online retailing

Travis is a teenager living in a small town in the Northeast. He enjoys hunting and shooting, and keeps a rifle at home. But with several younger siblings around the house, he wanted to make sure his gun was safe. So he ordered a trigger lock on Amazon, to prevent the gun from firing.

"The reviews were great, five-star reviews," says Travis, who asked that NPR use only his first name to avoid scrutiny and possible legal attention. "[They] said it worked great, locked perfectly, the combination system worked great."

It didn't.

If a shopper clicks "buy" for a product that costs $1,000 or more, it's twice as likely to be a man than a woman. That's one of the results revealed in a new NPR/Marist poll about online shopping.

Amazon demolished Wall Street's profit expectations for its first quarter, thanks to a boom in online sales and huge demand for its cloud services.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that the retail giant's profits more than doubled from a year ago.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Going into Tuesday's arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, it looked as though the court was headed toward reversing a 50-year-old decision that barred states from collecting taxes on out-of-state purchases.

But after the arguments, it looked as though a court majority just might preserve the status quo, and that would be a huge victory for online sellers.

The case presents a multibillion-dollar dispute, and the outcome will directly affect consumers, cash-strapped states and companies large and small.

Then he got an idea, an awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea.

I know just what to do, the Grinch laughed in his throat. All it will take is a few keystrokes.

But of course he didn't actually muse. Because the Grinch in this case is a bot. It's automatic. It doesn't snooze.

Online scammers with an arsenal of cyberbots are stealing Christmas by buying up the most popular toys of the season and selling them for a hefty markup on third-party sites such as Amazon and eBay.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Economic development teams in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are working together to reel in a whopper: Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

For years, Amazon has been testing the limits of online deliveries — expanding the number of things you can order at the click of a button (sometimes literally), pushing shipments to arrive faster, toying with delivery by drones.

There's a good chance something you've bought online has been in the hands of a "picker" first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we're ordering.

Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

As you walk into the Goodwill retail store on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, signs advertise 50 percent-off items with specific-colored tags. The tag sale started Sunday to try and raise falling profits at 18 local Goodwill stores.

Goodwill Industries Suncoast is nearly $1 million under budget this fiscal year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The company has frozen employee wages and hiring for a year to lower expenses, and they're working to raise revenue in retail stores using tactics such as the tag sale.