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.
Lean on Pete flows with such gentle beauty that it may be hard to grasp precisely what it’s about or where it’s going. But the power of writer-director Andrew Haigh’s sublime drama is that it can support myriad interpretations while remaining teasingly mysterious—like its main character, it’s always just a bit out of reach, constantly enticing us to look closer. Based on Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel, the movie is a smashing introduction to Charlie Plummer, who was the kidnapped John Paul Getty III in last year’s All the Money in the World. Here, he plays Charley Thompson, a 15-year-old living with his drinking, backslapping dad (Travis Fimmel) in Portland. Charley has a sweet face and a soft-spoken manner—when he talks, the last few words evaporate into the air, as if he’s too shy to even be bold enough to enunciate—but early on, we get a sense that there’s a craftiness underneath that demeanor. The first indication is his willingness to lie about his age to Del (Steve Buscemi), a craggy horse owner who reluctantly takes him on as a caretaker for his elderly racehorse Lean on Pete. Charley doesn’t know a thing about horses, but he’s anxious to find something to do now that he’s in a new town with his father, their reasons for leaving Spokane unspecified but clearly dispiriting. Familiar narrative tropes emerge in Lean on Pete: the boy-and-his-dog drama, the coming-of-age story, the father-and-son character piece, the road movie. Haigh breezes past them all, seeking something more elliptical in this deceptively slim story. With the patience and minimalist command of a Kelly Reichardt, he doesn’t dictate where his film goes, seemingly letting Charley’s restlessness call the shots. The boy’s journey gathers force and poignancy as it moves forward, and the more we understand about Charley the more unknowable he becomes. Along the way, we meet other people and see other worlds—the life of young military veterans, the reality of homelessness, the grind of the low-rent racing circuit—but Haigh views it all with the same unassuming compassion we see in Charley’s quiet eyes. —Tim Grierson
Amazon discloses few metrics on its performance in apparel. Since one indicator of that is number of shoppers, we asked survey respondents who had bought clothing or footwear in the past 12 months if they had bought apparel on Amazon during that time. We also asked apparel shoppers if they think they are likely to buy clothing or footwear on Amazon in the next 12 months. Respondents were required to choose either “yes,” “no” or “cannot remember” (“don’t know” for the next-12-months question) as their answer.
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.
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.
Picking the perfect gift for someone can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you're a last-minute shopper, it can get even more frustrating trying to figure out what to buy for that oh-so-picky person on your list. Luckily, there are insanely unique gifts on Amazon that let you deliver an amazingly thoughtful present without too much effort (and more importantly, make all the stress of in-store shopping disappear).
I started selling furniture on Craigslist 18 months ago. While searching for pieces I actually needed, I began to notice, “Hey, the desk this guy is asking $50 for would totally sell for $150.” Being freshly unemployed, I slid into the furniture flip game, and now I buy lamps off of Amazon and resell them on Craigslist for twice (sometimes five times) as much. Last month, lamps paid my rent. 2018 has become the year of my Lamp Baronry.
Promising review: "We use Tile to help locate our cat. She was a rescue from the local shelter and she insists on going outside; my wife, however, insists that the cat must come in at night. This meant there were some nice summer nights where we were up until very late looking for our cat. Since putting the Tile on her collar we have had great success with finding her or just knowing when she is home. It has also helped us determine where she likes to hang out, thus greatly shortening our search times. It would be nice if the signal had more range, but considering it uses Bluetooth, it isn't horrible. I would rate the range at a maximum of half the average city block. It can also be as little as a few feet if your pet is under something like a parked car." —Kenystlded
Amazon has enhanced its competitive-pricing proposition and product ranges by hosting a large number of third-party sellers on its site. But a significant percentage of Amazon apparel shoppers—38.2%—prefers to buy directly from Amazon rather than from third-party sellers on the site. This is likely due in part to perceptions that third-party sellers offer less clarity with regard to shipping fees, returns charges and the right to return items.
“I think there is a potential monopolization case against Amazon,” said Chris Sagers, an antitrust professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Ohio. “The Amazon marketing people are geniuses. They’re brilliant,” Mr. Sagers said. “But if they are getting massive penetration in the market and preventing customers from buying products from their competitors? Well, it’s like they’re writing the plaintiff’s complaint for them.”
Your Prime membership comes with free unlimited photo storage through Prime Photos, which lets you securely save as many photos as you like and see them on your phone, computer, or tablet. You can share this Prime benefit and give free photo storage to up to five family members or friends. Collect photos together with your invited family and friends in the Family Vault and store memories from everyone in one safe place. New photo search technology makes it easy to find specific photos by searching for things like “sunset” or “Seattle,” and your photos are organized automatically so it’s easy to find and enjoy them.
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.
In March 2006, Amazon launched an online storage service called Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An unlimited number of data objects, from 1 byte to 5 terabytes in size, can be stored in S3 and distributed via HTTP or BitTorrent. The service charges monthly fees for data stored and transferred. In 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), a distributed queue messaging service, and product wikis (later folded into Amapedia) and discussion forums for certain products using guidelines that follow standard message board conventions.
One example is the entry zone at the front of the store - you'd think that's a prime location for signage, deals, brochures, etc. But when you're headed through the door into the store you see almost nothing and stop for almost nothing, and then (in America) you tend to drift to the right and then you're 'in' the store. If you put a store directory just inside the door, nobody uses it. Move it back a bit so you can find it once you're into the store and suddenly it's heavily utilized. He has hard observational data for all these, so they're compelling in addition to being fascinating.
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.
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?
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.
The Echo Link (above) is “designed to connect to a receiver or amplifier, with multiple digital and analog inputs and outputs for compatibility with your existing stereo equipment.” There are no mics built in here; instead, the Echo Link serves only to “let you control music selection, volume, and multi-room playback on your stereo with your Echo or the Alexa app.”
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.