iTunes Ditches Free Music Downloads Again

iTunes Ditches Free Music Downloads Again

You, iTunes user! What use do you have for free downloads when you have the glorious streaming library of Apple Music to enjoy? Earlier this year, iTunes appeared to discontinue their free music download of the week, a decade-old feature. We speculated that Apple was doing away with the feature because of their acquisition of Beats, which has a music streaming service. Now that Apple Music has arrived, the free music downloads are gone again. [More]

(Ryan)

Customers Report Receiving $15 Best Buy Gift Cards For $15 After Pricing Error

It turns out that our post yesterday about the pricing error at Best Buy wasn’t quite accurate. When the retailer’s site offered $200 gift cards for $15, lots of people hopped on this particular bandwagon and ordered them. However, a tipster reports that some cards shipped out before best Buy caught the error. Some shipped out…and they aren’t worth $200. Well played, Best Buy. [More]

Best Buy Sells $200 Gift Cards For $15, Cancels Orders

Best Buy Sells $200 Gift Cards For $15, Cancels Orders

Late last night, Best Buy posted what seemed like the greatest Black Friday in July deal ever: a $200 gift card for only $15. This was an obvious pricing error, but humans are humans, and people were willing to put up with an Isaac Mizrahi-designed floral gift card if it meant that they would get $185 in free money. Fortunately for Best Buy, they corrected the pricing error after only a few hours. [More]

Amazon’s Prime Day Not Off To A Thrilling Start

Amazon’s Prime Day Not Off To A Thrilling Start

Amazon’s Prime Day was supposed to be a celebration of the company’s 20th birthday as well as a shopping frenzy festival to rival Black Friday. After more than a week of hype, customers are finding the deals underwhelming. When one reader did find something he actually wanted, he was unable to get the limited-duration “Lightning deal” into his cart. [More]

Birchbox Wants Customers To Help Decide Where Next Stores Will Be

Birchbox Wants Customers To Help Decide Where Next Stores Will Be

Birchbox, the company to blame for the current subscription beauty box trend, opened a retail store last year in Manhattan, where shoppers can create their own boxes in person and shop for other beauty products. Now the company wants to expand, and wants customers to tell them where to build their next store. [More]

(Jeff Dailey)

Back-To-School Shoppers Delight Retailers, Plan To Spend More This Year

If you’ve visited a big-box or office-supply store in recent weeks, you know that retailers are ready for the back-to-school shopping season to begin, even if children aren’t. You can’t blame stores for being excited, though: parents say that they plan to spend more on outfitting their kids for school this year than they have in recent years. [More]

Beats By Dr. Dre Headphones From $17 Teardown Were Actually Counterfeit

Beats By Dr. Dre Headphones From $17 Teardown Were Actually Counterfeit

Hey, remember when we shared a post where an expert took apart a set of Beats headphones and estimated that the parts they contained were worth maybe 17 bucks? Those were fun times. The story proved our suspicions about pricey electronics, and didn’t really surprise anyone. Guess what, though? Those headphones were fakes. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

All New Albums Will Be Released On Fridays: Did Anyone Notice?

At some point in the last 25 years or so, you’ve probably anticipated a new album release from a favorite artist and made a special midweek trip to the store to buy it. This might be an unfamiliar ritual to our younger readers, but was a thing that people did…until this week. Starting today, labels worldwide will all release their new albums on Fridays. [More]

(Michael Daddino)

J. Crew Will Launch Its Own Old Navy-ish Discount Brand

About twenty years ago, Gap Inc. started an interesting experiment: they opened some outlet-ish stores that sold clothes that might not be out of place in a Gap store, but were lower quality and at lower price points. The brand that I first encountered in a Gap outlet store in 1994 is now very familiar to consumers: Old Navy actually outsells its sibling Gap Inc. brands. [More]

Here’s Why Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Wrapped Some Bubble Wrap In Brown Paper

Here’s Why Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Wrapped Some Bubble Wrap In Brown Paper

Earlier this week, we were amused to see a reader’s submission of a roll of bubble wrap in a massive box, protected with a substantial wad of kraft paper. While we laughed, though, a reader who is quite familiar with shipping procedures pointed out why Amazon needed to wrap up the bubble wrap. [More]

(Chris Goldberg)

Payment Information From Zoo Gift Shops Breached, May Include Names And CVVs

Have you bought a cuddly stuffed animal or another souvenir recently during a visit to the zoo? If so, keep an eye on your credit card statements. According to reports from financial institutions and an announcement from one affected zoo, a company that manages zoo gift shops recently had its systems breached. [More]

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Nestles Roll Of Bubble Wrap In Kraft Paper

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Nestles Roll Of Bubble Wrap In Kraft Paper

Look, Amazon doesn’t know what Alexis wanted a roll of bubble wrap for. Maybe she just wants it to wrap up breakable items before placing them in a box to move, store, or mail. Or maybe she’s a collector of rare and precious bubble wraps, and needs to keep the rolls in mint condition with no risk of damage and not a single bubble popped. [More]

(Colleen AF Venable)

Barnes & Noble Shuts Down Third-Party Marketplace For Over A Week, Shrugs

Twenty years ago, you would not have been allowed to set up your own little kiosk in the accessories department at Walmart selling the same sunglasses at slightly lower prices. Yet that’s exactly what e-commerce sites let third-party sellers do, and it usually works smoothly for everyone. Unless you’re a seller on Barnes & Noble’s Marketplace site, which shut down with no warning more than a week ago. Sellers are still locked out. [More]

CVS Health Resigns From U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Over International Tobacco Advocacy

CVS Health Resigns From U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Over International Tobacco Advocacy

You may remember last fall when CVS removed tobacco products from its stores, maybe realizing that selling medicine in the back of the store and addictive carcinogen sticks in the front is kind of a confusing message. However, CVS Health is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization doing its best to lobby for America’s tobacco industry in other countries. CVS resigned from the Chamber today for that reason. [More]

Reminder: Hallmark’s Ornament Launch In July Is Not Christmas Creep

Reminder: Hallmark’s Ornament Launch In July Is Not Christmas Creep

We take a firm stand against Holiday Creep, which is when retailers start to merchandise and decorate for a given holiday months in advance. The offending holiday is usually, but not always, Christmas. Every year around this time, we hear from exasperated shoppers who walk by a Hallmark gift shop and see their display of new Christmas ornaments, leading our readers to wonder what this world is coming to. Yet Hallmark’s Christmas displays aren’t what they seem. [More]

Amazon’s Treasure Truck Is Like An Ice Cream Truck For Paddleboards And Steaks

Amazon’s Treasure Truck Is Like An Ice Cream Truck For Paddleboards And Steaks

Do you enjoy Amazon’s “Gold Box” deals, but wish that there were less selection and that you didn’t have to wait for shipping? We have great news for you, then, as long as you live in or are visiting Amazon’s hometown of Seattle. The Treasure Truck is prowling the streets, and you can find out what’s on it by using the retailer’s mobile shopping app. [More]

(Facebook)

BaubleBar Latest E-Commerce Retailer To Open A Real-Life Store

If you’re worried that online shopping is killing off real-life commerce, don’t fret just yet. A popular online jewelry seller, BaubleBar, is bringing its brand to Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. Yes, they’re moving from online to real life, opening a physical store where loyal customers and new ones can touch and try on their jewelry before buying. [More]

IKEA Will Test Less-Enormous Store Formats In The United Kingdom

IKEA Will Test Less-Enormous Store Formats In The United Kingdom

Last month, we shared the news that IKEA was testing some less-mega store formats in Canada, starting with one in the college city of London, Ontario that’s 20,000 feet: maybe the size of a large H&M instead of the size of a small town. The chain announced this week that they’ll be testing the format in the UK, too. [More]