Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Zappos offers employees $1,500 to quit

Online footwear company Zappos is offering its new recruits $1,500 to quit along with payment for all the hours they have already worked. The company has instituted the new policy to ensure that it's employees are there for more than just the money. The retailer has been offering this new payment to resign system for the past three weeks so far and have found that only 2-3% of the people take the money and leave the company, which the company attributes to their strong screening process.
Zappos was one of the pioneers of free delivery and free returns, and the company motto is: ”We are a service company that happens to sell.” All new hires except those working in the Zappos warehouse complete the month-long customer loyalty training program. Brown says about two-thirds go on to work in call center roles.

the deal with acne

OK everyone knows that not all acne medications and treatments are equal but this acne treatment is said to be pretty good and is reportedly quite popular. The thing with these treatments is to be patient and to make sure that you follow all he instructions to the T, since it really matters quite a bit. It is also important to be careful of one's diet etcetera when taking any kind of acne medication. A lot of them say to avoid the sun for some time, so that is important to follow. With so much emphasis on looking good and looking as close to perfect as possible, acne treatments are getting even more popular than before.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lower priced electronic items are what consumers want

The slower economy is making consumers shop differently and the change can be felt across all sectors. Take consumer electronics for instance, shoppers are selecting items that are lower priced than they would have previously bought, such as buying a Canon PowerShot A470 camera for $129 instead of buying Canon G-series camera that costs around $500. Many shoppers are setting themselves budgets that they feel comfortable spending and do not go over it.

The most affected have been the larger ticket items such as flat screen televiisons, Blu-ray DVD players and so on. Items that have gained are smaller and lower priced items such as digital cameras, digital photo frames, MP3 players and so on, all things that are usually priced under $200. According to Susan Kevorkian, a retail analyst at market research firm IDC, "It's money that a consumer can part with ... without compromising other financial priorities or other parts of their lifestyle."

Consumer electronic retailers have already noticed the trend and are increasing their selection of these lower priced technology products to tempt shoppers. Canon has increased its lower priced cameras, those that sell for less than $200 to three from two last year, and its $129 camera is the lowest that it's ever manufactured.

Personal computers are also looking recession-proof these days. Analysts and computer vendors say that PCs do well even in uncertain times because the machines are fast becoming a commodity necessary for school, work or simple communication.

PC makers such as AsusTek Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have in the past year added smaller bare-bones notebook computers to their lineup. An EEE PC made by AsusTek costs $300 and targets users who mainly intend to surf the Internet and send email, says Donald Leung, a product manager for the company. Meanwhile H-P's Mini-Note PC costs $500 and aims to attract both students and traveling professionals.

The right perspective

As any Internet shopper knows, there is nothing more important than researching before buying. With the summer here, everyone seems to be going in for some diet or exercise treatment or the other and a lot of people don't even bother checking the credentials of the company, person and product. It is absolutely imperative that one does this vital step, since it's your body and health that one is talking about. Read as many diet pill reviews as you can, digest the information, cross check the facts, get feedback and once convinced, go ahead with it. One must think long term with these issues, instead of just that important pool party that you need to look your best for.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

a bright diptych

I've been wanting to make some diptychs for a while, but wasn't quite sure how to make them. Last week, I experimented around a bit and found that I could make them in Paint very easily, so I made three of them. I thought they came out quite well, each with a great contrast and juxtaposition's. Here is one of the brightest ones. For a good diptych, it must balance and oppose each other, else it might end up being too boring.


Where to get the best deals on electronics

The one segment of items that I always look for on the web before heading out to the stores are electronics. Interestingly, what is happening now is that I often don't even need to go to the stores, since the best deal available is online. With sites like www.buy.com, you can be sure to find the best buy there, whether it is a digital camera or a new flat screen television. Electronic items are always highly competitive and with the advent of online electronic stores, the biggest winners have been consumers like us, who have been able to find the best deals with the least amount of hassle. I can't imagine how one did one's shopping before and wasted so much time and effort going from store to store to find the best deal.

Small business owners don't see web sales declining

Many smaller businesses don't think that the slowdown of the economy will necessarily impact web sales. According to a new survey done by Register.com, about 70% of respondents said that there will be no decline in web sales in the next year, while 34.6% predicted that they will see a rise in revenue from web sales. About34.4% said that they expect sales from web sites to remain the same as before. Of a total of 800 small business execs interview for the poll, about 70% of them were owners and partners.

Interestingly, while the majority said that they do not see a decline in the newer future, about 20% of respondents did not know what their current web sales figures were and 41% said that more than a quarter of their revenue came from web generated sales.
“Having a web site has become more than a luxury for small businesses and entrepreneurs, it is a necessity,” says Register.com CEO Larry Kutscher. “Our small business customers know that investing in a great web site is a more effective way to reach potential customers and stay in contact with existing clients. The response to our survey shows the result of this investment, as a majority of customers expect no decline -- and many expect growth -- in their web revenues over the next year.”

Blind sense

With the way the heat is building up, I think I need to change my curtains and put up something more substantial to deal with the direct sunlight. I am veering towards installing some blinds and then adding my curtains in front of them, so that I will be able to control the light in the room, but also will be able to cut down on the heat generated from the direct sunlight outside. We get about 5 hours of direct afternoon sun, so it does get quite hot, but with the right curtains and colors, one can make quite a difference, I think. I've always liked having blinds for their simplicity and their utilitarian sense, something that is going to come in handy now.

ugh, the heat....the humidity!

It has become so hot lately that all one wants to do is stay indoors and keep ones cool. Besides the heat, it has also become humid all of a sudden and the high humidity levels are making things really uncomfortable and sticky. Even in the mornings the humidity makes going for my early morning walk quite uncomfortable. Thankfully, yesterday and today morning we had a lovely cool breeze, so it was a pleasure to be outside again.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

a winning method

I find that the best way to find a job these days is online. I have heard first hand from so many of my friends who ended up with great jobs that they found online. For company's looking for a specific type of resume such as Philadelphia resumes or those of marine biologists, this is a great way to open new doors and find new talent. I had placed my resume in an online site a couple of years ago and used to get so many offers from great companies, which really surprised me that they were all recruiting from the online world and not just using the regular old-fashioned methods.

a new direction for shoppers

Shopping has become a real task for many Americans trying to save money and cut costs. It is a good time to evaluate how much one spends of luxuries and frivolous things, which we often deem as necessities, but actually have nothing so urgently required about them. What we need is not a physical thing, it's a completely mental equilibrium. We decide what we want to buy based on how we feel and what we feel, so it's best to avoid shopping when one is feeling down, since you're sure to end up going overboard to compensate for how you're feeling. Instead figure out what are the things you actually use and need, and buy only those things, nothing more. It might be hard initially, but it's for the best, and won't take long to adjust to at all.

looking smart

As fashion and trends go, this is a great time for experimentation, and no one has experimented more than men with their jewelery. At one time, this used to be quite a regimental and set kind of thing, something that no one made any changes to, but in recent times, men's jewelry has become so trendy and in vogue, that men who never wore it before are total converts. The thing to remember is that while trends might come and go, if something is elegant and classic, it will remain for a long period of time, and some of these are exactly that. In general men's jewelery is not for everyone, but those who can carry it off will be sure to get an edge over others. The base line is that it will make you look distinguished and suave.

A new shopping mantra

With the economy taking a downturn, retailers and shoppers are both rethinking what they need to do and how they need to live their lives. Shoppers are wondering if it really is all that important to have that pricey pair of shoes and retailers who are closely watching the trends will be able to make it work. Shoppers are turning to department stores such as Kohl's and JCPenney which have clearance racks and away from specialty stores such as Chico's.

Most customers are making decisive choices about where to shop based primarily on price and discounters and wholesalers such as Wal-Mart and Costco are the ones who are benefiting from this recent phenomenon. According to Howard Davidowitz, the head of a retail consulting firm based in New York, "We're seeing the consumer far more budget conscious and definitely trading down."

It's not all good for the discounters though, as they are getting more new traffic, but regular customers are also cutting back on spending and have reduced their spending. Wal-Mart has seen a boost in sales, but Target has not been able to win customers over as they have usually attracted impulse shoppers, which consumers are cutting down on buying, where as Wal-Mart attracts consumers looking for all the basics, which consumers are still buying.

Warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam's Club, the Wal-Mart sibling, are seeing sales shoot up. And there's evidence more upper-income customers are heading in for gas and to buy brand-name detergent and groceries in bulk.

"It's a phenomenal shift. You see people who you never expected to be shopping at those stores," said Britt Beemer, founder of Charleston, S.C.-based America's Research Group consumer research firm. In a recent survey of 800 shoppers, he found many high-income households heading for warehouse clubs.

"Ten percent of those shoppers at the warehouse clubs had (household) incomes of over $100,000," Beemer said, double the number from a year ago. "That's not what you'd think is the typical warehouse club shopper."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The right kind of Visa

It's just not possible to manage without a credit card these days. Everything from travel bookings to hotels and cars are easily arranged just by having a credit card. I find it also really useful to send flowers internationally, which is a really quick and easy way to send a gift. And it's all thanks to having a credit card. I personally prefer Visa cards, since they offer a very good service and all round package. There are also usually some Visa credit card offer or the other, making it even more tempting when all the other other options might be the same or very similar.

Getting a credit card is a lot easier now days, thanks to all this information that is so easily available, but one must also be careful about how one selects a credit card, since it can have a lasting effect on your credit record if it's not the right one for you. Credit Organized makes it all simple for you and safeguards you from making the wrong decision. There are a million loopholes to look out for and if you apply for one from an unscrupulous site, then you've just opened a can of worms for yourself. It is important to be cautious about selecting the right card and getting one for the right reason as well.

getting an iPod

It's time to finally get one of these, I think. I've been wanted to get an iPod for quite some time now, but just never got around to it. There was always something or the other that I ended up buying instead, so now it's time for an iPod. We're also going to get one of the sound docks for it, the Bose one most likely. We went to the store the other day to listed to the speakers, and they sound really good, especially the more powerful new one which is also portable. So, most likely we will get one of those. Not sure which iPod to get though, between the classic and the iTouch, which seems like a tempting fun thing to get. Lets see what happens!