John Alteio, director of Toys and Games for Amazon.com said:
Our goal is to offer an unmatched toy selection, but it’s also extremely important to us that our customers can easily find that one right toy at a great value.Amazon.com's Holiday Toy List is a curated list of toys, games, and more. For the first time ever, Amazon.com turned to its Amazon Mom members on Facebook for "advice."
The holidays are busy enough as it is, so we worked hard on our 2013 Holiday Toy List to create a simple and fun way for our customers to discover the toys that best suit their child’s individual interests. Put the kids to bed, kick up your feet and shop – we think you’ll find just the right gift to put a smile on their face this holiday season.
Voting helped the company identify the top toys across ten toy trend categories. Some of the top vote-getters in their respective categories include:
- Fun Tech Toys: Kindle Fire HDX 7” Tablet
- Getting the Family Together: The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
- Hug the Earth Toys: Melissa and Doug Cook’s Corner Wooden Kitchen
- Classic and Retro Toys: KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table
- Jaw Droppers: KidKraft So Chic Dollhouse
- Craft and DIY Toys: Hot Wheels Car Maker Playset
- Baby Toys: VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset
- Character Toys: Fisher-Price Octonauts Octopod Playset
- Road Trip Approved: Playskool Showcam 2-in-1 Digital Camera and Projector
- Animal Friends: Skip Hop Giraffe Safari Stacking Animal Blocks
- KidKraft Cranberry Retro Kitchen
- LeapPad Power Doc Mcstuffins bundle
- LeapFrog Creativity Camera
- VTech InnoTab 3S Disney Fairies or Mickey Mouse bundle
- Star Wars Legacy Collection Droid Factory Action Figure
- McFarlane Toys Assassin’s Creed IV Black Bart Action Figure
- Star Wars Return of the Jedi The Vintage Collection Tie Interceptor Vehicle
- Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Slave I Boba Fett’s Spaceship Vehicle
- K’NEX Angry Birds Christmas Advent Calendar
- Angry Birds King Pig Castle
- Transformers Platinum Edition Predaking Figure
- Marvel Iron Patriot Mini Action Figure Bust
- Lincoln Logs Redwood Junction
For example, with Amazon.com's Price Check app (available for both iOS and Android), users can compare a retailer's pricing against Amazon.com's by scanning a barcode, taking a picture, or entering a product name. Once that's done, the app will then display prices for Amazon.com's site, including its Marketplace vendors; it will also indicate if the product is available with free shipping.
It's something that brick-and-mortar retailers recognize, and are not pleased with. In late 2011, after Amazon.com released an Android version of the app (a year or so after the iOS app's debut), the company heavily promoted the app. The Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Katherine Lugar was quite clear with her displeasure in a statement issued about the promotion:
Retailers compete on price 365 days a year, and at no time is that competition hotter than during the make-or-break holiday shopping season. However, by continuing to evade collecting state sales taxes, Amazon’s exploitation of a pre-Internet tax loophole is resulting in a 6-10 percent perceived price advantage over their competitors on Main Street.Since then, though, Amazon.com has relented and begun collecting sales tax in many, but not all, states, including the high sales tax state of California. No matter what, Amazon.com estimated that during the 2012 holiday season alone customers purchased over one toy per second via mobile devices.
Amazon’s aggressive promotion of its Price Check App shows the lengths they are willing to go to exploit this tax loophole, and is a stark reminder of why Congress needs to act to protect retailers on Main Street. A failure to act is an implicit endorsement of a subsidy of Amazon, a subsidy that distorts the free market and puts jobs on Main Street at risk.