Amazon released branded semiconductors to home equipment designers who are working on Internet-of-Things devices, WiFi routers and other smart home appliances. The chips come from Annapurna Labs, which Amazon purchased in 2015 for a rumored $350 million. On January 7, 2016, the company announced that its Alpine chipset was available for a wide range of applications.
Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, weighs in, noting, “Consumers with Prime memberships are meaningfully more likely to buy nontraditional categories on Amazon. Prime members are naturally a self-selecting group of Amazon shoppers, because only regular customers would opt for a membership. But we think that once consumers become members, they see the value of buying types of products on the site that they may not traditionally associate with Amazon, such as groceries and clothing. That’s why Prime memberships are so important.”
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
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.)
Amazon Cash (in the United States and Canada) and Amazon Top Up (in the United Kingdom) are services allowing Amazon shoppers to add money to their Amazon account at a physical retail store. The service, launched in April 2017, allows users to add between $5 and $500 (£5 and £250) to their accounts by paying with cash at a participating retailer, who scans a barcode linked to a customer's Amazon account. Users can present the app on paper, on the Amazon app, or as a text message sent by the Amazon website. Participating retailers in the United States include 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and GameStop. In Canada, reloads can only be made at Canada Post post offices. In the United Kingdom, reloads can only be made at PayPoint locations.
Prime Wardrobe lets you try on and purchase new styles with little hassle. Choose three or more items across the women's, men's, children's, and baby clothes, shoes, and accessories categories. Then, you'll have seven days to try them at home and decide what you want to keep. Check out online, then return your unwanted items for free using the resealable box and prepaid shipping label.
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.
Even considering that the teams launching private-label brands at Amazon have unrestricted access to programs like Vine reviews, they are still “paying” for these perks. The Vine review program is not a fully automated process that runs in the background. It requires technical and human resources to manage thousands of Vine reviewers and product review requests from vendors. Amazon is matching reviewers with samples and shipping the samples out, managing customer service, and maintaining the infrastructure of the program. You can bet that there are heated internal battles for Vine review program privileges on new product launches, even if the internal team is not personally dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on the activity like brands have to do.
If fighting over the last hot tech item in stock or waiting in hour-long check-out lines sounds like your worst nightmare, buying directly from Amazon is your best bet. And if you’re not already a Prime member (which gets you free, two-day shipping on pretty much everything you could ever need), we recommend it — especially if you’re not a plan-ahead kind of shopper.
Lease (Sprint Flex): Mo. amount excl. tax. Terms for all other customers will vary including amount due at signing & taxes/fees. Req. qualifying device & svc. plan. No equipment security deposit req. Upon completion of 18-mo. term, customer can continue to pay mo. lease amount, purch. or return device. Customer is responsible for insurance & repairs. Early termination of lease/svc.: Remaining lease pymt. will be due immed. & req. device return or pymt. of purch. option device price in lease.
The only issue, however, is that while it’s easy-peasy to load up on veggies, meats, and dairy during mealtimes, finding yourself starving at 4 p.m. without a suitable snack can be quite the downer. Fear not, keto crusader, because there’s more to life (or more to Amazon, at least) than tortilla chips and chocolate chip cookies. These nine keto snacks are only a couple of clicks away.
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
In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people are Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. It was also during December that Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, an over-the-top subscription service that enables Amazon Prime subscribers to add additional streaming video services to their accounts. 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.