This Week In Amazon: A Winner In The HQ2 Stakes?

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How Amazon Picks Its Deals Of The Day

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Prime Cut: For Amazon’s estimated 2 million third-party sellers, getting an item picked as a Deal of the Day or Lightning Deal selection can be like rocket fuel for sales. But the process, like most of the e-tailer’s calculations, is a complex blend of considerations that includes price, product category, customer reviews and upfront commitment.

TWICE Take: Although marketplace sellers account for an estimated 70 percent of Amazon’s revenue, the Bezos Bunch still calls the shots. For a chance at Deal of the Day exposure, independent merchants must gamble on inventory build ups, take a minimum 15 percent mark down, pay Amazon warehousing and shipping fees, and agree to fork over 15 percent of each purchase.

See the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

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Alexa Habla Español

Prime Cut: Amazon has likely doubled its sales in Mexico this year, to more than half a billion dollars, according to estimates by market research firm Euromonitor International.

TWICE Take: The increase, which follows the launch of Prime in Mexico last March, has made Amazon the largest online retailer south of the border while growing the country’s sleepy e-commerce market by a third. Web-based sales account for only 3 percent of all retail revenues in Mexico, vs. 12 percent in the U.S., Euromonitor said.

See the full story at Reuters.

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We May Have A Winner In The HQ2 Stakes

Prime Cut: Amazon’s announcement that it plans to open a second headquarters in North America sent municipalities into a competitive frenzy last fall with visions of budget-gap-closing tax revenues from the jobs and ancillary businesses the e-tailer would bring.

TWICE Take: The inside money is now on Atlanta, after Amazon registered an in-house lobbyist at the State Capitol. But take it from whence it came — in this case being the city’s hometown daily newspaper.

See the full story at The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

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The Taxman Cometh

Prime Cut: While Amazon stands to gain hundreds of millions in savings from the Republican tax plan, the Italians are hearing none of it.

TWICE Take: According to Milan tax police, the e-tailer owes upward of $153 million in back taxes covering the years 2011-2015. Amazon cried poverty at the time, as it poured its profits into infrastructure and labor, but has nonetheless agreed to pay Italy’s tax authority $118 million in restitution.

See the full story at Reuters.

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Procrastinators, Rejoice!

Prime Cut: Just in time for Christmas, Amazon is spreading the joy of last-minute shopping by expanding its same-day delivery and one-day shipping service throughout the land.

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TWICE Take: The company says it can now fulfill orders lickety-split in more than 8,000 locales, at no charge for Prime members on orders over $35, and for $9 for everyone else. That means dawdlers can place an order by 9:30 a.m. local time on Christmas Eve and still receive their holiday haul ahead of Santa.

See the full story at TWICE.

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Amazon Quote Of The Week

“They’ll wait for the perfect time to transfer their customer’s love for their brand into something they can make big dollars on.” — Guru Hariharan, former Amazon executive and current retail software developer, on when Amazon will enter the pharmacy business

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