Doesn’t buying a Gap pocket-T on a Power Mac G4 seem a bit anachronistic? You know, like putting your television set in a huge wooden cabinet? If you think the wizards stayed up late to build more than just a better department store, check out Netsetgoods.com, based on East 18th Street. They may not have everyone in leather, but they do sell timely fashions and trendy collectibles from outside the shopping mall: sleek BluDot furniture, tiny Japanese electronics, Spoon watches, mixes by Deep Dish, and clothes by Ike and Dean, Nova, and e.vil. Plus, their Netset File features interviews with designers like Corey Pak and Malini & Sulaika. For daily style bytes about sample sales, openings, and the like, you can check out DailyCandy by New York’s former “Sales and Bargains” editor Dany Levy, with cute illustrations by Ruben Toledo.
For shoppers who care more for New York’s flea markets and mom-and-pop stores than its multinational chains, there are still a few Web entrepreneurs who aren’t all about the IPO’s. Take Gary Apple, who left a career as an L.A. sitcom writer and moved back to New York to found the charming Stupid.com (motto: “A Complete Waste of Perfectly Good Technology”), a sort of clearinghouse for freakish gifts ranging from an Incredible Growing Thumb to a talking BBQ spatula.
“As a kid I used to love reading catalogs,” says Apple. “We go to trade shows and ask, ‘What’s your worst-selling item?’ Then we buy in bulk.” The results can be remarkable. His most recent pick is a box of twelve pristine Farrah Fawcett heads, untouched since 1977. But the flops can be depressing. “I ordered $1,000 worth of these amazing dog costumes – and I still have about $980 worth left,” says Apple. “I even registered dogcostumes.com.” And for those who love to rummage through Chinatown, there’s always MadCool, the online presence of Mulberry Street’s tiny KK Discount Store, complete with a virtual fortune cookie for kids and all sorts of quality sake sets, kites, and stuff.
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