Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday: To Shop or Not To Shop

Now that the crowds from Black Friday have subsided, thankfully malls and shopping centers can be considered safe again. Fortunately, we've come to another pit-stop in our winter holiday journey, which can help with your shopping for the rest of the year:

Cyber Monday!


Even before the holiday season, the rise of online shopping has become increasingly popular since the rise of Amazon.com, Ebay, and other popular retailers in 1995. Though the holiday, "Cyber Monday" didn't debut until November of 2005, this marketing innovation has helped raise billions of dollars for the online community.

Despite this popular holiday, there are still people with apprehension about the process of shopping online. This is completely understandable concern, as this certainly isn't the tangible shopping experience many of us grew up with. However, before condemning online shopping just yet, lets examine the pros and cons of both methods of shopping:


Online Shopping



Pros:
  • You don't have to worry about travel time, or finding a parking spot
  • Reduce your carbon footprint (for the Eco-conscious soul).
  • No crowds; this can especially be helpful during the holiday season.
  • No distractions/claustrophobia which may be caused by other shoppers or sales people.
  • No waiting in line to check-out.
  • Switching stores is as easy as typing a name or clicking a button.
  • If you're clothes shopping, unlimited amounts of sizes.
  • You can easily compare prices with other websites.
  • It's much easier to find deals and promotions online.
  • Customer/product reviews: see how reliable the store and products are that you're ordering.
  • If you have a laptop and wifi, you can shop at any comfortable destination you like! Outside, on the couch, in your bed...wherever you choose, your oasis awaits.
  • No need to worry about dressing up to go out! You can shop in your pajamas/sweats for all it matters!
  • You can ship gifts directly to far away friends/family instead of taking gifts to your local shipment store.
  • There is more background information at your finger tips such as technical specifications, the material the product is made of, other products to go with it, etc.

Cons:
  • You can't actually "see" the product. There's just something to holding a product or trying something on that puts the mind at ease.
  • The wait time to receive your products; not instantaneous like in-store shopping.
  • Shipping costs; though many websites have free shipping after spending a certain amount, this isn't always the case.
  • Items listed online may not necessarily be in stock; it's very important to check this! If you're unsure, I recommend calling the store's customer service team.
  • Extenuating circumstances can occur, delaying your shipment (i.e. bad weather
  • Products can be damaged during shipment
  • Returning/exchanging the product can sometimes be a hassle.
  • Payment fraud or identity theft; though this can happen in physical stores too, unfortunately it's easier to do this behind a computer.
  • No one physically there to answer your questions if you need help with someone, and calling the company, you don't always speak with a representative.


In-Store Shopping



Pros:
  • You can physically feel, touch, and look at all angles of the product.
  • If you need to try something on, you are able to do so.
  • You are able to get a better idea of the color; on eCommerce websites the lighting or background of the photography can some times affect how the product color actually looks.
  • You're reducing the carbon footprint of the shipping companies
  • You get your merchandise right away; no waiting for shipping.
  • There's just something adventurous about shopping in a store, not knowing what you're going to find!


Cons:
  • It can take a lot of effort getting to your awaited destination, especially during holiday rush seasons.
  • Finding the products you need in a store can be a nightmare between locating the product and weaving through large crowds.
  • Two words: sales people. They mean well and they're just doing their job, but sometimes you just want to be left alone.
  • The price of the product is the price of the product, unless you have coupons with you.
  • Checking out can be a tedious process; long lines, heavy carts, agitated customers, and sometimes screaming children. Not the ideal shopping experience.
  • You can physically return or exchange a product without being charged a restocking fee or shipping fee.

All in all, whether you're shopping online or in stores, there are pros and cons to both. However if you're aware and educated on the aspects of each shopping method, you can make an informed decision for what works best for you. 

In the spirit of Cyber Monday, for those remodeling their bathroom, redecorating, or just buying a gift for the holidays, be sure to visit us at TheBathOutlet.com for one of our biggest sales of the year: 10% off your order, free shipping and twice the rewards to be used on a future purchase (until 11:59 p.m. on 12/2/2013 only).




Happy Cyber Monday everyone, and may the sales be ever in your favor!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Survive Black Friday

It's finally that time of year again; grocery stores are filled with patrons rushing to buy turkeys, Christmas decorations are being installed too early, and it's finally starting to feel like winter here in the northeast. Before you know it, Thanksgiving has arrived and the next celebration has yet to begin:


Most known for some of the biggest sales of the year and attracting large aggressive crowds, this can be both an exciting and somewhat intimating holiday.


As a 20-something female who goes almost every year, there are some things you can only learn from experience. As of now, I go for purely for the fun of it (and sometimes a few deals), but if you consider this a serious holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are some survival tips that can really make or break your experience:


1.  Get Dropped Off


Okay, so maybe not actually from a plane...but it makes your experience MUCH easier if you have a friend/family member nice enough to drop you off at your shopping mecca. You may not be able to store your shopping bags in the car, but it saves you the time and trouble of finding a parking spot (and the ugly/scary competition that comes with it).


2. Drive Safe and Be Patient!


If you can't get dropped off, exert your full patience while trying to find a parking spot. Though it might seem like a good idea to fight someone for that good spot, park someones car in, or teach someone a lesson in parking-lot etiquette, it's not. This is not only a bad idea, but can result in car accidents, traffic violations, assault, or in extreme cases, jail time. Chances are, there will be people standing in open spots to save it for family/friends, the car behind will probably tailgate, and you WILL get cut off for that coveted parking spot. This is just a reality of Black Friday.


3. Shop with Friends


Advantages: strength in numbers (it's safer this way), diverse fashion advice, good memories, and most of all, it just more fun.
Disadvantages: there really are none; though Black Friday is a fun holiday, it's important to be safe.


4. Bring Water


It will get you through that proverbial wall halfway through the shopping trip. Water not enough? If there's a massive line at Starbucks, this will tide you over until you can order your coffee.


5. Wear Comfortable Shoes


 
Ladies: you don't need to wear your "Sundays Best" to this event. In fact, stilettos, heeled boots, and tight flats are not recommended. You want something that will not only support your foot, but also won't cause blisters. Believe me, after five hours of shopping, your feet will thank you.


6. Create a Shopping List
http://christmas.organizedhome.com/sites/christmas.organizedhome.com/files/image/pdf/christmas_planner_gifts_holiday_sales_planner.pdf

If you know what you're looking for, how much it is, and what stores carry the product, you're off to a pretty good start! Be proactive, and you shall receive :)

*To print the planner above, simply click the picture and it will take you to a .pdf document*


7. Don't Forget Snacks! 

 
It's easier on the wallet, and if you bring the right type of snacks, you'll be ready to shop for hours! Pack foods with a combination of protein and carbohydrates to keep you going. Protein provides long lasting energy to help you get through the trip, while carbohydrates provide you with shorter bursts of energy or a "pick me up". If you can't find or don't have anything with this combination, improvise! Bring both carbohydrates and protein filled foods and use them as separates. 

  • "On the go" carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, and crackers.
  • "On the go" proteins: cheese, almonds, greek yogurt, beef jerky, and protein bars.

And last but not least, the most important thing to remember about Black Friday is...


So please everyone, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! And just keep in mind, if Black Friday seems too intense, that's okay! Shopping online can be just as fun, more convenient, and overall a lot safer. In fact, I heard there's this great e-commerce company called TheBathOutlet.com that's having unbelievable Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale this week! ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Internet's Most Creative Bathrooms

According to a poll of 2,500 people in the UK, the average man spends one and a half years of his lifetime in the bathroom. Women on the other hand, spend three years, one month, and 15 days in the bathroom.


Yes, this is a very long time.

Whether you're a man or woman, if you're going to spend this much time in one area, it would make sense to make this a space to enjoy. For some, this can mean creating the perfect traditional bathroom, but for others it can also mean thinking a little outside of the box. The bathrooms below are anything but ordinary, but if you're going to spend up to three years there, you might as well make it interesting (or maybe even productive)!


For the gamer extraordinaire, or if you just always liked Pac Man:
(Brush up on your gaming strategy!)




For the skier or wannabe adrenaline junkie:
(Get over your fear of heights, or get ready for your next ski run!)



For the basketball enthusiast:
(Work on your free-throw shot!)



For the over-stressed:
(Relax on your no-so-far-away island getaway!)



For the multitasker:
(Get some work done! After all, this could be a while....)


Stay tuned for more creative bathrooms design ideas, and create your own by visiting us at TheBathOutlet.com!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Word About Toilet Paper


-Interesting Toilet Paper Facts-

  • The US goes through 15 billion rolls of toilet paper every year.
  • 7% of people in the US steal toilet paper from hotels and motels.
  • Just over 83 million rolls of toilet paper are produced daily.
  • 1 tree produces about 810 rolls of toilet paper.
  • Toilet paper's other uses: packaging material, tissue paper, seat covers, make-up removal and even as a wedding dress!
  • 70% of the world doesn't use toilet paper. Water is the universal solvent!

Over vs. Under


There are many interesting behaviors that we have when it comes to the bathroom. One of these rather interesting behaviors is which way we orient the toilet paper on the toilet paper holder.

This conundrum is not new. It's been argued for more than 100 years! The Scott company created the current roll for mass production in 1879. Prior to the roll, toilet paper looked more like napkins, stacked individually on top of each other.

According to a Cottonelle Roll Poll
72% of users prefer rolling over
28% of users prefer rolling under


Now you could avoid over vs. under all together with a vertical toilet paper holder.




Friday, October 4, 2013

3 Reasons To Buy Bamboo Product


Bamboo.
No longer just for the pandas.


Many people enjoy the look of natural wood, but the price of wood products and the toll it has on the environment discourages some from buying. This is the reason bamboo has gained market shares in wood product industries.

So what are some of the benefits of bamboo verses traditional hardwoods like walnut, cherry, maple, oak and pine?


1. Weight - bamboo is much more porous than traditional hardwoods. This makes the wood less dense and weight less than it's counterparts. This makes shipping cost cheaper. Also, if you buy larger objects, such as furniture, it requires less manpower to move within the home.


2. Cost - bamboo grows extremely fast (some species can grow up to three feet in one day!) compared to hardwoods. This makes supplying the bamboo market easier to achieve and makes the cost cheaper. If it's cheaper for the manufacture, than it's cheaper for you.


3. Environmental Impact - when grown correctly, the same plot of land will produce more product in a faster time period than traditional logging. This is because bamboo grows closer together and extremely fast compared to hardwoods. Traditional wood logging causes sediment erosion and pollutes nearby water shed systems. Logging also causes landslides because there is nothing to hold back the soil.




Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's In A Name?


Would a rose smell just as sweet if it was called by any other name? 

What about a towel rack? Will it function just the same?

Towel racks come in all shapes and sizes. Which one is best for you bathroom will depend on multiple factors; space, price and style. However, everyone tends to define a towel rack differently.
  • Some people see a towel rack as a shelf.
  • Some see a towel rack as a towel bar.
  • Some see it as a train rack.
All of these individuals have a different idea of what a towel rack is and none of them are wrong. However, The Bath Outlet has seen that a significant number of people looking for a towel rack purchase a towel bar.

Due to the uncertainty of what people are looking for we here at The Bath Outlet try to assist our customers with their purchase by finding exactly what they're looking for as quickly as possible. Just as Google attempts to show you the most relevant search results within the first page, we try to recommend the best possible results for your search.


Towel racks have more than one function. They can function as a place to store additional clean towels; this is used widely in the hotel industry and achieved by using a train rack. Train racks mount to the wall and tend to be placed a eye level or higher. Placing the towel rack high allows for use under it, such as a toilet, another train rack, towel bar or a fold-up ironing board. Many train racks have more than one function; they double as a storage shelf, towel bar or even a towel hook. They come in different depths but the average is either 20 or 24 inches.




Some people have even used a wine rack as a towel rack. This is a great way to use other items in the house for different purposes. 



The number one product bought when searching for a towel rack is a towel bar. Towel bars come in a variety of sizes. The smallest is 12 or 14 inches and generally accommodate a hand towel. Hand towels can also be accommodated by towel rings (which we'll discuss further down). Towel bars than generally step up to a 16-18 inch bar. This would be for your standard body towel. The next jump up is a 24 inch towel bar. This larger size can accommodate two body towels when folded in half widthwise or a single towel in optimal orientation for drying. Whichever towel bar you choose to use make sure that the length will meet your required needs.

14"                                     18"                                     24"

Towel rings come in a variety of shapes. Not all of them are actually rings, but they all have the same general makeup. Towel rings have a single point of contact with the wall, where mounted. From there most have a slight arm that comes out from the wall and holds the ring. Most of these will have a ring that swivels. Some will be locked in place and stationary. Other towel rings will have more of a 'C' shape to them. The top of the 'C' will connect to the wall and the bottom of the 'C' will hold the towel. Towel rings have more character than their towel bar brethren. Towel rings are recommend for master baths to add more personality or smaller bathrooms where space is scarce and towel bars are too large.


Towel stands are another breed of their own. Stands are easily moved and can hold more than one towel. The standard towel stand contains two or three rungs and has the ability to swivel. The benefit of having a towel stand is if you have a large bathroom. Large bathrooms have less wall space per square foot. Stands allow you to place a towel holder closer to the fixture than the wall would. Towel stands are great outdoors, too! Walls are scarce at pools and towel stands work great for this reason.