Round up #220: Wish & Win sweepstakes, B&N holiday sale

Round up #220: Wish & Win sweepstakes, B&N holiday sale

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Smiles on Sundays

In this

press release

Amazon announces that they have made a deal with the US Post Office for Sunday deliveries, starting in Los Angeles and New York now, and expanding to “…a large portion of the U.S. population” in 2014.

That may seem strange to some people, since the USPS has been wanting to drop Saturday delivery. However, that Saturday delivery thing is all about first class mail, which is not the profit driver. This would be about packages, which is where the USPS can make money.

After all, hasn’t it always seemed bizarre to you that you can give somebody a letter and, for less than a dollar, they’ll take it to the other side of the country for you…and deliver it right to your recipient’s house?

Since Amazon is making money on many of the products delivered (although not all), the e-tailer is willing to pay for this.

Of course, they plug Prime in the press release…that’s key. This is another reason to make you want to have Prime (order on Friday, have it on Sunday), and that in turn makes you buy those “diapers and windshield wipers”.

Note that you currently may pay more for Saturday delivery with Prime shipping, and I thought that might be even more true with Sundays. However, this

Los Angeles Times article by Tiffany Hsu

says that won’t be the case:

“Members of Amazon’s Prime program have free two-day shipping and, under the new deal, can order items Friday and receive them Sunday. Customers without Prime will pay the standard shipping costs associated with business day delivery.”

This will also expand beyond Amazon, but they’ll have it (again, in L.A. and NYC) for this holiday season.

Wishlist Wish and Win Sweepstakes

In the past, Amazon has done sweepstakes involving using your Wish Lists during the holidays.

Well, something like that is available now…and as we saw recently with their Halloween shop, Amazon has a corporate co-sponsor. This time, it is Sony, bringing you a chance to win $7,300 in Amazon gift cards:

Wish & Win Sweepstakes

You don’t have to use them to buy Sony products but, you know, I’m sure they’d appreciate that. 😉

Additionally, if any of the three winners created (not added to) an Amazon Wish List during this period and put at least one item on it, they get an additional $1,000 in Amazon gift cards.

Amazon does say they may run a “similar” sweepstakes during this period, and that if they do, you have to enter it separately.

They also are trying to keep down the entries here: one entry per e-mail address, and you can’t use multiple e-mail addresses to enter multiple times (without risking disqualification).

Vonnegut nut or Vonnegut virgin…

…it doesn’t matter, because there is a deal for you today! 😉

One of the Kindle Daily Deals today is up to nine Kurt Vonnegut books for $1.99 each.

The big ones are here: Slaughterhouse-5, The Sirens of Titan, as well as some that geek (like me) on your gift list may not have read. 😉

Meanwhile, back at Barnes & Noble…

While Amazon has been announcing amazing programs, including Kindle Matchbook and Kindle First, Barnes & Noble has been planning their big holiday attractions! Drum roll…

They have three press releases out today:

This is a very important holiday season for Barnes & Noble. Well, the holidays are always the most important time of the year for brick-and-mortar bookstores (I’m a former manager), but investors will really be looking to see what they can do.

The most interesting of these is the “Discovery Friday” thing, a week before Black Friday. They are doing a lot of good deals (in store) that day. B&N members will be able to get the new GlowLight for under $100, and the Simple Touch will be available for (just) under $50.

They’ll also be pushing local involvement, having community authors in a lot of the stores.

You’ll also have the chance to win $1,000 gift cards.

Quite simply, they are pulling out the stops. This comes with a risk: if this doesn’t succeed in a big way, there will be people who lose confidence in B&N as a business in the future.

It does sound like a fun day, though!

Have a click and a smile

Okay, I want your opinion on this one.

We’ve been shopping through AmazonSmile, a new program from Amazon which I explained here:

Smile.Amazon: support your favorite charity by shopping

It feels just like shopping at Amazon, after the initial set-up (which is very simple) of choosing a charity. When you do that, the charity gets half a percent (you spend $100, they get fifty cents) of the purchase price of the items you buy.

It makes me feel good. 🙂

I really like the idea of it. They have such a broad array of non-profits from which to choose (I’ve supported an academic institution associated with a family member). Switching is easy, too: if you wanted to do a Veterans’ organization for today, for example, you could do that.

Here’s the question for you:

I can link to items on AmazonSmile, the same way I link to them at the regular Amazon site.

I’m considering doing that will pretty much all my links.

The positive is that more people would use AmazonSmile, and therefore more non-profits would get support…making me feel like I was doing more good in the world.

The negative is that, only the first time, a person would have to pick a charity (they do make that easy). That might prevent some people from going through to the item. I don’t want to force people to give: that’s up to you. I suppose some people might also be wary of letting Amazon know which charities they support (although I’m not concerned about that). Some people prefer their giving to be entirely anonymous and untrackable. Amazon actually donates the money, but if their system was compromised somehow, your choice of non-profit might be exposed.

I’d like to hear what you think:

Thanks for giving me your opinion on that!

What do you think about the other items in this post? Will you go to Barnes & Noble on “Discovery Friday”? Does it seem innovative enough to you…and do they need to innovate? Do  you think their appeal might be heightened by appearing to be old-fashioned? Does Sunday delivery make you more likely to become (or stay) a Prime member? Do you worry about Amazon knowing who you support? Does Amazon having co-sponsors for promotions make sense to you? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them

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4 Responses to “Round up #220: Wish & Win sweepstakes, B&N holiday sale”

  1. Zebras Says:

    I had no idea about the Sunday delivery, until yesterday, when a box showed up, and I assumed it was delivered the day before to the wrong side of the condo or something, but then I noticed it did say Sunday delivery on it. I’m not quite in NY, but I guess close enough.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      Cool! It was United States Postal Service? If so, you might have been one of the first, although I do think they might have piloted it.

      • Zebras Says:

        Yes. Though I hate the thought of making our postman work more. Hopefully they are hiring more people to cover the extra day.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Zebras!

        Oh, I would guess it wouldn’t mean any given individual is working any more. It shouldn’t be hard to shift around labor from less needed to more needed times, although it might mean hiring more people.

        When I was a brick-and-mortar manager, there were certainly advantages to working on the weekend sometimes. It’s amazing what you can get done during the week! If your “Sunday” comes on Wednesday, everything is open and lines are short…

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