Saturday, January 22, 2011

Eye Catching Pieces of 'Recycled' Urban Furniture Design


Unusual and Creative GadgetDo you ever get sick of people telling you to recycle? Well, these furniture designers prove recycling can be a lot more interesting than stuffing cans, bottles and cardboard into the proper containers. A ‘bathtub couch’ and ‘shopping cart chair’ may not be your cup of tea but there is something for everyone in this collection. Who knows, you might even be inspired to find new uses for old stuff around the house after seeing some of these bizarre recycled furniture designs.

Recycled Light Fixture Design
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The Castor Canadensis design collective has a solution for folks who aren’t sure what to do with old fluorescent light tubes: use them as light fixtures! While the design is not overly complex it is rather elegant in its simplicity. Also, the fixtures are great for diffusing the light and work remarkably well to illuminate an interior living or dining space.
Shopping Cart Chair
While not exactly ergonomic the adaption of a shopping cart into a chair seems rather reasonable once you see the result: a detailed and structurally-sound seat that bends and gives slightly where needed but also provides a good deal of support and a place to rest one’s arms. Still, these and other shopping cart chairs might be better suited to a BBQ setting than to a formal dining set.

Baseball Bat Skatboard Surfboard Furniture
Old sports equipment has a way of accumulating. Some things we outgrow, some things we ‘replace’ only to find the originals later behind some pile in the garage. Instead of discarding all of that stuff why not find a clever way to reuse it? Maybe the skateboard table or baseball bat chair aren’t your style but perhaps you know a sports fan in need of a sporty recycled furniture birthday present.
Crushed Cans Furniture Designs
Not every piece of ‘recycled furniture’ has to be fancy. These crushed-can furniture pieces are extremely simple in theory but quite colorful in practice. They aren’t suited for every interior design scheme but they are robust and would work great for outdoor furniture in a rugged environment. After all, would anyone really notice the rust on these?
Recycled Bathtub Couch
If you’ve ever remodeled a bathroom you know just how big and awkward old bathtubs can be and getting one out of the house to be recycled or scrapped is no easy task. With a few simple modifications the designers over at Reestore have found a way to deal with these clunky relics. Whether the solution is a potentially romantic love seat or an entirely kitch creation is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.

Elegant Recycled Table
A dishwasher drum seems an unlikely candidate for reuse until you see this recycled dishwasher drum table in action. Once transformed, this odd object is surprisingly suited to its new roll as the base of a simple cylindrical side table. The perforations in the site create interesting lighting patters and the hollow center makes this a light and versatile addition to any home.
Recycled Bicycle Furniture Design
Once you smash and bend that bike wheel enough it has nowhere to go but the dumpster, right? Wrong if you’re Andrew Gregg who distorts these seemingly broken pieces even further in the pursuit of a higher goal. The results clearly show the objects’ origins but are nonetheless original, dynamic, eye-catching and even useful compositions.
CD Spindle Artistic Chair
As everything related to computers gets smaller fewer and fewer people need their old CDs, particularly the burned copies of things that are somewhere on hard drive or a iPhone anyway. Simple reuses for these included coasters and gaudy dangling decorations of course, but the chair above is a pretty compact way to reuse loads of them all at once. That being said, one has to wonder whether this CD chair could possibly be comfortable.

Recycled Clothing Furniture
Not every piece of old clothing is fit for the Salvation Army. Some things are too full of holes or, well, let’s face it, too embarrassingly outdated for you to subject even a total stranger to. With this simple and material-light clothing container furniture you can simply stuff your old clothes (ideally after one last wash of course) into a new shape and use as plush and padded furniture.
Recycled Newspaper Basket Furniture
Newspaper has to be one of the most ubiquitous recyclables on the planet and processing newspapers into reusable materials is itself energy-consuming. Instead, people with the time and inclination could take a hint from the above design: folding, wrapping and weaving newspaper can create surprisingly strong, naturally variegated and colorful recycled newspaper baskets.
Recycled Pen Chandalier
Cleaning out the drawers always seems to turn up a surprising number of throwaway pens. By the time we get to these many are dried out or otherwise dysfunctional. Up close it may look tacky but from a distance this disposable pen chandelier has some grace to it. Plus if you ever needed a pen you’d at least know where to find one.

Recycled Funky Lamps
Retro is great but for most of us the faked retro items at the local hipster shop are just a bit too contrived. Lamponi Lamps is the real deal: they use vintage appliances and automobile parts to create elaborate and remarkably elegant lamps. There is a kind of retrofuturism at work here with an authenticity rarely found in faux-historical interior furnishings. There are some more great green furniture items and unusually cool recycling projects at Inhabitat and Ecoble as well as some neat recycled art over at CultCase.

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Unusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects


Unusual and Creative GadgetUnusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects. Creatively artistic recycling doesn’t have to be limited to helping the environment: it can also be a challenge and opportunity to ingenious designers who work with materials most people would consider waste to create amazing things. Some of the following designs serve multiple purposes: illustrating the material possibilities of what most would consider trash while also maximizing the aesthetic potential of what would otherwise be considered waste objects. Clothes become rugs, airline trolleys become furniture, cardboard becomes bridges and sewage turns into building blocks!

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Recycled Clothing Rug

The Volksware designers have provided an interesting alternative way of recycling clothes that may not even bit fit for the Salvation Army. By stitching them and rolling them they have created a simple carpet system that can be cut to length and fit to a space. This kind of recycled furniture design is something to think about the next time someone tells you to pick your clothes up off the floor! Unusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects

Trolley Furniture
Ever wonder what happens to those oddly shaped airplane trolleys when the airlines are done using them? Well, so did Bordbar before they began appropriating and adding splashes of design to them and reselling them to the public as useful (if odd) multipurpose mobile furniture. These are highly customizable have have a surprising range of possible functions once they are recycled into use – including doubling as recycled bookcases and bookshelves.

Recycled Newspaper Building
Recycled Newspaper Building 3
There are few things being produced as rapidly, regularly and in such volume as newspapers. Many of these are, of course, recycled by traditional means, but what if they could serve another purpose that didn’t require the some amount of reprocessing? Sumer Erek has been working on one such alternative: reusing newspaper as interior decoration and insulation in a house – be sure to add some recycled wood bowls to your recycled wood table in the middle!

Recycled Bag and Ruler
Recycled Notebooks
The Remarkable product design team has created a series of colorful and useful versions of traditional products made out of unusual recycled materials. Their approach is quite simple yet compelling: they brand individual products with information about their origins. This makes for conversation pieces but also raises awareness about the origins and potential of composite recycled materials.

Recycled Cardboard Bridge
Architect Shigeru Ban is well known for a number of high-profile architectural designs but perhaps less so for his artistic and ecological side projects such as the cardboard bridge pictured above. This bridge is composed over over 250 recycled cardboard tubes with recycled paper and plastic comprising the stairs. Amazingly, this recycled bridge can hold up to 20 people at once! Unusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects
Recycled Building Block
The BituBlock may interesting and almost artistic … until you realize it is made from post-consumer recycled products including ash, glass and, yes, sewage. Still, it doesn’t smell and ultimately it is an incredibly strong and durable building block that rivals other materials such as concrete that would be used in similar situations – and does so using almost entirely reused and recycled materials.

Recycled Materials for Art
The Remida Center appropriates scrap materials from all kinds of local businesses in order to gain raw materials ranging from wood and metal to plexiglass and plastic that students can use in art projects. The idea is both to facilitate art but also to raise awareness about the origins of materials, essentially recycling otherwise unused materials and putting them toward the production of art.

Garbage Gardening
Unusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects, There are all kinds of approaches to garbage gardening that appropriate trash items and reuse them for decorative or practical purposes in gardens. The example shown above is just one of many including colorful mosaics from broken dishes and assorted other ideas. Not extreme enough? Try guerilla gardening instead or other ways to colorfully recycle see-through materials.

Casette Tape Wallets
Italian designer Marcella Foschi has developed a quite clever way to recycle cassette tapes: a product material that exists in abundance but is associated with a dying (or dead) technology. Her coin purses are at least cute (if not collectible) and appropriate a material we all know, love and have stopped using. Unusual and Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects,

Audio Tape Fabric
Marcella Foschi isn’t the only one with ideas on how to reuse audio tapes. Some clever designers have taken it to the next level and begun to weave sonic cloth from the actual tape within the cassettes.

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Best Ways Reuse and Get Creative with Your Old iPhone


Unusual and Creative GadgetBest Ways Reuse and Get Creative with Your Old iPhon. It's arguably Apple's greatest skill: Making your previous gear look obsolete next to their new releases. So what do you do with your devices after they've been made redundant? Here's a handful of ways to reuse that spare, older-gen iPhone.em>Photo by Gonzalo Baeza Hern├índez.

There's nothing saying that you can't continue using your old iPhone for years to come, but whether you ended up switching network carriers, switching operating systems (say, to Android), or upgrading to an iPhone 4 and its new features, there's a good chance you've got an extra phone sitting around.

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Straight off the bat, it's important to realize that if you can no longer make calls on your old iPhone the way you're used to, you've only lost one major feature. Luckily, it's not really that big of a detriment. The functionality of the iPhone is still there, much in the form of an iPod touch. You can continue to use it as a dedicated audio and video player, run most of the apps you were already using, still use your Wi-Fi access (and even something like Skype if you want to make calls), or you can get creative with it. Rather than sell it or let it collect dust, here are a few of our favorite things to you can do with an extra or spare iPhone laying around the house. Best Ways Reuse and Get Creative with Your Old iPhon

Install Android on It

Adam's been desperately eying this Android-on-iPhone project for months now, waiting for the day it's ready to install and use (dual-boot, mind you) on an iPhone that you still plan to use every day (and you can bet you'll see a guide here when that day comes). Until then, yourold, out-of-use iPhone is a perfect playground to try running Google's Android operating system. The power management isn't up to snuff yet, so don't expect it to last too long, but the project's wiki page offers a few guides to installing iDroid on your older iPhone.

Jailbreak and Unlock Your iPhone

Jailbreaking is a process that allows you to install third-party apps that aren't available through the App Store and access the innermost software workings of your device. (It will also void your Apple warranty, but depending on what you plan to do with your iPhone, that warranty may be completely useless or expired anyways.) There are a couple of things available to your iPhone once you jailbreak it, including the power to unlock your phone. Unlocking your phone—not to be confused with jailbreaking—allows you to use the device on any GSM carrier in the world, provided the frequency bands are supported.
Unusual and Creative Gadget
Photo by Gizmodo.

There are a couple of good things—and bad things—that come along with jailbreaking and unlocking an iPhone. If you unlock, you can keep on using your phone, even if you've switched carriers. You don't have to ditch your iPhone just because you're on T-Mobile, for example. Unfortunately, jailbreaking and unlocking is contingent on the iPhone's firmware and baseband: there's not always an available jailbreak or unlock for the latest software. This means you won't have the latest and greatest features all the time, and some things like notifications might not work correctly. But you're repurposing here, so it's not all that bad, and an unlocked iPhone only increase its value if you plan to sell it.
While we aren't going to cover how to jailbreak and unlock your phone, many guides are available across the internet.

Your iPhone as a Webcam: Stream Video

We've mentioned some benefits to jailbreaking your phone, but here's another reason. If you need a webcam, it's possible to turn your spare iPhone into one instead of resorting to purchase one at the nearest store. This procedure requires a jailbroken phone, and utilizes video-sharing service Qik.

Use Your iPhone as a Remote Control
The iPhone, as we mentioned earlier, is an extremely functional multi-purpose device. Among its greatest assets is its ability to remotely control a number of things. Apple already has a simple app called Remote that will enable you to control iTunes and Apple TV, and your iPhone armed with Remote makes for a great multi-room wireless music remote.

Unusual and Creative Gadget
Photo by brennan.v.

Controlling iTunes is only really the tip of the iceberg. Your iPhone can be used as a remote control with media center software like Boxee with the Boxee remote, or XBMC with theXBMC Remote. It's fantastic for easy home theater control access, when you're sprawled out across the couch.

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The iPhone can function as a remote for many types of software, including one of our favorite video players, VLC Media Player. There's an iPhone remote control app for the video player available. Also, for another little trick of iPhone magic, the DSLR Camera Remote Lite can review images and can fire the shutter on your Canon EOS or Nikon DSLR camera once it's been hooked up to your computer. And for wide-ranging remote control, take a look at the very cool HippoRemote.

Turn Your iPhone into a Dedicated Ebook Reader

It's also possible to use the iPhone as an e-book reader, with its easy-to-use, big touchscreen. There are several jailbroken e-book apps available, along with i2Reader app found in the iTunes App Store. Still, by itself, the device lacks a tactile feel of a true e-book reader. Technology magazine Wired has a tutorial on how to encase your iPhone into a Moleskine notebook, making it easier to hold.

The Moleskine notebook, although you can really choose just about any notebook, adds a tactile element to your iPhone, while simultaneously disguising your device. The project requires a Moleskine notebook, an iPod Touch (or your extra iPhone), an X-Acto knife, and some PVA glue. The end result is that it becomes a lot easier to hold your iPhone, enhancing the overall e-book reading experience wherever you are.

Scan Documents With Your iPhone

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Since the advent of cameraphones, taking quick snapshots of documents and other objects instead of writing them down have become a way of life. We've covered a DIY book scanning machine that utilizes an ordinary digital camera before, but you can also build your own scanning device for your iPhone.
Unfortunately, the specific instructions no longer seem to be free, but if you're willing to put in a little time and effort, all it requires is that the device places the iPhone on a stand at a specific distance from the bottom surface, where the papers are scanned. That way, it's at the optimum distance, without relying on the steadiness of your hand for blur-free photos.

Use It as a Fancy Clock

Really don't think you're going to get much active use out of it? It may make a great nightstand clock. If you've still got some of your iPhone's original packaging around, it's pretty simple to turn it into a quick and effective night stand for your iPhone.

Unusual and Creative Gadget
Photo by piPhotos.

Other Suggestions?

The truth is, we've only scratched the surface of what's possible to do with an old iPhone. For example, you could also turn it into and dress it up as an actual photo frame. What other things have you found to do with your old iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.
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Creative Ways to Re-Use Your Old PC


Unusual and Creative GadgetCreative Ways to Re-Use Your Old PC. Make do and mend is the mantra for These times of ongoing recession,and the phrase is as true of techonology as it of anything else.some of us favour recycled tyres as the material for our protective laptop bags ;other are now more wiling to choose a budget rather thab premium brand for our next laptop.Whether you ‘think green ‘or just need to cut costs,reusing and recycling is an idea few of us can ignore. Creative Ways to Reusable Your Old PC.

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It’s an open secret that technology moves on faster than most of us can keep pace with ,and what’s old hat to one family member may be shiny and slick to another.You might wipe the contents of a cramped hard drive and pass it on to a grateful niece, while you take advantage of the low cost of storage and fit a triple-capacity disk in your PC, for example.That would be far less expensive –and more rewarding-than dumping that old machine completely.
But we’re not just looking at modest upgrades and outlandish recycling ideas.We’ve also got some useful suggestions of what to do with a clunky old PC if you’ve already splashed out on a speedy new Windows 7 machine with endless amounts of RAM and terabytes of storage. Creative Ways to Re-Use Your Old PC.
creative ways reuse your old PC
Chances are that now-unloved PC remains perfectly functional.Unless it really is fit only for the electronics graveyard of your local recycling centre , we recommend taking a look at your outgoing tech to see what it could still do for you.Over the following pages, we outline a number of suggestions to help get you started.
Convert it into network storage or a home server
If you ‘re running a home network and have multiple users, reusing your old PC as network storage or a server may be just the ticket.However , it’s not just a matter of plugging in an old PC to a network connection and starting it up. Most desktop systems aren’t configured to be effective servers or storage systems.For one thing, they probably consume too much power. You’ll want to set the Bios power management to run cooling fans in quiet mode, if that option exits .You’ll also need to set up the operating systems (OS)so that it doesn’t shut down at inconvenient times, yet still runs in a low –power state when it’s not being actively used.
You may want to run your server ‘headless’(without a monitor),and without a keyboard and mouse. While you’ll need a display and input devices for the initial setup, make sure the systems will work properly without them.Having a scheduled reboot hang because the systems halted during startup (it couldn’t find a keyboard, perhaps )is annoying,to say the least.
Also,the OS is unlikely to be well-suited for storage applications, particuraly for multiple users. While XP,Vista and Windows 7 can function well as storage repositories for a couple of users,you’ll want to create individual accounts for each person who might need access.You may also want to set up storage quotas.
A better solution would be to install a proper network OS.One choice is Windows Home Server.However,that will cost you at least £60 or £70, and it may prefer newer hardware.An alternative Iis to use FreeNas (
FreeNas is open –source software designed to turn a computer into a NAS’s based on FreeBSD,a Unix variant.If you’re uncertain whether you want to commit to an unfamiliar OS,FreeNAS can be downloaded as a LiveCD version.This is an ISO file which ,when burned to a CD,will boot off an optical drive and run completely from memory.
Donate it to a local school or hospital
If your PC isn’t too archaic, consider donating it to a local school or hospital. Evenif it’s way beyond its sell-by date. It could go to a local school’s computer lab and be used as a test bed to take apart and reassemble. Alternatively, local schools might use it for parts, although they may shy away from used gear, given the unknown pedigree or wear of older hardware. Consider buying some low cost educational software packages and preinstalling them before handing the system over, but be sure to provide the license information. As with selling a system, you’ll also want to remove any software that you reinstalled on your new PC.
No charitable or publicly funded organization is ever going to be unhappy that you are offering them a PC. Even if they can’t use it, they may be able to sell it for parts. Computer Aid International can also send computers to underdeveloped countries, provided that the specifications are high enough.
Turn it into a Linux PC
You’ve heared about this Linux thing, and maybe you’d like to give it a whirl. But the thought of trying to create a dual-boot system in your primary PC leaves you a little nervous. Now you can experiment to your heart’s content on your old machine.
Check out Ubuntu, the user-friendly Linux distro that geeks love to, well, love. The great thing about Linux is all the built-in support for older hardware, so installation is usually easy. In fact, installing Ubuntu is sometimes simpler than installing Windows.
A wealth of free software for Linux is just waiting to be tried out. If you think you’ve got the tech nous and a bent for tinkering, you might try creating a Hackintosh – a PC tha can run MacOS X. It can be done, but it takes a fair amount of effort. The main Hackintosh site ( is a good place to start, but expect a long and somewhat bumpy trip. You’ll also need to buy n OS X license.
A number of true Unix-based OSes are also available, ranging from FreeBSD or PC-BSD (based on the Berkeley Unix version) to OpenSolaris, based on the Sun Microsystems version of Unix.
Give it to a deserving relative
If a family member has modest computing needs, you may want to consider passing on your old machine. Giving a systems to a family member can be fraught with peril, though. That’s because you are now the go-to person for tech support. So you’ve been warned: give a PC to a friend or relative, and you’re now on call.
One thing you’ll definitely want to do is completely erase the hard drive and reinstall the OS from scratch. If it’s an off-the-shelf system from major manufacturer, restoring it to its original condition from the restore partition or restore disc will accomplish the same thing.
Dedicated it to distributed computing
Want to do a little good for humanity? You could dedicate your old PC to one of the various distributed-computing projects. One of the best known is Folding@Home ( Folding@Home uses computing resources from all over the world to help study protein folding, an essential element to understanding how many diseases operate. If your old PC has fairly new graphics card, that hadware can often pitch in to offer even more computing resources. Other distributed-computing ventures include Seti@Home (, where you can participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (, which is dedicated to finding new prime numbers.
Use it as a dedicated game server
If you have a favourite multiplayer game, check whether you can host a server on a local computer – you might consider making your old system a dedicated game server. Online multiplayer games often support dedicated servers.
We recently ran a Civilization 4 server for a few months, and are in the process of setting up a Minecraft server. The good thing about many of these dedicated game servers is how little system horsepower they need. We ran a Freelancer server on an old Pentium 4 laptop, at times supporting eight simlutaneois users, with no perfomance issue.
Use it for old-school gaming
Related to the idea of using an older system as a dedicated game server, consider repurposing that box for old-school gaming. Install Windows 98 and you can run older Windows 95 and DOS games, for example. Note that this isn’t as necessary as it used to be – online services such as Steam and Impulse are offering older games that have been rewritten to work under newer OSes, and DOSBox ( lets you emulate a legacy DOS environment to get your classic gaming fix.Creative ways reuse your old PC,
Perhaps the most complete site for older PC games is Good Old Games ( it offers a large number of older titles, and all work fine under newer OSes. So if you’ve always wanted to go back and play Planescape: Torment, now is your chance.
If you want to go really old-school, install multiple arcade machine emulator (Mame) software. That will allow you to play qrcade games and those written for older consoles, provided you have access to the related files run them. Be warned that Mame can become a gigantic time sink, albeit a very fun one. creative ways reuse your old PC
Make it a secondary computing server
If you’re into video editing using a title such as 3ds Max, Adobe After Effects or Sony Vegas, having another PC to help with distributed rendering chores can speed up final renders for complex project. Each application handles distributed rendering a little differntl, so you’ll neeed to consult your documentation. Typically, you’ll install a lightweight program on the secondary rendering system, which will take data and commands from the primary PC and return results when done. The main program on your production system – or a separate manager – handles the rendering across multiple systems.
Set it up as a light-duty living room PC
A small PC in your living room can be used for quick web surfing and to check email. It’s also ideal for the kids to do their homework on when they get tired of being cooped up in their rooms. This can work particularly well if you’ve got networked storage somewhere in the house, so people can get to their files whether their on a personal system or a communal one.
If you do have this type of communal PC, your first inclination might be to create separate accounts for each person. We’ve found that this isn’t really necessary. Since it’s communal, no one really keeps private information on it.
Note that you’ll want security software that’s as bulletproof as possible. Since you have multiple users accessing the same PC, someone will no doubt eventually hit a website that may attempt to download a Trojan norse or other malware.
Strip it for parts
If you’re happy to build your own PC, you could reduce the cost of a new system by salvaging parts from the old one. Good candidates for salvage include the case (if it’s not a proprietary, prebuilt system), the optical drive, the power supply, and even the memory modules.
Depending on how much you actually reuse, the distinction between a new system and one that’s simply been upgraded is a hazy one. If you replace the motherboard, CPU, memory and primary hard drive, but keep the case, power supply, optical drive and graphics card, is that a new system or an old one that’s simply been upgrade?
That will still leave you with a few old computer parts. Which brings us to our next point.
Recycle it
Despite what the song says, it is that easy to be ‘green’ –but it isn’t always cheap. The simplest wa to ditch your PC without damaging your conscience is to visit and find your nearest recycle bank. Your local authority should be able to collect the PC for a small fee, but some will simply dump it into landfill – be sure to ask.
Legally, you shouldn’t have to foot the cost. Under UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, PC retailers are honour-bound to provide take-back facilities for customers to return old equipment whenever a replacement item is purchased – free of charge. The standard and variety of service differs depending on the size of the organization. Some of the bigger ones, including PC World and Dixons, will recycle old electronics if you’re buying a similar product. Dell will collect your old item for free, regadless of brand, when you’re buying a new PC. Others, such as Amazon, will direct you toa designated collection facility.
Sell it
Somewhere on eBay, someone is looking for a computer. They may not be able to afford a new PC, or are looking for a second PC for the family. Your old PC, at the right price, may be just what they need. Assuming it all goes smoothly, everyone wins: you unload your old hardware, which finds a good home with a new user who can appreciate it.
However, it’s not always that simple. For one thing, scammers browse auction sites such eBay, looking to convince unwary buyers to take deposits that mysteriously vanish when they try to cash them. Always be suspicious of seller who list overseas addresses.
Our general rule thumb is to stick to selleing locally or, is it’s on eBay, only in the UK. Also, using an escrow site such as PayPal (required for eBay anyway), gives you a sense of security, although clever scammers still manage to take advantage of PayPal.
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