Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

“You Online Shop Too Much”-My Mom, Probably

Friday, August 5th, 2022

If online shopping is so bad, then why is it so relaxing? Why is it so satisfying to fill my carts with all of the items that I want, knowing full well that I can’t afford the thousands of dollars of merchandise? Why does it bring me comfort to organize wish lists with things that I will probably never get around to buying? These are the million-dollar questions, I know.

In my first semester at college, I was probably ordering new clothes once a month. It was so convenient to ship them to my dorm, and it’s always fun to get a package when you’re at school, even if you’re the one sending it. However, I do have a habit of ordering clothes just to return them in the next week. My mom considers this a bad habit, but I consider it being fiscally responsible and making sure to get my money back whenever I order something that I don’t like or don’t need. To each their own.

A very high-quality mirror selfie of me trying on clothes that I ordered online in my dorm. We do not have a full-length mirror, hence the standing on the chair. Have to get creative sometimes.

Once the pandemic hit, the term “retail therapy” seemed to take on a whole different meaning. It was one of several ways to pass time during our days of isolation, but it also seemed like a way to stay connected with the outside world and brighten up your life by getting something new or treating yourself in whatever form that takes—whether it was new clothes (ironic, considering the furthest place I was going on an average day was to the kitchen downstairs), a new book to read, or a new appliance to try out. Much more convenient and safer than going shopping in-person, and much less work and cognitive energy being spent.

But, like many things in life, online shopping is not immune to corrupt business practices, ones that of course flourish in our capitalist system; ones that not only take advantage of employees that work in factories with egregious conditions and contribute to environmental destruction, but also manipulate us as consumers because they offer services that we are compelled to utilize.

Take Amazon, an example I’m sure we are all intimately familiar with. As a college student, Amazon is a lifesaver. Need a book for class immediately? It could come the next day. Need back to school supplies but don’t have access to transportation? Order it online and just walk to your mailroom to pick it up. Want to buy a coffee machine but don’t know which ones are the best to buy? Look at the reviews and have it in two days. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s affordable, and the products are usually very good quality.  

The cost, of course, is more than just the price of the item. The cost is that you are compelled to take part in a system that is as dangerous as it is convenient: employees are being pushed to the brink to work faster in unsafe working conditions, they are kept in the dark about COVID-19 and put at a greater risk for it, they work more than 60 hours a week, and they have to commute two or three hours to get to work, just to name a few of the many issues cited by Justine Medina and Brett Daniels, who are members of the organizing committee for Amazon’s Labor Union in Staten Island.

The same thing goes with fast fashion, “the mass production of cheap, poor quality, disposable clothing.” College students are very susceptible to fast fashion from companies like Shein, who take advantage of a person’s inclination to spend less money while still trying to keep up to date with fast-evolving trends. We see people our age everyday get on TikTok to take us through their shopping hauls, and it makes us want to go out and spend our money to do the same. Shein though, unlike Amazon, usually does not have as good-quality products and is very hit or miss, which personally gives me more of a reason not to shop there. I ordered from Shein one time freshman year, and out of the three items I kept, I have worn one of them exactly once. That is, of course, a perk of fast fashion—the clothes are so cheap that if you don’t wear them, you don’t feel guilty because it didn’t cost you very much. But, that’s also why the cycle is so hard to break, as people are more inclined to dispose of their clothes faster (not usually through sustainable methods) and simply order more.

I want to be abundantly clear that this post isn’t meant for me to sit here on a pedestal, tell you where you can and can’t shop, or make you feel bad. It’s more meant for myself—and hopefully others who feel similarly—to think through these pervasive problems and wonder where we can go from here. I still shop at Amazon and I don’t blame people who order from Shein because truly we are all just doing the best we can to try to save money and navigate a system that is inherently unfair at every step of the way.

I am caught between two schools of thought—on one hand, maybe individuals can try to be more aware of where they are shopping from and shop more sustainably. There are many good options, with the best probably being thrifting your items. Another good solution is to support more small businesses as opposed to large corporations, such as spending money on Redbubble (there is a student discount available!) or Etsy. I personally like buying clothes from American Eagle and Aerie, and I know they are beginning to make more products that are sustainable and eco-friendly.

Image credit:

On the other hand, I also think that it is unfair to put the pressure on the individual and not the company—because yes, you could do your research and that would be great, but often we just don’t have the time or energy (especially during a global pandemic), and habits are hard to break. It feels like a losing battle, made worse by living through a time where we rely greatly on online shopping and companies like Amazon or Shein to get us the items we need in a safe, efficient manner. 

We debated this issue a lot in my ethics class last semester, and I still don’t really have an answer. I suppose the lesson here is to choose your battles when you can and recognize that making these choices can be difficult when there are many different factors at play and you aren’t in a position where you can spend more money on more expensive yet sustainable brands. Hopefully someday we can get to a place where the onus is not on us to do better, but for companies and brands to both recognize and actually care about the hurt they cause to both human beings and the environment, instead of just worrying about profits.

The good news is companies like the Campus Clipper are always looking for ways to help students save money and shop locally. For instance, if you’re looking to save 10% on art supplies, check out the coupon below and order from Blick Art Materials!

By: Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a senior at Villanova University studying English and Communication. She is in utter disbelief that she just admitted to being a senior. She loves to read, but has made barely a dent in the increasingly large pile of books on her bookshelf that she told herself she would read this summer. She hopes to enter a career in the editing and publishing industry.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services. At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


From New York to….L.A.

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

New York has no short of odd things to see and do. It’s a big city with so many hidden nooks and crannies that you could spend your entire life doing interesting things in the City and still never be able to find all of them. That’s one of the things that make New York so overwhelming and wonderful. The only west coast equivalent I can think of when it comes to wild and wacky things to do is L.A.

Orange County, L.A. Taken by Jainita Patel

Orange County, L.A.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Like NYC, L.A. has its own off-beat things to see and do and here are just a few places both cities have that are a little off the beaten path:

Crazy Museums.

You know me. I’m a sucker for a good museum, but if you’re looking for something a lot less serious than some of the ones I’ve mentioned for one, then you might want to check out the Museum of Math. I’m not kidding. This seemingly dull museum is a blast with fun games to play to help you explore your mathematical side. Even if you’re not a math person, this place is just a lot of fun. Still not convinced? Then maybe you should try Baby Castles, which is a museum dedicated to video games. You’re even encouraged to play with most of the exhibits. In L.A., the wildest museum I’ve been to is the La Brea Tar Pit Museum. Here, the pits and the preserved animals are the main attraction, but the inside museum is entertaining as well, with life-style animatronic recreation of mammals that have long been extinct.

Exhibition at the MoMath. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Exhibition at the MoMath.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

My sister at the La Brea Tar Pit Museum. Taken by Jainita Patel.

My sister at the La Brea Tar Pit Museum.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

Wild Nature.

You don’t really think of nature as a weird place, but you’d be surprised how wild it can get around L.A. and New York. One of the greatest and oddest national parks I’ve ever been to is Joshua Tree National Park. It’s just desert and rocks for miles and miles, but the landscape manages to be gorgeous, if a little surreal. It’s only 2 hours away from L.A. by car. For you advanced hikers, Ryan Mountain is my favorite trail there. In New York, Fire Island may be 3 hours and 2 trains away from Manhattan, but Otis Pike is one of the last true wildernesses left in the Northeast. There are no marked trails here, but it’s hard to get lost on this thin island. With the ocean on one side and the bay on the other, even if you manage to get lost, the views you find will be worth it. If that’s not your cup of tea, Fire Island also has one of the last Sunken Forests left in the world.

From the top of Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree. Taken by Jainita Patel

From the top of Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree.
Taken by Jainita Patel

Odd Stores.

New York and L.A. are both known for their shopping scene, but besides clothes and other necessities, both cities have a knack for the quirkiest of shops. Most NYU kids have probably walked by the Evolution Store on Broadway before, but if you get a chance, you should stop inside one did. They have the craziest and creepiest items for sale like taxidermy animals and replica skulls. Most people who live in L.A. have heard of the Last Bookstore. It’s become more and more popular over the years, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of quirkiest places in L.A. With shelves that run for miles and architecture made from books, this place is bound to steal your heart.

The Last Bookstore. Taken by Jainita Patel

The Last Bookstore.
Taken by Jainita Patel


Street art is pretty offbeat as an art form and there are no two better cities to see murals than NYC and L.A. The Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem has some of the best artwork in the city. Set in a playground, take an hour or two to head up there and just walk alongside the beautiful artwork and while you’re there, be sure to grab something to eat as the food in East Harlem is bomb. In L.A., if you ever bike the famous path from Santa Monica to Venice, you’ll speed past alongside the skate parks on the beach, but there’s a particular stretch of that path that goes past random installations of murals. Be sure to stop there and look around. These odd walls are right next to the water and have some insanely cool art on them.

The Graffiti Wall of Fame.

The Graffiti Wall of Fame.

Right off the Santa Monica-Venice bike path. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Right off the Santa Monica-Venice bike path.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

So if you’re looking for things to do that are off the beaten path, now you have a list to get you started before you find your own places to explore. If you like New York for its weird aspects, you might enjoy L.A and vice versa. Hopefully you’ll get to visit both some day.


By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 



College Savings: How to Haggle Your Way to the Best Souvenirs

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

I have a confession to make. . . . Are you listening? Good. Well, here goes…

I’m a packrat.

I can’t help it. Wherever I go I like to take mementoes with me. My best friend calls me the Souvenir Kleptomaniac. If there’s a free gift or college discounts to be had, I’m there. At restaurants I save the little business cards and menus and circle what I ate. I keep receipts from purchases in other countries just because there’s a different language on them.  I’m a sucker for nostalgia and remembering my trip in every detail possible is important to me. Although people aren’t generally this extreme, the act of bringing home a keepsake is usually one that people follow. The most important thing about souvenir shopping is getting the most for your money without going bankrupt.

As discussed earlier, sometimes it’s hard to pack everything you need in one suitcase. However, make sure you leave some extra space in it so you have room to bring things back.  You don’t want to have to buy an extra piece of luggage to fit everything you want to bring home. Extra luggage means more plane space, means more money out of your pocket.

Be wary of scams.
If you’re going to a country that makes a lot of money off of tourism chances are the people there are waiting for you: and they’re prepared. They want your business and they want you to spend your money on keychains and postcards and bottle openers with funny sayings on them. Don’t feel the need to do your entire souvenir shopping in one day at the same place.

My friend bought a hat from a vendor in China for 25¥ ($5!) that ripped only seconds after purchasing it.

My friend bought a hat from a vendor in China for 25¥ ($5!) that ripped only seconds after purchasing it.

Do not buy souvenirs at the airport.
Those T-shirts that say I HEART [insert country’s name here] aren’t going anywhere. You will see them wherever you go throughout the country, and will probably get a better deal on them in other stores than in the first one you see.

Learn to haggle.
And don’t be ashamed of doing it! The locals want your money, and chances are the initial price they are asking for that miniature sculpture of that famous landmark is a lot higher than they expect you to pay. Haggle with vendors for a better deal. If you are uncomfortable with the asking price—walk away! You’re not obligated to buy anything, and many times walking away will encourage vendors to immediately drop their asking price.

We bought cute panda hats in China that we found a week later for half the price.

We bought cute panda hats in China that we found a week later for half the price.

Save your money for one priceless gift for yourself.
That’s not to say don’t buy yourself anything else the whole trip. However, study abroad trips leave lasting impressions. Having one precious item to take home from your adventure will mean a lot to you in years to come.


My favorite purchase of the trip: a Jade necklace. It's very special and something I will treasure forever.

My favorite purchase of the trip: a Jade necklace. It’s very special and something I will treasure forever.


Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram: slevitz

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Pretty Woman

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Although New York City boosts one of the hottest fashion scenes on the planet, my life here isn’t always conducive to looking my best. In the summer I’m too hot to feel pretty, in the winter I sometimes have to sacrifice personal style to stay warm, and during the school year my full schedule of work, an internship, and classes distract me so much that fashion is the last thing on my mind. La Petit Coquette has the solution to my style conundrum: picking out the perfect outfit when I’m already late for class is impossible, but with a drawer full of flirty, frilly bras and underwear I don’t have to forfeit feeling beautiful and confident when I’m in a rush. La Petit Coquette’s fabulous student discounts promise to add a much needed dose of sugar and spice to your underwear drawer: 10% off with your student ID, 15% off on your birthday with your student ID for sexy gift to yourself, and free bra fitting with your student ID.

Its 9:45 and you slept through your alarm again. With fifteen minutes to get to your first class, it looks like you’ll be wearing sweats to school again. Not to worry! La Petit Croquette’s lingerie will come to the rescue. Slip into one of their fun bra and underwear sets you got with one of their student discount coupons and suddenly those drab sweats feel like a designer dress. After all, real style isn’t about your outfit, its about your attitude, and an exciting new pair of underwear is an easy, fun way to make your attitude go from exhausted to confident and ready to take on the world.

-Elisabeth, Eugene Lang College ’12

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What Recession?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual unemployment rate across the country has more than doubled since 2006. While the national unemployment rate for the month of April was 9.9, the unemployment rate for New York wasn’t too far behind at 8.4.  This is troubling, not only for the entire workforce, but for recent graduates as well. It seems that the end of the recession is never going to come and that all is lost. I beg to differ.

For the past two years of my life, while many have been running around in a frenzy, spreading the word that “there are no jobs because we are in a recession,” I have been denying what everyone seems to be saying. I’ve never really been too keen on statistics, as I learned how they could be altered, while completing my studies in undergrad. I often saw students change both words and numbers around, molding their PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets to fit certain ideas, even if the real numbers or real data didn’t match up to these concepts; sort of the way some journalists do with their “objective” stories. I’d rather base my opinions on what I see. And based on what I’ve been seeing, we are in no way, shape or form, experiencing a recession. I can prove it.

Exhibit A: I want you to pick a Saturday when you have nothing but free time or even a few hours, preferably mid-afternoon to three o’ clock PM. Take the train to 34th Street in Manhattan and walk along this street, from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue in either direction. Take notes, look around, and take pictures if you want.  What do you notice? Is it desolate? If not, approximately how many people are walking the streets? Do they have bags in their hands? Are they going into stores? Do the stores seem crowded? If your answer to the last three questions are yes, then you have successfully proven my point thus far. Recession’s, don’t usually include the joys of shopping.

Exhibit B: Let us move on to entertainment. I have been to the movies about three or four times this year. Now that may not be a lot to some, but each time I went, I always felt that I was on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. By the way, I’d visited three different theaters and the environment was always the same, from Chelsea to Midtown to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the crowds were always there; even on weekdays! I went out with a variety of friends for three weeks in a row to several restaurants around events around the city, and they were packed as well. Hmph, some recession!

Exhibit C: Now according to some, there are no jobs. Really?!? Then how come when I visit web sites such as or or the career web sites for the colleges I’ve attended, I see thousands upon thousands of jobs, internships, and careers? These are added on a regular basis and come from all industries as well as all career levels. But how can that be if we’re in a recession?

By now I hoped you’ve figured out the answer; just reread the title if you haven’t. So, keep looking for jobs, continue to shop, eat, and live. That’s what I’m doing because I live life by looking at what’s directly in front of me. Plus I’ve never really liked the news. It’s so depressing!

What will you do? Will you believe what the statistics say or will you believe what’s directly in front of your face?

Shana H

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