If you're shopping on Amazon's website and hoping to score free shipping, you may have to increase your order size. Previously, Amazon offered its customers free "Super Saving" shipping on qualifying orders of at least $25, but for the first time in over 10 years, the e-tailer decided to bump up the minimum order amount. You must now spend $35 on qualifying items to receive free shipping.
It will be up to California residents to decide whether or not Amazon and other online retailers will have to collect sales tax in their state. According to the Associated Press, the California Attorney General's Office approved Amazon's petition for a referendum that will give voters the chance to overturn a new controversial law that altered what it means to have a physical presence in the state.
It's been a tough year for Borders and its employees. Competition from the the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble have made it difficult for Borders to turn a profilt, and as a result, Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in February. That's no laughing matter if you're a Borders employee, just don't accuse the book chain of losing its sense of humor.
The muddy waters surrounding ecommerce and state sales taxes has prompted Amazon to end its affiliate program in Illinois. The move is in response to Illinois passing a new law requiring ecommerce companies to collect sales tax in the state, even if there isn't a physical presence there, like a shipping warehouse or headquarters.
Amazon is at odds with the state of Texas over what the state claims is $269 million in unpaid taxes, which ultimately prompted the online mega e-tailer to close a distribution center in Dallas and cancel plans to build additional facilities in the state, according to a report in the Associated Press. The AP got its paws on an email sent to Amazon employees by Dave Clark, the e-tailer's VP of operations. In it, Clark announced the closing due to the state's "unfavorable regulatory climate."
A forum user over at Reddit claims to have discovered a pretty startling security flaw that could potentially make it easier for hackers to guess your Amazon password. By adding extra characters to a valid password with eight characters, some Amazon customers are still able to log in.
Let's say your password is "ILoveJan," which is a terrible password to begin with. If someone up to no good guesses "ILoveJan1932," Amazon may accept it. Wired, which says it confirmed the flaw, says the security SNAFU likely only affects older accounts. Newer passwords don't appear to be affected.
So what can you do? Wired says simply logging in and changing your password sidesteps the flaw, even if you end up changing it back to your original password.
In a note to investors this week, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said it's going to be increasingly difficult for Best Buy to compete with online retailers, CNet reports.
"We expect continued market share losses in consumer electronics to online retailers and lower-priced big-box competitors, and entertainment software to Gamestop, Amazon, and Wal-Mart," Pachter wrote.
Best Buy recently posted weaker-than-expected sales in a number of categories, including TVs, PCs, and videogames. Sales were down 3 percent from a year ago, though the brick-and-mortar electronics chain still made a profit of $217 million on almost $12 billion in revenue.
That means Best Buy doesn't have to go into panic mode just yet, but it should look to alter its strategy. According to Pachter, lower prices online undermine Best Buy's "widest selection of goods at premium price points."
North Carolina residents who frequently shop at Amazon.com can breathe a sigh of relief, while privacy rights groups can give each other high fives. You see, state officials wanted Amazon to fork over sensitive information, including names, addresses, and what items North Carolina residents purchased between 2003 and 2010. Rather than comply, Amazon decided to fight the good fight...and won.
According to U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, the request seeks too much and "runs afoul of the First Amendment." She then granted Amazon a summary judgment.
In siding with Amazon, Pechman said state officials have no need for such details. "In spite of this, [North Carolina] refuses to give up the detailed information about Amazon's customers' purchases, while at the same time requesting the identities of the customers and, arguably, detailed records of their purchases, including the expressive content."
It should be noted that Amazon doesn't have any offices or warehouses in North Carolina, and so the company has no legal obligation to collect the state's 5.75 percent sales tax.