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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hate to be blunt, but that's my feeling---there just don't seem to be that many business or real estate related titles that participate in the program.  My feeling is that they make too much money on this type of book to permit discounts.

You are supposed to get one free title per month. (That may be a Prime deal).

But the free titles that come with Prime are even more limited.

Has anyone seen any better deals?  

I have tended to go Plan B, which means finding used titles that are cheap and just owning the book.  

Overall, I find having Prime a good deal, this just isn't one of the stronger selling points.  Though i it's not like I have used the kindle all that much and I am finally getting around to do so.

I have alot of friends who just don't like the idea of a kindle, want a "real" book---but I guess unless you are paying full price, you might not have to worry about that.  Although at least the kindle price tends to be cheaper.  (The other disadvantage is that unless you hand over your kindle, you can't share books.)

I have also found that amazon can be a mixed blessing---I have sometimes order what I would call "phantom" books with really killer titles and 5 star reviews----and when it arrives I find a 30 page book with large and virtually no message.  I have since limited my purchases to those that list a table of contents---at least you are getting something for your purchase.  (I have only had this happen a few times, mainly when I am trying to read every book on a particular subject).

But  on the other hand, there may be no better deal than Kindle Unlimited available---I don't claim to know.


Paul

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't know anything about Kindle Unlimited. I just purchase ebooks at current, inflated prices.

But have you tried https://camelcamelcamel.com for Amazon merch. purchases? It's a fantastic site that tracks and follows any item that you're interested in. They show a graph of past prices. 

1) Cut and paste the item's URL into camel. They'll return a price history of the item. I was surprised at the "volatility" of prices.

2) Check to see if the price variability shows enough fluctuation to the downside to make being patient to purchase worthwhile. 

3) If it does, enter your target price and email, and they'll keep you posted on future price drops.

It's a very user-friendly experience.
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #3 
As always, a great suggestion, Paul.

Plus, you can put an extension on your browser so you can get price histories while you browse.

Such a deal!

In a way, it's an irony.  Amazon enabled a UPC reader so that its customers could go into retail stores and then compare retail prices.  Obviously, if it's cheaper on Amazon, then  no sale.

But comparing prices on Amazon has become more difficult from what I understand and Amazon puts favored retailers ahead in your search results, even if you want the cheapest prices, etc.

It's complicated on Amazon and I don't entirely understand all the complexities, though I find the prime to be a great convenience.

But I will say that Amazon basics has pretty good tech products at reasonable prices.

And also when they list something as "best seller" it's usually a pretty good product.

On the negative side, I used to own a retail building and would be very  loathe to invest in retail and/or office because I rather feel that Amazon has rendered this asset class questionable. 

And although their prices are really great now, if they are able to sideline all or most of their rivals (they still compete with Walmart, etc), what will happen to their great prices at this point.

But putting it all in perspective, I really do admire Bezos for his inventive and forward thinking.
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #4 
Regarding Amazon, I should say that the Echo Dot (and other echo models) have a really neat feature that was just added as a software upgrade in May  2017.  They recently had it on sale for under $40 on Amazon day (or for refurbs when not on sale).

One of the features not widely known is that if you have a family member who also has an echo and they are on your contact list uploaded to the Amazon cloud, then you can communicate echo to echo, almost like using it as a phone / answering machine.  (There was a review in Gizmodo this month that mentioned this feature). 

http://www.ooyuz.com/geturl?aid=16296095

As the competition heats up between Apple (Siri) and Amazon (Alexa) and Microsoft (Cortana), there should be some amazing devices that become available, though Amazon has always found a price point that makes competition very difficult.

JovannySmith22

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Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrywww
Hate to be blunt, but that's my feeling---there just don't seem to be that many business or real estate related titles that participate in the program.  My feeling is that they make too much money on this type of book to permit discounts.

You are supposed to get one free title per month. (That may be a Prime deal).

But the free titles that come with Prime are even more limited.

Has anyone seen any better deals?  

I have tended to go Plan B, which means finding used titles that are cheap and just owning the book.  

Overall, I find having Prime a good deal, this just isn't one of the stronger selling points.  Though i it's not like I have used the kindle all that much and I am finally getting around to do so.

I have alot of friends who just don't like the idea of a kindle, want a "real" book---but I guess unless you are paying full price, you might not have to worry about that.  Although at least the kindle price tends to be cheaper.  (The other disadvantage is that unless you hand over your kindle, you can't share books.)

I have also found that amazon can be a mixed blessing---I have sometimes order what I would call "phantom" books with really killer titles and 5 star reviews----and when it arrives I find a 30 page book with large and virtually no message.  I have since limited my purchases to those that list a table of contents---at least you are getting something for your purchase.  (I have only had this happen a few times, mainly when I am trying to read every book on a particular subject).

But  on the other hand, there may be no better deal than Kindle Unlimited available---I don't claim to know.






I’m not a huge fan of Amazon either. But, as they say you must stay up to date with technology. I know many people who buy books online. I am sure these sites will soon replace the 'real books'.



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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #6 
Paul: I found article on 5 ways to save on Amazon (one of which includes your camelcamelcamel).

https://www.debtroundup.com/5-little-known-ways-save-money-amazon/

Not sure any of these other avenues are fruitful, but amazon is becoming a more important retailer.

I'm trying to acclimate to Amazon tech these days.

They have something called the wand, which is actually free (You pay $20, but then get a $20 refund when you register it).  It's the smallest tech item that has Alexa with it.  (Not sure how that is going to work out.)

My view of Amazon tech products is that they keep getting better and better.  I bought the echo dot since it had Alexa and was just so cheap.  (I think it might have been on sale for something like $40).   It can interact with alot of products and I still haven't figured out how to use it, but given that it interacts with alot of smart products, I am hopeful for doing so.




rickencin

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Reply with quote  #7 
Pretty cool.  I never new Amazon.com had a warehouse or outlet section.  I did get an Amazon Store Credit Card (Synchrony Bank) that gives you 5% back on Amazon orders that you pay with the credit card.  I also signed up for AmazonSmile which gives 1/2% to your favorite charity (if it's on the large list).  The 1/2% is paid for by Amazon AFAIK.  Once you get an Amazon prime membership all the cheap little stuff seems to be an "add on" item that requires a minimum of $25 of prime orders to ship.  Well, free shipping isn't really free, somebody pays for it, but neither is the gas I use to go to the store and look for my (obscure) item. 
For a couple months I had an active credit history.  I got the Amazon card, a bank card with a low limit (that immediately got raised) for internet ordering and I opened a brokerage account to buy some short term annuities.  My credit score dropped 40 points!  6 months later it's back to within a point of where it started.  The helpful hints I got about why my credit score got lowered were generic garbage (unreported revolving credit, open accounts, high balances).  I'm sure glad I didn't pay for that "advice".

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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #8 
I am trying to acclimate to the new technology.   But it's not easy to teach new tricks to someone as old as I am.  I got a Kindle, but somehow can't seem to entirely bond with it.   The other thing is that the old bookstores used to very liberally stock their real estate sections, so i could just pop over to Barnes & Noble, or wherever, and catch up.  Not true to nearly the same extent any longer since their profit margins have been slashed.

So, the upsurge of Amazon is kind of a mixed bag, I suppose, even for me, despite the fact that many of its entry level features and technologies seem like a no brainer.

James Patterson, the best selling novelist, said he once met Bezos.  (It says on Patterson's website that he is the world's best selling novelist---can that really  be true?)   At the time, the # of visits to bookstores had been reduced by 1/3 (probably larger # now).  
And he quoted me another interesting statistic: Since parents no longer go to bookstores, they are also no longer bringing their children to introduce them to reading.  He specifically mentioned this negative trend to Bezos.  Bezos, in effect, said "we're on top of that trend" , etc.

But I'm not reassured by his reassurances, so I'm not sure where that leaves us.

One can argue that the younger generation is alot more computer and smartphone literate.  But there is also a disturbing trend toward sedentary conduct, just staring at screens.  And most pecuilar of all, being constantly hounded by facebook and other posts on smartphones hasn't made this younger generation any happier, the reverse I hear.  Adolescence was tough enough before, and now the social hierarchy and social competition is intruding even into their non-schools hours.  I do not envy the younger generation for this.

So where does all of this leave us?---even I am not sure.

But I must say that I really admire Bezos for his audacity and entrepreneurial vision.  (Although once he controls all or most of the shopping in the retail world, the low prices may become history.  (I don't know this, but I'm just saying it's a possibility).


Their infrastructure seems to be growing too.  I hear that there are (in a few places) amazon stores.    There are Amazon Lockers (where you can pick up your stuff.  It's weird---the Lockers have one word names like Jojo and Chiffon.  No I don't know what that means either.).  

They have retail stores they call pop ups---these may be bookstores or places to order kindle books.  Not sure about that.

In Thousand Oaks, they have what they call a Kindle Kiosk----again, it looks like a vending machine.

Don't have any of these things where I live, but they look interesting.

Overall, Amazon already has 5 bookstores (one planned for Century City in Los Angeles) and they have plans for an additional 7 stores.  

Here is an article discussing the bookstores.
http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-amazon-store-los-angeles-20170519-story.html


And what they plan to do with the grocery chain they just bought is still a bit unclear, Whole Foods.  (They used to be very pricey---their nickname was "Whole Paycheck"---but hopefully under Amazon more reasonable prices).

They are also rolling out "instant pickup points" where you can order and get your stuff immediately.  One of them is near U Cal Berkeley.  How cool is that?  Their prices may even be less than normal Amazon prices.  They have one in Los Angeles too.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-pickup-idUSKCN1AV1EF?il=0

They also have what they call is an Amazon Go store in Bellingham Washington.  (Is that the same as instant pickup?  Not sure).  But they are going to be rolling that out in the future.  I signed up to be emailed when they roll out.

Alot of these different stores may be redundant vis a vis one another---I don't really know.  I haven't visited any of these locations, so I don't really know what kind of store(s) or other type of retail outlets are there.

They have the warehouses---the fulfillment centers.  I wonder if you can get tech support there?  Probably not, but just a thought.

Amazon is fast becoming the greatest in terms of logistics----it already supplements the US Postal Service, with whom they work in cooperation.

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