Well, don’t let the price of showing you care turn you into a grouch on special occasions. There are indeed cool gifts ideas out there that won’t cost a fortune, or leave you paying off your debt into old age. We’ve put together a list of great gifts that are not only fun but practical and clever, too — like hats that have earphones inside them, candles that work as body lotion, or slippers that heat up in the microwave. Take a look through this gallery of affordable gift ideas and save your energy for spending time with the people you care about. That is the point after all, right?
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In November 2007, Amazon launched the Kindle, an e-reader which downloads content over "Whispernet", via Sprint's EV-DO wireless network. The screen uses E Ink technology to reduce battery consumption and to provide a more legible display. As of July 2014, there are over 2.7 million e-books available for purchase at the Kindle Store. Starting in 2012 Amazon began offering differing models within generations of its readers starting with the Paperwhite, Voyage, and most recently the Oasis 2 released in October 2017.
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.
The revamped Echo Plus looks much closer in design to the standard, cloth-covered Echo for a friendlier appearance in your living room. It’s got better sound and, like last year’s model, can act as a hub for your smart home gadgets. There’s also an integrated temperature sensor that can trigger Alexa routines based on a room’s temperature. Priced at the same $149.99, the Echo Plus goes up for preorder today and ships in October.
The best thing I bought was this front- and rear-facing light set for my bike. There are a ton of these on Amazon for a wide range of prices, so it can be hard to choose one. The Blitzu Gator is incredibly bright, offers a few brightness levels and flash patterns (plus steady light), and charges quickly. It detaches from its' mount easily so you can take it with you when you lock your bike up somewhere. The rear-facing light is tiny but surprisingly bright. — David Slotnick
Amazon registers very high shopper numbers for clothing and footwear: some 45.9% of all clothing and footwear shoppers we surveyed said that they had bought apparel on the site in the past 12 months. With regard to respondents’ current expectations, our survey findings suggest that Amazon Fashion’s total shopper numbers will increase modestly in the next 12 months, and that the number shoppers who are not Prime members could increase at a faster pace than the number of shoppers who are Prime members.
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.
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The Ring Stick Up Cam will be offered in both wired and battery-powered configurations — both for $179.99. The Stick Up Cam can be used both indoors and out, according to Amazon, marking Ring’s first cameras designed for both environments. They can integrate with the Ring Alarm when used inside the house. The wired variant is up for preorder starting today, with the battery Stick Up Cam due to arrive in December. Both offer 1080p video, night vision, motion detection, and IPX5 water resistance.
Nevertheless, our survey found that Amazon apparel shoppers are highly satisfied with the Amazon Fashion shopping experience. In fact, 65% cited the ease of browsing and searching Amazon Fashion as a reason for buying clothing or footwear on the site, ahead of factors such as choice and price. Moreover, only 12% of Amazon apparel shoppers said that they thought the site could be made easier to browse.
Those risks led GWW stock to essentially stall out starting in 2013. And they came home to roost last year. Disappointing earnings — particularly, falling margins — seemed to signal that pressure from Amazon was a real problem. By September, GWW traded at its lowest levels in almost six years. Grainger seemed destined to be another dominant business undone by a nimbler online competitor.
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
From a WiFi-enabled smart outlet plug that allows you to turn things on and off in your house remotely via an app to a set of extra-long silicone oven mitts that will keep your hands, wrist, and forearms from getting burned during a kitchen mishap, the list of brilliant and practical items you can gift from Amazon is basically endless. In fact, part of what makes these kinds of presents so fun to receive is that they help make everyday tasks simpler and less annoying to do, and who doesn't want that?
If you’ve never heard of the West Memphis Three, do some research before you begin—you’ll want to be prepared. Within only a minute of the film’s opening, as Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” noodles forebodingly over pixelated camcorder videos, intolerable images taken straight from police evidence glance across frame, so quickly and frankly you’ll immediately question if they are, in fact, real. Of course, they are—they are images no person should ever have to see, and yet Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky use them only to expose the unbelievable horror at the heart of the appropriately named Paradise Lost. What unfolds over the following two and a half hours is just as heartbreaking: a trio of teenage boys (one with an IQ of 72) is put on trial for the brutal murders of three prepubescent boys, the only evidence against them a seemingly forced confession by the young kid with the below-average IQ, and laughably circumstantial physical proof. The film explores the context of West Memphis, its blindly devoted Christian population and how the fact that these teenagers dressed in black and listened to Metallica somehow led to their predictable fates at the hands of a comprehensively broken justice system. With surprising access to everyone involved in the trial, as well as a deft eye for the subtle exigencies of any criminal case such as this, Paradise Lost is a thorough, infuriating glimpse of the kind of mundane evil that mounts in some of America’s quietest corners. Welcome home. —Dom Sinacola
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The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
In December 2014, Amazon announced that as a benefit to Prime members located in parts of Manhattan and New York City the capability to get products delivered to them within one hour for a fee of $7.99, or within two hours for no additional fee. As of 2014, 25,000 daily essential products were available with this delivery service. In February 2015, the service was extended to include all of Manhattan. By mid-2016, it had been expanded in the United States to include parts of Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, Portland, San Antonio, and Tampa. Outside of the United States, it has expanded to parts of the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, and Singapore. To meet the on-demand needs of Prime Now, Amazon further launched Amazon Flex, a platform for independent contractors to provide delivery services.
This is why any kung fu fan will always love Gordon Liu. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is as classic as it gets: the definitive Shaolin movie, without a doubt, and the source of Liu’s nickname, “Master Killer.” He plays San Te, a young student wounded when his school is culled by the Manchu government, so he flees to the refuge of the Shaolin temple. After toiling as a laborer, he finally earns the right to learn kung fu, which begins the film’s famous training sequences. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is the rare film where those training sequences actually outshine its traditional fights, because they’re just so beautiful, fluid and inventive. In each of the 36 chambers, San Te must toil to discipline his body, mind, reflexes and will. They make up the whole center of the film, and are unforgettable, bearing an iconic gravitas, imbuing kung fu with a great dignity. Because true kung fu can only be attained through the greatest of sacrifice. —Jim Vorel
Below, we compare the top five retailers that respondents said they had switched spending to Amazon from with the top five they said they had bought apparel from in the past 12 months. The comparison shows that Target, Macy’s and JCPenney overindex in terms of share of apparel spending lost to Amazon, relative to their overall strength in shopper numbers.
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.
Amazon Prime is an unheralded streaming treasure trove of some of the best movies to come out in the past couple years, though good picks can feel nearly impossible to cull cometimes from the sometimes overwhelming glut of weirdly terrible titles buried in Prime’s nether regions. Take, for example, our recent discovery of just how deep Amazon Prime’s stash of martial arts classics goes, with more than a handful of our top picks for the 100 best martial arts movies of all time. Who knows how long they’ve been there.
Need a last minute gift? Can’t get out of the house? Realize you forgot to pick up something? With FREE Two-Day Shipping and more from Amazon Prime, your shopping problems are solved. You get unlimited deliveries with no minimum order size, and with millions of eligible items, the options are practically limitless. When shipping to select metro areas, Prime members also get FREE Same-Day Delivery on over a million items and FREE 2-hour delivery with Prime Now on daily essentials and groceries. With FREE release-date delivery on eligible pre-order items, you can enjoy highly anticipated books, movies, and video games as soon as possible.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that Amazon is using its own ‘Vine’ reviewer program to dramatically increase the number of product reviews for some private-label products. Bloomberg’s analysis found that the Amazon Basics motor oil product has almost as many product reviews three months after launch as a close competitor, a Valvoline motor oil product. Eighty percent of Amazon’s product reviews are from the “Vine Reviewer” program, an Amazon program where brands pay for selected users to review their products, compared with zero Vine reviews for the competing Valvoline product.
Amazon, land of 1 million things you need and 5 million options for each of them, has quickly become the one-stop shop for an insane amount of online purchases. For me, that's because they have a wide selection, carry most of the brands I want, list them at near the lowest or the lowest prices I've seen in price comparison research (with shipping in mind), and, last but absolutely not least, because I'm a Prime member and the internet has made me a glutton for instant gratification — something that 2-Day (or two-hour) shipping panders well to.
Good delivery system, reasonably priced, decent movie and tv show selection, but some of the original programming is mediocre ranging to so-bad-it’ll-set-your-teeth-on-edge bad, shows like Transparent or Mozart in the Jungle start off strong but quickly degenerate into the worst Showtime-like cheesy schmaltz of star pimping, tired old tropes taking the place of plots, and comic relief comprising little more than a parade of characters written solely as one walking quirk each, while others like The Man in the High Castle are just jarringly bad from the get-go, seemingly written by a committee who studied what tonal elements make up a dystopian setting and then assembled these elements while committing zero interiority to the show. Aesthetics and taste are not Jeff Bezos’ strong suits, apparently. But otherwise this is a fine service, just don’t accidentally step off into Amazon’s own focus group-driven attempts at film or television production and you’ll be fine.
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
Some of the best parts of shopping on Amazon are the wide selections and low costs, but those things can also make it difficult to root out what's really worth spending your money on before you've stretched your checkbook too thin. It can also be hard to tell which affordable options are similar (or better) in performance to their higher-priced competitors to save you some money. The huge selection and low costs can be a great advantage if you have the inside scoop needed to navigate them confidently — if not, it can be a huge drain on time scrolling through reviews and trying to parse out who means what they're saying.
Easily the best movie coming to Amazon on November 1 is the 1985 classic Weird Science. In the John Hughes film, a couple of high school nerds use computer technology to create what they think is the perfect woman. Somehow, their creation comes to life, but she ends up making them better and more confident people. While the technology in the movie may not speak well to a younger, contemporary audience, the themes of fitting in and being cool still hold true today.
Promising review: "I'm a pro gardener and a total plant geek, so reading all about the wicked deeds of the plants I know and love (and learning some new ones as well!) was a blast. But you don't have to know or even care much about plants to enjoy this book. Amy blends the human stories and the plant details with such humor and depth; as she says, 'I looked for plants that had an interesting backstory. There had to be a victim — a body count... These are plants you do not want to meet in a dark alley.'" —Gen of North Coast Gardening
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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.
In November 2007, the Kindle Store was launched as an e-book e-commerce store and can be accessed from any Amazon Kindle, Fire tablet or Kindle mobile app. At its launch, the store had more than 88,000 digital titles available. This number increased to more than 765,000 by August 2011 and as of January 2017 there were over five million e-books available in the U.S.