Promising review: "I've been boiling various pasta noodles at least twice a week for over 25 years. When I first saw the Fasta Pasta microwave cooker demo video, I was a bit skeptical, but interested enough to purchase the product from Amazon. After using the product three times, I can honestly say that it not only cooks pasta very fast, but better, with less mess and energy, than boiling the noodles in a pot. Just follow the simple instructions and you will have perfectly cooked pasta without having to check it while cooking for readiness. I wish that this product had been invented years ago." —George Miller
Investors should also know that the Amazon Prime-heavy subscription business surged 55% to reach $3.41 billion in Q2. Beyond shipping and delivery deals, users have access to Amazon Prime Video, which competes directly against Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . The firm has reportedly committed to spend $5 billion a year on original and licensed content as the streaming war heats up.
Anyone who spends much time on the Amazon site can see the answer to that question. The company now has roughly 100 private label brands for sale on its huge online marketplace, of which more than five dozen have been introduced in the past year alone. But few of those are sold under the Amazon brand. Instead, they have been given a variety of anodyne, disposable names like Spotted Zebra (kids clothes), Good Brief (men’s underwear), Wag (dog food) and Rivet (home furnishings). Want to buy a stylish but affordable cap-sleeve dress? A flared version from Lark & Ro ($39), maybe in millennial pink, might be just what you’re looking for.
Promising review: “I own a BBQ food truck and we sell brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, smoked sausage, and burgers. I was looking for a faster way to pull pork. I looked at those shredders you attach to a drill, but they look like they would turn the product to mush. I brought these Bear Paws and went to pull 30 pounds of Boston Butt. What used to take 45 minutes was done in less than five. No waste. These paws do a great job of integrating the fat in with the meat. I could not be happier. As a BBQ man for 30 years, I would recommend these.” —Michael K. Powell
But as Amazon uses its powerful platform to bolster its private-label business, there is also debate in legal circles whether some of its activities could be viewed as monopolistic in nature. Some say Amazon could face a legal challenge akin in size and scope to when the Department of Justice two decades ago filed antitrust charges against Microsoft for bundling its own browser into its software, making it difficult for consumers to install a browser from Microsoft’s top competitor, Netscape. Microsoft lost that court battle.
That strategy has led to negative cash flow, which management admitted on the Q3 conference call would last for some time to come. And the lukewarm reaction to the Q3 numbers suggests investors may be questioning valuation, even with NFLX off 18% from June highs. All that said, Netflix is on the path to become the world’s new dominant content distributor. And — though it’s cost billions — it appears to have such a lead that even Amazon Prime Video won’t be able to catch up. Investors may be willing to again pay up for that story once market volatility subsides.
In April 2014, Amazon began a service for shipping non-perishable grocery store items into a single box for delivery for a flat fee. The service is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, India, Japan, Italy, Spain, and France. This is an Amazon Prime member exclusive service that helps prime subscribers purchase household goods and get them delivered super-fast. At a flat rate of $6, Amazon Prime members can enjoy shipping a box of "pantries" to their homes. As you shop, Amazon quantifies the space each item takes up so that you can assess the number of boxes you need before check off and shipping.