Round up #112: Discover $10, Coinstar bonus
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Take care of the pennies, and the MP3s will take care of themselves
Coinstar has always been an interesting business model to me.
You bring your coins to a machine (maybe in a grocery store), pour them in, and the machine counts it for you.
You can get a receipt that you take to a cashier, who gives you paper money for it.
It used to be an 8.9% charge for that in the US…now it’s 9.8%.
We used to do that…it was fun. We literally have a piggy bank, and we put all our coins in there. Periodically, we take that into a Coinstar and have what we call a “Pig Day”. When we had less money, that was a great way to go to lunch and a movie. Now, it’s a way to treat it as “found money”, and indulge a bit.
Nearly ten percent may seem like a lot to have something take your money from you.
Another alternative is to get a gift certificate instead. In that case, the company where you can use that gift certificate basically counts the cost as advertising. You put $100 into the Coinstar machine (and we get more than that every few months), you get $100 to use at one of several stores/restaurants. The company covers the counting fee you would normally pay.
One of the companies is Amazon.
Right now, you get more than the money you put into the machine…you get a $5 gift certificate for MP3s (when you put at least $20 in coins into the machine on top of the full value of your coins.
That’s a good deal…and gets your coins back into circulation, which is actually a plus for the economy (hoarded coins mean needing to make more coins, which costs money).
You can also choose to donate the value of your coins to a charity (you get a receipt for tax deduction), although I don’t think that would get you the MP3 gift certificate in this case. You could put in twenty dollars (you can see it counting), get the MP3 deal, then put in the rest of your coins for charity…
Discover $10…by using your Discover card as your 1-click
This is one of those Special Offers available through your Kindle…if you have a Special Offers Kindle, you may need to sync with Amazon to see it. You select it there, and Amazon sends you an e-mail about it.
In this case, what happens is that you change your 1-click method to a Discover card. You can do that at
Then, buy something digital…even a ninety-nine cent e-book.
For doing that, you get a $10 Amazon gift card…and you can switch your 1-click payment back right afterwards.
If you select the offer (Home-Menu-View Special Offers), they’ll send you the details.
Update: thanks to reader Jeanne who pointed out something I should have mentioned…if you have a gift card balance, 1-click draws from your gift card balance before going to the payment method you specified…
For people who are paying $15 to have ads taken off their Kindle Fire HDs, I’m not sure they all realize that they lose out on Special Offers like this. I understand why somebody might want ads removed (trailers for R-rated movies on a five-year old’s device, for example), but I think it can be a bit…knee jerk for some folks who haven’t had a Special Offers device.
Let’s get ready to Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiindle!
I got the e-mail this morning…my Kindle Fire SD is shipping, and should be here tomorrow! Again, I’m surprised at how excited I am.
The e-mail is supposed to help me get ready, but I feel like there is increasingly less to do to prepare for a new device. I have a couple of pictures I like to have on my devices…those are now going to just show up for me in Docs, since I’ve sent them with the Personal Document Service. I don’t need to go through hoops to get those on the new device after I get it.
I’m hoping the User’s Guide shows up online at Amazon soon.
The headlines on the early reviews of the Fire have been that the response is “lukewarm”, but I think that’s really overstating it. What I’ve seen generally is the idea that it is good, but not the best tablet in the world. I’ll link some of the reviews here:
I’ll give you my own first impressions Friday and probably by Monday, I’ll do a lengthier post over the weekend about the device.
Apple doesn’t introduce…
Apple held a big presser (press event) yesterday, and there was speculation they would introduce a “mini iPad”, that might be the same size screen as the Kindle Fire.
That didn’t happen.
It would be interesting if they did…could they avoid the perception that Apple was copying Amazon? That concept wouldn’t be good for their positioning in the market, although I presume that wouldn’t stop them if it cold make them a ton of money.
They introduced the iPhone 5,and I feel like the contrast between their presser and Amazon’s really shows the stark difference between the companies.
Apple fans are enthused about the new device…but the general reaction to it seemed muted.
No question, it’s a big improvement in hardware…but is it a big improvement in user experience?
It adds panoramic photo taking, the screen is bigger and the device lighter…but will you really do different things with it?
Apple is, at its heart, a hardware company. They do cool software things sometimes, like adding Siri. This time, though, what they did was give you better hardware.
Amazon, on the other hand, is largely a content company (although they do a lot of web and other stuff). When I look at the Fire line, what I’m waiting for tomorrow isn’t how well it can do what it was already doing, but the new media experience elements…X-Ray for Movies, text-to-speech for Kindle store books (new to the Fire).
Certainly, the Kindle Paperwhite is bringing significant new hardware…and it is also reducing the media experience by eliminating speakers. There’s a lot of pushback in the Kindle forums about that.
That’s telling, to me…we want Amazon to give us “good enough” hardware and superior media experience and services.
What do you think? Is Apple more of an “experience” company than I indicated…with things like iTunes and FaceTime being super significant? Are you excited about your new Fire’s hardware (I am looking forward to the camera for videoconferencing), or the service features? Do you use Coinstar? Are going to get the $10 Discover card deal…and do Special Offers make a device better or worse? Are going to pay the $15 to have ads removed…and is so, why? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.