Amazon Prime Day Brings Voice First Home

Did you participate in Prime Day 2017? If you didn’t, you are in the minority (almost)! Amazon created this new shopping holiday in 2015, and this year’s sales beat last year’s by 60%. Amazon doesn’t share hard numbers, but we know that Amazon purchases went over $1,000,000,000 in 30 hours. (The extended time period is for expanded markets.)

Prime Day is centered on customers who have signed up for Amazon’s Prime service. For $99 a year customers get unlimited two-day shipping, discounts, shopping rewards, and access to services like Prime Music and Prime Video. Of course, they get access to the thousands of deals which come up only on Prime Day.

The big movers this year were the Amazon Echo, and it’s little buddy, the Amazon Dot. The Echo is one of the popular new home assistant devices that acts like a voice-activated internet and speaker. It’s hooked up to many apps so it can play music or news, answer questions, order stuff from Amazon (of course), order pizza, dim the lights… the possibilities are expanding by the day. The Dot is a kind of mini version of the Echo, and on Prime Day the price of the Dot dropped from $50 to $35. (The Echo sold at half price on Prime Day, down to $90.) Amazon doesn’t share final sales numbers, but insiders say that at points they were selling thousands of Dots per minute. Overall Amazon reported that Prime Members purchased 6000 items a minute during Prime Day.

Overall, the Dot was the best seller during Prime Day. Not surprisingly, other Amazon products also sold well, like the Echo, Fire devices and Kindle tablets. Other popular items included Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 23 And Me DNA testing kits. The Instant Pot pressure cooker was also a popular item.

One must be a Prime Member to participate in Prime Day, and on July 11 more people signed up to Prime than any other day in history. Prime members tend to shop more, making it a win-win deal for Amazon and its customers. Not surprisingly Amazon’s stock jumped on Prime Day, breaking the $1000 a share mark. (Where is the downside for Amazon?)

It seems like voice commerce may be direction online shopping is going. Not only has Amazon eliminated the need to get in your car and go somewhere to go shopping, now they are eliminating the need to log in and use a screen to shop! Also, there is competition in Voice First field with Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod. Competition is good for consumers. Prices will fall and devices will evolve quickly. Amazon is already introducing its next spinoff: a voice first device with a screen.

We see a lot of these devices move through our warehouse at OPAS. From just eyeballing it, it looks like the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Dot are what most OPAS buyers are spending their new voice device money on.

Have you delved into the Voice First world feet first? What device or devices have you used? Are you still embarrassed to talk to a machine?

Get The Best Tech

We noticed a technological trend in items our members are purchasing this month, take a look at our top 5 below. Also make a note of the sales coming in the next couple of weeks, like back to school sales (technology and great bedding and clothes) and Labor Day Sales for the first week of September.

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones with Mic, enjoy professional quality sound without those pesky wires. On sale for $73.20

LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™ The No. 1 LEGO® video game franchise triumphantly returns with a fun-filled, humorous journey based on the blockbuster film. On sale for $54.89.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Standard Edition – Xbox One , a Call Of Duty Campaign unlike anything before it. On sale for $34.99.

ClamCase + for iPad Air 2 Responsive keyboard. Protective polycarbonate shell. Versatile 360° stand. $129.99

AREVR ET1 – VR 3D Virtual Reality Headset – Immerse yourself into another dimension with Giant Screen, split view 3D augmented reality $24.99

Enjoy shopping and have a great weekend,

Bernard

PS. Don’t miss out on our limited time offer – take $5.00 off your next international shipment.

Did you know the US Unlocked VISA card is the only card you need to shop in U.S.?

Using your OPAS forwarding address and a US Unlocked card can give you the chance to take hold of those advantages and become part of a winning team. It’s easier than you think to get started, and could change the way you shop online for good.

Get Your US Unlocked Card Now!

Click the card image below to get your card and start shopping right away!

get-a-prepaid-virtual-credit-card

Disclosure statement:
The US Unlocked Card is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa, U.S.A., Inc  “Metropolitan” and “Metropolitan Commercial Bank” are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank © 2014. Use of the Card is subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Cardholder Agreement and fee schedule, if any.

Address Forwarding Makes US Clearance Sales Available Anywhere

Let’s face it, US Clearance Sales and other special offers available in the US can make it easy to get some fabulous prices on a wide range of different products, from Amazon discounts to breakout products like NuSkin. But if you’re outside the US, you’ll need to use a US mailing address forwarding company to help provide you with a solution to a big issue, you don’t live in the US.

In short, you may not be able to take advantage of any of these great sales. The good news is, we are here to help!  OPAS allow you to get the prices and enjoy US clearance sales you deserve on anything. Best of all, US mailing address forwarding isn’t as difficult to set up or to use as you might think. Let’s take a look at a few basics:

US Mailing Address Forwarding Basics
How does it work? Essentially, you set up your US mailing address forwarding system like this – OPAS takes your current mailing address and attaches it to a US mailing address like a PO Box. When you place an order, you provide your US address. The parcel is sent there, then forwarded from there to your current location.

US mailing address forwarding is used regularly throughout the world by everyone from Americans living abroad to foreign residents who want to enjoy the deeper savings of US clearance sales.

US Mailing Address Forwarding Costs
The overall costs of US Mailing address forwarding depends largely upon the size and weight of items you’re ordering and upon your overall location. That’s why OPAS offers an easy to use shipping calculator to clients, letting them utilize it to determine just how much the costs will be. In most cases, shipping costs are low when you factor in the deep discounts on products that you can’t find elsewhere in the world and OPAS’ commitment to consolidating your packages. 

US Mailing Address Forwarding

US Mailing address forwarding is something you need to pay attention to if you’re trying to shop and save online. Online shopping has made it easier than ever to find the best products at the best prices, and you shouldn’t miss out on those just because you live elsewhere. Contact OPAS today to find out more about this service and how to make it work for you.

US Mailing Address Forwarding

Wearables Technology – What To Look For And How To Get Apple Watch And Other Wearables From Outside The US

Wearables Technology - What To Look For And How To Get Apple Watch And Other Wearables From Outside The US

Wearables Technology - What To Look For And How To Get Apple Watch And Other Wearables From Outside The USEvery year there are new trends in wearables technology which are likely to influence the direction that electronics and mobile devices will go.  As new offerings are produced, consumers are often faced with a number of choices in obtaining these goods, and enthusiasm as well as research can impact the direction of decisions.

The New Trends In Wearables Technology

Wearables are being hailed as the next big thing for digital integration and lifestyle enhancement, but we have also seen that online retailers are covering a range of products and brands in this category.  The Apple Watch is the newest is a series of multifunctional technology units that serve personal needs while also connecting to a wider network for integration.  However, Android based offerings such as the Moto and Fitbit, which is compatible with several operating systems are also strong contenders on the market.

The real question is, what should you be looking for in a wearable?

  • Scalabilty – wearables that can be updated with programming patches will likely have a greater longevity, even if they are brand specific.
  • Integration – this can be related to proprietary software that may limit device capacity, but can also include the devices ability to connect a number of other electronics that operate on the same network.
  • Multitasking – this directly relates to what the new technology can offer the consumer.  Is the wearable specific only to certain tasks, or can it be further programmed to connect with other functions.
  • Brand history – although even solid companies have been known to produce electronics that have a limited run of popularity, it can be important to consider the longevity and stability of the brand name in considering how practical a purchase may be.

Making The Choice

Doing good research will always lead to wiser purchase decisions, but even once this choice is made, consumers can still encounter challenges with the actual purchase.  This is due to the fact that some retailers and manufacturers, especially Apple, have certain restrictions on payment options, specifically for international shoppers.  The most frustrating occurrence is when payment is declined due to the fact that the credit or debit card is not backed by a US bank.

Combining your OPAS US package forwarding address with the prepaid VISA card from  US Unlocked card, you can overcome this obstacle, and make good use of the research they have done to actually obtain their wearable.  The US Unlocked card is a virtual pre-paid VISA that is backed by a US lender, and that also gives customers the ability to easily load funds from a personal account in order to complete the purchase.  This provides a simple and secure solution to finding shopping satisfaction.

If you are all set to get the new Apple Watch or other wearable that you have looked into and are excited about, then we invite you to sign up for a US package forwarding address and the US Unlocked card today, and get ready to fill your shopping needs immediately.

How To Purchase Apple Watch From The US Apple Store (And Other Products)

how to purchase apple watch from the us apple store

how to purchase apple watch from the us apple storeWe know many of you are Apple fans and we also know it can be challenging to purchase Apple products such as the new Apple Watch from outside the US. Especially when you want to get your hands on the latest releases.

Follow our tutorial on how to purchase Apple Watch from the US Apple Store.

The highly anticipated Apple Watch and the new MacBook are both going to be available very soon and to offer you the best chance of ordering these items from the US and sending them to the country you call home we urge you to follow the following steps.

The following steps on how to purchase Apple Watch from the US Apple Store were proven successful with previous product launches by Apple:

  1. Make sure your US shipping address and US billing address are the same. Apple requires these addresses are the same. To do this, register here to get your OPAS account. Use the promo code APPLE for FREE REGISTRATION.
  2. If you do not yet have one, get a prepaid VISA card from our partner US Unlocked. US Unlocked will support your OPAS US address and enables you to have your shipping address and billing address match. SIGN UP with US Unlocked for their US Unlocked Card. This pre-paid virtual debit card is issued by a US bank. Get your US Unlocked card here. 
  3. Set up a US iTunes account and link your US Unlocked Card to it while connected over VPN with a US IP address. The connection over a Virtual Private Network is an integral part of this process becoming successful so do not forget to sign up for a VPN service and make sure you are connect over VPN whilst making your order.
  4. Purchase your Apple Watch or any other Apple product (don’t forget the accessories) and use the iTunes account you set up for payment.
  5. We will ship your order to your country.

On occasion, you may receive an error email that states that Apple doesn’t ship to package forwarding services, but this is no reason to panic. In these cases, it often means that their stock has run into short supply, and this is an automated message which may disappear in a few days’ time. Should you receive this error message, we suggest waiting a couple of days and trying your order again, which often works for many of you.

If you still find this method does not succeed, please contact OPAS and use our personal shopper program, which has a very high success rate. Please note our personal shopper service can only process limited quantities per account.

 

Choosing The Right Christmas Gift

The holidays can be one of the greatest times of year for the consummate shopper.  Not only are there sales and deals to fit any person’s tastes, but there are also options for capitalizing on special treats for yourself.  Yet, with all the choices that online retailers offer, it can be hard to come up with a comprehensive list to still make sure that everyone is covered.

Getting Organized

One of the easiest ways to approach this time of year, may be to consider the vendors and what they offer.  From this standpoint, you can start making categories for products and cross-referencing this with the interests of the people you are shopping for.

  • Beauty.com – some of the best deals on everything from perfume to cosmetics.  This online retailer has a vast selection of products that span every category of health and beauty products and accessories.  Their site is well organized for searching by keywords, specific brands, and general categories.
  • Newegg.com – fun and practical electronics for the person who likes to play and upgrade with their computers of digital devices.  Offerings range from the latest releases for computers and gaming systems, to components that can be used to turn a regular PC into multi-player war machine.
  • Williams-Sonoma – cooking supplies to delight and inspire.  Items from this company can be practical or extravagant, but they will be sure to be a hit with any aspiring chef or foodie.  The expanded offerings from this company also include outdoor cooking services, time saving devices for the kitchen and classic cutlery.  Easy category searches on their site can also inspire gift givers to find the perfect items through a simple browse.

choosing the right christmas gifts

Choosing The Right Christmas Gift

Exploring the online retailers will give holiday shoppers a better sense of where to find what they are looking for as well as what to be searching for.  With OPAS package forwarding, we further simplify the process, allowing you to have your goods shipped from a variety of vendors to one US based address.  We can send you your items as they arrive, but we can also consolidate your goods to save on international shipping.

It never hurts to start shopping the deals early, and we recommend that you set up your OPAS account soon, so that we will be ready to forward as soon as goods come in.  Remember, the holidays are fast approaching, and if you want to play it safe, have your items ship to OPAS before the end of November.  While waiting until 7. December could be cutting it close, 12 December is the latest receipt date that we can still accommodate for holiday delivery.

Wearable Technology Gifts – Our Favourites

Wearables, what are they according to WIKI?  Clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies. These wearables consist mostly of smart watches and bracelets but recently we have also seen an uptake in smart rings. This technology is weaving it’s way into our every day lives, to enhance our experiences, help us find the way, and keep track of our fitness levels.

Let’s look into on a few of our favorites:

The Pebble Watch

pebble watch

What if a watch could pair with your phone and run apps right from your wrist? The new Pebble app store promises just this. New types of apps make this a very useful device.

From the Pebble website: “Pebble puts critical apps and notifications on your wrist, giving you immediate access to what’s most important. “

Tech specs that impress us the most:

•          5-7 days between charges

•          5 ATM water resistance

•          Optical hard coating for scratch resistance

At $99.00 it’s priced competitively. If you are looking for a more luxurious look and feel make sure you check out the new Pebble Steel at $199, see the image.

For more information and to purchase the Pebble Watch visit their website.

 

 

The Withings Pulse

The Withings Pulse packs a pedometer, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracker. “A “wear it your way” tracker to monitor your activity and sleep, read vital signs and improve your overall health.” This device is more well known for its connection with a scale and its focus on a sound sleep routine.  It enables you to learn from your data and improve on your general well being and overall health.

425998-withings-pulse-o2Tech specs that impress us the most:

  • Touch screen for history browsing
  • Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz., 0.018 lb)
  • Sensor: heart rate & SpO2 measurement

 

 

 

 

 

Ringly

A line of 18k gold rings with precious and semi-precious stones. The ring syncs with your phone and apps. According to how you set it up it will alert, by vibrating, to calendar events, important messages and other notifications that you have set up to suit your personal needs. The rings are attractive and you wouldn’t know all this technology is lurking beneath the surface of the precious stones.   Choose one of the 5 different precious stones, emerald, pink sapphire, rainbow moonstone, black onyx or tourmalated quartz, the latter being a limited addition.

ringly

Prices range from $ 195 to $260. Even though the Ringly will start shipping early 2015 we think it would still make a good Christmas gift for the women in your life that appreciate a lovely piece of jewelry as well as sophisticated technology. She’ll just have to wait for it a little bit!

 

 

 

 

 

GoPro HERO4 SILVER

The best known wearable camera on the market today. This is the first GoPro with built in touch-display convenience that will enable you to control the camera, frame shots and play back content. The camera boasts even better image quality than any of the other best selling GoPro cameras that came before. Pro-quality capture. Touch-display convenience.

GoPro HERO4 SILVERTech specs that impress us the most:

  • Built-In WiFi + Bluetooth: Delivers enhanced connectivity to the GoPro App, Smart Remote
  • Durable + Waterproof to 131′ (40m): Designed to withstand extreme environments and conditions
  • High-Performance Audio: New Audio System captures clean, high fidelity sound and nearly 2x the dynamic range.

Get it at Best Buy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Watch

apple watch roseAll watches tell time. This one helps you make the most of it or so boasts Apple. This watch will be able to make card payments, nudge you to turn a corner on your way to your destination and its even able to share your heartbeat with whom you choose.  The Apple Watch will run on its own operating system and has its own apps. However, you can easily switch from Watch to your iPhone. Read new mail on Apple Watch, then respond on iPhone. See a sports score or news update on Apple Watch, and read more about it on iPhone

Expected to be available by spring 2015. The price for a basic model has been announced as $349. Visit Apple’s website to stay in the know! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTO 360

moto 360Stay connected with the Motorola Moto 360 00418NARTL smart watch, which features a 1.56″ LCD touch screen that displays alerts from your compatible Android device. A Bluetooth 4.0 interface helps simplify wireless pairing.

Tech specs that impress us the most:

  • Wireless charging
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass
  • Responds to your voice

 

$249.99 available at Best Buy.

To shop these wearables please make sure you follow these guidelines:

How To Shop US-Only Retailers

To see the US version of any website, and the US-only merchandise and sales they offer, you’ll need to trick the online store into thinking you’re visiting their website from the US. You can use Proxify to hide your location from US websites, and view the sales that they’re hiding from you. Just enter the URL of the store you want to visit into Proxify, and choose a US location from the Proxify Satellite drop down menu. Voilà! You’re now shopping online from the US.

International Shipping from US-Only Retailers

Now that you have access to the US-Only merchandise and sales, there is still the matter of international shipping. Even though you can now see all the great deals, if you try to check out using an international shipping address, you’ll find that store will not ship clearance items internationally.

You know the answer to this one… just use your tax-free package forwarding address, and you can get international shipping on all the clearance items you want.

Get a US credit Card

OPAS has teamed up with US Unlocked to offer you their US Unlocked Card. The US Unlocked Card is a debit card with your own US billing address. This address allows you to shop mostly anywhere. You can also purchase downloads from iTunes, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and many more sites. As an OPAS user you benefit from a $5 discount on the application fee!

Find more wearables for you or your gift list.

One of our favorite online retailers Amazon has an extensive collection of wearable technology, from wearable cameras to smart sport accessories they will have what you are looking for.