Amazon Device Deals - Last year, Amazon offered the Echo Dot for $29.99, (review deal) the Echo Plus for $119.99, (review deal) the Fire 7 Kids Edition for $69.99, (review deal) the Fire HD 10 for $99.99, (review deal) and the Kindle for $49.99. (review deal). While Best Buy had an impressive selection of Amazon device deals last year (review deals), it is still better to make the purchase from the source. Amazon not only had the largest quantity of its own devices, but it also had special deals that you do not generally see at Best Buy and other retailers. For example, it offered the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition for $89.99 but you saved an additional $10 if you purchased two (review deal).
Associates can access the Amazon catalog directly on their websites by using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) XML service. A new affiliate product, aStore, allows Associates to embed a subset of Amazon products within another website, or linked to another website. In June 2010, Amazon Seller Product Suggestions was launched (rumored to be internally called "Project Genesis") to provide more transparency to sellers by recommending specific products to third-party sellers to sell on Amazon. Products suggested are based on customers' browsing history.
Amazon acquired Junglee in 1998, and the website Junglee.com was launched in India in February 2012 as a comparison-shopping website. It curated and enabled searching for a diverse variety of products such as clothing, electronics, toys, jewelry and video games, among others, across thousands of online and offline sellers. Millions of products are browse-able, whereby the client selects a price, and then they are directed to a seller. In November 2017, Amazon closed down Junglee.com and the former domain currently redirects to Amazon India.
In June 2017, Amazon announced that it would acquire Whole Foods, a high-end supermarket chain with over 400 stores, for $13.4 billion. The acquisition was seen by media experts as a move to strengthen its physical holdings and challenge Walmart's supremacy as a brick and mortar retailer. This sentiment was heightened by the fact that the announcement coincided with Walmart's purchase of men's apparel company Bonobos. On August 23, 2017, Whole Foods shareholders, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, approved the deal.
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On January 22, 2018, Amazon Go, a store that uses cameras and sensors to detect items that a shopper grabs off shelves and automatically charges a shopper's Amazon account, was opened to the general public in Seattle. Customers scan their Amazon Go app as they enter, and are required to have an Amazon Go app installed on their smartphone and a linked Amazon account to be able to enter. The technology is meant to eliminate the need for checkout lines. Amazon Go was initially opened for Amazon employees in December 2016. In August 2018, the second Amazon Go store opened its doors.
Amazon has attracted widespread criticism for poor working conditions by both current employees, who refer to themselves as Amazonians, and former employees, as well as the media and politicians. In 2011, it was publicized that at the Breinigsville, Pennsylvania warehouse, workers had to carry out work in 100 °F (38 °C) heat, resulting in employees becoming extremely uncomfortable and suffering from dehydration and collapse. Loading-bay doors were not opened to allow in fresh air, due to the company's concerns over theft. Amazon's initial response was to pay for an ambulance to sit outside on call to cart away overheated employees. The company eventually installed air conditioning at the warehouse.
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Piper Jaffray’s report also broke down the popularity of Amazon based on household income. It found that the Seattle retail giant is the favorite among teens from upper-income families (with an average income of $101,900), it also saw strong growth in the $41,000-$68,000 household income bracket. Piper Jaffray says this may be a sign that Amazon’s efforts to convert lower-income consumers is working.
So what's worth buying? Well, you can't go wrong with the second generation of the flagship Echo, which we named the best overall Alexa device. It's got great sound quality, can hear you well, and has interchangeable "skins" so you can match any decor. The Fire TV Stick, while it's not our top pick for streaming devices, is perfect to add to less-used rooms like guest rooms and garages, especially when it's on sale. But, realistically, every Echo has the same Alexa software inside it, and every Fire TV gives you access to the Amazon streaming platform, so go with the one that speaks to you, your needs, and your budget.
Paribus is a free tool that connects to the email account where you send your shopping receipts. From there, it tracks your receipts and stores' policies to see if you might be owed money (price drops, late deliveries, etc.). If they identify potential savings, Paribus will let you know and streamline the claim process to make it as easy as possible to get your money back.