POSTS WITH TAG: online shopping

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    The annual fee for membership in Amazon.com's preferred shopper program Amazon Prime used to be $79 -- unless you joined after buying a Kindle. If you went that route, it dropped down to $59. If you're a student, the price was even lower still at $39. The company has always been pretty great about providing deals to its customers. That's why when they recently announced that Amazon Prime's fee will be upped to $99 a year, I was in no way, shape, or form bothered by it.

    Because Amazon Prime is still an exceptional deal. You don't need to be an extensive online shopper for the program's benefits to still rock in your favor. With Prime, you get free two-day shipping. For the impatient among us (HI GUYS, HELLO), the only thing that tastes better than the word 'free' on our tongues is 'fast.' Combine the two and you have a veritable chocolate-cheesecake of awesome service.

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    As an adult, you've probably signed your name on more random slips of paper than you can fathom. And few of us probably suspected that the common practice of swiping our credit cards and signing a receipt has a lot to do with why half of all frauds take place in the United States, even though we only make up about a quarter of all credit card use in the world. After a massive and scary credit card breach took place over the holidays at big retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, big changes are in the works: as of October 2015, you'll never swipe and sign again -- and, with hope, stolen data will become a thing of the past. 

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    Since 2005, Amazon has been offering an online shopper’s dream service -- Prime. For $79 a year, subscribers could get “free” two-day shipping on almost everything on the site, from grocery items to gifts to a purple shag rug for the family room. Those are all things I’ve ordered without paying additional shipping costs, and I don’t want to know what the cost of shipping that rug would’ve been otherwise.

    So obviously I’m a member as well as a fan of Amazon Prime. But there’s some big news coming out of the rumor mill -- the cost is about to go up substantially.

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    Most of us don't really have an expectation of privacy anymore. That's just the reality of our tech-obsessed world. Websites gather our information and sell it to advertisers every day. Hell, probably every second of the day. And even though we know this, some examples of it can really get under our skin. Take what happened to Mike Seay for example. He received some startling junk mail from OfficeMax. The envelope was addressed to "Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash." Heartbreaking AND despicable. The year before, his 17-year-old daughter Ashley had died in an accident with her boyfriend. Why did the office supply giant do something so insensitive?

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    With the news that Target and Neiman Marcus revealed more than 70 million pieces of customer data to hackers, I thought it would behoove me to inspect my credit card bill. Sure enough, my card number had been stolen and used to buy $10 worth of something somewhere in Ohio. 

    I won't go into what to do when someone steals your credit card (cancel it immediately, report fraudulent charges, subscribe to a credit watch service, keep track of your bills like a hawk) or how to prevent it in the first place (use Paypal online, cut up your debit card, use one credit card for "unsafe" purchases at companies that have been compromised). Instead, let's look at how my credit card information was stolen and where it probably went.

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    Raise your hand if you love Amazon! Keep it up if you love Amazon Prime and free two-day shipping. Now what if I told you that in the future, that two-day wait might be cut to a mere 30 minutes? Would you die of happiness?

    On Sunday, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes that the company is planning on introducing Prime Air to its customers in as little as four years. Amazon Prime Air is a fleet of delivery drones that will be capable of delivering packages up to five pounds from one of Amazon’s 96 “mind-bogglingly massive warehouses.”

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    Our tablets go with us everywhere, so we should take their cases into serious fashion consideration. The best tablet cases provide just as much style as they do protection for your most cherished gadget. Plus, switching it up with bright and colorful cases, like this hot pink tablet envelope (Marc Jacobs, $88), can make your tablet feel like new time and time again. Match your iPad case to your purse or even your outfit — we totally get it!

    Over at The Prowl, we searched high and low for glam cases that may steal the show from your sleek and shiny iPad. Check out this preview of our favorite chic iPad cases, and then head over to The Prowl to see the rest!

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    Christmas shopping hasn’t been the same since the advent of online shopping. And by not the same, I mean it’s way better now. Now you can shop anywhere from your smartphone -- you don’t even need to be sitting at your computer anymore. In fact, more moms than ever are planning to do some holiday shopping on their mobile devices.

    According to a survey from our sister site, The Prowl, nearly half of all moms say they will be using their smartphone or tablet to shop for presents and other holiday goodies this year.

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    Admit it: you're not using your time on earth wisely, are you? I mean, you're probably doing a kickass job raising your kids and meeting professional goals, but have you booked that trip to Mount Kilimanjaro yet? Yeah, me neither. Well, if you're willing to donate a bit of your hard-earned cash to fund a new project, you might soon be the proud owner of a Tikker watch -- which will happily count down the years, days, minutes, and seconds until the day you kick the bucket. Just in time for the holiday season, guys!

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    Crowdfunding may seem too good to be true: you have a great idea, you create a web page, and a month later, you have enough money (hopefully) to bring your idea to fruition. For countless artists, writers, and filmmakers, sites like Kickstarter have let them do just that. Here are some tips and tricks for making a great crowdfunding request to get your amazing idea off the ground.

    First, a little on crowdfunding. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two major crowdfunding platforms. Users can visit their pages and "pledge" amounts to get certain rewards, including products. Each reward should be an item -- a T-shirt, a movie, a video game -- and each product should be something people want. Most crowdfunding efforts compartmentalize rewards into different tiers and leave one "entry level" tier that includes a personal note or postcard from the creator.

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