In 2013, Amazon secured a US$600 million contract with the CIA, which poses a potential conflict of interest involving the Bezos-owned The Washington Post and his newspaper's coverage of the CIA. Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said, "It's a serious potential conflict of interest for a major newspaper like The Washington Post to have a contractual relationship with the government and the most secret part of the government." This was later followed by a US$10 billion contract with the Department of Defence.
A Wall Street Journal study revealed that some stores serve higher prices to higher income ZIP codes, as well as to rural areas with less competition. They also might jack the price up for repeat visitors. Browsers know your approximate location (through your device’s IP address), as well as your shopping patterns and preferences (through data saved in ‘cookies’).
Price Runner’s UK price comparison website compares websites from top retailers such as Amazon, ASOS, House of Fraser, and other top UK brands. Store owners can compare prices with reputable brands to determine how to best price the products on their website. This price comparison website has a fresh and easy-to-use interface, with a rather modern outlook. You even have access to price histories, price alerts, price information, and reviews. And if you prefer to buy the product locally, it’ll even direct you on where to go.
Low Price guarantee – Amazon offers price matching on TVs and Cell phones. You can find the details of their price matching policy here. They will also offer price adjustments, if the price of the item drops after you purchase it, within seven days of delivery. The item must say “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com“. Simply send them a request for the price adjustment, and most times they will honor it.
Shopping robots like camelcamelcamel, the tracktor and Online Price Alert can help you track prices on Amazon, but you have to be patient. Set up an account, then simply copy the URL for the exact product you want from Amazon’s website into your account. The Camelizer and Tracktor chart out the recent price history so you know if it is going up or down. All three sites alert you when the price matches what you designed as the price you will pay.
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.
Century Products via Amazon offers the Century 24-Hour Plug-In Mechanical Timer for $9.99. Coupon code "30D33HQM" drops that to $6.99. With free shipping for Prime members, that's tied with our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest price we could find by $3. It allows you to create schedules that repeat every 24 hours and features a built-in pin dial and manual override. Deal ends November 24.
Google Shopping (previously known as Google Product Listing Ads, Google PLAs) is a great resource for store owners looking to find competitors selling similar products and compare product pricing between competitors. There’s no doubt that Google is top of the list when it comes to comparison shopping engines. Store owners can even add their products to Google Shopping to drive more traffic back to their stores. Many dropshippers have added their products to Google Shopping. Customers are able to sort products based on price and seller.
PricePirates shows customers the best prices for products on Amazon, Shopping.com, and eBay. This app comes in handy if you’re looking to compare Amazon prices. All you have to do is enter your product name in the search bar, and you’ll be given a list of products that match your search query. You’ll be able to compare prices with products available on Amazon, Shopping.com, and eBay. AliExpress dropshippers are likely to find the products they sell on one of these apps. Notably, suppliers are likely to be the ones offering the best product prices on these platforms. Thus, as a store owner, you likely wouldn’t try to compete with the prices on these platforms.
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In November 2013, Amazon.com announced a partnership with the United States Postal Service to begin delivering orders on Sundays. The service, included in Amazon's standard shipping rates, initiated in metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and New York due to the high-volume and inability to deliver timely, with plans to expand into Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix by 2014.
As one of its daily deals, Threadmill Home Linen via Amazon discounts its Threadmill Home Linen 600-Thread Count 100% ELS Cotton Sheet Set in a selection of sizes, with prices starting at $43.19. With free shipping on each set, that yields a saving of up to $15. Each set includes a flat and fitted sheet and either one or two pillowcases. Deal ends today.
In early 2018, President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Amazon's use of the United States Postal Service and pricing of its deliveries, stating, "I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy," Trump tweeted. "Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne [sic] by the American Taxpayer." Amazon's shares fell by 6 percent as a result of Trump's comments. Shepard Smith of Fox News disputed Trump's claims and pointed to evidence that the USPS was offering below market prices to all customers with no advantage to Amazon. However, analyst Tom Forte pointed to the fact that Amazon's payments to the USPS are not public and that their contract has a reputation for being "a sweetheart deal".
Rather-Be-Shopping.com focuses on quality over quantity. Although it provides coupon codes for just about 800 retailers, it has a coupon guarantee. The site's operator will hunt down a coupon for a store if you can’t find it on the site and get back to you in 24 hours. Plus, the Rather-Be-Shopping blog features great tips to help you save money when shopping.
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