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This Week in Consumer News: The NOOK Is Not Dead, Google Maps Get Waze

Published
By Stephanie Sarno, dealnews Features Assistant

Tired of being bombarded with a constant flow of unimportant information day in and day out? We're here to help sort through all the noise; like a real life cheat sheet, this handy roundup of consumer news from the past week highlights what's important for savvy shoppers to know. While some of these stories are just outright amusing, in many ways they can also help keep your wallet happy, too.

  • The NOOK Is Here to Stay
    Lovers of the NOOK eBook reader can breathe a sigh of relief. The president of Barnes & Noble says that despite recent rumors, the company will continue to produce NOOK devices, and there is at least one new NOOK model being released for the upcoming holiday season. [CNET]

  • Xbox One Ready to Launch with 23 Games
    The Xbox One will debut with 23 games that are sure to please gamers who love some action (Call of Duty: Ghosts), sports fans (Madden NFL 25), and fitness buffs (Zumba Fitness: World Party). [Engadget]

  • Will Facebook Become the Next PayPal?
    Facebook will soon be testing a payment option that will let shoppers sign-in to make purchases on participating e-commerce apps via their Facebook login credentials. This new payment method will compete with other digital payment systems, especially PayPal, but will people actually trust Facebook with their credit card information? [AllThingsD]

  • Turn an iPhone into Cash at Walmart
    Now offering a "Gadgets to Gift Cards" program, Walmart customers can trade in old electronics — including iPhones, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy S3s — for eGift cards that can be redeemed online or in-store. The key difference with Walmart's offer, compared to other stores that offer trade-in credits, is that a user can opt for the instant option and receive the voucher before even sending in the device. Keep in mind though that if Walmart deems the device to be in a lesser condition than what was originally claimed on the trade-in forms, the retailer might deduct from the user credit — which might means you end up owing the store, if you already spent the cash. [CNET]

  • IKEA Continues to Go Green
    IKEA is becoming a leader in self-supplying renewable energy with its most recent investment in a wind farm in Ireland. This location supplies enough power to run both of its stores in Belfast and Dublin, and will become part of the company's 100+ wind farms and 39 solar panel powered facilities. [Forbes]

  • Will eBay Become Everyone's New Personal Shopper?
    So you don't have time to go to the store and you don't want to dish out the money for a personal shopper, but you'd love someone's fashion advice? Well, it looks like eBay may soon be able to help you out. eBay's Fashion Gallery and Dressipi's fashion stylists are offering a personalized "Fashion Fingerprint" for shoppers based on their size, shape, and brand preference. The six-month pilot will only launch in the UK at first, but fingers crossed that it'll make its way across the pond soon. [The Retail Bulletin]

  • Best Buy in Dire Need of a Turnaround
    In an attempt to bolster sales and mend customer relations, Best Buy has turned to lowering prices and updating its not-so-up-to-date website, which has often failed to provide detailed product descriptions and reviews, or to produce relevant search results. The retailer hopes to make changes to enhance the user experience within the next six months or so. [Wall Street Journal]

  • EA Now Allows You to Return Video Games
    Many gamers haven't been too happy about the recent sharing restrictions placed on titles and consoles, but they will definitely be happy about EA's new offer. Its Origin Store now offers a "great game guarantee" that lets customers return any games they may be unhappy with. However, there's a time limit: it must be returned within 24 hours from the game's first launch, or seven days from the initial purchase. Additionally, there's a clause against refund abuse, so trying to beat every game you buy within a day, just so you can return it, is a futile goal. [Engadget]

  • Google Maps Becomes Even More Handy
    Waze, an app that allows users to report incidents and upload pictures of them, is now integrated in Google Maps. These incident reports appear on maps, and can help others find out about construction, accidents, and road closures before sitting in traffic. [Life Hacker]

  • Overstock Now Matches Amazon Book Prices
    In an attempt to keep its book prices in line with Amazon, Overstock is now matching the prices of all of Amazon books. Overstock customers don't submit tickets for price-matching requests, though; the O has hired a company to monitor Amazon book prices three times a day and adjust Overstock's prices accordingly. [Wall Street Journal]

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Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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