landscape. There are essentially infinite new ways to look at the home thanks to these curious visual interventions.

hole bathroom exception

hole dynamic experience

To let this effect play out in full force, most of the home is as minimal as possible in terms of shapes, materials and details. Simple wood floors give rise to white walls and ceilings, doors and stairs, all playing the role of backdrop to the otherworldly interplay of solid and void.

Read more:

5 Apps to Help Declutter Your Closets

5 Apps to Help Declutter Your Closets ::

If you’ve ever longed for the futuristic closet in Clueless – or just dreamed of easily locating your shoes before work – look no further than your smart phone!

While we can’t promise the supercharged conveyor-belt in Cher’s closet, we can set you up with a virtual way to manage your wardrobe like a boss.

That way, you’ll stay organized, keep track of what you own and always be able to find that missing saddleback shoe.

Here are five of our favorite closet-organization apps:


iPhone, Android (free)

If you’re interested in coordinating your closet by color, style or pattern, this app makes that easy.

Styliticsbasically takes the thought out of getting dressed (which can help make mornings less stressful). This app sends push notifications or “style alerts” giving you trend and weather updates.

Bonus: Make sure you check out the outfit suggestion feature! Because the app keeps track of when a piece of clothing was last worn, it can actually suggests outfits for you based off how often you wear certain items.

Good Housekeeping @Home

Android, iOS (free)

If you’re looking to free up some room in your closet, this app is for you.

Created by Good Housekeepingmagazine, this app includes step-by-step guides to help you clear clutter and advice on staying organized.


iPhone (free)

BrightNest is more than a site full of helpful advice and how-tos. It’s also an app where you have the ability to save, favorite and schedule tasks (like organizing your closet!).

Download the free app for easy guides on topics like de-cluttering your wardrobe, storing seasonal clothes and donating unwanted items.


iPhone (free)

Pick out an outfit or plan your vacation wardrobe without getting out of bed with this brand-new app!

WithCloset, you can organize your clothes into categories (like winter, spring or dry-clean only), tag pieces as favorites, track how often you wear certain pieces and even estimate a cost-per-wear of each item.

Our favorite part? You can create multiple closets in the same account, so you can keep the whole house organized!


iOS ($3.99)

This app is closet organizer, wardrobe planner, packing list and inspiration library rolled into one.

WhileStyleBook boasts over 90 features, we think its most valuable feature (MVF?) is the personalized Style Stats.

You can see what pieces you wear the most and least, so when it’s time to audit your closet, you’ll know what items you should toss or donate.
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The Benefits of Homeownership

Infographic Benefits Homeownership

When Ugly Turns to Beautiful: Ugly Christmas Sweaters

ugly-christmas-sweatersCreate one and enter to win at: