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Controversial Business Moves: Have Amazon Gone Too Far?

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Amazon are a marketplace giant, and their combination of a huge choice of products, low prices, and fast delivery options have seen them wipe the floor with their competitors. It’s even claimed that whole industries have been almost wiped out by the online retailer’s presence. But, where there is brilliance, there is often also controversy. Amazon is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of their most controversial business moves of late!

Packaging

Let’s start with what is perhaps the one thing that we’ve all experienced when shopping with Amazon that has left a sour taste in our mouths: packaging. Now, we live in a world where we’re becoming increasingly aware of the detrimental effects that human activity is having on our planet. One of the main man-made problems posing a threat to our beloved Earth? Waste. We use so many products on a day to day basis that are seen as disposable, and we often throw many products and most packaging away after just a single use. The UK produces around 30.5 million tonnes of waste every single year. Within the EU, people produce around half a tonne of waste per person, and with over 500 million inhabitants, this figure quickly mounts up. America is said to produce 250 million tonnes of garbage on an annual basis. So, when many of us shop, we expect responsible large-scale businesses to use as little packaging as possible and to, preferably, send our purchases in recyclable materials. Sure, this may cost a little more and take a little more time, after all, you’ll have to pick packaging options logically rather than throwing every item into the first box that catches the supplier’s eye, but surely it’s worth it. It really isn’t all too surprising that Amazon causes outrage on a regular basis when they have been reported to send items as small as a phone charger in a box large enough for your small kids and cats to make a fort from. Now, the company has tried to justify this behaviour by saying that they optimise for the whole rather than the individual. Theorist Alexander Savin noted on his twitter feed that “Amazon uses a complicated software system to determine the box size that should be used based on what else is going in the same truck and the exact size of the cargo bay. It is playing an automated Tetris with the packages. Sometimes it will select a larger box because there is nothing else that needs to go out on that specific truck, and by making it bigger, it is using up the remaining space, so items don’t slide around and break. This actually minimises waste and is on the whole q (sic) greener system. Even if for some individual item it looks weird.” While this is an interesting theory, the tweet received all sorts of lash back from people refuting the theory. Many believe that the genuine reason for entirely environmentally unfriendly packaging is because Amazon promises such fast delivery that workers have just a matter of seconds to grab the nearest box or packaging to get the item out on time.

Drone Delivery

Again, convenience has come hand in hand with another complaint for the big bosses at Amazon. Sure, we’re all now familiar with Amazon Prime, a service which offers guaranteed next day delivery on a whole host of items. But have you heard of Amazon Prime Air? This is a fully autonomous system where a drone (otherwise known as an aerial vehicle) without a human pilot can deliver goods to customers within 30 minutes or less of completing their order. Sounds like something from the future, right? While this service hasn’t yet been launched by the company, it is in development and trial, and Amazon hopes that one day seeing an Amazon drone delivering goods by air will be as common a sight as seeing one of their delivery trucks travelling down the highway. People, expectedly, have a lot of questions surrounding the practice. They want to know how heavy the goods that this method could deliver can be (the answer, so far, is five pounds), where they are testing (there are currently trials in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel), and whether weather will affect the service (the company claim that they aim to operate in daylight when there are low winds, there’s good visibility, and a lack of rain, snow, or ice). Perhaps the most important issue on our minds, however, is how Amazon intends to navigate the airspace in each given country, as drones are a risk to planes. This is still being negotiated, so perhaps it will be a while before we really do see these plans come into practice and public use.

Live Purchases

Perhaps the most recent controversy associated with this retail giant is its delivery of live animals. The company has been slammed by animal activists and many consumers alike for offering home delivery of live animals such as lobsters and crabs. Not only is the method of boiling these creatures alive for consumption cruel in and of itself and something that shouldn’t be promoted at all (nevermind in the home and left to the hands of inexperienced and unprofessional cooks), they can also face the cruel fate of being left in boxes for days as they make their way from supplier to consumer. This is a sad case of sentient creatures being treated like commodities on a whole new level. Many customers have since cancelled their accounts completely, stating that they will not return to Amazon until they cease this cruel practice.

As you can see, Amazon is no stranger to controversy, and some of the decisions that they have made in their process of trying to meet the mass market’s needs and expectations really have backfired. However, where there is a complaint, there is room for improvement, and hopefully, they will begin to take customer feedback into account, ensuring that their business becomes as eco-friendly, safe, and cruelty-free as possible!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Little money savings around the globe

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Discounts Shopping

Nowadays, most families around the world struggle with their household economy. Thankfully, most grocery stores are aware of this and offer occasional sales. By comparing different stores flyers, you can hunting for the lowest prices out there. This will help you save money in a really easy way.

Finding the best discounts in the US

Many stores offer different discounts you can benefit from all across the United States. Multiple shops across the country hold weekly discounts on their products. You can find discounts on all sorts of items, from food to electronic equipment. The best way to keep up to date with those small sales is by regularly keeping an eye on the store’s flyers.

You can find discounts on products like the following:

  • Automotive discounts: Companies like Toyota, Chevrolet or Ford are the ones with a bigger number of sales along the year. The discounts these companies offer range from cars to automobile products like motor oil. 
  • Department and Grocery Stores discounts: these type of discounts are the ones that benefit families more directly. Companies like Dollar General, Club foods, Family Dollar and Hannaford. It only takes a quick look to the Hannaford flyer this week to find discounts on products we use on a daily basis, such as ice cream or potato chips.
  • Home and Garden discounts: companies like Menards or Crate & Barrel offer many discounts in home appliances, furnitures and garden apparels, so you can make your house a gorgeous makeover for a cheaper price.

Some other sectors that tend to hold sales across the United States in a less regular basis but that you should definitely check out are the ones related with babies and children products, the clothing sector, the pharmaceutical sector, the electronic sector, the furniture sector, etc. 

Saving money in the UK

Residents on the United Kingdom can also rejoice. Companies offer all sorts of sales all across the country, so families there also get their chance to save money. After all, every extra pound does count at the end of the month. If we check the British flyers, we find that the bigger discounts you can find are usually in the following sectors:

  • Automotive discounts: companies like BMW and Toyota are the ones that offer a bigger number of sales on UK soil. They generally offer discounts on a wide range of vehicles, mostly cars or motorcycles. 
  • Home and garden discounts: we can find a big number of discounts on products like home apparel or outside furniture from companies like Homebase or H&Q. If you are looking to do some reforms on your household, you definitely should check flyers beforehand so you do not miss out on any good deals.
  • Hypermarkets and Supermarkets discounts: there are many discounts available for products our families use and purchase on a regular basis from those sort of stores. In the United Kingdom, the company that features a bigger selection of sales in their products is Lidl. A quick look to the Lidl leaflet this week in uk is enough to find discounts on products like desserts or electronic devices. 

If you look carefully enough, you will also be able to find discounts on products like kid items, clothing or perfumes all around the country.

Canadian store sales

Canada is a country that also get its fair share of sales. Families across Canada enjoy many sales, but the products where we can find the bigger amount of discounts offers are:

  • Department and Grocery Stores discounts: we can find a big amount of discounts on products regularly used by our families from the hand of companies like Longo’s, Walmart or Giant Tiger. If we check the Giant Tiger flyer in Canada, we can see that it offer a lot of discounts on products we use regularly at home, like juice or bread. 
  • Automotive discounts: companies like Volkswagen or Princess Auto are the ones that offer a bigger number of automotive discounts in Canada. You can find discounts on everything, from car apparels like a Oil Change Dispos-Kit to offers on vehicles sales.

If you live in Canada, you can also find a big number of discounts on products such as furniture, sport supplies, etc.

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The benefits of getting help from a lawyer

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Law books
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When it comes to think about lawyers, most people tend to have Hollywood’s notion of them. Fancy men on fancy suits that you would never need unless you got into big trouble and need them to represent you in a trial. But what most people seem to fail to realize, is that legal assistance is needed in many aspects of our daily lives, especially if you are planning to move abroad or start a business. 

Getting legal assistance from professionals 

From quarrels with neighbors to job disputes, there are many instances in life where you may need the assistance of a lawyer. Having a good team of lawyers in Barcelona at hand to cover your back is always a good idea. 

Over the last years, moving abroad has become one of the more common instances where people demand lawyers services, such as having your documentation in order or managing foreign business processes. You should always get professional help in order to avoid further legal problems. 

Fixing your immigration paperwork

Moving to a different country is always complicated. The first thing you need to always make sure of is that you have your papers correctly settled. Not having the proper paperwork can carry you a lot of problems with your destination country’s authorities, and there are cases where even the entrance to the country has been denied due to not having the right papers. 

It is important to always consult our case with professionals in order to get the best legal assistance and avoid these sort of problems. Professional lawyers will assist you all along this process. Lawyers can direct you to request the most suitable permit or visa for you. Professional lawyer immigration teams often do all the paperwork for you, so you can relax and invest your time planning other aspects of your travel. 

For example, if you want to move to a country like Spain, the most common immigration papers you may need help with are the following:

  • Getting a Spanish Passport: getting the Spanish nationality can ease many aspects of your live in the country. This is especially easy to get if you come from a country like Philippines or Portugal or you are an Iberoamerican or Sephardic Jew.
  • Work permits: if you want to work in a different country, you need to make sure your work permits are in order. In Spain there are two different types of work permits you can apply for: Highly Qualified Professional (HQP) or Entrepreneur Visa.
  • Requesting a NIE number: a NIE number is needed in order to identify you on many legal aspects while you stay in the country.
  • Getting a Visa: there are three different types of visas you can apply for when moving to Spain.
    • An Investor Visa( also known as the  Golden Visa Program) for people looking to invest more than 500.000€ in Spanish Real Estate.
    • A Student Visa for those who wish to study at a Spanish university. 
    • A non-lucrative Visa for people who want to reside in Spain but are not pursuing any lucrative activity. 

Getting legal assistance with your business

Managing a business is never an easy task, especially when you want to start one from scratch. There are a lot of procedements where the help of a lawyer can be needed, like Trademark registration, setting a new bank account for your business finances, getting things certified by a notary, tax registrations with the correspondent government agencies, etc. 

If you want to start a business in a foreign country, things get even more complicated. As stated before, first you need to make sure your personal paperwork is in order. Once your own paperwork is settled, it is time to get your company’s permits up to date. With the help of a professional lawyer team, you will be able to get all the complicated paperwork in order with very little effort. Legal teams will assist you with processes such as:

  • The paperwork to register your company.
  • The work contracts and salary rates for your workers. 
  • Your monthly accounting contracts
  • Assistance when buying and selling shares
  • Registering your Trademark
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Keeping up with house trends

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real estate architecture

Home is the place where you should feel more comfortable. Thankfully, you can get all the confort without having to sacrifice style. Nowadays it is easy to remodel your house within a budget, making it accessible to any user. If you also keep up with the last trends, your house will surely be in everybody’s mouth.

Updating the living room 

The heart of every household is, without any doubt, the living room. It is the place were the family reunites to spend the time together. We generally use the living room on our free time, so it is important to feel as comfortable in it as possible. After all, nobody wants to be in an uncomfortable place when it comes to watch a movie or spend quality time talking with your significant other. Latest trends are aware of this. 

One of the most significant changes that have been happening on living rooms over the last years is that regular sofas have become outdated. Their crucial spot in the room has been taken all over by the chaise longues. Chaise longue is a kind of sofa that includes an extra long piece of sofa in one of the sides. Thanks to this additional piece, you can lay down more easily and relax. They are very versatile pieces of furniture and, the best thing about them, is that they come in all designs and patterns, so finding one that matches your style is easy.

Becoming one with your garden

Although most users would prefer spending their spare time in the living room, as the good weather arrives, the garden becomes a strong contender. A beautiful garden is every family dream. Over the last years, nothing has increased the value of properties like a stunning pool in the garden. The pool design therefore is one of the most important aspects of a house. 

Choosing the right tiles for your pool can make a dramatic change on the pool appearance and durability. Lately, decorators all around the world have found a new favorite type of tile regarding pool tiles: the glass pool tile

Glass pool tiles have beaten the traditional porcelain ones used on pools by many aspects. The most important one is that they reflect the light of the sun better, giving the pool a cleaner and brighter look. Glass pool tiles used to be made of materials that could not handle the cold weather well, but thankfully this has changed over the last years.  Glass pool tiles are now made of very resistant materials making they appropriate for any kind of weather. 

Glass pool tiles are really easy to install and come in all sort of different colours and designs. However, do not let this big variety overwhelm you. A trend in colours seem to be settling in at the moment: turquoise pool tiles. They reflect the sunlight very well while giving your pool a modern feeling.  Immersing yourself in a pool with turquoise tiles after a long day at work can give you a relaxing ocean feeling. If you are looking to get yourself some turquoise pool tiles, we recommend you look for respectable sellers like Buy Home Tile, which is an online store famous for providing only quality materials. 
Another important thing to take into account regarding your pool is the area around it. Experts like Buy Home Tile recommend you use river rock mosaic tile. This kind of tile gives a rustic but elegant feeling to your outdoors areas. Since it is made of river rocks, they are very resistant and can last you a lifetime. Their top quality durability make it a wise decision, not only for pools and garden areas, but also for your bathroom or shower floors. People around the world are choosing river rock mosaic tiles for multiple elements in their homes, so do not miss the chance of joining those who make wise decorative decisions.

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