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Amazon's Kindle Fire Goes on Sale: Will It Match the iPad?, Inc(NEW YORK) -- The next chapter of the tablet wars has begun.

Amazon is now shipping its new Kindle Fire, and at $199, this tablet computer could be the first successful challenge to Apple’s dominant iPad.

The Kindle Fire costs less than half as much as the iPad -- which starts at $499 -- and includes software that Amazon hopes will ignite fresh consumer interest.

More than an e-reader, the new tablet comes packed with a movie database and its own Amazon shopping store.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How Does Walmart’s Price Match Measure Up with Other Retailers?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BENTONVILLE, Ark.) -- Walmart has announced that it’s beefing up its price matching policy for the holidays, but is the company’s new policy any better than what competitors are offering?

The temporary price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1-Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

“The great gift we can give our customers this holiday is great low prices on the things they want most,” Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.  “Walmart is easing shopping stress this Christmas by allowing customers to shop when and how they want, all while guaranteeing low prices through the entire holiday season.”

The move comes as the 2011 holiday season, which accounts for a good portion of retailers’ annual revenue, is ramping up.

But price-matching is not new to Walmart or other big retailers.  Numerous retailers like Target, Sears and Best Buy have price matching policies in place year-round.

With holiday shoppers expected to be tight-fisted this year, price matching is one way to lure consumers to retailers.  So as retailers duke it out for the projected $465 billion in retail sales, here’s a match up of pricing policies at some of the nation’s top retailers:

-- Staples
“If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

-- Target
“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim., the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

-- Sears
“If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to

-- Best Buy
“Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

-- Amazon
“With the exception of TVs, doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to

-- Home Depot
“If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

-- Lowe’s
“If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Amazon Fights Back in the Battle for Sales Tax

ABC News(SEATTLE) –, the world’s largest online retailer, has not charged sales tax in most states since its founding in 1994. But now there’s a big battle over sales tax for online goods sold over the Internet.

Officials in many states would like to be able to collect taxes for these online goods, but Amazon is fighting back, saying it saves consumers money with low prices -- and has taken some extreme measures to avoid charging state and local sales taxes.

The Wall Street Journal says Amazon restricts employee travel to states where their activities might trigger local collection. Staff who wished to travel around the U.S. had to first consult a company map that presents each state red, yellow, or green, according to people who have worked for the retailer. They said they needed permission from managers or lawyers before entering red-zoned states.
However, many state officials and local stores say online merchants have an unfair advantage.

At least ten states have passed laws aiming to force Amazon and other online firms to collect sales taxes on the goods they sell.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio