Amazon Vine is also available to non-Amazon brands, but, specifics around how the program works are difficult to determine because Amazon doesn’t make it public. But many analysts say it is fairly expensive to participate, saying it can cost manufacturers as much as $5,000 to obtain reviews for one product, along with the cost of giving the product away. (The money to participate goes to Amazon; the Vine reviewers receive no compensation beyond the free product.)
Promising review: "This cookbook is geared for children and young adults, but it will please readers, cooks, and Harry Potter fans of all ages. My kids (ages 14, 12, and 8) have finally found an activity they can all agree on: cooking and sampling savory Harry Potter recipes. This book covers every single recipe that appears in all seven of the Harry Potter books. Ever wonder what Pumpkin Juice tastes like? Or treacle tart? Well, you're about to find out!" —Aviva
That said, SHOP stock does have some concerns, and in my opinion it’s not one of the best Amazon-proof stocks to buy on this list. I wrote earlier this month that investors should consider selling SHOP, even though I like the long-term story. Valuation is high, and this market remains uncomfortable in paying up even for high-growth plays. That said, Shopify does have plenty of room for growth, and I don’t expect Amazon to make much of a dent in its market share.
Target has lost the most in terms of apparel shoppers who have switched some or all of their apparel spending to Amazon, with Walmart in second place. This is the reverse of these two retailers’ overall ranking in terms of apparel retail, as Walmart is a significantly bigger clothing and footwear retailer than Target, as measured by both sales and shopper numbers.
If you haven't heard of biltong, they're those thick, flavorful strips of air-dried meat that put stringy, chewy, and additive-packed beef jerky to shame. These peppery little slabs are made from grass-fed beef, air-dried for 14 days, and spiced with a blend of cayenne and chili powder to add some heat without overwhelming your palate. They’re also sugar-free, full of protein, and super simple to toss in your bag.
Human Flow isn’t about its creator, Ai Weiwei, but one of its key moments, occurring about a half an hour before its end, is pure Ai. On their tour of hotspots in our burgeoning global refugee crisis, the director and his crew stop at the U.S./Mexico border to capture footage and talk with locals living on the line of delineation separating the two countries. As the crew films, they are at one point interrupted by the arrival of an American yokel riding a four-wheeler. Whether he’s official or just some self-styled border patrolling vigilante is unclear, though his intent to intimidate the filmmakers is crystalline. Ai Weiwei, having spent the better part of the film’s two-hour running time demonstrating his unfailing grace alongside his bottomless compassion, scarcely reacts. He doesn’t even budge.
Still, with Oscar picks like Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, The Florida Project and Lady Bird flanking critical darlings like The Handmaiden and a handful of our picks for the best movies of 2017, like Good Time, The Lost City of Z, It Comes At Night, Brawl in Cell Block 99 and A Ghost Story, Amazon Prime is proving to have an eclectic collection of stuff you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Like last month, Prime hasn’t lost much at all in October, though The Witch went over to Netflix, leaving plenty of horror flicks to satiate this month’s seasonal needs. Also now available: the X-rated version of Paul Verhoeven’s mighty Robocop, one of the best movies ever made about Detroit and also about a robot cop.
In January 2013, Amazon launched AutoRip, a digital music service. The service allows customers to receive a free MP3 copy of select CDs purchased through Amazon. Amazon announced in September 2013 that it would launch Kindle MatchBook in October 2013, a similar service for books allowing customers who buy books from Amazon to acquire an e-book copy for free, or at a discounted price of US$3 or less. MatchBook was launched on the company's site on October 29, 2013.
Imperiled families are popular forms of community in documentaries this year—on the more heartwarming side is Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the deceptively straightforward new film from Hoop Dreams director Steve James. In it, James details the ordeal of the Sungs, who ran the only bank to face federal prosecution in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. What’s even more surprising is that their bank, Abacus Federal Savings, was a tiny, local institution catering to New York City’s Chinatown residents—hardly one of the massive financial corporations that helped crater the world economy. There is a happy ending to Abacus’s legal nightmare, however, but James uses the court case as a means to explore the Sung family, particularly patriarch Thomas Sung, who even in his late 70s still elicits a strong hold over his adult daughters, who help run the bank with him while jockeying to curry his favor. Abacus is a family portrait mixed with current events, and if it’s less ambitious than Hoop Dreams that doesn’t diminish the warmth and subtlety James brings to this look at an anxious, close-knit clan who rally around one another once the government goes after them. —Tim Grierson
Fashionistas will also be happy to learn the clothes-focused Amazon subsidiary Shopbop is part of the free Prime shipping family, and you get free returns, too. You can get your designer brand fix and free Amazon shipping through East Dane, which is similar to Shopbop, but focused on men's fashion. Between Woot, ShopBop and East Dane, your online shopping horizons with bonus shipping perks have just expanded.
Amazon announced that July 15, 2015, its 20th birthday, would be "Amazon Prime Day", with deals for prime members similar to those on Black Friday. That month Amazon Prime announced signed up Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, formerly of BBC's Top Gear, to begin working on The Grand Tour, due to be released in 2016. On July 13, 2016, Amazon Prime said customers placed 60 percent more orders worldwide on "Prime Day".
Amazon Webstore allowed businesses to create custom e-commerce online stores using Amazon technology. Sellers selected the category for their business, and paid a commission of 1-2%, plus credit-card processing fees and fraud protection, and a subscription fee depending on the bundle option for an unlimited number of listings. Amazon has chosen a limited number of companies to become an implementation solution provider for them. The Amazon Webstore is no longer available to new merchants.
Amazon also created "channels" to benefit certain causes. In 2004, Amazon allowed customers to donate $5 to $200 to the campaigns of 2004 US presidential hopefuls, providing links that raised $300,000 for the candidates. Amazon has periodically reactivated a Red Cross donation channel after crises such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. By January 2005, nearly 200,000 people had donated over $15.7 million in the US.
Products in categories requiring approval can be listed only with specific permissions from Amazon. Only sellers with a Professional Selling Plan subscription can sell in these categories. Amazon limits access to sell in these categories to help ensure that sellers meet standards for product and listing quality as well as other category-specific requirements. These standards help Amazon customers have confidence when buying in any category.
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.
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.
In April 2014, Amazon announced its Amazon Fire TV set-top box system, a device targeted to compete with such systems like Apple TV or Google's Chromecast device. The Amazon set-top box allows for streaming videos from sites like Amazon's own streaming service as well as others such as Netflix or Hulu. The device also supports voice search for movies, as well as gaming, which includes special versions of Minecraft, Asphalt 8, and The Walking Dead. Amazon announced the Fire TV Stick in October 2014. The device replicates much of the functionality of the Fire TV.