My favorite way to make sense of what's great on Amazon is by getting recommendations from friends. As a result, I decided to ask my colleagues at Business Insider about the best things they bought on Amazon from under $25 — in the hopes of finding some new things to try without wasting time or money discovering them. Hopefully, they're as helpful to you as they were to me.
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Some of this data is also available to big brands or vendors selling on Amazon’s platform through a program called Amazon Retail Analytics Premium. But it is expensive, with vendors paying 1 percent of their wholesale cost of goods sold to Amazon or a minimum of $100,000 to get access to a database that lets them see some, but not all, of the data Amazon has compiled.
The new feature illustrates the growing tension between Amazon and the many big and small brands that have become reliant on the site because of its dominance in e-commerce. Amazon is becoming a direct competitor for more sellers, raising questions around how the company's use of its marketplace sales data could potentially give it an unfair advantage over other brands and merchants.
Students can also benefit from Amazon Prime. If you're a two- or four-year college student with a valid .edu email, you can get a free six-month trial of Amazon Prime Student, which gets you all of the benefits of Prime in addition to special student-specific deals and coupons. After your trial ends, Prime Student will cost you half the price of a regular Prime membership for up to four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. You can also pay $6.49 per month with no obligation to continue your service.
Costco, too, has proven the doubters wrong. There’s a reason why COST has been one of the best stocks to buy in the entire market for over thirty years now. Here, too, however the concern is valuation. Analysts began arguing last month that the stock might have run out of upside, and I’m inclined to agree. Most of the stock’s losses after Q4 earnings earlier this month have been recovered, and COST still trades at a healthy 27x forward earnings.
Gift-giving is a heartwarming endeavor that lets you show your loved ones how much you care about them and makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy. But you know what else it is? Expensive. Finding the best gifts under $25 can feel like a Herculean task when every time you flip a price tag over it gives you a mild heart attack. And finding gifts is a year-round thing — with birthdays, weddings, and holidays, there's rarely a time when you're not looking for something. That can also add up to a lot of money over time.
Watching Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques through the lens of the modern horror film, especially the slasher flick—replete with un-killable villain (check); ever-looming jump scares (check); and a “final girl” of sorts (check?)—one would not have to squint too hard to see a new genre coming into being. You could even make a case for Clouzot’s canonization in horror, but to take the film on only those terms would miss just how masterfully the iconic French director could wield tension. Nothing about Les Diaboliques dips into the scummy waters of cheap thrills: The tightly wound tale of two women, a fragile wife (Véra Clouzot) and severe mistress (Simone Signoret) to the same abusive man (Paul Meurisse), who conspire to kill him in order to both reel in the money rightfully owed the wife, and to rid the world of another asshole, Diaboliques may not end with a surprise outcome for those of us long inured to every modern thriller’s perfunctory twist, but it’s still a heart-squeezing two hours, a murder mystery executed flawlessly. That Clouzot preceded this film with The Wages of Fear and Le Corbeau seems as surprising as the film’s outcome: By the time he’d gotten to Les Diaboliques, the director’s grasp over pulpy crime stories and hard-nosed drama had become pretty much his brand. That the film ends with a warning to audiences to not give away the ending for others—perhaps Clouzot also helped invent the spoiler alert?—seems to make it clear that even the director knew he had something devilishly special on his hands. —Dom Sinacola
Amazon’s expansion into apparel is one of the hottest topics in US retail—not least because many commentators link the ongoing woes of major department stores to shoppers shifting more of their apparel spending to Amazon Fashion. Yet hard data on Amazon’s share of the clothing and footwear markets is scarce, given the company’s limited disclosure on category sales.
A.: Amazon Prime Video is the streaming-video component of Amazon Prime. Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon Prime offers unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV shows. Unlike its two competitors, however, Amazon Prime also allows à la carte rentals and purchases of its content. You can also chose to subscribe to Prime Video only for $8.99/month.
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In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people were Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. That month Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, a subscription service that provides Amazon Prime subscribers with additional streaming video services. Among the programming providers involved in the program are Showtime, Starz (with additional content from sister network Encore), Lifetime Movie Club (containing recent original movie titles from Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network), Smithsonian Earth, and Qello Concerts.
And while Amazon’s brands have quickly gained market share on its platform in some areas, in other segments, such as apparel, they account for less than 1 percent of the inventory sold. And when broadened out to include brick-and-mortar stores, its online share of the battery market equals less than 5 percent. Until Amazon’s share of the total market starts to reach closer to 40 percent or more, it is difficult to argue there is an attempted-monopolization case, say legal experts.
"I have probably 50 pairs of shoes, and yes, I do actually wear most of them! I have a variety of shoe storage solutions at home, but this one is by far the best and least intrusive in my closet. It only takes up a few inches of hanging space but holds so many pairs. I can even double up on sandal storage where I have room for multiples." — Sally Kaplan
The goods offered are mostly groceries, toiletries and small gifts, but this should change as Amazon gains additional local partners. You can also order food delivery from some of your favorite restaurants. For instance, in New York City, Eataly, Westside Market, Gourmet Garage, Vintage Grape Wine & Spirits and Billy's Bakery are among the participating businesses. You can opt for one-hour delivery if you're in a hurry, but that will cost you an extra $7.99. To see if your area is within Prime Now's delivery range, check the Prime Now website.
Promising review: "I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO IS ALWAYS COLD AND I LOVE THIS BLANKET. VERY THICK! VERY WARM! VERY SHERPA-Y! This blanket is vastly superior to other furry blankets on Amazon and costs less. I am usually a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of person but that isn't the case here; this blanket is incredible and affordable! I'm very picky and LOVE this blanket." —matt
Brian Sheehan, who teaches advertising at Syracuse University, said Amazon's tactics are "fair game," at least until the U.S. regulators determine otherwise. While it's common for big-box retailers to launch private-label brands based on what sells best in their stores, Amazon could be viewed differently because of its size and level of influence, he said.
In August 2012, Amazon announced it would be adding a gaming department to its company titled Amazon Game Studios. Amazon stated that it would introduce "innovative, fun and well-crafted games" to consumers. According to the Amazon Game Studios website, the last game that was launched by the department was Amazon's first ever mobile game Air Patriots, released on November 1, 2012.