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A baseball signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sold at auction for more than $50,000, a portion of which will go toward providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians displaced by the nation’s war with Russia. Auctioneer RR Auction of Boston announced the winning bid Thursday. RR Auction will donate its $15,000 cut of the sale, while seller Randy Kaplan will also donate an undisclosed portion of his proceeds, to provide humanitarian aid through the global nonprofit Americares. RR Auction says the winning bidder wished to remain anonymous but is from the Midwest.

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Kendall Nunamaker and her family of five in Kennewick, Washington, faced impossible math this month: how do they pay for gas, groceries and their mortgage with inflation driving up prices? Their struggle is increasingly common. The 8.5% jump in the consumer price index in March was the largest year-over-year increase since 1981, according to the Labor Department. The national average gas price reached a record high Wednesday of $4.40 a gallon. And global food prices are climbing after shortages caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine and other supply chain problems. Food banks across America say these economic conditions are pushing demand for their support higher, at a time when their labor and delivery costs are climbing and donations are decreasing.

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Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has signed a plan from Republican lawmakers into law to phase out the state’s sales tax on groceries over three years. Kelly had a ceremony Wednesday  at a grocery store in Olathe to fulfill a promise to sign the bill even though it is not as aggressive in eliminating the tax as she and fellow Democrats want. They had hoped to eliminate the entire 6.5% tax as of July 1. Only 13 states charge any sales tax on groceries. Kansas’ rate is second only to Mississippi’s 7%. The new law drops the tax to 4% in January, to 2% in 2024 and to zero in 2025.

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Inflation slowed in April after months of relentless gains, a tentative sign that price increases may be peaking while still imposing a financial strain on American households. Consumer prices jumped 8.3% from 12 months earlier. That was below the 8.5% year-over-year surge in March, which was the highest rate since 1981. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 0.3% from March to April, the smallest increase in eight months. Still, Wednesday’s report contained some signs that inflation may be becoming more entrenched. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, “core” prices jumped 0.6% from March to April — twice the rise from February to March. Those increases were fueled by spiking prices for airline tickets, hotel rooms and new cars.

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Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” has sold for a cool $195 million. That makes the iconic portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe the most expensive work by a U.S. artist ever auctioned. The 1964 silkscreen image shows Monroe in vibrant close-up. Christie’s auction house in New York held the sale Monday. Christie’s said an unknown buyer made the purchase. When the auction was announced, they had estimated it could go for as much as $200 million. The Warhol piece has unseated the previous record-holder: another modern master, Jean-Michel Basquiat. His 1982 painting sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in 2017. 

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An online auction of 150 of items owned by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg raised $803,650 for Washington National Opera. The opera was one of the late justice’s passions. The auction ended in late April, and buyers are now picking up items or arranging to have them shipped to their homes in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Germany. The auction’s biggest ticket item was the drawing of Ginsburg, which sold for $55,000. The image had accompanied a 2015 article about her in The New York Times. Ginsburg liked it so much she got a copy for her Supreme Court office signed by the artist, Eleanor Davis.

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When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy autographed a baseball for an American collector in 2019, he probably had no idea it would one day be used to help his nation during a time of need. Auctioneer RR Auction of Boston said Tuesday that the official Rawlings Major League baseball is being sold by Randy Kaplan. He's a renowned collector of more than 500 balls that have been signed by world leaders. A portion of the proceeds will go to war relief efforts in Ukraine. The ball was expected to sell for at least $15,000 but the leading bid as of Tuesday had already exceeded that amount.

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February food prices were 7.9% higher compared with a year ago and are expected to increase 4.5% to 5.5% in 2022. As a result, it can feel harder than ever to keep grocery spending under control. But budgeting and cooking experts say there are strategies you can apply to save money and make a difference in your household budget. Putting in extra effort ahead of time can really pay off. Their tips include spending more time planning meals; avoiding food waste by “next-overing,” or repurposing meals for the next day; cooking more creatively with substitutions; and turning to community resources for extra help when needed. 

A jersey worn by Kobe Bryant in his rookie season, including two playoff games, will be sold at auction. David Kohler of SCP Auctions says the jersey from the 1996-97 season could fetch between $3 million and $5 million in an online auction that begins May 18. Kohler says the seller has had the jersey for 25 years and wants to remain anonymous. Last year, one of Bryant's autographed rookie jerseys sold for $3.6 million, which was the highest price for a basketball jersey. Kohler says he believes the jersey available for sale online starting May 18 could top that.

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With enough time and the right tools, online clothing resale can become a profitable side gig or even a full-time job. But before you start selling online, factor in recurring costs such as shipping labels, storage and fees from the resale app and payment processor you use. Other factors like communicating with buyers, taking high-quality photos and promoting your items on social media can take your business to the next level. The most successful online resellers lean into their personal style and invest the time to keep customers coming back.

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Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: A Ukrainian woman photographed in a military uniform is a doctor, not a combat soldier. A private gift shop, not the White House, is responsible for selling coins honoring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. A fabricated BBC tweet spread a fake quote attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron, and a rain-enhancing process known as cloud seeding hasn’t caused flooding in Australia.

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Children grow quickly and are often rough on their clothes. This means parents find themselves shopping for children’s clothing often. Though buying the least expensive clothing possible might seem practical, the environmental impact of mass-produced children’s clothing, like with modern fashion in general, is significant.

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An extendable 2-foot roller extension should work in most spaces, but keep the height of your ceiling in mind when shopping for supplies.

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