(Belinda Hankins Miller)

The Best & Worst Store-Brand Deals At Lowe’s, Home Depot & Sears

Need to buy a snowblower, light bulbs, and some paint? You might figure, “Oh, I’ll just head to Home Depot (or Lowe’s, or Sears) and get it all done in the same trip.” But just because these stores all offer one-stop shopping for most home goods, price and quality of store-brand and private label products can vary greatly depending on the retailer. [More]

Pebble Promises They’ll Ship Kickstarter Watches Before Stocking Best Buy This Time

Pebble Promises They’ll Ship Kickstarter Watches Before Stocking Best Buy This Time

The original Pebble smartwatch campaign in 2012 was a fabulous success, collecting $10.3 million dollars in Kickstarter pledges. It produced a real product that shipped, but not after some backers were disappointed when the company stocked Best Buy’s shelves before sending out watches to Kickstarter backers that had been paid for up to a year earlier. In its new campaign to launch a color watch, Pebble promises: that will not happen again. [More]

(Ryan)

Proposed Rules Target Fees Collected By Retirement Financial Advisers, Brokers

When visiting a financial adviser for consultation about retirement savings one might assume those counselors have their best interests in mind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. To better ensure consultants are working for consumers and not for fees, the Labor Department will propose new rules to increase standards for brokers who recommend investments for retirement accounts. [More]

Philip Morris Does Horrible Job Of Defending Itself After John Oliver Mocking

Philip Morris Does Horrible Job Of Defending Itself After John Oliver Mocking

On Sunday night, John Oliver called out the tobacco industry, and particularly Philip Morris, for the practice of threatening small and poor countries with complicated, expensive international trade lawsuits if they try to strictly regulate cigarette marketing. But while Big Tobacco has the coffers to pay for costly legal battles, it does a really poor job of trying to defend its actions. [More]

Sierra Mist Sweetener Switcharoo Leaves Soda Drinkers Bitter

(Sierra Mist Facebook Page)

If you’re not a frequent soda drinker and only occasionally pick up a bottle of Sierra Mist, you might get a strange-tasting surprise the next time. PepsiCo has replaced some of the sugar in the beverage with stevia-based sweetener, which reduces the calories but alienates customers who don’t care for the taste of stevia. [More]

Fingerhut.com Uses Over-Inflated Retail Prices To Make Rent-To-Own Look Affordable

Fingerhut.com Uses Over-Inflated Retail Prices To Make Rent-To-Own Look Affordable

On its TV ads, Fingerhut.com shows people making peace with their “budget” alter-egos by doing their shopping on the website that allows you to make “low” monthly payments. But what the site doesn’t say is that not only do those payments add up to a lot more than the original price of what you’re buying, but that Fingerhut’s sticker prices are grossly inflated over the actual retail prices. [More]

Costco Says Dumping American Express Was About “Saving Money For Customers”

Costco Says Dumping American Express Was About “Saving Money For Customers”

Yesterday, American Express announced the impending end of its monogamous relationship with Costco, meaning that not only will AmEx cards no longer be accepted at the popular warehouse store but that co-branded AmEx/Costco credit cards will be useless after March 31, 2016. Now Costco is breaking its silence on the split, saying it was all done in the best interest of Costco shoppers. [More]

(Ryan)

Best Buy Introduces Wedding Registries

A few years ago, I thought it was hilarious when friends included a video game console and games on their wedding registry at Walmart. Was it, though? Most households would get more use out of a PS4 than a set of fancy china or a crystal punch bowl. That’s why it makes sense that Best Buy now offers wedding registries. [More]

How To Amaze Your Valentine Without Screwing Over Your Local Florist

How To Amaze Your Valentine Without Screwing Over Your Local Florist

Shopping online is simple: you see a picture of the thing that you want to buy, click on it, type in your credit card, and then that thing arrives on your doorstep or the doorstep of your gift recipient. This simplicity falls apart when it comes to ordering flowers online, which leads to plenty of disappointment. Here’s how to avoid that. [More]

(Mike Mozart)
(frankieleon)

Staples, Office Depot Take Another Step Toward Merger, Enter “Advanced Talks”

Just weeks after activist investor Starboard Value publicly demanded Staples and Office Depot get hitched, the two office supply stores are apparently taking talks of a walk down the aisle seriously. [More]

Only 4% of the Walmart Spring Valley herbal supplements tested turned up DNA of the herbs advertised on the label.

NY Asks Stores To Halt Herbal Supplements After Tests Show Advertised Herbs Not Present

When you buy an herbal supplement that says “echinacea” or “ginko boloba” on the label, you may expect that it contains some additional ingredients beyond the advertised herbs, but you should be confident that those herbs are present. However, DNA tests commissioned by the New York state Attorney General found evidence that many herbal products may not contain what they advertise. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

RadioShack Employee Accused Of Stealing Racy Photos From Woman’s Phone

Recently when we’ve talked about stolen photos it’s been related to a massive data hack. But for a San Francisco woman, the invasion of privacy came at a much smaller, more personal level when several of her intimate photos were allegedly stolen by a local RadioShack employee, who now faces felony charges and a civil lawsuit. [More]

(a lonewolf)

Study: “Anonymous” Credit Card Data Is Actually Completely Identifiable

We all kind of know that credit card data isn’t terribly secure, and that the payment information is likely to get swiped eventually. But that information is all theoretically anonymous. Without a name, address, or ZIP code attached, our credit card information doesn’t say much about us personally, right? Wrong. [More]

(Brady O'Brien)

Dish’s “Reverse AutoHop” Will Cut Out Everything But The Commercials From The Super Bowl

Aside from the scrumptious gameday food, you could argue that for many people the best part about the Super Bowl is the commercials. But to get to those often funny, sometimes disappointing 30-second spots, you have to spend a majority of your time watching two teams you don’t really care about throw and kick a football down a long green field. To appease consumers who don’t care about the game but do care about the commercials, Dish Network is turning its commercial-skipping technology into game-skipping technology. [More]

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

Best Buy Becomes First Retailer To Sell Samsung’s Gear VR Headset (Galaxy Note 4 Not Included)

The Samsung Gear VR headset has been on sale since the fall, but it’s been hiding quietly on the Samsung website, which isn’t exactly the place most of us do our shopping. But now the virtual reality headgear has popped up on the website for Best Buy. [More]

(Robert Walker)

Apple Pay Gets More Useful, Coming To 200,000 Vending Machines & Other Self-Serve Devices

Apple Pay is not (yet) available at some of the nation’s largest retailers as they prepare to introduce their own mobile payment system, meaning you can’t use it to buy a week’s worth of groceries at Walmart or a TV at Best Buy, or even pay for your prescriptions at CVS and Rite-Aid. But what about those transactions on the opposite end of the spectrum, the ones with dollar values so small that you may feel odd not paying in cash? One company says it will be bringing Apple Pay to hundreds of thousands of vending machines and other self-serve devices. [More]

(frankieleon)

4 Ways Copyright Law Actually Controls Your Whole Digital Life

We all know that copyright law means you shouldn’t download copies of movies from shady torrent sites, and that you should pay for the music you listen to. We know it means people and companies have rights to stuff they make, like photos and music and books, and that there are legal and illegal ways of sharing those things. [More]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

Wells Fargo, Chase To Pay $35.7M For Allowing Illegal Mortgage Kickbacks

Federal law prohibits giving or receiving kickbacks in exchange for a referral of business related to a real-estate-settlement service, but for four years a now-defunct title company in Maryland provide cash, marketing materials and consumer information in exchange for referrals. And now the banks have agreed to pay more than $35 million — including $11.1 million in redress to affected consumers — for their sins. [More]