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.
A 2015 front-page article in The New York Times profiled several former Amazon employees who together described a "bruising" workplace culture in which workers with illness or other personal crises were pushed out or unfairly evaluated. Bezos responded by writing a Sunday memo to employees, in which he disputed the Times's account of "shockingly callous management practices" that he said would never be tolerated at the company.
There's really no reason to pay full retail price for most products because there are so many resources on the Web that can help you compare prices, score discounts and get the best deals. Here are 15 of our favorite sites that can help you save money when you shop online. And all have free mobile apps that you can use when you're in brick-and-mortar stores or on the go.
On Amazon, the basic search lets you filter returns on the left side-rail by product specifications, brands and reviews. Once you start to narrow your search, you can define it further by price and discount. The fewer restrictions you put on your search, the higher the number of returns. For example, many people mistakenly only search for items with “Free Shipping”, which could exclude better deals.
Use voice commands to have Alexa search items in your order history and on Amazon's Choice list, and read you the products' names, prices and estimated delivery times. Once Alexa has found you the highest-rated and best-priced products, tell it to confirm your order and you're set. Watch for special promotional discounts that you can use to save money while voice ordering, and always ask for current Alexa Deals for exclusive savings.
Amazon occasionally sends out invitations for customer surveys which can earn you online gift cards. The surveys are done by third-parties, but be careful how much information you give out. Amazon says it never asks you to provide account information, passwords or social security numbers. If you get a survey that does, stop taking it and contact Amazon.
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.
Dell Home offers the LG 74.5" 4K HDR Flat LED Ultra HD Smart Television, model no. 75SK8070PUA, bundled with a $200 Dell Gift Card for $1,997 with free shipping. (The gift card will arrive via email 10 to 20 days from ship date.) Assuming you'll use the gift card, that's $2 under last month's mention and the lowest price we could find now by $200. Features include:
More teenagers are using Prime membership, too, according to the survey. Prime adoption is at 74%, up from 66% last year. This is in line with the rise of Prime membership penetration across American households. Piper Jaffray estimates that a little over 80 million households are Prime users, up from a high of 70 million in the spring. Another research firm, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, has estimated that Amazon Prime reached 97 million U.S. members in September.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the third most valuable public company in the United States (behind Apple and Microsoft), the largest Internet company by revenue in the world, and after Walmart, the second largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, which vastly increased Amazon's presence as a brick-and-mortar retailer. The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart's traditional retail stores.
Before picking up this excellent book, I was wary of online shopping -- and I still am, but now I'm intelligently wary. The authors do a marvelous job of helping understand what you can trust and what you can't, how online shopping works in all its various manifestations, and what strategies to use when you do shop online. The book showed me that online shopping is not (as I had thought) just for shopping addicts who need a fix 24 hours a day, but a great space for intelligent and discerning consumers. I'm still not a big spender online (or anywhere), but I've used the book to help me find some things I couldn't find anywhere else and at surprising prices. I think this book is going to go down in the so-far brief history of online commerce as a milestone achievement. It has certainly changed my views about WWW commerce and made me a better consumer. I can't say enough about this expansive, easy-to-use, fun, and informative work. I hope they plan to update this work regularly.
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.
What’s great is the ability to search for exactly what you want instead of wasting your time scrolling through a list of deals. You can also search by category. Each one has a separate webpage with multiple tabs - including tabs listing special offers, coupons and markdowns taken off the already discounted outlet price! Just keep in mind, this may not be the best the price on Amazon. A search for digital cameras pulled up good deals on both Amazon and Amazon Outlet.
PriceChecker is a UK price comparison website allows you to compare prices of electronics, entertainment, household goods, fashion and more. Store owners can benefit from having their products featured on the website as not all products have competition. Some products on the site only have one retail price while others allow customers to compare prices.
Our favorite is DealNews.com, which has a team of deal hunters who keep their eyes on a million products at more than 2,000 reputable online retailers and update the site with new deals at least 200 times a day. Plus, it works with merchants to offer exclusive deals you won't find elsewhere. There's a picture of each product and ample information, including the original price, sale price and whether it's the lowest price DealNews has found for the product. You can sign up for e-mail alerts for products or stores you're interested in and get shopping advice from the site's buying guides.
A study by the e-tailing group discovered that consumers highly value the ability to research a product before purchasing it, in order to find the best price guarantee. The current online consumer behavior is based on the efficiency of price comparison. This means that customers are highly likely to Google prices of the products that they’re interested in, or for instance use the Amazon price check before they decide what they should buy. This is where comparison shopping engines and apps step in, in order to facilitate this growing need of consumers.
Promo codes are a great way to get additional savings at checkout. They can be issued by the seller, as well as Customer Service directly through Amazon. You can also find them on those digital coupon websites, but they are not always an extra discount. Sometimes they are simply the sale price currently being offered on Amazon, so don’t waste too much time trying to track down an extra code.
Apple iPhone Deals - Expect Best Buy to announce several different iPhone deals in its Black Friday ad scan. I predict the main deal will be a saving of up to $200 on the Apple iPhone XR with Qualified Activation. If it offers iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max deals, it will likely be $0 down and a free gift card valued at up to $300 with Qualified Activation. Amazon won’t be able to match these gift cards and will instead have modest discounts of 5-8% when you buy the phone outright.
Amazon's state sales tax collection policy has changed over the years since it did not collect any sales taxes in its early years. In the U.S., state and local sales taxes are levied by state and local governments, not at the federal level. In most countries where Amazon operates, a sales tax or value added tax is uniform throughout the country, and Amazon is obliged to collect it from all customers. Proponents of forcing Amazon.com to collect sales tax—at least in states where it maintains a physical presence—argue the corporation wields an anti-competitive advantage over storefront businesses forced to collect sales tax.
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.
Cheap TVs - As previously mentioned, both Amazon and Best Buy are going to have some really cheap TVs for Black Friday this year. Amazon will have more off-brand models, while Best Buy will feature premium brands. Expect Amazon to feature another off-brand 32-inch TV for $69.99 and I expect Best Buy will offer a 50-Inch 4K TV for $169.99 and 55-inch 4K TV for $219.99 - both from decent brands.
Sign up for Amazon Family and a Prime account to get special offers, coupons and discounts on family-oriented items. If you aren't a Prime member, you'll get a 5% discount on baby food and diaper subscriptions. Prime members get an additional 15% off with five or more active subscriptions. Get a 15% discount code and a free Welcome Box when you sign up for the Baby Registry.