Cars, groceries, and a $50 virtual assistant

Are you looking to buy a new car? Ready to haggle on price? Most people hate haggling when they shop for a new car. Me, I don’t mind it, because I do it from the confines of my home. Well, at least I did the last time I bought a new car. Back in ’07, I checked on Kelley Blue Book to see what a good price would be for a new car — I knew which car I wanted — and submitted that price that I was willing to pay to all of the Honda dealers nearby. It’s good to live in/near a big city and have many dealers competing against one another. I simply emailed all of them and told them the first one to match the price I was looking for. If they could, they’d get my business. The dealer closest to me met my price and I walked into the dealer and bought the car. Easy….  Few among us like to hassle and end up in the dealer for hours on end. I’ve heard numerous stories from friends and family members telling me how they had to spend HOURS AND HOURS in the dealer trying to negotiate the purchase of their new car. By the end of the ordeal, they got their car but were so beaten up by the experience, the joy of buying a new car was negatively impacted by the whole car buying experience. This horrific way of spending your day may be ending. Read here about Costco and others:

You’ve likely heard of Amazon Echo…  the personal assistant that you talk to. Google just came out with Google Assist. Later this month, Amazon is coming out with a cheaper Echo, the $49.99 Amazon Echo Dot. The original Echo cost about $100. According to a review from Business Insider, “…The Echo Dot has all the capabilities of the original Echo, but at a much cheaper price, and with a compact form factor that’s designed to be tucked away. Because of its size (it looks like a hockey puck from the future), its sound quality isn’t as good as the Echo, but it can hook up to an external speaker through a standard audio cable or Bluetooth…” At just $50, you can buy them for all your friends and family members for Christmas. Amazon will even give you a break if you buy them in bulk. Buy five, get one free. (And using the same arithmetic) Amazon will give you two free if you buy ten Dots. TechCrunch thinks the new Dot is tough to resist. If you are interested, you can pre-order it here: Amazon Dot.

Did you know that WalMart is delivering groceries? And speaking of groceries, my wife and I just spent two weeks in Germany visiting her family and touring around. In America, we think of breakfast as the most important meal of the day. What I aw in Europe (well, Germany at least) is that lunch has a greater emphasis. Here’s an article from Bloomberg which looks at lunch options.Lunch: the most important meal.



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