Ding Ding! We Have A Winner

Boy, do I think Gizmodo hit the nail on the head after Amazon’s BIG Announcement:


The most thrilling [marketing] advancement in recent years was unveiled last night on 60 Minutes. If you missed it—how could you have missed it?—Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos detailed the [marketing] future of his company for millions [of potential customers]: Amazon PrimeAir. The [marketing] future is here, and it is [vague promises of] 30-minute delivery by drones.Amazon Drone

That’s right! It’s just a matter of [at least five years’] time before Amazon’s [currently fictitious] army of drones takes to the skies to deliver your [five pounds or lighter] package straight to your doorstep[‘s general GPS location] [assuming you live within 10 miles of an Amazon fulfillment center] [which you don’t]…

You’d think that Amazon would spend the night before the busiest online shopping day of the year publicizing its numerous deals, but clearly that’s not a priority [for60 Minutes producers]. Instead, Bezos talked about PrimeAir on 60 Minutes, the most reputable [and watched] weekly news program [that’s willing to turn a blind eye to practicalities in exchange for a scoop] in America. That’s how you know Amazon is serious [about grabbing headlines any way it can today].

Read the whole thing here


How Times Have Changed

I started the original CellCon Consulting in the late 1980s. At first, we were consulting people and businesses on how they could use these new things called “cell-phones” (get it- CellCon…), how to get things like “dropped call credits” and what “roaming access numbers” were (and if you know what any of those things are, you’re in an elite club!)

Anyway, we soon branched out and started selling cell phones and accessories. I went to the local bank where I had the corporate account and applied for a merchant account – in order to take credit cards. I was declined, not because I was too young or didn’t have a proper proposal (I did, and the bank VP complimented it.) No, the company was declined because we didn’t have a physical store front. Never did. If someone wanted to buy a phone, we went to them. It was a consultative sale – tell me what you need and want, we made a recommendation and then ordered the phone. We had no inventory.

Anyway, I digress. A bank declined us for having no store front. I told them right then and there that soon people would be buying things from the internet and if they didn’t change their policy they would be left far behind. We did end up getting an account from Novus and were soon in business, selling phones and taking charge cards.

So, why am I telling a story from 25+ years ago? Today, Groupon started a service called Breadcrumb. It’s very similar to Square (which we love) but the rates are a bit cheaper. There’s no exclusive deal with either, so I signed up and will use both.

The signup for Breadcrumb was very similar to that of Square. It took me under 10 minutes and I had a merchant account (OK, now two.) This is how technology changes the world folks. 25 years ago, a bank turned me down in an effort to grow my business. Today, it took about 6 minutes.


Best Buy Stepping It Up…

Found at The Consumerist.com:

Best Buy Confirms Price-Matching Policy Change With “Low-Price Guarantee” – Aims to stop “Shrowrooming.”

According to a statement from BestBuy, starting March 3 Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee will “price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all product categories and on nearly all in-stock products, whenever asked by a customer.”

Starting March 3, 2013 Best Buy will price match the current pre-tax price for new, identical, immediately available products from local retail competitors and select designated major online retailers at the time of purchase only. (No subsequent price matching of competitors is allowed)

Here is the list of online stores that are Best Buy is willing to price-match at launch in the Low-Price Guarantee:

(All are .com): Amazon, Apple, B&H, Buy, Crutchfield, Dell, Frys, hhgregg, HP, HomeDepot, Lowes, Newegg, OfficeDepot, OfficeMax, Sears, Staples, Target, TigerDirect, Walmart

Also starting March 3, the “Return and Exchange period for eligible products will change from 30 days to 15 days.”

Read more HERE


Facebook Rolls Out Offers Feature For Brands

Nice article on this over at Social Bakers:

Summary: Facebook Offers is a discount/promo­tional tool you create from your business page, which allows you to reach a larger audience. Once you create an offer, it will be shared with people who have liked your page, as well as allowing them to share it with their friends. As soon as a person redeems your offer, it will be automatically shared with their friends. Currently, this feature is available to all Facebook Pages with more than 400 fans.


Square Rocks

We love Square. For small businesses to take credit cards, they make it easy, have a simple low/flat rate cost and provide fast transfers to your bank. We signed up the day they were announced. So, if you’re already using them, or are thinking about it, here’s some news of interest:

Square Introduces One Monthly Price for Small Businesses

Square is leveling the playing field with first-of-its-kind simple pricing designed for small businesses. Today Square expands its simple pricing for card processing with a monthly price for small businesses which includes 0% processing fee and one flat $275 monthly price, no additional fees, and no contract.


AT&T Chief Regrets Offering Unlimited Data for iPhone

From the NY Times:

When Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, spoke about the state of the wireless industry at a conference this week, he shared some surprisingly frank comments about the iPhone.

If AT&T hadn’t offered unlimited data, it would have been able to get people who used more data to pay up for it, as opposed to having the light data users subsidize the heavy ones, he said.

“My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat,” he said…“And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.”

Read the entire article here:

Gowalla Gone

As you may remember, Foursquare and Gowalla both launched in 2009. Providing a similar (ok, very similar) service, Gowalla has announced they’re out. From Gowalla.com:

“Thank you for going out with Gowalla. It was a pleasure to journey with you around the world. Download your check-ins, photos and lists here soon.”




The Game Stop Fiasco

So, Game Stop, a Brick & Mortar (and on-line) game retailer has put it’s collective foot in their collective mouth (and more.) Here’s the synopsis and link:

Basically, Game Stop told it’s managers to open a sealed copy of a new game, which included a code for a free on-line version, and remove the code slips.

Those who opted for a physical copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution were greeted with a pleasant surprise yesterday. Included with the retail game was a code that could be redeemed for a free OnLive copy — unless, of course, the game was purchased at GameStop.

GameSpy reports it heard from multiple GameStop customers complaining about opened games and missing codes. It also heard from an anonymous source claiming to be a GameStop employee showing what appears to be management instructing employees to remove and discard the OnLive codes from all PC copies of the game.

Bad news, right? Who is Game Stop to remove a bonus that the developer decided should be in there? Well, look at the following (dead-on) video from Gary Vaynerchuk. As Gary states, even if GameStop was doing what they thought was right in their corporate minds, they did it the (very) wrong way. Of course, with hindsight being 20/20, GameStop should have (and should have the oomph to) call the developer and tell them they wouldn’t carry the game the way it was packaged.  Give Gary a look-see here:

Your thoughts?

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