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

Also: How it picks Deals of the Day

How Amazon Picks Its Deals Of The Day

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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