Retail

Spice Up Your Shop with a VW Pickup Wall Decoration

Seeing a half car is always a disconcerting experience. Especially when that half car is about 14 feet up in the air. [PanasonicModelRC6015] — We’ll call him [RC6015] for short — has gone and mounted 1/2 (actually more like 1/4) of a VW Rabbit Caddy pickup MK1 up on his shop wall.

The caddy started life as a regular 1983 VW pickup. Unfortunately, the years had not been kind to it. The body panels were in good shape, but there were serious rust problems in the floors, strut towers, rockers, and control arm mounts. According to [RC6015], this is beyond “weld on few replacement panels”, though he’s been heavily questioned…

How The Pretentious Jerk At Your Local Record Store Got That Way

Records stores are one of those places where the “hep cats” and “cool kids” shop and therefore they look daunting to people who don’t think they’re cool enough to be around that crowd.

Then the music lovers and record collectors who muster up the nerve to walk into the store have to deal with the pretentious clerks who make the whole experience a pain.

Some of these clerks are using their knowledge of music to boost self esteem and help them cope with their social anxiety, but most record store clerks are jerks because the customers made them that way.

Christopher Bickel of Dangerous Minds worked at a record store for over a decade…

Now That Amazon Bought Whole Foods, What’s next for Shopping?

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When Amazon bought the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, it immediately set off speculation about the changing nature of shopping. Already the behemoth of online retailers, Amazon will now dramatically expand its physical presence, courtesy the 460 Whole Foods stores worldwide.

Amazon currently has a grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh, available in about 20 cities in the U.S., but it struggled to make enough headway in becoming America’s grocer. Michael Pachter, managing director at Wedbush Securities, says this purchase will bring Amazon into many more American homes in an unprecedented way. Whole Foods has a reputation for high quality products and one of its stores is a short distance away from most people.

“I think the most important aspect of the purchase is that it gives Amazon 440 refrigerated distribution centers in the U.S. and probably puts their distribution presence within 10 miles of 80% of the population and within 90% of the wealthy population,” he wrote in an email to CNBC.

How does Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, see its future in light of Amazon’s moves? It has been making efforts to grow its online presence, buying the online apparel vendor Bonobos for $310 million and offering free, two-day shipping on millions of items. This in contrast to Amazon requiring a paid annual membership in Prime, which offers a similar shipping service. Walmart…

8 Items You Should Never Buy Online

Online shopping makes life easier. There’s no doubt about that. But what about when it doesn’t? Depending on the retailer, returns can be a huge hassle, and some make it difficult for you to prove that an item was received in poor condition or wasn’t what you ordered.

With most purchases, the reward outweighs the risk. However, when online shopping, just because you can buy an item without leaving your home, doesn’t mean you should. Here are a few things that aren’t worth buying online.

1. Cars

There’s no way to tell if a car, or any vehicle, actually works unless you drive it. Since you can’t test drive a vehicle online, purchasing that way is risky. Also, most used car-buying advice tells you to have a mechanic look at the car before you buy it. There’s no way you can do that without having access to the car in-person.

Besides, what’s more fun than a test drive? How else will you know that you enjoy driving the car, that it is comfortable, and has the features you want? (See also: 5 Times You Can Score a Great Deal on a New Car)

2. Pets

With all of the places out there that treat animals terribly — think puppy mills and unlicensed breeders — buying online is a huge gamble. After all, if you don’t see where the animals were raised and get a clue as to how they were cared for, your sweet ball of fluff could arrive with a terrible and costly disease.

Plus, meeting a pet in-person helps you determine if their personality is a good fit for you and your family. The only way to find out about that is to see the animal before you buy or adopt. (See also: The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers)

3. Real estate

Buying any sort of property should be done in-person, even if you have to travel to see it. Unless you…

Amazon: Everything From A To Z Now Includes Whole Foods

Many were surprised when Amazon recently announced its purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Those that love Amazon applauded the move while those that fear, or dislike, Amazon are using it to confirm their prediction of its “big-brother” takeover of the world.

Competitors to prevent a complete takeover

Of course, those that fear Amazon should take notice that Amazon has some formidable rivals – Apple, Facebook, and Google, which have their own growing eco-systems that are enveloping bigger and bigger chunks of commerce. Based on its recent resurgence under Satya Nadella, many would include Microsoft to this group. And if you include international players, Chinese Internet giant, Alibaba, should be added to the list of dominant competitors. Going back to the pre-digital world, people had similar concerns about General Motors and big Oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil.

The writing has been on the wall

Anyone that has been surprised by Amazon’s move to buy Whole Foods has not been noticing the writing on the wall for some time. Amazon started out as an online bookstore. The name was a curious choice for a bookstore. Many didn’t notice this because the company started in the “dot.com bubble” days when “interesting” names, such as Yahoo!, were in vogue. If you think about the branding more deeply, however, you might notice that the name “Amazon” relates to a lot of things – mostly big and powerful. In Greek Mythology, the Amazons were women warriors that were warlike and aggressive. The Amazon River and rainforest are vast and powerful. If you look at Amazon’s logo, it has an arrow pointing from the “a” to the “z” – not-so-subtly implying Amazon wants to sell you everything.

From online bookstore to world’s biggest retailer

Most think of Amazon as an online retailer since the company branded itself that way and lots of us buy products from Amazon on their e-Commerce Web site. Amazon recently passed Walmart as the world’s biggest retailer (note: some dispute this claim when Alibaba in included). Unless you need to touch, feel, and try on the merchandise, Amazon is perhaps the most convenient place to find and buy products ever invented. Marketers know that the primary added-value function of distribution is convenience. That’s not all. Buyers can use the site to read reviews, receive suggestions, and comparison shop for better prices. With increasing disincentives to go to physical stores – traffic, parking, wasted time, and opportunity costs, Amazon has gained the upper hand as more and more people feel comfortable buying online….

When Truck is Vandalized With Racist Graffiti Auto Shop Will Not Just Stand By

When a man pulled his truck into a Buffalo, New York auto repair shop, the workers were stunned into silence.

Spray painted across the silver Chevy truck in large orange letters were racist slurs and hateful epithets. The owner of the vehicle, identified only as Mr. King, had brought his truck to the Collision Masters repair shop in Buffalo for a price estimate on how much it would cost to erase the graffiti.

But the founder of the shop was not about to let the man out the door with just an estimate for repairing the vandalism.

“Customer pulls into the shop today and I literally hear crickets when all the air tools and employees stopped and shook their head…

Amazon Is Buying Whole Foods In A Quest To Beat Walmart With Luxury

Amazon.com Inc. announced plans on Friday to buy Whole Foods Market in a move that finally gives the online retail behemoth a serious brick-and-mortar presence.

The $13.7 billion deal supercharges Amazon’s decade-long quest to take on the supermarket business, which accounts for up to $800 billion of U.S. consumer spending. Amazon began experimenting with food delivery in 2007, when it first launched AmazonFresh near its Seattle headquarters.

Now, with Whole Foods’ 431 stores, located in mostly upscale neighborhoods of major cities, the company becomes a top player overnight. The acquisition also enthrones Amazon as the new boss of nearly 91,000 employees in the retail industry it’s helping to erode by popularizing online shopping. And the tech giant’s arsenal of newfangled sensors and software to eliminate cashiers could bode ill for many Whole Foods workers.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, said in a statement on Friday. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades ― they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

But Whole Foods isn’t just a supermarket. The grocer already serves as a hub for organic eateries, too.

“Whole Foods is not just about natural foods; Whole foods is about a shopping experience,” David J. Livingston, a supermarket research consultant, told HuffPost by phone. “Whole Foods is a quasi-restaurant. You go into Whole Foods, and you have a bar, three to four different restaurant options inside.”

Whole Foods stores feature oyster bars, barbecue spots, cafes, sandwich shops, pizzerias and sushi restaurants, Livingston said. Practically synonymous with gentrification, the grocer is located in dense, urban centers where incomes tend to be higher. There are nine Whole Foods stores in Manhattan alone.

“You don’t differentiate yourself in the food business by selling Hellmann’s mayo, ketchup and soup,” Howard Davidowitz, chairman of the New York-based retail consultant and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates Inc., told HuffPost. “You differentiate yourself on your service offerings. Amazon understood that people are always going to go to food stores.”

The entrance to a Whole Foods Market in Manhattan, New York City. By buying Whole Foods, Amazon acquires 431 brick-and-mortar grocery stores in upscale, urban areas.

That gives Amazon a significant leg up on its chief rival, Walmart.

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has long dominated the discount market. Last August, the company bought Jet.com, the so-called “Amazon killer” founded by one of Bezos’ former executives, in an effort to bolster its lagging online offerings and compete head-to-head with Amazon.

Walmart’s e-commerce sales grew 63 percent year-over-year…

Cortana in Edge now finds you lower prices while you shop

Microsoft Edge, working with Cortana, may soon be able to unearth lower prices on shopping websites. The pilot feature being rolled out starting today for the Windows 10 Creators Update will initially deliver price checks for 14 business including Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot.

Cortana on Edge can already do things like deliver coupons or carry out image searches for products. Like other features to help people shop, the price check can be seen by clicking the Cortana notifications icon in the address bar, Microsoft program manager Dheeraj Mehta said in a blog post today.

The new feature for Cortana in Edge is one in a…

AMD’s Radeon GPUs are rare because they’re good at mining bitcoin copycats

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may enable online threats like ransomware to spread, but they are also fueling demand for powerful and efficient new graphics cards.

It’s difficult to find an RX 500-series Radeon graphics card at retail or online right now in part because people are seeking them out to mine certain bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies, chip manufacturer AMD explained to CNBC. In April, AMD released its latest round of Polaris-powered GPUs which can render graphically intensive scenes without drawing excessive amounts of power. That combination of number-crunching capabilities and energy efficiency has attracted consumers who want to “mine” altcoin cryptocurrencies, which are alternatives to bitcoin.

“The gaming market…

Kongregate surpasses 100 million mobile game downloads

Kongregate, a division of game retailer GameStop, has surpassed 100 million downloads for its mobile games.

That’s a big accomplishment for any mobile game company, and it follows on the success of hits such as AdVenture Capitalist and Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards. The latter is a collectible card game featuring characters from the hit animated shows Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, and King of the Hill.

San Francisco-based Kongregate started as a web gaming portal and was founded in 2006 by brother-and-sister team Jim and Emily Greer. They grew to more than 10 million monthly users and then sold the company in 2010 to GameStop as it was expanding into digital games. Jim Greer left in 2014, but Emily Greer stayed on as president of Kongregate.

Kongregate expanded into mobile game publishing in 2013 with Tyrant Unleashed, which was developed by Synapse Games. Tyrant was a port of a highly popular and successful title adapted from Kongregate’s web gaming portal. Since then, Kongregate has launched over 30 titles on iOS and Android devices. Those titles get a natural boost as GameStop can…