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  • Still Upside Potential In Visa [View article]
    NOFZac, I agree but I think he's arguing that the fees collected on a $50 tank of gas net V more than the fees on a $30 tank of the same gas.
    Jan 26, 2015. 11:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Thoughts On AMD's New CEO [View article]
    Wow. A lot of the posters here seem to be very emotionally invested in INTL or AMD. Some of the Kaveri comments seem a little over the top. Yes, Intel chips can do better, but as a consumer Kaveri can be a real "value" chip. Depending on your needs and what you choose, you can get a lot for the money. That is the part of the appeal. I have no position in either at this time, but hope Su can turn the company around just for the mere fact that competition is good for the industry.
    Oct 14, 2014. 05:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Anti-Loss Leader Policy [View article]
    Costco is not everywhere, and not in my area. I don't understand why it's so frequently mentioned when discussing AMZN.
    Sep 23, 2014. 02:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Anti-Loss Leader Policy [View article]
    I don't understand the fascination with a $649 price. Many consumers only look at the price with contract which was $199 (maybe too high for those who don't want free Prime) and now $0.99. Yes, buying an unlocked phone saves money over the long term, but a lot of people just don't do that.
    Sep 23, 2014. 01:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AT&T And DirecTV Merger Under Scrutiny - How Will It Affect Shareholders? [View article]
    I think he means the T/DTV arguments have some substance or merit.
    Sep 19, 2014. 03:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alibaba AMZN EBay Online Retail Future  [View instapost]
    Rookie IRA Investor, To me, that's a very strange point of view. Maybe I've completely misunderstood your comment.

    You're basically saying it's OK when someone at a Nike factory decides to "just make more," as they're known to do, but with a different label that he can sell. They're basically stealing IP and then selling to you at an undercut price. So when you say "Nike shoes are always overpriced," well of course they are compared to the fake. That person invested nothing in developing the product. He has to pay no one who worked on the design, engineering and so on. (By the way, Nike does do real mechanical engineering analysis on their products.)
    Sep 16, 2014. 03:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Alibaba's IPO Suck The Life From Amazon? [View article]
    That's how I see it also. YHOO is a safer way to get into this. The only problem is they got screwed once already by Alibaba. Not sure it won't happen again.
    Sep 16, 2014. 03:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alibaba AMZN EBay Online Retail Future  [View instapost]
    It does seem that Alibaba will be a real threat to Amazon Marketplace and eBay if their fees are low. (As a small time eBay seller I've mostly stuck with eBay because of Amazon's higher fees.)

    However I have to say that many Amazon customers are used to a high level of customer service and trust that is hard to reproduce. Also have you seen what happens when someone receives a counterfeit item on Amazon Marketplace? Reviews go crazy and Amazon quickly shuts them down. Alibaba may have a hard time with this and it's not as if American consumers trust Chinese companies (rightly or wrongly). Maybe if they're smart, any US division will be run under a separate set of rules with draconian measures against counterfeiters. Short of that Alibaba may remain a b2b and not a consumer powerhouse.
    Sep 14, 2014. 04:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Could Alibaba's IPO Suck The Life From Amazon? [View article]
    I'm a little confused about the number of comparisons made in the past months of Alibaba to eBay and Amazon which often state that their business model is different because they're a portal for third parties selling goods. Amazon Marketplace already does that. eBay Stores (and fixed price listings and already do that.

    Is there a comparison somewhere of the fees paid for "advertising" on Alibaba versus listing fees paid at eBay and Amazon? That's the only reason I can see sellers leaving for Alibaba.

    Maybe I've completely misunderstood all of this and misread their business model, given the level of excitement lately.
    Sep 14, 2014. 01:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Three Still Value In T-Mobile? [View article]
    To answer your question, the reason people keep mentioning DISH is that Ergen stated a few months ago that buying TMUS is not off the table. He's also the kind of person that seems to hold his cards close, so we won't know about his bid until it's made. Plus DISH of course holds unused spectrum and expressed interest in this field (for example in recently bidding for S and in attempting to merge with AT&T a few years ago).
    Sep 5, 2014. 03:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Come To Jesus' Earnings Report [View article]
    So now you expect AMZN to enter bankruptcy? Interesting.
    Jul 25, 2014. 09:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Can Amazon's Smartphone Fire Up Its Stock? [View article]
    I've seen comments about the phone price. Yes for $199 you can other established phones, but this is the starting price. I'd bet there will be $0 promotions at Christmas or even in Sept. You have to set a list price to make a sale price appealing.
    Jun 20, 2014. 11:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Hail Mary Phone [View article]
    Paulo, As I said lots of "under-spec'd" products have been a roaring success.

    Also, if you think phone customers are so savvy, please explain why so many continue on their exorbitant contract plans when for most people a prepaid or monthly plan would save them thousands over a couple of years. Even the NY Times has published charts on this. My point is many customers make purchases in the moment. $199 does not look expensive (or even less for those that value Prime).
    Jun 20, 2014. 11:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Hail Mary Phone [View article]
    I don't agree with your premise that most people buy a phone on its specs: "at this price it requires deep ignorance of the smartphone market to even contemplate buying the phone."

    Since you mentioned Apple, let's look at Apple's history. When the iPod came out, there were MP3 players that had features the iPod did not. The iPod did not have a radio for example. Sony had players that could make live digital recordings, and they could digitally rip a CD directly from the CD player without a computer. There are lots of things the iPod did not have, but it succeeded based on the things it did manage to do well. Now look at Apple desktops and laptops. For a long time (and maybe still), they were far below the specs of their competition. Windows machines were must faster and you got more for your money. The Apple specs are not what sold the computer. Then look at the iPhone and iPad. They can't handle Flash which is half of the internet I want to use, and they can't do proper multitasking (unless something has changed recently). Samsung has made light of some of this in their ads. Those are big holes in their specs, yet the iPhone and iPad are still extremely successful.

    People bought all of those Apple products DESPITE their specs and despite missing functionality. People focus on the specs that matter to them or the things they want or seem cool. I could go on with car examples or other products. My point is that many people do not buy on specs.

    If you look at the new Fire Phone, yes some of its specs are below par, but look at the Amazon webpage, not just the press reports. That is what customers will read. There are a lot of "cool" things the Fire does which others do not (and by the way an Android-based OS does proper multitasking as well). Amazon fans will also mentally reduce the price when they see it comes with a free year of Prime that they already pay for anyway. To add to that point, Amazon is a loved brand among many, much more so than Windows Phone for example. It may have an easier time getting into the phone market for that reason alone.

    Fire Phone could completely flop like many other phones, but I'm not ready to dismiss it as quickly as you are.

    (For the record, my phone is an iPhone. Please notice I'm not commenting on the stock valuation, just the phone.)
    Jun 20, 2014. 11:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Amazon - What Is Changing The Decade-Old Rhetoric? [View article]
    The author states only 2 differentiators and names other companies Wal-Mart and Costco:

    > "The only thing which distinguishes Amazon from its
    > competition is the better product access and low price offerings."

    (1) The phrase "better product access" is an understatement.

    Amazon's selection is far greater than Wal-Mart or Costco. You can find many daily items not carried at those stores, plus many esoteric items that you can't find anywhere else. If you live in the suburbs or country, Amazon may be the prime source for many products. You also have access to items sold by individuals and small business through Amazon. Amazon offers free delivery on a $35 order. Wal-Mart does have the best price on many items but free shipping requires a $50 order and in my experience very slow. customer service is not anything like their in-store service. I don't have experience with Costco but do with Sam's Club. Sam's and Amazon are different beasts. I have a Plus membership and do use it for bulk purchases, business items, certain prescriptions and other select items. That doesn't stop me from buying more from Amazon. I'm saying all of this from experience.

    If you think a new competitor can come along and match Amazon they have a large barrier to entry. An early challenge was made with, which I used to use, and they have receded into Rakuten and have their own reputation problems to deal with.

    (2) The author thinks only 2 things differentiate Amazon from Wal-Mart. That's a very strange assertion, considering it also has

    (a) Instant Video which I use and pay for,
    (b) is offering streaming music soon,
    (c) produces original series,
    (d) develops and sells their own hardware products to the point that they turned the publishing industry upside down,
    (e) let's individuals sell their new and used items similar to eBay's Buy-it-Now,
    (f) has a very significant web services product to the point that for many companies Amazon is the web.

    You may argue that those 6 listed items are worthless if you choose, but they are not offered by Wal-Mart and Costco.

    Sure Amazon is probably overpriced, but if you want to compare it to competitors, find the correct competitors and make a complete comparison.
    Apr 1, 2014. 10:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment