Accessory companies haven’t been doing so well for the last few years, especially brands that are pricey but not too pricey, like Coach, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade. A few years ago, Coach decided to pursue wealthier customers and sell higher-priced bags, and that strategy is apparently paying off. [More]
For years, Amazon and Apple have fought their own battles when it comes to counterfeit products: third-party retailers selling lookalike Apple accessories and companies hawking fake name-brand products on the e-commerce site. Now, the two issues have come together, with a lawsuit claiming that 90% of the supposed Apple power accessories listed on the site are fake. [More]
A Chinese company that peddles purses and wallets bearing the IPHONE name has the right to keep selling those products, despite Apple’s efforts to keep the trademark all for itself. [More]
Target knows you’ve probably got a bunch of old clothes you don’t wear but which are otherwise fine. It also wants you to spend money at Target buying new clothes (and groceries, and anything else). So now it’s willing to trade you some gift cards for your dust-gathering outfits. [More]
While Amazon used to be the site where you bought affordable books, CDs, DVDs, and electronics, the online retailer is quickly gaining ground as a seller of designer apparel and accessories. [More]
The accessories department at Apple retail stores across the country are about to get a bit more matchy-matchy, as the retailer prepares to line its shelves with third-party accessories encased in packaging that looks suspiciously like those used for actual Apple products. [More]
There’s nothing like a lawsuit to break up what appears to be a rather cozy and lucrative relationship. And that’s exactly what appears to be happening between Monster and Apple, with the accessories company saying the iPhone maker has revoked its authority to make licensed accessories for iOS devices because of a pending lawsuit against Apple subsidary Beats. [More]
In spite of the near-ubiquity of virtual keyboards on flat smartphone and tablet screens, some people really long for the haptic feedback provided by actual keys. That’s why some companies — like the legally besieged Typo slip-on keyboards — have tried to bring that sensation back to consumers who want it. Now there’s a new iPad screen protector/case that claims to be able to conjure up something keyboard like out of thin air. [More]
Some people may disagree that it’s fair for a restaurant to charge a cancellation fee when someone misses their reservation. However, there’s pretty much no one who thinks that it’s fair to charge a cancellation fee because a customer uses a wheelchair and is literally unable to get in the door. [More]
It shouldn’t be refreshing to see a company that boasts about its “lifetime warranty” and truly stands behind a product, even offering an upgrade when it fails. Reader Scott reports that was his experience with Totes, the company that made his mother’s umbrella. [More]
As you may know, our parent publication Consumer Reports sends a nationwide army of secret shoppers out into ordinary stores to purchase the items they review, in order to make sure that they don’t receive items that were handpicked for media outlets and triple-checked for flaw. One person dispatched to purchase an iPhone 5 from Sprint reports that anyone who wanted to buy the new Apple gadget was also required to buy an accessory package.
Has RadioShack gone too far with its sales quotas? Allison wrote us to say that when she tried to upgrade her phone recently, the employee had to add accessories to the transaction before the system would approve it. She said he canceled some, and she ended up paying $2 for “two plastic covers for phones I don’t own.” But she says her mom had an even more bizarre experience at a RadioShack, where the assistant actually paid for the accessories herself.
If you think 99 cents is a fair price to pay for the latest fart-simulator or “Are You a Moron?” quiz in Apple’s App Store, Case-Mate has a deal for you. The company’s Recession iPhone case is made from 100% cardboard, and sells for 99 cents — with free shipping included. Case-Mate doesn’t claim that the case is actually useful in any traditional sense of that word; the FAQ for the product makes it clear that there’s no warranty, it doesn’t include any kind of screen protector, and that it’s flammable “if you light it on fire.”
Some PR person just sent us a notice about a new wallet-sized iPhone stand, which reminded us that there’s an easy and free alternative, and it most probably works for a lot of other (fairly thin) media devices as well.
If you’re concerned about your RFID-chipped credit cards being skimmed, you might want to consider shielding them. DIFRwear makes a wallet with the shielding already included, and now roguewallet in Maine has introduced its own RFID-shielded version, with a fin-shaped design so it fits better in your front pocket to thwart pickpockets. Unfortunately, it’s also $50, compared to $20 for the more conventional looking DIFRwear hip-pocket design. (Both are FIPS 201 compliant, if that means anything to you.)
An alleged Best Buy employee tells us that the company has stopped including inlet water hoses in some Inglis, Whirlpool and Maytag top-loading washers it sells. According to the blurry photos he sent us, employees are now supposed to push this $27 accessory hose product on customers who buy the washers. Update: we don’t know if the decision originated with the manufacturers or Best Buy.