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What do you do when you need a pair of superfly trainers but you aren’t a fan of sweatshop economics, nor do you have 100 squid to spend? Well a one-off investment in a pair of Nikes with air-bubble soles can provide you years of sweatshop produce. Wear the shoes for a couple months, then take a needle and pop the air bubble, making sure the hole isn’t noticeable. Once the air bubble becomes flat, take your shoes back to the shop and complain that the sole blew out, and that you want a replacement. (This really only works if you go to a large sports shop, such as Foot Locker or Nike Town. And, of course, go to different shops each time.) We’ve been doing this for years, and our feet have never been happier.
Beer (microbreweries do not apply)
If you”re a beer monster and you buy your beer by the crate, then here’s a sure-fire way to boozer heaven. Next time you pick up a crate of beer look on the box for the customer service hotline. Call the number and tell customer services that your beer tastes sour. After reading off several serial numbers, chances are they will send you a complimentary voucher for a new crate. Just don’t try the same company more than once in a year as they might just twig.
Free camera hire
Need electronic equipment for a short time, but don’t want to pay for it? No problem; just take advantage of the generosity of your high-street retailer. Most big chains have returns or, at worst, exchange policies that let you return items within a month if you’re dissatisfied or you just plain changed your mind. Essentially, this means free hire for most electronic goods for a couple of weeks. Just make sure you keep the product packaging in good shape and your receipt. Then once you’ve used that ridiculously expensive camera on holiday, just return it in its original packaging and Bob’s your uncle.
Retail shops in general
Forget about paying for a warranty when you buy a product. We all know that corporate boffins, chained to their desks in some windowless office, time product warranties to end the day before your gizmos give up the ghost. Get your own back on them by getting the shop to replace your widget for free. Let’s say you want to return your broken personal stereo but you’ve lost the receipt. Now most shops won’t do diddly squat without a recent receipt, and, anyway, you’ve had the thing for a few months. You need to buy another of the exact same model, and replace the new model in the box with the old broken one. Then go to the shop within a half-hour of buying the new personal stereo, and simply ask for a refund. If they ask why, tell them you changed your mind or bought the wrong model. Works with just about anything.
Getting the best seats in the house
Buy the cheapest seat up in the gods, and then turn up with a mate in a wheelchair and complain about accessibility. The front rows of many events are often reserved for disabled access. One serious caveat: do not under any circumstances get up and dance, unless you’re attending a Billy Graham event and want to claim to have been miraculously touched by the hand of God. But that’s another blag altogether.
Grace Blakeley investigates the curious case of Carillion: how the company’s slow decline and abrupt liquidation reveals the nature of modern capitalism.
The collapse of Carillion could be a watershed moment. Let's seize it to end economically disastrous outsourcing schemes. By Cat Hobbs.
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns