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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

CALIFORNIA ONLINE THRIFT STORES

When I can’t find a California company that makes what I want, I try to find that thing used, and to buy it online, through a California company.  
EBay: San-Jose-based eBay sells everything that anyone anywhere wants to sell.  Because EBay allows buyers to choose the geographical location from which to buy, you still can buy what you want from a California seller, even if the product itself is not made by a California company.

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The RealReal: San Francisco-based The RealReal is an online consignment shop.  It sells beautiful and outrageously expensive items – e.g., Tom Ford suits – at less-outrageous prices, usually because they’re used.

Craigslist: San Francisco-based Craigslist provides local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, and advice through its Website.  I bought much college-days furniture through Craigslist.  A Craigslist ad also got me my current job.  

Huckberry LLC: San Francisco-based Huckberry actually isn't a thrift store -- the stuff it sells is new.  But you can't buy anything there.  Instead, this site sells stuff that the owners and staff like, from companies that the owners and staff like.  The site started as an outdoors store.  Now, however, it has expanded into all manner of other products.  I have not bought from Huckberry.  But I have bought products that Huckberry sells, and, so far, I like their taste in stuff.






Honorable Mention -- Amazon Smile:  Seattle-based Amazon.com is not a California company.  However, it does employ thousands of California workers, it collects and pays California taxes, and it distributes Californian products.  Also, it allows you to buy used items from California sellers – just choose the seller(s) for which Amazon is collecting sales tax.  The Amazon Smile program, furthermore, makes a donation to my chosen charity (my daughter’s elementary school) each time I make a purchase, without increasing the purchase price.  Even though Amazon is not a California company, therefore, buying through Amazon Smile allow me to invest in California at several levels simultaneously.  For example, I recently went through Amazon to buy a pair of swim trunks from Birdwell Beach Britches, a small company (with an unfortunate name) that designs and manufactures beach wear in Santa Ana.  With that one purchase: (1) I supported a California textile-manufacturing business; (2) I provided work for however many California workers it took to design, put together, transport, and deliver my purchase to my house; (3) I contributed sales-tax revenue to the State’s coffers; and (4) I secured a donation for a California public school.  And whatever money was left over went to a useful company that is headquartered in a State that shares California’s values, which isn’t so bad either.

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