(Sébastien Barré)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are nine of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Marketers Think It’s Time To Prepare Your Batches Of Halloween Cards

Marketers Think It’s Time To Prepare Your Batches Of Halloween Cards

How early is “too early” for a store Halloween display? It used to be that seeing Halloween candy and merchandise on the shelves in July shocked us, but it no longer does. Are retailers wearing us down? Will they begin to stock costumes and pumpkin spice flavored foods even earlier, pairing Fourth of July and Halloween items as Halloween and Christmas are inevitably paired now? [More]

Watch Suspected Scammers Install And Harvest Data From ATM Skimmers

Watch Suspected Scammers Install And Harvest Data From ATM Skimmers

Skimmers are devices that very bad people attach to unattended credit card readers such as bank ATMs, public transit kiosks, post office kiosks, or gas pumps. They capture card numbers, and sometimes a hidden camera captures PINs, so scammers can clean out victim’s bank accounts. Of course, ATMs have their own security cameras, which catch images of the scammers at work. Like this footage from a recent skimmer installation at Navy Federal Credit Union branches in northern Virginia. [More]

(Madeleine Holland)

If someone tries to sell you an 800-pound wok, the police in Wichita, Kansas would like to hear about it. The Associated Press reports that earlier this week, the massive piece of cookware was stolen from the Bamboo Express Asian Cuisine restaurant while it was sitting outside. Moving the wok most likely required more than one person, and police could really use some leads. [Associated Press] (Thanks, Derek!)

Sears Continues Retail Death Spiral, Still Sells A Few Useful Things

Sears Continues Retail Death Spiral, Still Sells A Few Useful Things

For the ninth quarter in a row, Sears Holdings Corporation has lost money. Even as the company closes stores, rents out remaining stores, and tries desperate moves like opening early on Thanksgiving Day and making fun of itself in its own ads, the company continues to sell itself for parts in a sad retail death spiral. Yet is there anything that you should consider buying at Sears while it still exists? Are Americans who sneer at Sears missing out? Maybe. [More]

400 People Continue Starbucks Pay-It-Forward Chain For 11 Hours

400 People Continue Starbucks Pay-It-Forward Chain For 11 Hours

For about 11 hours, the customers of a Florida Starbucks kept a pay-it-forward chain going. Almost 400 cars each paid for the order of the customer behind them in line, continuing the chain from morning rush hour until dinner time. Are these chains inefficient? Sure. Do they brighten the day of both customers and employees? Generally. [More]

Woman Says Anthropologie Manager Sent Her To Breastfeed On The Toilet

Woman Says Anthropologie Manager Sent Her To Breastfeed On The Toilet

A woman in California says that Anthropologie used to be her favorite store, but she gave serious thought to boycotting the chain after a store manager asked her to please feed her six-week-old son in the bathroom, not in the back of the store. The goal? To make everyone more “comfortable.” [More]

General Motors Recallapalooza Was Bad News For Rental Car Companies, Too

General Motors Recallapalooza Was Bad News For Rental Car Companies, Too

This year’s vehicle Recallapalooza hasn’t just been bad news for General Motors and for nervous vehicle owners waiting for repair kits. Having fewer cars on the roads has been bad for major car rental companies, too, at a time that was supposed to be a renaissance of sorts for that business. [More]

Caramel Apple Oreos Arrive In Target Stores Today

Caramel Apple Oreos Arrive In Target Stores Today

Is caramel apple the new pumpkin spice? It could be: when Americans reach the level of pumpkin spice fatigue, they’ll be looking for new, non-orange but still fall-themed snacks. Starting today, you can pick up Caramel Apple flavored Oreos…only at Target. [More]

Movie Theater In California Closed Until Tomorrow Due To Alleged Bed Bugs

Movie Theater In California Closed Until Tomorrow Due To Alleged Bed Bugs

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard any reports of bedbugs munching on people while the people munch on popcorn in a movie theater. Almost exactly four years, to be exact. A movie theater in a rural area of California will stay closed until Thursday after extensive de-bugging began over the weekend. However, the theater won’t confirm whether the mysterious insect infestation is bedbugs. [More]

Report: Amazon Could Test Drone Delivery In India This Year

Report: Amazon Could Test Drone Delivery In India This Year

Fine: if the Federal Aviation Administration won’t let Amazon prepare for the robot apocalypse by testing its delivery drones near the company’s Seattle headquarters, the company will take its new toys and play with them elsewhere. Namely, in India. The Times of India reports that the e-commerce giant plans to test the service near its current warehouses in Mumbai and Bangalore. [More]

A New Convenience Near Nightclubs: Shoe Vending Machines

A New Convenience Near Nightclubs: Shoe Vending Machines

Ladies, how often does this happen to you? You’re out for a night of fun, wearing your highest, prettiest heels, when the festivities continue for longer than your feet can hold out in those shoes. My answer is “never,” but apparently this is a common enough problem that it has been solved with vending machines near nightclubs that sell acceptably cute flats. [More]

Organic Peanut And Almond Butters Recalled For Possible Salmonella

Organic Peanut And Almond Butters Recalled For Possible Salmonella

It’s time to head to the pantry and check your jars of almond and peanut butters. Products sold under the brands of Arrowhead Farms and Maranatha, and private-label products sold in Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods stores may be contaminated with salmonella, and consumers should dispose of them and seek a refund or replacement. [More]

Some Terrible Person Is Stealing Books From Libraries, Selling Them Online

Some Terrible Person Is Stealing Books From Libraries, Selling Them Online

Public libraries are an amazing resource where you can access books, music, movies, and even e-books without having to pay. However, there’s a criminal somewhere in Pennsylvania who isn’t checking books out from local libraries: he or she is evading the anti-theft systems, removing new books and best-sellers from the library, and selling them. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Uncover Ancient, Mysterious Flip Camera

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Uncover Ancient, Mysterious Flip Camera

The Raiders of the Lost Walmart are a band of brave retail explorers who comb the world’s big-box stores in search of retail antiquities at comically high prices. They carefully excavate clearance racks in order to find the most ancient pieces of technology available. In this set of field notes, Raiders report finding a fast-food promotional game, an obsolete camera from a defunct company, and a wireless adapter from a TiVo of generations past. [More]

(Sara Borden)

The New Frontier In Fuel Savings: Cars Without Spare Tires

If you want to lose some weight, get rid of your spare tire. No not your abdominal fat: the emergency spare in the back of your car. Our car-buying colleagues down the highway at the Consumer Reports auto testing center note that many new vehicles lack spare tires. Why? To save weight and thus fuel, and because nobody knows how to change them anymore, anyway. [More]

Watch Out For Car Rental Companies’ Convenient Service To Pay Tolls

Watch Out For Car Rental Companies’ Convenient Service To Pay Tolls

A convenience fee is just that: a fee that you pay to avoid doing something inconvenient. For the convenience of not reading every page of his rental car agreement, reader Dov had to pay an extra $24.75 on his recent car rental. How does that work? He encountered PlatePass, a program where rental car companies charge customers extra for the privilege of breezing through toll gates. [More]

Investigation Finds Kids’ Clothes With Banned Drawstrings In N.Y. Thrift Stores

Investigation Finds Kids’ Clothes With Banned Drawstrings In N.Y. Thrift Stores

For the last decade or so, children’s clothing with drawstrings have been illegal to sell in this country. Such items still often go on the market, as our monthly Recall Roundups show, and older hand-me-downs may still have the offending strings. A recent investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found banned kids’ clothes in the majority of thrift stores that it checked in the state. [More]