National / International News

What You Need To Know About Subprime Lending For Smartphones

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:50

A new startup focuses on offering loans for the purchase of top-of-the-line smartphones. But what seem like deals come with hefty markups.

» E-Mail This

Attention, discount shoppers: The psychology of sales

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:42

We are in the final throes of the holiday shopping season and by this time you have been bombarded with discount offers and sales: 20 percent off, 50 percent off, buy one get one free, no money down, etc., etc.

So how do sales work, psychologically speaking?

“Imagine that a new car is $30,000 discounted to $20,000,” says behavioral economist Dan Ariely. “So you say to yourself, ‘Oh my goodness this is really worth $30,000, [but] right now it’s $20,000.’ It gives you an extra sense of value."

And because sales are temporary they create a sense of urgency says Ariely. “It’s a short time thing and you better take advantage of this.”

But do sales actually get people to spend more? Or are they used to lure shoppers in, so that store gets its slice of a zero-sum pie?

“This is not just specifically for the holidays, but we’ve been finding over time that more than half of all shoppers are saying they want to spend no more than they had in the past,” says Amy Koo, a retail analyst with Kantar. “That puts a pretty firm ceiling on what they are willing to spend.” 

Sales are also a good way to get people in the door ... but what’s really important is that they come back again after the sale is over.

“While people may be spending the same, they are actually concentrating their spending on fewer stores, which make a big difference in terms of making sure you as a retailer try to secure the loyalty of the shopper,” Koo says.

Stores do that by offering programs that give deeper discounts to loyal customers.

There’s also the low-price guarantee. Walmart for example, has the Savings Catcher program. Shoppers scan their receipt, and if they find the same product cheaper at a competitor, Walmart issues a gift card for the difference, ensuring a return visit.

At an intersection in downtown Glendale, California, I met Lejaun Smith waiting to cross the street. He had a shopping bag in his hand, and I asked him if he’d been lured into the store by a sale, and if so, did that sale get him to spend more. “Yes, on both answers,” he said.

“Yes, spend more money and yes, get me through that door. And it works every time.”

The psychology of discounts and sales

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:42

We are in the final days of the holiday shopping season and by this time you have been bombarded with offers and specials and sales: 20 percent off, 50 percent off, buy one get one free, no money down, etc., etc.

So how do sales work, psychologically speaking?

“Imagine that a new car is $30,000 discounted to $20,000,” says behavioral economist Dan Ariely. “So you say to yourself, ‘oh my goodness this is really worth $30,000, [but] right now it’s $20,000.’ It gives you an extra sense of value."

And because sales are temporary they create a sense of urgency says Ariely. “It’s a short time thing and you better take advantage of this.”

But do sales actually get people to spend more? Or are they used to lure shoppers in, so that store gets its slice of a zero-sum pie?

“This is not just specifically for the holidays, but we’ve been finding over time that more than half of all shoppers are saying they want to spend no more than they had in the past,” says Amy Koo, a retail analyst with Kantar. “That puts a pretty firm ceiling on what they are willing to spend.” 

Sales are also a good way to get people in the door ... but what’s really important is that they come back again after the sale is over.

“While people may be spending the same, they are actually concentrating their spending on fewer stores which make a big difference in terms of making sure you as a retailer try to secure the loyalty of the shopper,” Koo says.

Stores do that by offering programs that give deeper discounts to loyal customers.

There’s also the low price guarantee. Walmart for example, has the Savings Catcher program. Shoppers scan their receipt and if they find the same product cheaper at a competitor, Walmart issues a gift card for the difference, ensuring a return visit by that customer.

At an intersection in downtown Glendale, California, I met Lejaun Smith waiting to cross the street. He had a shopping bag in his hand and I asked him if he’d been lured into the store by a sale, and if so, did that sale get him to spend more. “Yes, on both answers,” he said.

“Yes, spend more money and yes, get me through that door. And it works every time.”

Tripadvisor fined by Italy regulator

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:38
Italy's competition watchdog fines travel website Tripadvisor €500,000 (£392,000) for publishing misleading information in its reviews.

Services Offer A Means To Foil Widespread 'Elder Fraud'

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:31

The holidays are a time for giving — and for scams that prey on altruism, particularly among older adults. But several products on the market are designed to help fight fraud that targets seniors.

» E-Mail This

Widespread Internet Outage Reported In North Korea

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:19

It comes days after President Obama pledged a "proportional response" to the communist country's alleged hacking of Sony Pictures. It's unclear what caused the outage.

» E-Mail This

VIDEO: Paul McCartney remembers Joe Cocker

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:13
Sir Paul McCartney says he is extremely sad to hear that the singer Joe Cocker has died.

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:11
Chelsea seal top spot in the Premier League at Christmas as goals from John Terry and Cesc Fabregas secure victory at Stoke.

Why won't OPEC cut production ?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-12-22 13:00

Despite falling crude oil prices, key members of OPEC reiterated over the weekend that they intend to keep drilling and pumping.

Yesterday, the oil minister for Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest and most influential member, indicated the cartel would never cut production. Analyst Bhushan Bahree at IHS Energy points out that the cartel’s last supply cut in 2008 backfired when competitors ate into its market. OPEC does not want a rerun.

Persistent low prices could benefit the cartel long term: They could cultivate a new generation of car drivers who drive more and alleviate concerns in the oil patch that global demand for oil may soon peak. Political concerns are also in play: OPEC's supply-king, Saudi Arabia, could see low prices bankrupting its key nemesis, Iran. If Tehran runs out of money to support Syria’s regime, as well as its own nuclear ambitions, Valerie Marcel of the Chatham House think tank says that would go down as a victory in Saudi Arabia.

A Very Code Switch Christmas TV Special

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:58

It's that time around Christmas, when all we can see are a handful of stories on our TV screens. Frosty, and Charlie, and Ralphie, and Kevin, but there's not too much brown in this mostly white canon.

» E-Mail This

VIDEO: Joe Cocker playing at Woodstock

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:51
Joe Cocker and the Grease Band perform "With a little help from my friends" at Woodstock festival in 1969.

Cook aiming to 'enjoy cricket again'

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:41
Alastair Cook says he wants to start "enjoying my cricket again" after losing his position as England one-day captain.

UN discusses N Korea human rights

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:35
The UN Security Council begins a rare discussion of North Korea's human rights situation, despite objections from Russia and China.

Is Your Heart Doctor In? If Not, You Might Not Be Any Worse Off

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:31

Researchers find that high-risk heart patients in teaching hospitals fared better when their cardiologists were away at national conventions instead of working at their usual jobs. Why?

» E-Mail This

Jailed Cuban Spy's Wife Is Pregnant — With A Little Help From The U.S.

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:23

The U.S. helped Gerardo Hernandez and his wife conceive through artificial insemination while he was in prison for spying. Hernandez was released last week as part of a prisoner swap.

» E-Mail This

The Khoisan Once Were Kings Of The Planet. What Happened?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:22

In the landscape of modern Africa, they are a link to the long-ago past. They know everything about plants and animals. But their way of life — and language of clicks — may be doomed.

» E-Mail This

'Dreamer' Immigrants Apply For Arizona Driver's Licenses

NPR News - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:16

More than 22,000 young immigrants are now eligible to apply for a license in Arizona, something they were blocked from doing in 2012, thanks to an executive order by Gov. Jan Brewer.

» E-Mail This

Joe Cocker: Remembering rock's 'mad dog'

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 12:09
Joe Cocker found success putting his soul into other people's songs

Scientists attack student exit plan

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 11:44
Home Secretary Theresa May's plan to expel foreign graduates draws criticism from the scientific community.

Carrick is England's best - Ferguson

BBC - Mon, 2014-12-22 11:39
Sir Alex Ferguson describes Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick as "the best English player in the game".

Pages