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.
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.
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Many U.S. states in the 21st century have passed online shopping sales tax laws designed to compel Amazon.com and other e-commerce retailers to collect state and local sales taxes from its customers. Amazon.com originally collected sales tax only from five states as of 2011, but as of April 2017, Amazon collects sales taxes from customers in all 45 states that have a state sales tax and in Washington, D.C.
One of the pleasures of online shopping is the ease of comparison browsing. With the online-business boom, however, there are now thousands of new stores, and a lot of confusion. Not all Web stores are equal, and hours can be lost--in the pursuit of saving time--perusing Web sites that provide scanty information or complicated procedures or both. And some Web sites turn out to be mere catalog pages and don't allow you to order at all.
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.
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.