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Online receipt organizer thinks inside the box

Add / Remove Most of us receive hundreds of emailed receipts each year. The team behind Shoeboxed.com, a startup based in Durham, North Carolina, promises a way to safely store them. Anyone can sign up for the free service. Once enrolled, users receive an email address which they can give to merchants when buying online. […]

Design-your-own duvets

Add / Remove There’s nothing like customization to make consumers feel unique, and the mass-customization trend has brought that feeling to goods as diverse as computers, blue jeans and breakfast cereal. Now New Jersey-based Inmod is taking customization into the inner sanctum of consumers’ home lives with a service that lets them design their own […]

Nostalgia for hire: Volkswagen campervans

Add / Remove There’s nothing like an old Volkswagen camper van to evoke images of footloose and fancy-free holidays during the Summer of Love. Now, modern-day flower children can relive the experience thanks to Devon-based O’Connors Campers and Bristol’s Seven Degrees West. Both companies operate small fleets of VW campers, including the 1960s splitscreen and […]

Product placement agency targets YouTube

Add / Remove Montreal-based Brandfame has launched itself as a product placement agency for YouTube and other online video sharing platforms, connecting makers of online videos with brands that want to be integrated into the next viral video blockbuster. Advertisers can list products they’d like to have featured in videos, and search for upcoming videos […]

Crowdfunding software projects

Add / Remove When it comes to software development, history has shown that niche products can often lead to profitable new markets. The challenge, of course, is discovering that the niche is there. microPledge uses the power of crowdfunding to uncover untapped demand and, in the words of its founders, “get software made.” The idea […]

Zero cents per minute — Update

Add / Remove Blyk, the mobile virtual network operator we covered earlier this year, launched in the UK yesterday. The company, which bills itself as a pan-European free mobile operator for young people, offers 16 to 24-year-olds 217 texts and 43 minutes every month, for free. As can be expected, the free part is made […]

Solar-powered vending machines

Add / Remove Vending machines can be found just about everywhere, except, maybe, where they’re needed most—tucked away on a remote beach or at the end of a gruelling golf-course hole. An Anglo-Spanish firm has come up with a solution: an off-the-grid, solar-powered vending machine that can be placed anywhere there’s adequate sunlight. In the […]

Helping seniors relocate

Add / Remove Seniors are among those most likely to move, as they downsize or head off to sunny retirement digs. Yet moves can be especially hard on them, with heavy lifting and countless details to deal with, from emptying an attic to reconnecting an entertainment system. Adrienne Simpson, founder of Smooth Mooove, has staked […]

Free love at the food court

Add / Remove A new marketing venture in Australia promises to capture the attention of consumers—and hold onto it for more than 15 minutes—when they’re out and about and in the mood to shop. NapkinAd features advertising promotions printed on napkins and napkin dispensers in high-traffic shopping mall food courts, where there’s a constant flow […]

Free listing for sellers & cash back for buyers

Add / Remove Selling a home ‘by owner’ may save consumers a real-estate agent commission, but it also makes it harder to get the broad exposure agents typically provide. Iggys House, launched in March, offers sellers a way onto critically important MLS lists—for free. More than 70 percent of all homes are sold through the […]

Freeze-dried eco burials

Add / Remove The pharaohs built pyramids to help protect their mummified remains for millennia. But these days an opposite trend has taken hold: low-impact burials that enable a body to naturally revert back to the soil as quickly as possible. In the UK, for example, well over 100 special cemeteries permit the burial of […]

Handywomen take on construction

Add / Remove When it comes to building or renovating homes or office spaces, consumers in the UK can now opt to forgo the handyman and call in a team of handywomen instead. A Woman’s Touch offers property maintenance and building services such as decorating, plastering, tiling, plumbing, electrical work and carpentry executed by a […]

Vending goes organic

Add / Remove Combining three unremitting consumer trends—convenience, organics and health—YoZone by YoNaturals is a vending machine dedicated to organic products. Based in San Diego, YoNaturals offers an alternative to vending machines that are typically stocked with junk food. YoNaturals offers a wide range of items, from fresh fruit to products by well-known brands like […]

Every issue of new mag is a work of art

Add / Remove However creative their content may be, most magazines still essentially amount to a pretty standard booklet of paper. Not so The Thing, which delivers an objet d’art instead. Its founders call it a magazine because incorporated into each object is some text. For example: The inaugural issue, shipped in August, was a […]

Mobile marketing at music festivals

Add / Remove Mobile phones promise to revolutionize event marketing and let sponsors reach visitors in uniquely personal ways that would be impossible with conventional media. Witness V Festival, held this August in Weston Park and Hylands Park. The festival gave its namesake sponsor, mobile network provider Virgin Mobile, a chance to show off some […]

Scoring for simpler comparison shopping

Add / Remove Experts bring their own biases when they review consumer products. So do the people who’ve purchased those products and later post their opinions online. But if you combine the two, online shoppers just might get an accurate picture of how good or bad the latest gadgets they crave really are. At least […]

Direct sales: tasting parties for foodies

Add / Remove In a new twist on the direct sales model made popular by Tupperware, My Secret Kitchen brings something to parties that any event already needs: great food. When a customer hosts a My Secret Kitchen Tasting, he or she only has to supply the guests and beverages, and the consultant does the […]

Food ordering by text message — Update: nationwide expansion

Add / Remove An update on ordering food by text message: GoMobo, which launched in New York City last year (see our previous post) just announced that they’re expanding to other major cities in the US. According to GoMobo’s founder, Noah Glass, several thousand customers have used GoMobo in New York City and have saved […]

Domestic outsourcing: lice busters

Add / Remove Parents in the Houston area who are reluctant to deal with the pesky and all too common problem of head lice removal now have the option of outsourcing the tedious task. Contrary to popular belief, head lice do not discriminate based on personal hygiene or socio-economic status, though many families still find […]