Amazon Prime: What holiday shoppers need to know

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Amazon

While Amazon is not doing drone deliveries as part of the package just yet, Amazon Prime is an alluring online service for shoppers. It's tough to compare it to other companies, because who else offers a single package that includes free shipping, videos, music, Kindle reading and photo storage?

Still, the multitude of features and perks doesn't mean the yearly outlay will pay off for every shopper. Here's a quick-hit list of the benefits of investing in a Prime account, along with areas to consider carefully if you’re thinking of joining Prime.

Cost: For $99 a year, consumers receive free two-day shipping for eligible purchases, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and book-borrowing privileges from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for $99 a year. Those who only shop heavily a few months a year might want to consider the same benefits for $10.99 a month, which adds about $32 to the annual price if you keep it for 12 months.

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 Cost-benefit ratio: If you typically have a total order required for free standard shipping from Amazon, or constantly need (or want) items within two days, the savings in shipping and time-opportunity cost can quickly offset your investment. A free trial membership available through the Amazon website will also give you an idea of how many of the items you need or like that qualify for Prime and how often you might use the service. Just be careful to cancel the membership after the free trial period if you don’t want it, since a credit card is required.
 
More Amazon Prime shipping benefits: To truly maximize the shipping benefits of a Prime membership, you must live in one of the more than 7,000 cities and towns that receive free same-day or one-day shipping on more than a million qualifying items (and orders over $35). To see if you qualify, check out your zip code on the Amazon website.

Tapping those shipping benefits is a matter of looking for the Prime FREE Same-Day or Prime FREE One-Day logo when you're shopping on the site, or using that filter in search. At check-out, make sure to choose the same-day or one-day option.

You also have to order in the morning, typically before noon, to receive items by 9 p.m. that day or order in the afternoon for qualified free one-day shipping to arrive the next day by 9 p.m.

Prime Early Access: Bargain hunters and those who genuinely enjoy online shopping will revel in the Amazon Prime member benefit of a 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com.
 
Sharing benefits with household members: If you're a happy shopping family, Prime membership costs can be divided. Prime members can allow others adults in their Amazon Household to share Prime benefits at no extra cost by linking their regular Amazon account to the Household service and agreeing to share payments. Shared benefits include shipping, video, vault for photo storage, other digital benefits and exclusive offers.
 
More must-know facts about Amazon Prime benefits and features:

  • Large items sold or fulfilled by Amazon don't qualify for free two-day shipping though large item shipping is still free.
  • If you're expecting the two-day delivery on time, you must carefully note both the order cut-off time on each item's detail page and the proper shipping selection at checkout.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are not considered business days in calculating free two-day shipping for Prime. The shipping methods apply to business days only, not weekends or holidays.
  • Orders that cost more than $1,300 may require a signature for delivery.
 
This Christmas: An Amazon Prime membership makes a great gift for a family or couple just getting started with establishing a household, or who could really use the entertainment options along with the speedy shipping.

To purchase other gifts for guaranteed Christmas delivery from Amazon via Prime, be aware that gift orders on Amazon.com must be completed online by Dec. 18 to be shipped with free standard shipping and by Dec. 22 for the free Prime two-day shipping. The select cities that offer free one-day shipping for Prime orders require orders complete by 9:30 a.m. local time on Dec. 24.
 
Oh, and about those drones. Amazon does have a separate Prime Air delivery service in the works. It would deliver packages up to five pounds in under 30 minutes using small drones. As of Dec. 7, 2017, Amazon said it would start offering Prime Air as an option "when and where we have the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision. We’re excited about this technology and one day using it to deliver packages to customers around the world."

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New spam impacts some Gmail accounts

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

A new form of spam is causing some computer experts to scratch their heads.  

Messages you didn’t send but appear to come from your Gmail account may wind up in your sent messages folder.

The trick lets the spammers bypass Gmail’s spam filters, according to Gizmodo.com.

This doesn’t mean your account has been compromised, in fact, the problem continues for some users who have changed their password, or use two-factor authentication, according to Cnet.com.  

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will be talking to a local tech expert to find out more about how this is happening and what you can do to protect your Gmail account.  

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Kohl’s to partner with ALDI grocery stores

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 3:37 PM

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Kohl’s will partner with discount grocer ALDI, company officials told analysts in March.

Kohl’s will cut five to 10 stores in half and put ALDI in the other half of the stores, Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell told securities analysts last month after the company reported positive fourth-quarter financial results.

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ALDI will be separate from the Kohl’s entrance, and customers would have to go outside to get from one store to another. The locations of these stores have not been disclosed yet.

The move comes after the retailer announced last September that it would partner with Amazon to offer free  returns for Amazon customers in stores. The retail store announced that 82 stores across Los Angeles and Chicago will offer free returns for Amazon customers starting in October. Kohl’s will “pack and ship eligible Amazon return items for free, providing an additional service and convenience to Amazon customers within select Kohl’s stores,” the company announced.

Kohl’s ended the fiscal year with 1,158 Kohl’s stores in 49 states. During 2017, the company opened four Kohl’s stores and relocated one Kohl’s store.

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3 big changes happening at Mall at Fairfield Commons

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 12:58 PM
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2018 @ 3:38 PM

Mall at Fairfield Commons anchors retail in Beavercreek

Several changes are coming to the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

The mall, featuring more than 135 stores like Elder-BeermanJCPenneyMacy’sSearsAbercrombie & Fitch, is going through several changes this spring. Some stores have closed recently, including Osterman Jewelers. That store was located next to Nirvana and across from H&M.

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Victoria's Secret is expanding at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. “Right now, they’re still located next to Macy’s but be on the lookout later this year as they’ll be bigger and better than ever!” the mall posted on social media.(Kara Driscoll)

Victoria’s Secret will move locations and expand their footprint at the mall. Currently, the store is still located next to Macy’s. Victoria’s Secret sells lingerie, beauty products, fragrances, cosmetics and women’s apparel.

“Right now, they’re still located next to Macy’s but be on the lookout later this year as they’ll be bigger and better than ever!” the mall posted on social media.

FILE(Staff Writer)

Factory One, a women’s clothing store, opened near Sears. The store offers women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and other items at affordable prices. A store associate told this news organization that the store celebrated its grand opening earlier this week.

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Dayton Soin Award winner has innovation in its sights

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 2:43 PM

Nicholas Ripplinger, Battle Sight Technologies co-founder, leads a company that has created a technology that creates writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.
Nicholas Ripplinger, Battle Sight Technologies co-founder, leads a company that has created a technology that creates writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.

Battle Sight Technologies — a Dayton startup that has developed a chemiluminescent writing device — is the 2018 Soin Award for Innovation winner, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and Soin LLC said Tuesday.

Battle Sight Technologies produces the “MARC IR,” which allows its user to write with a reusable luminescent material, the chamber and Soin said in a joint announcement.

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“It’s a glow stick that you can write with and is reusable,” Nicholas Ripplinger, company co-founder, said in the statement “When you write with the MARC IR, you’re leaving a very thin layer of wax that’s not visible. There’s a series of microcapsules that break when you write with them. The chemicals inside react with the chemicals in the wax, and that’s what causes the glowing reaction.”

Using a chemical that emits infrared, the idea is to create writing visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.

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“It’s invisible to the enemy who’s walking around, but when you have your night vision goggles on, it glows. So what really benefits the soldiers is they can now write words or symbols, so visually, everybody now knows what’s going on in that environment,” Ripplinger said.

The technology came to him through the Technology Acceleration Project, which is the Entrepreneur Center’s push to transfer technology from research to market. The program connects technological advances discovered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) with for-profit teams equipped to commercialize the ideas.

Ripplinger is a former U.S. Army soldier and non-commissioned officer with command experience. He holds a B.S. in technical management as well as an M.B.A.

Battle Sight’s connection with AFRL and other business supporters in the Dayton region has been beneficial to getting the business off the ground, said Ripplinger.

“Dayton has been a huge part of our success,” he said. “We wanted to rally the community behind us. We’re involved with several non-profits including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneurs Center. We’re trying to be the best community stewards that we can be. In return, we gained a lot of support for what we were doing.”

The Soin Award for Innovation panel of judges, made up of area business leaders and representatives from small business supporters, were impressed with the many applications for Battle Sight’s technology and the company’s strategy for bringing it to the market, focusing first on the defense applications, the chamber said.

Battle Sight Technologies’ win earns a $25,000 prize and various marketing opportunities thanks to support from Soin LLC, Cox Digital Marketing and CareWorks.

The Soin Award for Innovation began on the chamber’s 100th anniversary as a way to honor innovative area businesses. The Raj Soin family has been the benefactor of the award since its inception.

Learn more about Battle Sight Technologies and the MARC IR at www.battlesighttech.com.

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