All Dell PCs bought after 29 June, 2009 are eligible for a complimentary Windows 7 upgrade, according to a recent announcement by the floundering PC maker. But Dell forgot to mention that in case of PCs bought from brick-and-mortar stores, the date of purchase, in context of this offer, is that date when the third-party retailer bought the PC from Dell. As this date invariably precedes the actual date of purchase – the date on which the PC is bought by the customer, it can potentially render many customers ineligible for the free Windows 7 upgrade. Dell is avowedly aware of the problem and currently working toward a solution.
This might not surprise anyone, but it turns out even the steep price cuts retailers used to entice consumers wasn’t enough to offset the sputtering North American economy. This holiday season – which typically accounts for around 30 to 50 per cent of a retailers total sales, was a bust that rippled across every retail sector. According to preliminary data released by SpendingPulse – a division of MasterCard, total retail sales slipped 2 to 4 per cent. While the electronics sector’s slip of 26.7% sounds substantial, it can’t even hold a torch to luxury item’s such as jewelry which sank almost 35%.
On a more positive note, online retailer Amazon.com said its 2008 holiday sales were its “best ever”. The retailer reportedly received orders for over 6.4 million items. This is good news for Amazon, and helps to back up claims from SpendingPulse’s which showed that more and more, consumers are making the switch to shopping online. Overall online sales declined a meager 2.3 percent from the previous year, however this is in stark contrast to 2007 when e-commerce grew almost 22.4 per cent. With big name brick and mortar retailers such as Circuit City already facing bankruptcy, weak holiday sales might see even more blood shed in the retail sector come January.
The clock is ticking, and the boxing week picture is not yet clear, but it remains to be seen what if anything will put retailers back in the black.
Online auction/shopping websites have been around for a long time. However, the proverbially long reach of the law hasn’t been observed when it comes to online stores for all these years. The absence of stern laws has fostered an illegitimate industry that has proved to be very profitable for thieves and charlatans galore, besides being less perilous then drug trade and other illegal businesses.
But online sellers dealing in stolen goods might soon be stymied by three new legislations, the E-fencing Enforcement Act, Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 and Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008. These bills are intended to combat Organized Retail Crime (ORC). There are numerous online sellers that are comfortably selling huge volumes of stolen goods – stolen directly from retailers – through popular websites like eBay.
If these bills get a nod from lawmakers, online stores and resellers will be required to disclose the contact information of any seller with annual earnings in excess of $12K to any competent party (retailer) that makes a request for such info. This will allow retailers to catch unscrupulous sellers red-handed. The proposed legislations will also put the onus of scrutinizing sellers on online stores. The National Retail Federation has placed its support behind the bills. What about you? Share your thoughts.
The days of tax-free purchases for online shoppers are numbered, feel
many experts. A new law in New York has made sales tax mandatory on
internet purchases. This has widened the grin on the faces of offline
store managers in the state, who expect some internet shoppers to turn
their attention and wallets towards them. New York might have just
shown the way to other states that are deliberating upon ways to tax
Read on to see why this is happening, and whether you'll be affected.