Wednesday, February 29, 2012
FRANKFURT Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:51am EST
(Reuters) - Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn squeezes his bulky frame behind the wheel of the new Honda Civic and takes out a tape measure - part of a forensic, and very public, inspection of the five-door compact at last September's Frankfurt car show.
"You were a role model for us for many years once," he tells an attendant Honda official. "Really."
They were the words of a man who knows Honda (7267.T) is on the ropes in the United States, and who fervently hopes he can eat the Japanese group's lunch in its biggest market.
The United States is home to nearly one in two Honda buyers, but its sales there fell 7 percent last year while overall U.S. vehicle sales expanded at a double-digit pace.
As a result, Honda's market share has tumbled 2 percentage points in two years to 8 percent in 2011. Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is headed in the opposite direction, albeit from a low base.
Winterkorn wants to at least double the Volkswagen VW.L brand's 2.5 percent U.S. market share. Last year's sales performance was the best VW has managed there in three decades, with sales of Jettas and Passats up 44 percent and 83 percent respectively.
"The good news for Volkswagen is that brand loyalty is not what it used to be. Honda buyers started to flee to other brands like Hyundai because they wanted to express themselves and not be just one of the herd," said TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak.
At an international level, VW has had its ups and downs since its birth in 1930s Germany, but it has come out of the 2008 crisis better than most.
While General Motors (GM.N) was pushed into a pre-packaged bankruptcy and Toyota (7203.T) endured its first ever operating loss, the Wolfsburg-based group has emerged as the world's second largest carmaker with the firepower to buy Peugeot (PEUP.PA), Fiat (FIA.MI) and Renault (RENA.PA) put together.
It made a record profit in 2011, but will need to prey on weaker rivals abroad to keep growing. That is because its core European market is set to shrink to its smallest in a decade, and carmakers are piling on costly, margin-corrosive incentives for free to compete for what remains.
VW's ultimate goal of becoming the largest, most profitable carmaker in the industry hinges on whether it can find lasting nourishment in the United States, where its pricey imports long ago forced the brand to feed off the scraps left over by others.
By shifting German car production to Tennessee and taking expensive features out of their over-engineered cars, a practice known as "de-contenting", VW has succeeded in luring customers back with affordable entry prices and sporty sedans like the Jetta - features that were once the hallmarks of Honda's Accords and Civics.
"Our biggest competitor here is Honda, since its customer base shares the same core values. We both focus on sportiness and versatility and have high demands when it comes to handling," VW's U.S. strategy chief, Rainer Michel told Reuters.
Toyota's no-frills customers do not buy a Camry to enjoy the ride, he said, while Hyundai buyers are attracted to the kind of trendy exterior designs which Honda and VW both eschew.
Honda, by contrast, has a pool of well-educated and more affluent U.S. car owners who tend to favour more subdued styling packaged into a fun ride.
Among its five biggest competitors, Honda boasts the lowest spending on incentives like cash rebates or free features and trim, according to auto-information website Edmunds.com.
It also abstains entirely from selling to fleets like Hertz rental agency. Fleet sales and incentives are both pressure valves many carmakers resort to when times are hard.
"We are not the flashy choice, we are the smart choice that informed customers make after weighing things like reliability, fuel economy, driving enjoyment and so on. This helps us keep a tight lid on incentives and preserve a high resale value for our owners," said American Honda spokesman Chris Martin.
"That also means that we have a huge bull's-eye painted on our back, though, since any other auto company would love to attract this kind of customer base."
But the chinks are starting to show in Honda's armour. It expects operating profit in the year to end-March 2012 to fall 65 percent to its lowest level in three years, prompting Moody's to downgrade the company's outlook to negative due partly to the tougher competition from predators like VW.
Earthquakes, tsunamis and floods in Japan and Thailand severely damaged its supply chain last year. Making matters worse, the latest Civic model has been panned by critics in the United States, forcing Honda to promise a costly facelift much earlier than planned.
"The Civic was for the longest time the torch bearer for what Honda was all about - compact cars with efficient four cylinder engines and very responsive chassis that give drivers a great feeling for the road," said Bill Visnic, an analyst and senior editor for Edmunds.com.
"That reputation has been slipping rather precipitously, though, ever since they began compromising to chase market share with cars getting bigger and the ride becoming softer."
Meanwhile VW has one of the youngest customer bases - important for a brand's image - while spending even less than Honda on incentives - quick fixes that boost volumes but ultimately hurt demand over the long run as resale values fall.
As a result, the new Passat sedan spends half as long collecting dust on a dealer lot than the average U.S. vehicle.
"A lot of new VW buyers were Honda owners who no longer wanted to see 10 other exact same cars every time they came to a stop at the traffic light," said Chris Chaney, Vice President of consumer research group Strategic Vision.
According to his firm's surveys, Honda was the brand to surrender sales the most to VW last year. VW owners are more prone not just to feel better about driving their new cars but also to be more excited about them than Honda customers.
"There is no question that there are Honda owners who see Volkswagen as a step towards the prestige associated with German engineering," Chaney said.
With gasoline prices expected to climb, market researcher Art Spinella believes VW can also benefit from its strong range of fuel-efficient diesels, but warns a patchy dealer network, largely based in coastal areas, will continue to hold them back.
"Pump prices mean that car buyers will consider VW much more often, but for that to translate into actual sales they need good dealers, and here they are only strong in the slow-growth states in the Northeast," said Spinella, President of CNW.
In order to hit its sales target of 800,000 VW brand car sales by 2018, VW opened up in January a new sales office in Dallas to support the near 100 dealers spread thinly across 16 states.
Dependability may also need to improve, however, before buyers in more rural areas think about a VW.
"I think the biggest problem Volkswagen will need to address is its reliability issues, if it wants to make greater inroads into the American heartlands," said Gabriel Shenhar, Senior Auto Test Engineer & Program Manager at Consumer Reports.
In the hopes of better persuading Honda owners to defect, VW has poached marketing guru Tim Mahoney from Japanese rival Subaru of America (7270.T).
Known for his ability to hit an emotional nerve through ads like the Subaru Love campaign, he was recently voted by industry newspaper Automotive News as one of 10 managers to watch this year alongside such exalted peers as the group chief executives of Toyota, Ford and, yes, Honda.
VW's traditional focus has been on its engineering prowess, but Mahoney favours funny skits like the "Vamonos" ad, with its clever emphasis on the fuel economy features of the VW Passat TDI.
"In a world of instant entertainment, companies can overestimate what a person can absorb in a 30 second spot that flashes over a TV screen," he told Reuters.
"But by engaging someone with ad they can relate to, you can draw people into a more complete experience offered on our website or get them to download the latest Golf racing app."
VW built on last year's Star Wars-themed "Force" commercial, voted the best ad of 2011 by industry publication Adweek, with a viral teaser spot on YouTube that featured a choir of dogs barking out the theme tune from the space saga.
Not so much as a front headlight - let alone a whole car - is ever shown, but the association with VW is unmistakable.
"People are even filming their dogs watching the spot and posting it on the internet. Humour is a big part of what we do and people like to participate," said Mahoney, a language major who studied in Vienna and Goettingen.
Honda's ad people are fighting back.
Fresh from a month of resurgent Civic sales in January, it is creating buzz with a popular ad where Matthew Broderick reprises his role from the 1980s hit "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", only this time he is behind the wheel of a CR-V crossover instead of a vintage Ferrari 250GT cabrio.
A Honda executive who worked for six years in the United States says last year marked the trough in sales for the brand, and the business there is now firmly on a path to recovery.
"It is true that Volkswagen has been expanding aggressively with success, but I believe the U.S. sales data for the new Civic in January is indicative of the new improving trend," Honda Europe President Manabu Nishimae told Reuters.
Just to make sure, though, American Honda reshuffled its management in order "to further speed decision-making and increase efficiency and competitiveness," it said last week.
Kicking things off are new front and rear bumpers, and the headlights now wear a tint of blue highlight. Additionally, the new grille design features a blue reflector underneath. The tailgate spoiler has also been slimmed, and together with a modified tail gate garnish and a reduction in the size of the wiper motor unit, results in overall increased rear visibility.
Appearance aside, the aerodynamics of the car have also been improved, reducing the running resistance and thus resulting in better fuel economy. The 1.3 litre IMA system � with 88 PS and 121 Nm from the engine and 14 PS and 78 Nm from the motor � gets some powertrain efficiency improvements.
Revisions to the CVT and mill, the latter in the form of reduced engine friction, as well as alterations to the air conditioning system, all do their bit to contribute to lower fuel consumption.
The Insight also features a quieter ride, with the inclusion of added noise insulation materials for better NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) performance. Meanwhile, the seats are now upholstered with a new fabric, and rear passengers now enjoy an extra head clearance of 15mm, following adjustments to the shape of the roof lining and the hip point of the rear seats.
Still on dual airbags, but there�s Hill Start Assist (HSA) and VSA on this one, and the wave key has been changed to a more compact jack-knife version. Four exterior colours abound, and these are Platinum Aqua Metallic, Premium White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Alabaster Silver Metallic.
The facelifted Insight goes for RM99,800 (on-the-road), and comes with a five-year or 140,000 km warranty on the IMA battery. The best part is that you don�t have to wait long for one, if you�ve been eyeing it � fully aware of the current demand of the new Insight, Honda Malaysia says the waiting period for an Insight is now less than two weeks. No indication as to when the 1.5 litre job will arrive.
There is a new ugly clothing item in town! Auction Humor has found a new ugly clothing niche.
eBay Seller �earthfinds� has listed a very colorful Kolorway Painted Blazer. Auction Humor has designated the jacket as the �World�s Ugliest Blazer!� According to the listing, the blazer �features a baby grand piano, with open music, wine, as well as a white kitty sitting in a windowsill. Through the window you can see the man in the moon. The back is a reflection of the front.� To top it off, the seller describes not only the jacket as fierce but considers the buttons to fall into that category as well!
Below is a screenshot of the actual listing:
Unfortunately, no one felt worthy of this unusual find. �Earthfinds� even listed it a second time but no buyers stepped forward. It�s not too late to email �Earthfinds� if you are interested!
An Ugly Christmas Miracle!
Tebow Fans, You Could Call This a �Cheesy� eBay Listing!
On average, two children die and about 50 are injured every week when someone accidentally backs over them in a vehicle, according to KidsAndCars.org, a nonprofit group that pushed the government to begin tracking such tragedies. And more than two-thirds of the time, a parent or other close relative is behind the wheel.
Now, auto safety regulators have decided to do something about it. Federal regulators plan to announce this week that automakers will be required to put rearview cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014 to help drivers see what is behind them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which proposed the mandate in late 2010, is expected to send a final version of the rule to Congress on Wednesday.
Cars are filled with safety features that have been mandated by government regulators over the years, including air bags and the Liddy Light, the third brake light named for Elizabeth Dole, who made it standard as secretary of transportation in the 1980s.
But the rearview camera requirement is one of the biggest steps taken to protect people outside of a vehicle.
�We haven�t done anything else to protect pedestrians,� said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington. �This is one thing we can do and should do.�
A spokeswoman for the highway traffic safety agency declined to comment before the new rule was announced.
However, in a preliminary version circulated for public comment, regulators predicted that adding the cameras and viewing screens will cost the auto industry as much as $2.7 billion a year, or $160 to $200 a vehicle. At least some of the cost is expected to be passed on to consumers through higher prices.
But regulators say that 95 to 112 deaths and as many as 8,374 injuries could be avoided each year by eliminating the wide blind spot behind a vehicle. Government statistics indicate that 228 people of all ages � 44 percent of whom are under age 5 � die every year in backover accidents involving passenger vehicles. About 17,000 people a year are injured in such accidents.
�In terms of absolute numbers of lives saved, it certainly isn�t the highest,� Mr. Ditlow said. �But in terms of emotional tragedy, backover deaths are some of the worst imaginable. When you have a parent that kills a child in an incident that�s utterly avoidable, they don�t ever forget it.�
Automakers began offering backup cameras only about a decade ago, by using the in-dash navigation screens that had become popular on luxury models. The feature has become increasingly popular as companies found more inexpensive ways to display camera images to a driver, such as on a screen hidden in the rearview mirror.
For the 2012 model year, 45 percent of vehicles offer a rearview camera as standard equipment, according to the automotive research Web site Edmunds.com. It is an optional feature on 23 percent of models.
Safety advocates said a mandatory camera is long overdue. �We wouldn�t buy a car if we couldn�t see 30 or 40 feet going forward,� said Janette Fennell, the founder of KidsAndCars.org. �We�re taking this big lethal weapon going in reverse, and we can�t see.�
The new requirement stems from a 2008 law, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, named for a 2-year-old boy who died in 2002 when his pediatrician father was backing a sport utility vehicle into their driveway. The law required the N.H.T.S.A. to set standards for rear visibility, which had never been regulated.
In urging Congress to help reduce backover injuries, KidsAndCars created a public-service announcement showing that 62 children could fit behind a large S.U.V. without being visible to the driver in any of the mirrors.
Although they account for a small fraction of the deaths that result from automobile crashes, backovers are the most common cause of off-road deaths involving children and vehicles, according to KidsAndCars. The number of reported child fatalities attributed to backovers totaled 448 in the years 2006 through 2010, a sharp increase from 88 in a four-year period a decade earlier, the group said.
In many cases, the incidents involve a phenomenon that safety advocates call �bye-bye syndrome,� when a child runs outside to wave to someone driving away, without that person�s knowledge.
As vehicles have become larger and designed to better protect occupants, drivers� ability to see any people or objects behind them has been reduced, said Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing at Edmunds.com.
�Over time, the beltlines have risen, and the glass has gotten a little smaller in the interest of safety,� Mr. Edmunds said. �There�s certainly been a lot of attention paid to safety, but visibility hasn�t necessarily been lumped in the same way.�
Edmunds now measures the size of the blind spot behind each new vehicle, based on how far back the driver can see a mannequin designed to resemble a small child. Although many backover incidents involve S.U.V.�s and trucks, Mr. Edmunds said some of the biggest blind spots are on passenger cars where the trunk has a high deck lid and the driver sits low to the ground.
For the Cadillac CTS-V coupe, Edmunds measured a blind spot 101 feet long, compared with about 40 feet for minivans from Toyota and Honda.
Automakers have generally supported the requirement, while some took issue with technical aspects of the proposal and the added cost. �We�ve had longstanding support for efforts to increase the field of view for these vehicles,� said Wade Newton, of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the 2014 mandate, automakers have been designing models with camera systems in mind. Instead of including a camera in a $2,000 navigation package, many have made it standard or a stand-alone option for a few hundred dollars.
When Honda revamped its CR-V crossover vehicle last year, it included a backup camera as standard equipment. On the 2011 model, CR-V buyers who wanted a camera had to buy the top-of-the-line EX-L trim with a navigation system, which cost $7,000 more than the base model.
Regulators studied other ways of improving rear visibility, including the beeping radar-based sensors that many vehicles already offer. But they determined that the sensors often did not detect moving people, especially children. Drivers also responded better to the camera image than the audio alerts, they said.
�Video camera-based systems are by far the most comprehensive and cost-effective currently available solution for reducing backover crashes, fatalities and injuries,� the N.H.T.S.A. said.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The find was made by Mike Magrath from Insideline who was able to capture a screen shot of the car before Nissan pulled out the video replacing it with a revised version (3.44 minutes into the clip) that displays a covered up prototype of the Infiniti JX crossover in its place.
Friday, February 24, 2012
We�ve recently showed that most fuel-efficient cars can beat their EPA highway fuel economy estimates in Consumer Reports measured fuel economy testing. But if you want to hit 40 mpg on the highway, our tests show that you have more options than you might think.
Below is a list of recently tested vehicles that returned 40 mpg or better in our 65-mph highway fuel economy testing, but were officially rated for less.
Again, it�s important to emphasize that maximizing fuel economy depends a lot on how and where you drive.
Several years ago we measured fuel economy with a 2005 Toyota Camry four-cylinder sedan in different situations. Driving at 65 mph delivered 35 mpg; speeding up to 75 mph cut that to 30 mpg, while slowing down to 55 mph returned 40 mpg. Hard acceleration and braking reduced the Camry�s mileage by 2 to 3 mpg.
This preview model highlights the exterior styling direction of the all-new fourth generation European Honda CR-V, which is set to go on sale in Autumn 2012.
Compared to the previous generation, this Prototype adopts a more aggressive stance with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a bolder front fascia. The lower front bumper wraps smartly upward to convey SUV capability, while the lower front bumper design now integrates more smoothly into the fascia for improved aerodynamics.
The Honda Press Conference will take place at 09.15 CET on Tuesday 6 March.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tetsuo Iwamura, 60, Honda�s chief operating officer for North America, on April 1 adds the titles of executive vice president and executive officer, the Tokyo-based company said today in a statement. Iwamura is to also join Honda�s board in late June, pending shareholder approval, the company said.
Iwamura will continue to run operations in North America while assisting President Takanobu Ito in managing global sales, said Jun Odajima, a company spokesman. �This is the first time the top North American executive has also been the No. 2 company official,� he said.
The promotion of Iwamura and naming of Erik Berkman to lead Honda�s U.S. research and development unit, the first time that job has gone to a non-Japanese engineer, come as the company lifts production across North America, its biggest source of revenue, to counter a rising yen. Honda is increasing vehicle output at plants in the U.S. and Canada, adding a factory in Mexico to build subcompacts and preparing to make the Acura NSX supercar in Ohio by 2014.
Berkman, currently vice president of corporate planning and logistics for U.S. auto operations, is to become president of Honda R&D Americas on April 1, the company said.
Honda�s U.S. headquarters are in Torrance, California. The company�s American depositary receipts rose 1.3 percent to $37.28 at the close in New York.
Kabbage, Inc, a provider of working capital for small businesses, and UPS recently announced an important alliance for small businesses throughout the US. Kabbage provides advances to established online sellers who need a funding to help build their business.
In determining the amount of the advance a seller qualifies for, Kabbage looks at a seller's selling history, social networking, and other factors. UPS will allow Kabbage to view shipping history to determine how established an online seller is.
In addition to showing a seller's shipping history, UPS Capital, a division of UPS, will also provide Kabbage with a credit facility which will allow Kabbage to reach even more sellers. The company currently assists more than 15,000 online sellers.
�Access to working capital for small businesses is fundamental to the country�s economic recovery,� said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS chief sales and marketing officer. �This alliance with Kabbage is an example of how UPS and UPS Capital can help small businesses gain access to the working capital they need to grow their business. We�re looking forward to extending our alliance with Kabbage and the thousands of e-commerce companies it supports.�
For more information about the partnership, please click here.
Loans for eBay, Amazon, and Online Sellers
New Year's Coaching Special
It Takes Money To Make Money
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The end of the football season is no reason to not have a touch of Tebow, Tim Tebow that is, in your life. One eBay seller recently offered a grilled cheese sandwich that seemed to resemble the NFL�s Denver Broncos quarterback.
According to the listing, eBay Seller �carlspackler76� of Roanoke, Virginia, was just quickly making lunch with a less than perfect frying pan one day when he was �thoroughly amazed by the image staring back [at him]... the now iconic "Tebowing" pose of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow!�
The auction began at only 99 cents on January 13, 2012. After receiving 46 bids, it ended on January 20, 2012 at a whopping $85.00! And just think, this success story started with two slices of bread, a slice of American cheese, and poorly performing cookware.
Below is a screenshot of the actual listing on eBay after the bidding was over.
After the seller froze the sandwich and carefully packed it with dry ice, the package was shipped to it winning bidder. As I write this, the buyer has not provided any feedback. I can�t help but wonder if it ended up as lunch anyway!
Strategy for Using Grocery Stores as a Source for Inventory
eBay Seller Success Story � One Seller, One Auction, Many Successes
eBay Coach Top 5 � Kitchen Items
Monday, February 20, 2012
Here is a special guest mix by our friend Randy Hotthobo Ellis, we hope you enjoy it. He used to run a night here in San Francisco called Grow Up. The name was a tongue in cheek poke at Blow Up, a dance party for barely post pubescent kids who wear neon. Grow Up was an adult party for well mannered boogie fiends. Randy also co-owns Voltare Records, a label specializing in new tunes in the electro, boogie, and kraut vein; check it out.
1. Junei - Let's Ride (Pharoahs)
2. First Love - It's A Mystery To Me (Chycago International Music)
3. Kadenza - Let's Do It (PRT)
4. Geno Jordan - You're A Peachtree Freak On A Peachtree Street Part III (PPU)
5. Ocie III - Return On Love (Chycago International Music/Boogie Times)
6. Jady Kurrent Band - Standing There (Starstream)
7. Silk, Satin & Lace - Always (Sunrise Productions)
8. Dr. Togo - Be Free (Derby)
9. Gianni Riso - Disco Shy (Goody Music)
10. Advance - Take It To The Top (X Energy)
11. Delegation - Darlin' I Think About You (Ariola)
12. Jewel - Paradise (Lotus Land)
13. J Parker Band - Live Lady (Tenya)
14. Ish - Don't Stop (TK Disco)
15. Tom Hooker - Talk With Your Body (Fulltime)
16. Evo - Din Don (Cultura & Musica)
17. Fonzi Thornton - Beverly (RCA)
18. Alfreda James & Billy Ray - Back To Love (Rappers Rapp Disco Co)
19. Windjammer - I Thought It Was You (MCA)
20. Toney Lee - Love So Deep (Instrumental) (Radar)
21. Wind Chymes - Baby Your The One (Lotus Land)
Softly Shafted - A Mix By Hotthobo
In terms of the asana, it is important to note that while we are all well-steeped in the biomechanical principles that inform Ansuara yoga, we are not teaching them as a comprehensive method in the same way. We will weed out the lingo, the jargon and will emphasize pose architecture as much as, if not more than principled action. We will looking at the asana syllabus in smaller chunks and explore the alchemy between flow, form and focus in a variety of ways- some of which is consistent with Anusara methodology and some of which draws from our other training in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram yoga and various vinyasa approaches.
That being said, if you want to know more about our offerings, make sure you are on my mailing list and on Noah�s and Yoga Oasis�. I do think that the Anusara story is not over and I know there are really smart and caring people hard at work to make the best of a very difficult situation. So if your heart and teaching and deepest interests remain in that stream, be patient, be bold and be willing to contribute your talent, your voice and your passion because it will be an exciting time for sure and every good hand will be needed on deck.
And of course, I have to say that alongside all this greatness we can carry forward into our next projects, I also believe that each of us also has within us the very same seeds of corruption, deceit, arrogance, elitism and so forth that have recently born the fruit of the most recent developments. Lee, my guru, always said "forewarned is forearmed." So we have been warned by what has happened and by our part in it. He also said repeatedly that "Anyone can fall. ANYONE."
So while I am quoting him I might as well talk about something else he told me a long time ago regarding growth and change. He said many times that the way we end one thing provides the momentum we carry with us into the next thing. So, to me, right now, its not about nailing down all of the names and forms and getting everything back into an organized box as much as it is about tapping into the true momentum that facilitated this shift. Underneath the drama, underneath the discharge of difficult pent up feelings (which I say is generally "better out than in" so express it all you want) there was a momentum in each one of us--regardless of the outer choice that anyone has made in the last few weeks- that was fueled by a passion for truth, integrity, clarity, dharma, solidarity, righteousness, loyalty and so forth. For me, that the more I tap into the raw energy behind my outer life choices, I tap into something very essential that becomes a clarifying and revelatory force. When I am referenced in that essential energy- even a little bit- I find myself knowing things I need to know, walking into synchronicity, more aware of distinctions and full of faith and awe.
Anyway- those are my thoughts of today- unedited, un-screened for political correctness and hopefully not legally binding or incriminating. Keep the faith. I believe in us.
Cr2 Records are excited to announce their 2012 Miami WMC Compilation release – “Miami 2012 – mixed by MYNC and Nicky Romero.” Launched in 2007, Cr2 Live & Direct compilations have showcased the most cutting edge house music from some of the world’s leading DJ / Producers including Dirty South, Micky Slim, Oscar G, Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero & Jose Nunez, Arno Cost & Norman Doray, Danny Rampling and MYNC.
This year Cr2 pull out all of the stops and bring together two heavyweight names to come ‘Back 2 Back’ to mix up a selection of some of the current big-room club sounds rocking clubs around the world as well as showcasing over 15 brand new, unreleased tracks. On mix one, MYNC brings the Miami flavor right away by dropping the Miami VIP version of Chuckie’s party anthem “What Happens In Vegas” and winds his way through south beach with tracks from Lunde Bros, Pierce Fulton, Nilson, Azari & III and of course, MYNC, among others. Nicky Romero’s mix features a combination of his own original productions, remixes, DJ favorites and a brand new exclusive club track entitled “Se7en.” It’s all out big-room madness with huge sounds from Nicky and friends including Hardwell, Sandro Silva & Quintino, R3hab & Swanky Tunes vs Hard Rock Sofa, Afrojack and Albin Myers, among others.
2011 was another stellar year for MYNC. Their collaboration with Space Ibiza resident Wally Lopez “Esa Boca Linda” was a summer revelation reaching a coveted Top 10 spot on Beatport and #1 on the Tech House Chart. Their massive “Don’t Be Afraid” (with Ron Carroll & Dan Castro) was played a staggering three weeks in a row by Pete Tong on his Radio 1 show, while official remixes of Avicii’s anthem “Fade Into Darkness, ATB with Amurai Ft Melissa Loretta “Heartbeat,” Jason Derulo “Fight For You” and Azari & III “Reckless With Your Love” all received widespread acclaim. 2012 is already looking jam-packed for the London based producers with gigs lined up in Australia, Brazil, Spain, Portugal & the US and more productions and remixes on the way.
Nicky Romero can also look back at the last 12 months with satisfaction. 2011 saw Nicky release a string of Club Bombs that just got better and better as the year progressed. Any DJ will testify that his original tracks such as “Camorra” and “Toulouse” or remixes of Green Velvet, Tiësto, Flo-Rida and David Guetta will tear off the roof in any club. Top names like Tiësto, Fedde Le Grand, David Guetta and Sander Van Doorn all often feature tracks by Nicky in their sets and Nicky has quickly become one of the hottest, most sought after producers and remixers on the planet today.
MYNC and Nicky Romero will celebrate the release of this compilation with a massive party in South Beach during Miami Music week. More info to come.
CD release: March 5
01. Chuckie Feat. Gregor Salto – What Happens In Vegas (Miami VIP)
02. Lunde Bros. – Some Kind Of Monster
03. Inpetto – No More Serious Faces
04. Chris Melin – With You
05. Pierce Fulton – Who Wants Spaghetti?
06. Lunde Bros. – What
07. Nilson – Restless
08. MYNC – Stadium
09. Kura – Love Will Find You
10. Nari & Milani vs Maurizio Gubellini – Up (Instrumental)
11. Azari & III – Reckless With Your Love (MYNC Stadium Mix)
12. Jerma – Believe In Love (Instrumental)
13. Sexxx – Bound For Glory
14. Stevie Mink & Katt Niall – Everyday
15. Faroeh – Anthem
CD2 // Mixed by Nicky Romero
01. Umek – Next Turn
02. Daddy’s Groove – Wild World (Instrumental Mix)
03. Billy Mason – It’s All Sorted
04. Nicky Romero – Camorra
05. Nilson – Bottled
06. Vida – I Got The love
07. Hardwell & Nicky Romero – Beta
08. Tara McDonald vs Sidney Samson – Dynamite (Nicky Romero Remix)
09. Hardwell – Spaceman (Compilation Edit)
10. Nicky Romero – Toulouse
11. Sandro Silva & Quintino – Epic
12. R3hab & Swanky Tunes vs Hard Rock Sofa – Sending My Love (Afrojack Edit)
13. Albin Myers – Hells Bells
14. Nicky Romero – Se7en
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I wish I could write you something about the history of disco rap in Quebec, but I can't as all I have is this one record, and the label doesn't give much information to go on other than that the heavy funk backing band is noted as being 'Rhythm Section Montreal Rock' and it came out on "O' Bey Music".
If you are from Montreal and you know more, please share it with us.
Kebec Star - Gotta Take You Higher (Vocal)
Kebec Star - Gotta Take You Higher (Instrumental)
Friday, February 17, 2012
�Kabbage provides funding just for online sellers. We recognize that online merchants have a more difficult time obtaining the funding they need to grow their businesses and we built a solution to meet their needs. These merchants demand the attention of a financial services partner that understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing online sellers.�
The funding is similar to a cash advance on a credit card. This is not a loan. When you first sign up for Kabbage, you will provide them with the following information:
eBay account login
Amazon account login
SSN or EIN
Bank account routing number and account numbers
You can also provide your Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin profiles so Kabbage can see if you are active on social networks. Also, you can show Kabbage your UPS account so they can see how often you ship through UPS, to further validate your online business.
Kabbage will access your eBay, Amazon, and Paypal accounts with a third-party token � the same way you authorize any other third party service such as Seller Sourcebook, Auctiva, FBA Scout, FBA Power, Ink Frog, etc., to access your accounts. Then, the algorithm is run and Kabbage calculates the amount of your first advance and your rate. You may take the distribution of your funding any way you like � one lump sum, a portion at a time, or not at all until you are ready. You can play around with the numbers to see what your monthly payments will be. Once you select your distribution amount, the funds are deposited into your Paypal account in just a few minutes.
Also, once you make your first payment, and you continue to list products for sale, Kabbage may increase your funding amount. Each time you make a payment, Kabbage may increase your advance limit. Mine is now 5 times the initial amount granted when I first signed up.
Kabbage is an easy way to take your online business to the next level if cash flow is an issue.
Taking Your Online Business into 2012
Amazon and eBay Sales Tracking Spreadsheet
What Kinds of Things Can I Sell on Amazon?
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
eBay Seller Pam Greenman recently shared shared this information:
The Ponte Verda, Florida area has a new Goodwill store but it is not a typical one. Two Goodwill executives have opened Bluetique, a Goodwill retail location for higher end items. The store has a department store feel that Goodwill stores usually do not have. Amber Russo, vice president of retail sales for Goodwill, and Amy Koebrick, the Marketing Manager for Goodwill�s Northeast Florida region, modeled the project after a similar store in Rochester, NY.
The store is designed to look like a regular department store from the layout to the displays. Its design rivals a Stein Mart or Marshalls. The store�s inventory is about 75% items that have been donated through a local Goodwill donation center while the other items are from brand new items from closeout stores. The donated items are being pulled from the nearby Ponte Verda Goodwill donation center and that location has been setting aside about 600 items a day for this Bluetique location.
The store layout and higher end items are not the only differences in this store. Unlike a typical Goodwill, the pricing structure is not a set one. Instead of finding a one-size-fits-all price for items, there is no price ceiling for items at the Bluetique. An item is priced to reflect more of its market value. Even with the slightly higher prices, the items will still be priced at 50-90% off retail.
With the difference in pricing, is the Bluetique a good source for resale items like its Goodwill predecessors? Yes it is. Right after the store opened in November 2011, its inventory included a Chanel handbag that was priced at $799. At that time a similar bag was selling on eBay for $1325.
As with other Goodwill stores, the money collected goes into the Goodwill�s GCF job training program.
Amazon FBA Scouting Tips � Things I�ve Learned Along the Way
Brand to Sell on eBay � Joseph and Feiss
Don�t Have a Goodwill Store Near You � Try Goodwill Online!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Here are a couple of jams I picked up in NYC. I have been looking for this Ragtyme record for years and was so glad to find it. Unfortunately, my hectic travel schedule put a slight warp in it but it plays OK on my Beogram. I grabbed a bunch of nice early techno and house records in NYC; I don't think they don't know how good they have it over there.
Ragtyme was a project produced by Marshall Jefferson and represents soulful deep house at its best. There is plenty of smooth with lots of edge to keep it interesting. This 12" was mixed by Frankie Knuckles and features remixes by Lil Louis and Ron Hardy.
This 1988 tune by Innercity reworked by Derrick May is an early techno masterpiece. It was produced by Kevin Saunderson.
Ragtyme - I Can't Stay Away (Ron Hardy's Club Mix)
Innercity - Big Fun (Mayday Re-Edit)
Scouting locally for FBA inventory can seem overwhelming at first, and rightly so. Large stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R US, Walgreens, and TJ Maxx have thousands of items. How do you know where to start? Your comfort level will grow as you become more experienced. Here are a few tips for learning what types of products to scan and consider for FBA.
Here are a few things I learned about how to scout for toys this past holiday season:
Go to Kmart, not just Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us. Kmart stores are dwindling � there aren�t as many as there used to be. You can often find products that are Kmart exclusives or other products not found in Walmart and Target. And many of your competitors won�t even have access to a Kmart.
Try some items priced $50 or higher. The more expensive an item is, the fewer competitors you will have. According to an informal survey on my Facebook group, 75% of the FBA sellers asked won�t pay more than $10 per item when buying inventory. So if you have the cash flow, and you are not terribly risk averse, try some high dollar products and see what happens. You may see a nice profit and a fast turnaround due to lack of competitors.
Scan items that have fewer quantities on the shelf. For example, maybe there is only 1 purple mermaid Barbie, but 7 yellow ones. This tells you that the purple one is more popular than the yellow, since shoppers may have purchased almost all of them. Or, maybe the store didn�t get as many of the purple because they are in shorter supply. If there is only 1 or two of a variation of a particular item left, this is a clue that the item may be a good seller. Over the 2011 holiday selling season, the pink Fijit sold for about $20 more than any other color. Also, the Pink Leapfrog Leap Pad sold for more than other colors, because not as many pink ones were produced. Look for things in short supply.
Listen to the shoppers around you. Listen to what the kids are asking their parents to buy. If you feel comfortable and it is appropriate, ask a question or two. For example, I was scanning a toy that has about 25 variations. A mom and her 5 year old came to that section and the child wanted a particular one. I asked the mom, �Do you know about this toy? Why is that particular one so popular?� The child actually answered, and said, �Because he is the hero and always saves everyone else.� And guess what. It was an $8 toy. The one the child wanted, that was out of stock, had a 5% ranking and sold for over $30. Listen to what is going on around you!
These are just a few of the things I learned over the holiday selling season. For a list of 16 FBA Toy Selling Tips based on my scouting adventures (and mistakes!), visit Online Selling Coach where a 1 month membership is only $14.95.
To learn more about selling on Amazon FBA, check out Kim Tarrant's and my book, Amazon Recipe for Success. Now is the time to start learning about Amazon FBA!
FBA Scout - Net Payout Column
What if an Item Has No Sales Rank on Amazon?
Proven Amazon Course
Sunday, February 12, 2012
The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards was a night of exhilarating performances, inspired tributes, and emotional acceptance speeches. Big winners included British singer Adele, veteran rockers the Foo Fighters, dubstep producer Skrillex and country superstar Taylor Swift.
Electronica artist Skrillex also had a big night, winning three awards. Skrillex -- real name Sonny Moore -- kept popping back up on the stage with utter excitement during the 2012 awards pre-telecast show, which featured the handing-out of the genre categories not covered by main telecast. The electronica artist/DJ picked up Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Dance Recording for "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" and its title track, respectively, on top of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for the song "Cinema" (in conjunction with Benny Benassi).
The first time up, Moore thanked the EDM communtiy. "All the boats rise at the water," he said, referring to electronic music. He described making his album in illegal warehouse space in L.A., smiling as his straight black hair bounded away from the shaved side of his head, black glasses matching the rest of his all-black-everything of his outfit.
21221222542 by YardieGoals
Tracklisting:01. ATFC - This Is Not A Test
02. Alex Justino, Renato Borges Ft. Janies - Get Over (Original Mix)
03. David Jones – Heya
04. Bass Fly - Do It Right, Yeah (Original Mix)
05. Analog People In A Digital World, Gramophonedzie & Ben Onono - Brassaholics (On The Floor) (Rogerseventytwo Remix)
06. Morgan Page feat. Tegan & Sara - Bodywork (Richard Dinsdale Remix)
07. Luca Cassani & Dario Maffia – Rrrock It! (Abel Ramos Remix)
08. Kaskade ft. Skylar Grey - Room For Happiness (Gregori Klosman Remix)
09. D.O.N.S. & Maurizio Inzaghi ft. Philippe Heithier - Searching For Love (Kosta Radman Remix)
10. Chris Lake - Build Up (Tommy Trash Edit)
11. Skrillex & The Doors - Breakn' A Sweat
12. Lunde Bros - If You Wanna (Original Mix)
13. Glow In The Dark - Lights Out (Original Mix)