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Amazon Appears To Be Inflating The List Prices Of Some Discounted Items (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-appears-to-be-inflating-the-list-prices-of-some-discounted-items-2012-2

 

Amazon Weird Pricing

You know how when you shop on Amazon there is a price and a then a “list price” which is usually much higher?

The effect is that you feel like you’re getting a big discount shopping on Amazon.

It turns out Amazon might be publishing list prices that are too high.

Mouse Print first noticed the problem with an array of general consumer products such as Kraft’s Mac & Cheese and a 100-count box of Splenda.

As if this afternoon, most of these prices have been fixed, except for a ton of pet food items.

Take for example the dog treats you see above. The retail value of one Merrick Flossies is approximately $4, making a 50-count supply valued at no more than $200. Yet Amazon claims the list price stands at a whopping $422.89, more than doubled what it should cost.

Click here to see more examples of Amazon’s wacky prices >

We tried to contact Amazon for comments, but did not receive a response.

The incident reminds us of last year when Amazon listed a seemingly normal book about flies for $23,698,655.93. Biologist Michael Eisen blogged about the unrealistic selling price, and documented how Amazon’s price for the book The Making of a Fly constantly went up day after another.

Here’s what happened: A professor required this book for a class and students naturally flocked to Amazon to purchase the text. Eventually, only two sellers still had the product available.

Because the book quickly became an exclusive, hot ticket item, Amazon’s algorithm for retailers to competitively price their product catapulted the retail value to more than $23 million.

We’re not sure if this is the same situation with the pet food offerings on the site, but it seems hard to believe the world is running out of doggie treats.

Deli Cat Dry Cat Food

Ok, we know having pets can be expensive but you can’t fool us, Amazon.

Higgins Celestial Blend Bird Food

Who can resist 89 percent off retail list price? Only ten left in stock!

Redbarn Filled Bone – Peanut Butter

Dog foods are getting so fancy these days, but at $6.70, the bone’s a steal.

 

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/30/follow-the-saga-engadget/

Over the years, stories have become more than just single bursts of information. These days, there’s as much drama in the consumer technology world as there is sports, politics or your average episode of Days of our Lives. Take SOPA, for example. We’d be remiss of our duties here if we simply reported on what it was, without ever following up on protests, delays, judgments and other vitally important developments. In fact, it’s tough to think of too many stories covered today that don’t correspond with some sort of saga — even the departure of RIM’s co-CEOs represents just a single slice of a far larger tale. For those that follow this stuff 24/7, jumping in at any point in the story is no issue; piecing together the past with the present is second nature. But if you’re actually working during the day, hopping aimlessly into an ongoing saga mid-stream can be downright disorienting. Painful, even. We’ve been working hard to come up with an unobtrusive solution, and we think we’ve found it.

We’ve actually had our Follow The Saga functionality since January of last year — we quietly debuted it with the launch of Verizon’s iPhone 4 — but today’s iteration is far more interactive. We’ve been testing these out over the past few weeks, and today we’re happy to officially introduce them. If you see the badge shown after the break in any post that pops up here at Engadget, just give it a click to be taken to the full saga, and scroll up and down to see related stories before and after the one you happen to ! be looki ng at. We’re hoping it’ll be particularly helpful to those who happen to stumble upon a saga somewhere in the middle, but want to get caught up on what happened prior and where we stand now. As with everything we do, we’ll be continually tweaking and evolving the tool in the months ahead. Enjoy!

Psst… want to see it in action? Have a look under the body of this SOPA post to see how we got to where we are today.

Continue reading Introducing ‘Follow The Saga’: the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Introducing ‘Follow The Saga’: the whole story, regardless of where you jump in originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 news No Comments

P&G To Lay Off 1,600 After Discovering It’s Free To Advertise On Facebook (PG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pg-ceo-to-lay-off-1600-after-discovering-its-free-to-advertise-on-facebook-and-google-2012-1


old spice

Reality appears to have finally arrived at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest marketer, whose $10 billion annual ad budget has hurt the company’s margins.

P&G said it would lay off 1,600 staffers, including marketers, as part of a cost-cutting exercise. More interestingly, CEO Robert McDonald finally seems to have woken up to the fact that he cannot keep increasing P&G’s ad budget forever, regardless of what happens to its sales.

He told Wall Street analysts that he would have to “moderate” his ad budget because Facebook and Google can be “more efficient” than the traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of P&G’s ad budget.

This is coming from the man who increased P&G’s adspend by a staggering 24 percent over the two years through October 2011, even though sales rose only 6 percent in the same period.

Note that P&G’s revenues were up 4 percent to $22 billion in the quarter but the company’s costs for sales, general and administrative work were flat.

P&G’s staggering ad budget has become a bit of an issue among analysts. On the call, McDonald and his crew were asked about ad costs three different times! . McDonald eventually said:

As we’ve said historically, the 9% to 11% range [for advertising as a percentage of sales] has been what we have spent. Actually, I believe that over time, we will see the increase in the cost of advertising moderate. There are just so many different media available today and we’re quickly moving more and more of our businesses into digital. And in that space, there are lots of different avenues available.

In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that the return on investment of the advertising, when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient. One example is our Old Spice campaign, where we had 1.8 billion free impressions and there are many other examples I can cite from all over the world. So while there may be pressure on advertising, particularly in the United States, for example, during the year of a presidential election, there are mitigating factors like the plethora of media available.

P&G’s Old Spice campaign is a textbook example of what the entire company should be doing. The problem is that the entire company isn’t doing it. Check out Mr. Clean’s Twitter stream, for instance. Oh, right—he doesn’t have one.

McDonald’s recent discovery that digital media is free comes after the long-delayed launch of Tide Pods, now scheduled for a month from now but with only a limited supply. It was originally planned for July 2011. The ad budget for that campaign is estimated at $150 million and will come from agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

The problem is that while P&G has struggled to get a single U.S. pod out the factory door, several of its competitors have already launched competing laundry pod products.

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Monday, January 30th, 2012 news No Comments

VB+P Graphs

Source: http://www.mediabistro.com/agencyspy/vbp-graphs-super-bowl-and-the-digital-water-cooler_b28619

Super Bowl: The only day in America where TV viewers actually want to watch commercials. This year’s NFL championship, pitting the New York Giants against the New England Patriots, is in a sense a “rematch” of the 2008 edition of the big game. Due to this unfortunate match-up (blame Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams for their failures), it’s possible that TV ratings could actually be lower than last year’s game. This would clearly be a total bummer for advertisers who spent $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. But, on the bright side, maybe people will be talking more about the ads than the actual game at the water cooler the next day, right?

Of course, the veritable “water cooler” has evolved in the digital age. The folks at Venables Bell & Partners have decided to provide a handy infographic that maps the who, where and how of post-game advertising conversation. Out of the bevy of stats they’ve given us, a few stand out. For example, “Almost one in five (19%) Americans searched for ads before the game in 2011, about double (11%) who did in 2010. Of that group, 48% searched for ads on Facebook, putting the site just ahead of popular video sharing site YouTube, brand sites, and media sources as the lead destination to find ads.” In other words, Facebook is becoming a more popular video search engine than YouTube, a fact than is no doubt pissing off the powers that be at Google.

Also, “Americans are almost as likely to ‘like’ a brand on Facebook that advertises during the Super Bowl (20%) as they are to ‘like’ a team (29%), with 23% of young adults likely to ‘like’ a brand.” Not a bad way to measure social media ROI compared to TV ROI, is it? Well, at least it’s somewhat “believable.” Check out a full-size image after the jump.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Friday, January 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Twitter Just Acquired A Huge Anti-Spam Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-dasient-2012-1


Dasient

Twitter has acquired security startup Dasient, a company that specializes in fighting spam and malware.

The Dasient team will be plugged into Twitter’s “revenue engineering” group as Twitter monetizes with self-serve ads, reports TechCrunch.

In terms of the size of the team this acquisition was a large one, said TechCrunch’s sources.

It could be a match made in heaven — the most likely scenario seems that Twitter wants to protect its self-serve ad product from being used as a vehicle for spam.

With Dasient being well-versed in anti-spam and anti-malware efforts, it could be just what Twitter needs to maintain the product.

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

How These Guys Went From Making Music For The Terminally-Ill To Launching An iTunes-Like Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-these-guys-went-from-making-music-for-the-terminally-ill-to-launching-an-itunes-like-startup-2012-1


YogiTunes

It’s the perfect example that doing what you love — and knowing what the market lacks — will eventually pay off.

Alex King-Harris, Craig Kohland and Amani Friend met through the yoga community, but what’s unique about the trio is that they were all musicians making music for those who were terminally-ill or facing chronic illness. King-Harris had been involved in a bad car accident years ago which introduced him to yoga.

As yoga increased in popularity, the co-founders realized there wasn’t a platform for instructors to get recommended healing music or share their playlists with one another or with their students. All three guys immensely believe that the right music is essential for various sequences in a yoga routine.

After initially raising $150,000, YogiTunes, which works a lot like iTunes, but is catered specifically to the yoga community, launched in July 2011. The site currently has around 6,000 artists to choose from and the downloaded music can be played through any medium — unlike iTunes, which requires Apple products.

But people are used to getting their music through iTunes and other popular sources:

“You’re up against people who have really strong habits of consuming through iTunes, or consuming through Pandora,” King-Harris told us. “It takes a little while to shift people’s habitual ways of consuming.”

Eventually, the company wants to grow beyond music and become a community for health and wellness enthusiasts.

“We definitely want to draw people in with the music and then extend to other products, other services, other things that we feel are valuable for people’s lifestyles. It’s kind of taking the Amazon model. They were really good at selling books and now they do everything.”

“We can also scale quite quickly beyond yoga to the health and wellness market. A lot of massage therapists, fitness teachers, tai chi people use our music. I think the yoga market is particularly interesting because, in general, the median income is high so we know we have an broad enough audience.”

For inspiration, the company looks at Beatport, a private company that offers music for the DJ community.

“It’s a similar way that we see ourselves servicing the yoga community. They’re a very successful enterprise, very well-known and well established in what they do. They really know their niche. And that’s what we want to do.”

NOW SEE: A complete guide to what not to do when launching a startup>

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Friday, January 20th, 2012 news No Comments

I Don’t Think I Want Polaroid’s Android Point And Shoot Camera Yet [Cameras]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5875014/i-dont-think-i-want-polaroids-android-point-and-shoot-camera-yet

I Don't Think I Want Polaroid's Android Point And Shoot Camera YetPolaroid is trying to stay relevant in the digital age with a camera that’s an Android mashup with a 3x optical zoom, 720p video, a 16 MB sensor and, well, a lot of head scratch.

The Android OS that powers the phone does have interesting capabilities—you’ll be able to edit photos on the fly, for example. And while it’s got WiFi and Bluetooth, there’s no always-on Internet connection, which makes it a little puzzling to me, as it’s not meant to replace your phone, and I’m not sure a 3x optical zoom is worth carrying two devices for, given how fantastic some of today’s phone cam capabilities are.

I Don't Think I Want Polaroid's Android Point And Shoot Camera YetBut. There was one really interesting thing about this camera that I’d love to see Polaroid is in talks with carriers to add data capabilities. It doesn’t have any yet, so this was really vague. But it’s likely going to have some sort of 3G capabilities at launch. I’d love to see that happen, and I’d love to see it get a speaker (right now while it has a microphone, it does not have a speaker). Combine data, a great camera, and Android and you’ve got a pretty great little go-anywhere VOIP phone that won’t force you to lock in a monthly minutes plan.

In any case, this thing will be out in the Fall, maybe with a data plan. No pricing. Could be interesting. Could be very much not so.


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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 news No Comments

A Raid On A Luxury Ski Resort Has Uncovered The True Scale Of Tax Evasion In Italy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-tax-ski-resort-2012-1


italy ski resort

A raid by Italian tax officials on a luxury ski resort revealed dire rates of tax evasion, reports the Telegraph

Officials traced the license plates of several of the Lamborginis, Ferraris and other high-end vehicles that lined the streets of Cortina d’Ampezzo, a popular ski resort among wealthy Italians. In all, 133 vehicles were investigated; the owners of 42 of these were found to have reported annual salaries of less than $28,000 a year. 

The investigators also reportedly found that hotels, restaurants and boutiques in the resort were wildly under-declaring how much income they were generating. 

For example, Reuters reports that restaurants being studied by authorities were issuing sales receipts amounting to 300 percent more sales than the previous year. This demonstrated the fact that such establishments had not previously issued sales receipts in order to cut down their tax bills. 

The news wire also added that tax evasion is becoming such a severe problem in Italy that the government is installing special dogs at borders, designed to sniff out bank notes with the aim of stopping people smuggling their savings abroad. 

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

A Raid On A Luxury Ski Resort Has Uncovered The True Scale Of Tax Evasion In Italy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-tax-ski-resort-2012-1


italy ski resort

A raid by Italian tax officials on a luxury ski resort revealed dire rates of tax evasion, reports the Telegraph

Officials traced the license plates of several of the Lamborginis, Ferraris and other high-end vehicles that lined the streets of Cortina d’Ampezzo, a popular ski resort among wealthy Italians. In all, 133 vehicles were investigated; the owners of 42 of these were found to have reported annual salaries of less than $28,000 a year. 

The investigators also reportedly found that hotels, restaurants and boutiques in the resort were wildly under-declaring how much income they were generating. 

For example, Reuters reports that restaurants being studied by authorities were issuing sales receipts amounting to 300 percent more sales than the previous year. This demonstrated the fact that such establishments had not previously issued sales receipts in order to cut down their tax bills. 

The news wire also added that tax evasion is becoming such a severe problem in Italy that the government is installing special dogs at borders, designed to sniff out bank notes with the aim of stopping people smuggling their savings abroad. 

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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