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Is it safe to back-to-school shop on Poshmark and at secondhand stores during a pandemic? Experts weigh in

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Is it safe to shop at thrift stores and online during COVID-19?
Is it safe to shop at thrift stores and online during COVID-19?

As we transition into fall, students are still looking for back-to-school clothing that is stylish and affordable, whether they are in a Zoom class online or in-person on campus. With trends changing daily, many people opt to buy and sell previously-loved clothing, shoes and accessories through online social commerce platforms like Poshmark.

When Canada entered lockdown in March, stores remained closed and shoppers weren’t able to head to their favourite thrift store to go through racks of sustainable clothing. This made many people take their thrift game online to change the way they purchased secondhand goods.

PhD student Kate Bauer says she still spends her free time re-selling her closet on Poshmark so she can remain up-to-date with the

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Buy food from Black-owned companies at this online shop

Starex Smith wanted to buy Black.

But when the Miami-based food blogger and reviewer went to local grocery stores, he found only the same run-of-the-mill spices, mixes and ingredients. Where, he wondered, were all the flavorful ingredients that made up the cuisines of the Black diaspora from the Caribbean, the South and beyond — made by Black and minority entrepreneurs?

“How do Black entrepreneurs get into stores?” he wondered. “You make great products, but you can’t get in the door.”

He scoured the internet to find the Black-owned food marketplace scattered — but rich. A Black-Mexican tequila distiller. Black-owned wineries in the Anderson Valley. Organic dark chocolate made with cacao imported from Peru, Madagascar and Ecuador. Twenty-one-day, dry-aged beef from cattle raised on Black-owned ranches in East Texas. Vegan Cuban black beans. Ready-to-eat buttermilk biscuits.

So he decided to put it all in one place.

Smith, who blogs under the

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7 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How We Shop for Food

Jennifer Flanigan loads up a cart at a Kroger store in West Chester, Ohio on Sept. 7, 2020. (Andrew Spear/The New York Times)
Jennifer Flanigan loads up a cart at a Kroger store in West Chester, Ohio on Sept. 7, 2020. (Andrew Spear/The New York Times)

When the coronavirus hit, even the most enthusiastic cooks had to adjust to a new, more complicated relationship with their kitchens.

For the first time in a generation, Americans began spending more money at the supermarket than at places where someone else made the food. Grocers saw eight years of projected sales growth packed into one month. Shopping trends that were in their infancy were turbocharged.

The six-month shift has been a behavioral scientist’s dream. Shoppers began by building bomb-shelter pantries. Then came a nostalgia phase, with bowls of Lucky Charms and boxes of Little Debbies offering throwback comfort. Soon, days were defined by elaborate culinary stunts, sourdough starter and kombucha clubs.

Although kitchen fatigue is setting in for many, a new set of kitchen habits have

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Where to Shop Kids Face Masks

Face masks are one practical way to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Over the past few months, companies across all kinds of industries have started to sell cloth face masks for adults — and some are making face masks for kids with fun prints. ET Style has the low down on where to buy the best kids face masks.

If you’re a parent looking for personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines for your children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone over the age of two wear a face mask while outside of their home. Whether you’re dealing with an adult mask or a kids’ mask, make sure it fits snugly but comfortably against both sides of the face, can be secured with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric (most have two or three), allows for unrestricted breathing and is washed regularly.

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Your old cellphone may be worth more than you think. But you have to shop it around

Remember when your cellphone was brand new and you wanted to show it to everyone? That was a good day! Exciting! Thrilling! And now, however long later this is, you are hankering for an upgrade.

The new phones do all sorts of amazing things yours can’t. They charge wirelessly, fold in half, sport super-fast processors, can survive a dunking, and have a camera that’s to die for.

Resisting the urge to upgrade our phones is – for many a human living in the year 2020 – a near-constant battle with lust-worthy temptation. Or, as I like to think of it, the never-ending struggle to “keep up with the phone-ses.”

Smartphones are now stupidly central to our existence, too. We spend, on average, five hours a day using them. Some of us spend much more. The struggle is real. 

If you have resisted long enough and are ready to take the

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Reusable coverings to shop now

Wearing a covering is different to a medical mask that should be reserved for frontline workers: iStock
Wearing a covering is different to a medical mask that should be reserved for frontline workers: iStock

Ever since coronavirus began spreading across the world, there has been some debate on the use of face masks, including who should wear them and the benefits of them.

After months of not being compulsory in England, the government made face coverings mandatory on public transport and for hospital visits from 15 June. Uber also made masks compulsory for customers and staff from this date.

These rules have also been applied to supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, post offices, travel hubs and shops, as well as in the indoor settings where you’re likely to come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, including cinemas, museums, galleries and places of worship.

If you’re picking up a takeaway coffee or food in England, you’ll also have to wear a mask, but this rule doesn’t

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How to shop for a mortgage (and get your best deal)

With a typical price tag today of around $350,000, a home is the biggest purchase most people ever make. And the price is just the beginning.

record-low mortgage rates. There’s not only interest to consider, but also lender fees, mortgage insurance and other borrowing costs.” data-reactid=”33″Most buyers need a mortgage to take ownership of a home, and a loan can be expensive — even in this time of record-low mortgage rates. There’s not only interest to consider, but also lender fees, mortgage insurance and other borrowing costs.

Do yourself a favor by shopping around, knowing your options, and more.

Follow these tips to save tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage loan.

1. Sharpen your credit score

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Though market forces drive mortgage rates up or down, lenders also consider your own finances when setting your

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How to Shop for Well-Made Clothes Online

Online shopping has come a very long way since it first became a thing in the early ’90s. You may recall that the major players back then were pretty much just eBay and Amazon (which was a book retailer at the time). Fast-forward to today and practically every fashion business has an online component, save for a few holdouts (the most noteworthy being Chanel).

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world, the shift from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to e-commerce has been one of the fashion industry’s biggest talking points. If you grew up going to malls every weekend, you probably never thought you’d see the day when a department store as storied as Barneys New York would cease to exist, but here we are.

Whether or not you were comfortable with shopping online for clothes before 2020, the pandemic has pretty much forced it upon you, at

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Next predicts surprise profit as shop price decline eases

A Next shop on London's Oxford Street. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
A Next shop on London’s Oxford Street. Photo: Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Shares in Next (NXT.L) jumped over 9% on Wednesday after the retailer said it expected to make a small profit this year, confounding expectations of investors and analysts.

It came as new data suggested downward pressure on high street prices was beginning to ease as shoppers returned, although it remained acute in some quarters.

Next said in a trading update on Wednesday that full price sales were down 28% in the second quarter, which was “much better than we expected and an improvement on the best-case scenario given in April.”

Online sales rose 9% in the quarter while in-store sales were down 32% compared with last year. Next said it now expects to make a profit of £195m for the year.

“The company is in a much better position than we anticipated three months ago,” Next said. “Consumer

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Shop this sale on leadership and stress management online courses

Shop this sale on leadership and stress management online courses
Shop this sale on leadership and stress management online courses

TL;DR: Take better control of your business with The Ultimate Leadership and Stress Management Bundle for $39.99, a 97% savings as of July 22.

These are not “normal” times we’re living in. Every week, we’re thrown another curveball. So, naturally, stress is at an all-time high and businesses everywhere are struggling to keep it together.

In other words: You’re not alone.

Everyone could use some stress management coping strategies these days, but perhaps nobody quite as much as decision-makers. As such, the Ultimate Leadership and Stress Management Bundle was designed to help leaders manage their remote teams during these crazy times.

In order to be a good leader, you need to get your own ducks in a row before managing everyone else’s. That’s where this training bundle comes into play. After nine courses and 11 hours of content on stress,

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