Tag Archives: Amazon

Contempt of Customer

Recently I ordered from an up-and-coming online food delivery service. It was the first time using their service, and although doubtful about their value prop, I thought “Let’s see how it goes.”

Well, to put is nicely, the food sucked. It was cold and unappealing.

I contacted their customer service and expected a prompt refund and a note saying, “Sorry you didn’t like it. Please give us another chance.”

But no. They said, “No, you can’t have a refund.” So they would rather have my $26 than a happy customer.

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Amazon Introduces Kindle with Special Offers for $114

While browsing Amazon today, I discovered that they are (pre)selling the Kindle for just $114. It’s a pretty good deal, so I wanted to share it with you right now.

Normally the Kindle is $139, but now you can get one for $114. What’s the catch? Is it refurbished?

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Will Sears be the Next Facebook?

Huh? Sears and Facebook in the same sentence? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true. Sears is gunning to be the next Facebook. It is integrating various social networking functionality into the shopping experience.

Sears may have been a boring old company in the past, but it is reinventing itself for the future.

Is this Social Shopping thing a good idea?

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Get Trend Following by Michael Covel for Free!

Right now, the Amazon Kindle version of Trend Following is free. That’s right, free! But only for a limited time, so get it now. Please note that you must have (or purchase) a Kindle to get the book. Update: You do not need a Kindle! See note at the end of this post!

It turns out that this is one of my favorite trading books. It is a very complete description of the methods of trend following. Read more about trend following and the Turtles in this post.

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My Experience with Fulfillment by Amazon

Recently I have been selling old books on Amazon. I discovered that it is actually a great way to get rid of them. The Amazon Marketplace is a very efficient and fairly easy to use system for sellers. And the prices are surprisingly high.

I tend to read books only once. I have about 10 favorite books that I can read over and over, but besides those I generally never read a book twice. If it makes a good reference book about trading or programming, then I might look at it many times. I take care of them and after I have read them they are still in new condition. That means they fetch a high price on Amazon.

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Tony Hsieh and Zappos

After writing about Zappos yesterday, I remembered a few interesting things that I didn’t mention in the post about the company. I had heard about the wonderful customer service and company culture about 3 years ago. So I decided to do a little experiment. I called the customer service line to talk with whoever answered, to find out what it was like to work at Zappos.

Tony Hsieh, Co-founder of Zappos

I had heard about what a great company Zappos was, but I was a bit surprised when I actually talked to the customer service representative. Before I tell you what happened when I called Zappos, let’s think back about what a “normal” customer service call is like.

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Delivering Happiness – What about Money?

Now I am reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. Tony is a co-founder  of Zappos, the online shoe company that was recently sold to Amazon for $1 billion. I highly recommend this book because it is entertaining and fun to read.

Yet it is also filled with some deep meaning. Tony shares his story about how he sold his first company, Link Exchange, to Microsoft for $265 million. His own share was $40 million. But here’s the interesting part. He would be paid $8 million for staying with the company for one year.

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Accelerating Technology and the New Kindle

Many people are quite aware of the miracle of accelerating technology. It states that there is a certain period of time where the price/performance ratio of a product doubles. And, that doubling time is getting shorter. For computers, it is down to about 1.25 years.

Computers have a relatively long history, and it is interesting to see the effect on other more recent products. Today, I checked the Amazon home page to discover that they have released Kindle 3.0.

The first version was released November 19, 2007, followed by version 2 in November 2009. So, the first version was replaced after 2 years and the second after just 8 months. That makes an average of 1.3 years per generation.

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Innovation is the Ultimate Asset

After reading this article about how Amazon’s profit has grown by 45%, I started thinking about the other companies that have been making huge profits. Companies like Apple and Microsoft.

Amazon is positioning itself as the leader in eBooks, with the success of its Kindle readers. It was just a few years ago when people did not believe that eBook readers would ever succeed, because reading books on a monitor doesn’t work. Amazon overcame that hurdle by licensing E-Ink, the revolutionary new technology that makes an eBook look more like a real book.

Apple has had similar success with its iPhone, which in just a few years has become one of its most successful products in history. The iPhone 4 was the best selling product ever for Apple. And its stock price reflects the company’s success.

Apple's stock from March 2009

What do all of these successes have in common?

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Ways to Save Money

This post over at Yahoo Finance is pretty typical of articles that tell us how to save a little money. Personally, I don’t know how great these morsels of advice really are, but they sure are popular. The most famous tidbit is

Forgo that Starbucks latte and retire a millionaire in 50 years.

I haven’t met anyone who got rich by skipping Starbucks, but maybe I will in 50 years. So, here’s some ideas that can help us save big money.

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