Republic Wireless is now open to the public with its $19 a month unlimited smartphone service.
With this innovative service, you get unlimited calling, texting, email, and web on a Motorola DEFY XT -- all with no contract. That means you pay the full retail price of $249 for the phone, plus a $29 activation fee.
The big idea behind Republic Wireless is that most of the time we're using our phones, we are near or in a place with wifi. So with this service, all of your activity is routed over wifi.
It’s an automatic and seamless process that’s done entirely by your handset; you aren’t required to manually do anything to get on wifi.
And when you’re not around a wifi signal, the smart phone automatically switches to a standard cell network.
With junk fees, this offer works out to be about $21 a month and is the absolute cheapest unlimited smart phone plan in America.
Meanwhile, Dish Network now has secured approval from the feds to launch their own cellular network using satellite technology. That will make it possible for Dish to do a number of things with high-speed Internet, cellular calling, TV on the go and more.
This is yet another sign that the chokehold Big 4 wireless carrriers like AT&T and Verizon have on the cell phone market will one day be the case.
Looking for a sweet deal on a new car? Several vehicles are overstocked on dealer lots and certain to be priced to move.
This latest development comes at a time when the car business is otherwise booming. Yet The Wall Street Journal reports that while the Japanese automakers are doing well, the Detroit automakers are slowing.
What's behind the success of the Japanese, who were on the ropes a year ago in the after-effects of the tsunami? Detroit-style marketing, that's what!
The Japanese automakers are offering major incentives. Honda is up to nearly $2,500 and Nissan is up to over $4,000! They're also doing a lot of zero percent interest financing -- another key Motown move.
At the same time, both domestic and foreign brands are seeing a large oversupply of vehicles on dealer lots.
In the auto business, a 55-day supply is considered ideal. That's the theoretical number of cars that if manufacturers didn't make another, dealers could sell what they have on the lot for 55 straight days. Fifty-five days represents a healthy inventory cycle.
Yet the Toyota Avalon has a 120-day supply. The Ford Fiesta has a 124-day supply. And the Dodge Dart has a 6-month supply! If you're into trucks, the Chevy Silverado has an almost 5-month supply, and the Chevy Cruse has a 3.5-month supply.
It stands to reason that dealers will be in the mood to make a deal on cars that represent extreme oversupply. So you can always find a sweet spot in the market -- even when the auto business in going great guns!
When you're shopping online, the price you see isn't necessarily the best price. I'll tell you how to land the best deal.
Airlines have long used something called dynamic demand pricing (aka yield management) to determine the price of seats on flights. Historical analysis of sales, behavioral patterns of buyers, the rate of bookings and, even unemployment rates, among other factors, control the price per seat. No two seats are sold for the same price.
Now that idea has been spreading to other consumer segments, particularly online selling.
A recent Wall Street Journal analysis of prices on a high-end microwave was particularly revealing. The pricing changed nine times in a single day from $899 to $744. Not on a similar item -- on the same exact item.
Even within an hour, price can change three times from the same online seller!
So the price is not necessarily the price. Most people won't obsess to the degree of checking prices nine times a day. At the most, they'll just comparison shop once among two or more websites.
But if you really want the best deal, you must check not just once or twice, but repeatedly. If you feel your time is worth more than the potential savings, that's fine. Don't do it. But knowing that prices never stop moving is very important if you're looking for the absolute lowest price.
If you want an easy way to see if a quoted price is a deal or not, you can compare prices on websites like Decide.com or ShopoBot.com, or use a mobile app such as Hukkster.
Another alternative would be to install a browser plug-in like Invisible Hand that automatically pops up an alert while you're shopping if a better price is available on another website.
Finally, Amazon customers can typically get a better deal if they put something in their cart and then abandon it before the final purchase. That usually signals to Amazon that you're willling to walk away and triggers a lower price the next time you put it in your cart to checkout. Give it a try!