Questions in the Shopping category.
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November 24

How can I buy a set of Italian china mostly marketed to restaurants?

I fell in love with some hotel china while in Italy made by Schönhuber Franchi. Since coming back to the U.S. I've emailed their contact form (no response) and called them on the phone (language barrier - they couldn't understand my very poor italian) but their website suggests they primarily sell to restaurants. I'm at a loss: how can I manage to purchase a set of this china?
posted by arnicae at 6:07 PM - 6 answers

best automatic cat feeder

It's been a while since this question has been asked (I think, unless my archive searching skills aren't so good), so here we are again: looking for recommendations for the best auto cat feeder out there. Parameters inside. [more inside]
posted by thereemix at 8:27 AM - 13 answers

November 23

What are the best brands of wire shelving?

What are the best wire shelving brands? [more inside]
posted by cycleback at 10:16 PM - 8 answers

Is a $25 USD Gift Card from Old Navy Good Enough?

Help Me Determine How I Should Spend My Charity Funds [more inside]
posted by Hanuman1960 at 10:07 AM - 9 answers

November 22

For the person who needs very little and has little space...

A relative will soon be leaving for West Africa on her first assignment with the US Foreign Service. We would like to get her a nice holiday/going away gift, but what on earth is appropriate? [more inside]
posted by hydropsyche at 11:04 AM - 16 answers

Looking for this exact dish drain/drying rack!

Here are photos of my current dish drain. It's about 13"x18"x10"H when unfolded (ready to use) and ~16"x18"x3"H when folded. I think I got it in the late 90s at, like, a grocery store or something. It was cheap ($5-10). Since it got worn/rusty, I've tried to find a new one, but none of the places I've looked have anything like this anymore. [more inside]
posted by hansbrough at 8:20 AM - 4 answers

November 21

Art Supplies as a gift

Looking to buy some basic art supplies for my artistic but not serious artist sister. Need guidance on brands and whether art sets are just a waste. [more inside]
posted by Aranquis at 10:27 PM - 11 answers

Holiday cards in Orange County, CA?

Where can I buy unique holiday cards in Orange County or south LA that are suitable for Christmas and Hanukkah and appropriate for friends and business colleagues?
posted by Triumphant Muzak at 12:09 PM - 5 answers

November 20

Looking for markers, not books

My niece and nephew LOVE these coloring books. Unfortunately the markers don't last very long. Does anyone know where to buy just the markers without the books?
posted by orrnyereg at 6:00 AM - 9 answers

November 19

Used auto purchase from Portland dealer

I've found a low mileage car I like in Portland. I live 2 hours away and would need to come in, get the car checked out and make a buying decision all while dealing with a professional seller. What are my best tactics to do so? [more inside]
posted by diode at 2:12 PM - 7 answers

November 17

Stores in San Francisco

I'm going to be in San Francisco for a week, and I'm looking for some stores that specialize in antique fine arts (prints, drawings, paintings, etc) and antique decorative arts (ceramics, jewelry, crystal, silver, etc.). [more inside]
posted by Think_Long at 10:58 AM - 7 answers

November 14

Upping my audio fidelity - tiny apartment edition

I've been listening to CDs on a crappy thrift store boombox for years now, and would like to buy some equipment to get me to a higher level of audio quality. The complication is that I live in a small apartment with small children, and don't have the space for a standard component stereo system. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 1:34 PM - 14 answers

Cheap and easy frames and prints of wedding photos for gifts

Hi all! For our wedding, we got a disc and rights to all of our photos, but no prints. As the holidays are approaching, we want to get some prints and nice frames to give close family. However, money is tight and we are lazy. What is the cheapest and easiest way to get a dozen or so prints and frames in standard sizes, at a quality level somewhere above we-bought-everything-at-the-dollar-store? Thanks!
posted by likeatoaster at 10:26 AM - 20 answers

November 13

Do I tip a tattoo artist when they own the studio?

Hi MeFi! I'm going to get another tattoo in a week or so and I chose an artist I absolutely adore. My question is about tipping the artist when the studio is owned by them. In the past, I have always tipped but I've always heard the tipping is for when the person performing the service is not the owner. In this situation, I'm not sure what to do since the price is set by the hour, not the piece, and it's the owner doing it. So, to tip or not to tip? Thanks!
posted by whitetigereyes at 5:16 AM - 12 answers

November 12

What would she like best as her next kitchen appliance?

I routinely give a large seasonal gift to my employee, a brilliant young woman who recently got married and also scored a wedding gift from me. She and her new husband love making things, from cocktails to meals. I bought her an excellent Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker last year, and a Vitamix blender as the wedding gift. They use both all the time and seem thrilled. So, what next? [more inside]
posted by bearwife at 1:18 PM - 49 answers

November 11

Amazon Prime: Worth it?

Is there a way to find out if Amazon Prime is paying off for me? [more inside]
posted by Marky at 12:14 AM - 17 answers

November 10

The softest, most washable blanket material

For Christmas, I'd like to get my dad, who is a soft blanket superfan, a blanket that retains its softness for as along as possible. [more inside]
posted by palindromic at 2:08 PM - 12 answers

Where to buy Kerr’s orange and black wrapper ‘Halloween’ candies?

I’m looking for those terrible candies that you resented in your Halloween loot bag as a kid. I need to buy some, ideally online. Must ship to Canada. My Google-fu is failing me, only turning up out-of-stocks from Halloween. There has got to be somewhere that stocks them year round. What store/site is this?
posted by walkinginsunshine at 8:27 AM - 9 answers

November 9

Backpack with suspended mesh back panel AND organizey bits?

I get sweaty, and having tried a backpack with a suspended mesh back panel (aka trampoline suspension aka tensioned-mesh panel), there's no going back. But these all seem to be gormless with one giant chamber and maybe one or two small pockets -- I also want the sort of organizer panel and multiple compartments you get from a commuter daypack. And a hip belt to put the load on my hips. Anyone know a specific backpack with all of the above? [more inside]
posted by Zed at 8:13 PM - 7 answers

Fun, Inexpensive Baby Shower Gift?

Help me think of a not-too-expensive gift (under $50) to take to a friend's baby shower. They have a registry but I'd rather get them something fun that they weren't expecting. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine at 5:12 PM - 20 answers

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