Have you heard of Amazon Dash?

Do you ever have those days when you realize you have no more toilet paper? You have just used the last piece and you look in the hall closet and find out you dropped the ball? The next option is to use facial tissue, but you pull one out and find out it is the last one too. You do not have time to go to the store until late that night, and that is the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day.

Enter Amazon Dash.

Imagine having a button near where you stock up on toilet paper, facial tissue, trash bags, diapers (the list goes on). You see that you are almost out, and with a click of the button Amazon will send you refills right away. You do not have to get online and place a new order. The click of the button does all the work for you.

There are currently 18 buttons for different brands. The cost of each button is $5, and are only available for Amazon Prime members. An excerpt for how it works from Amazon.com:

“Amazon Dash Button is simple to set up. Use the Amazon app on your smartphone to easily connect to your home Wi-Fi and select the product you want to reorder with Dash Button. Once connected, a single press automatically places your order. Amazon sends an order alert to your phone, so it’s easy to cancel if you change your mind. Unless you elect otherwise, Dash Button responds only to your first press until your order is delivered.”

Seems easy, and the future of how consumers might purchase everyday items such as shampoo, detergent, toilet paper — really anything that you get the same of every time. Only thing that randomly comes to me — kids that find the button and have a little fun. You might just have a truck load of toilet paper.

A new Black Friday… on a Wednesday!

I am not a big holiday person. If I were to pick one that is higher on the list, it would be Thanksgiving. Gratitude, family and friends, and good food. What is not to like? What I am not a fan of is the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. You can tell from this past Black Friday blog post. I would rather do almost anything than go shopping on Black Friday. There is not a deal that is that amazing to make it worth it to me.

So when I heard that Amazon is creating their own version of Black Friday on July 15, called: Prime Day. I thought, hmm. Part of me thinks the idea is brilliant, the other part hates the idea. Why not create a shopping day that is catered to the customers that shop the most with you? Almost like a customer appreciation day for those that are the most loyal — Prime members. Amazon states that there will be more sales than they have on Black Friday. Since Prime Day is meant to be a celebration of their 20th anniversary, I wonder if it is successful if they will bring it back in future years. If it becomes bigger than Black Friday, what will other retailers do to outrun Amazon?

It is definitely what we need — Black Wednesday in July. 😉

They are also offering a free 30-day membership to Amazon Prime for those that want to take part in the day. How many will keep their membership after the 30 days, and how many will drop their membership? It starts right at midnight, so be sure to take a nap, so you can be wide-eyed and ready for a day of deals.

Not sure if I will partake, but Happy Early Birthday, Amazon.

Strangest Online April Fool’s Day

What was up with all the email marketing messages on April Fool’s Day? It was as though all the past years of my life April 1 did not happen. I do not remember a recent year where I received a marketing message about April Fools. Here is a random list of what I received (or heard about):

_A message from Redbox featuring a new product: Petbox, all the movies were pet renditions such as “Fifty Shades of Greyhound” or “Paws”
_A Facebook friend stated they received an email from West Elm that said: “Thanks for the recent order” — which linked to a furniture sale. Wonderful West Elm, put fear in your customer’s mind that they had been hit with identity theft. I wonder how many folks made purchases after receiving that email?
_Orbitz email subject line: “No joke” — but then the body of the email had nothing to do with the subject line
_6pm.com email subject line: “These deals are not a joke”
_Gap email subject line: “haha”
_Ann Taylor Loft email subject line: “Today, nothing’s on sale” — body says “April Fool’s Everything is 40% off”
_Banana Republic email subject line: “It’s no joke, 41% off”
_Clymb email subject line: “This is the smallest sale ever” — email body says: “Yeah Right.”
_Amazon homepage went retro showing an early 2000’s version of what their site would have looked like. I honestly thought they had lost it.
_A local Apple dealer sent out an email advertising a new product called “The Awesome.” Check out the link and you will get the joke.
_At work, an announcement went out that construction on a parking lot was halted due to the discovery of an ancient settlement and the artifacts found. Once you read about the “artifacts” listed you knew it was a spoof.

Did some massive digital announcement go out to marketers to make 2015 the Year of April Fools? I have never in my life seen so much focus on it. I find it odd actually. None of the direct marketing emails I received were really even funny at all. Come on world, we can do better.

Our toys have gotten shitty

Our niece turned one year old a few weeks ago. We decided to send a few toys and one of them was reminiscent of our childhood. Do you remember the Fisher Price Little People Farm? It had a barn door, and when you opened it, it mooed like a cow. There were other farm animals, a fence, and a grain tower. There was a little window at the top of the barn that opened and you could put the little people in there so they could look at the farm where the bales of hay were stored. Ahh….memories.

So a few weeks ago we are in California at Charlie’s house, and the Little People Farm comes out, and we are flabbergasted. The thing is a cheap piece of crap. The barn doors do not open. There is no mooing noise. The little people are not little. The animals are funky looking and fat and their legs do not bend or move. The fence is chintzy. We spent over $40 on hoping to create our childhood memories for Charlie and find that she got the raw end of the deal. It was horrid.

I want to send a note to Fisher Price and ask what they were thinking. Her barn – well the top comes off. No noises come from the farm, and honestly it just looks like a barn lunch pail. Saddened that such a shitty birthday gift made it on her doorstep (compliments of Amazon), we later found a toy store and had fun seeing what fascinated her. In the end we found a cute bowling set up of animals, and had fun having her roll the ball to knock them over. What child does not love knocking over anything? I have to say, I am not biased or anything, but Charlie is damn good at kicking a ball.

After some online research, I found the original Fisher Price Little People Farm going for over $100. Seriously? Fisher Price needs to go back to its roots and produce a toy that lasts as long as the one I used to play with — I mean it lived in the nursery of my church for years and years. Bring back your vintage farm. It was worth it just to hear the moo when you opened the door.

#Childhoodnostalgia

HELP: Best site for eBooks?

Yesterday I wrote about my treadmill. I love it, with one exception it does not have a book holder. It has a tiny ledge that fits an iPad or eReader. Here is my dilemma: I am old school. I still check out books at my local library. I have investigated and most of the books that are on my list are not available on the eReader app available from my library. So I started the exploration of other paid eReader apps. Here is what I found:

Amazon: You have to own a Kindle ($59 and up), then you can pay $9.99 a month for their Kindle Unlimited Library, but most of the titles that I am looking for you must have an Amazon Prime account ($99 a year). However, you can only check out one book a month with Amazon Prime. If I am already paying $9.99 a month, and their better selection is with the Amazon Prime eBooks, then how is this a good deal at all? Here is a good recap of what they offer.

Oyster: I signed up for a free trial (caveat: their website says the free trial is 14 days, once I signed up the site emailed me and said my trial was only 2 days). It is $9.95 a month, but most of the titles I want to read are not available in their app.

OverDrive: Part of the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, it is free to me, but again the selection is slim to the list of books I want to read.

3M Cloud: Part of the Multnomah County Library, it is free to me, and the selection does not have the list of books I want to read.

I struggle with my dilemma. If I can go to the library and check out a book for free, why is it so hard to find a good selection of free eBooks? I have a hunch if I want to keep reading while I run, I will have to either have Chris rig some sort of book attachment, utilize at least 5 different eBook apps in order to find the book I want to read, or start to pay $$$ for each of the books I want to read. If I can find almost any song I want on Spotify for $10 a month, why is it so hard to do the same for eBooks?

What do you do? Do you have any ideas for me? My goal is to continue to read my average of 10 books a month, cheaply and easily, and potentially now on my iPad. Help!