Whether you want to explore the smart home world, want to cut the cord with your cable company, need more convenient ways to keep your devices charged, or want to start cooking healthier meals at home, you'll love today's top Amazon deals on products that are worth buying. We scour Amazon for sales on items that we have tested and know are worth buying, as saving 25% on a good product that will last is a heck of a lot better than saving 50% on something that doesn't work very well or breaks after a few uses. Without further ado, here are the top five finds of the day:
As part of their Deal of the Day, Zojirushi is offering great prices on some of their best products, including the best travel mug we've ever tested. We loved this mug because it literally keeps your drink warm all day long, easily fits into a cup holder, and comes in a few stylish colors. Right now, you can get it Smoky Blue for the lowest price we've ever seen and Slate Gray for just a few dollars more. It's the perfect container to make that switch to hot coffee and save a few bucks (and the environment!) by not going to a coffee shop each day.
ShopSavvy is a price comparison app that allows you to scan barcodes in store. You’ll be able to see prices for both physical and online stores. The app does a price comparison, showcases product reviews, and helps customers find the best deals. But it’s functions don’t end there. This comparison shopping engine also allows you to set up notifications for specific categories, items, or searches so that you can get notified instantly if there’s a sale on your selected items, or if it’s available in store again. As one of the most popular price comparison apps, ShopSavvy has over 100 million downloads. The platform receives over 50 million product scans each month.
Amazon runs data centers for its online services and owns generators or purchases electricity corresponding to its consumption, mostly renewable energy. Amazon contracted with Avangrid to build and operate the first wind farm in North Carolina to power Amazon's Virginia data centers. The wind farm was built and began operating in December 2016 despite opposition from President Trump and some North Carolina Republican legislators.
Buying a tech gift this holiday season? Download BuyVia to your iOS or Android device. It compares prices at national and local outlets and lets you set up alerts (including location-based) for products. At a store and unsure if the price on the shelf is the lowest you can find? Use the UPC barcode scanner to get an answer on the spot. BuyVia also simplifies the tech jargon for gift buyers and quotes reviews (including PCMag's) in its product descriptions, recommending who it would make a good gift for and how they can use it.
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.
Shipping costs can push the up the price of a great deal if you are not careful. Amazon’s Super Saver Shipping offers free shipping when you spend at least $25 on items that qualify, excluding taxes and gift wrapping. You’ll get the order 5-8 business days after all the items are available to ship. Also, you must check two boxes to get the free shipping, otherwise it will default to a higher method.
The Amazon Marketplace includes all products sold by sellers separate from Amazon. These third-party sellers may offer better deals, used items, and competitive shipping charges. Plus, Amazon guarantees the condition of your purchases. Some sellers do not qualify for free shipping under Super Saver Shipping, but they do offer free shipping to Amazon Prime members. Take special note of this when comparing prices between sellers, and even with similar sellers on eBay and Craigslist.
Clearly, what's needed is an authoritative guide to quality online stores. Lisa and Jonathan Price visited more than 8,000 sites, and they rejected most of them. They sought online stores with secure ordering and stores that guarantee they won't pass your personal information along to other companies. They also looked for stores with fast and convenient search engines, full product descriptions, detailed pricing and shipping information, and reviews by critics and customers, as well as reasonable pricing, clear return policies, and lucid instructions.
Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and controversy from multiple sources over its actions. These include: supplying law enforcement with facial recognition surveillance tools; forming cloud computing partnerships with the CIA; luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar competitors; placing a low priority on warehouse conditions for workers; participating in anti-unionization efforts; remotely deleting content purchased by Amazon Kindle users; taking public subsidies; claiming that its 1-Click technology can be patented; engaging in anti-competitive actions and price discrimination; and reclassifying LGBT books as adult content. Criticism has also concerned various decisions over whether to censor or publish content such as the WikiLeaks website, works containing libel and material facilitating dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities. In December 2011, Amazon faced a backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon. Companies like Groupon, eBay and Taap.it countered Amazon's promotion by offering $10 off from their products. The company has also faced accusations of putting undue pressure on suppliers to maintain and extend its profitability. One effort to squeeze the most vulnerable book publishers was known within the company as the Gazelle Project, after Bezos suggested, according to Brad Stone, "that Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle." In July 2014, the Federal Trade Commission launched a lawsuit against the company alleging it was promoting in-app purchases to children, which were being transacted without parental consent.
Use Amazon Smile to give back to charity when you shop. You can choose an organization dear (or local) to you and shop as normal. However, it's important to note that only about 0.5% of every purchase makes its way to charity, and you might do more good by giving more tangibly elsewhere. However, if you don't let shopping through Amazon Smile negate all the good you would have done otherwise, it's a great way to maximize your shopping.