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This Week in Consumer News: ZIP Code Scandal, Canon Warranties Extended

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By Stephanie Sarno, dealnews Features Assistant

More often than not, it pays to stay up to date with what's going on in the world of retail and consumer goods. For example, a recent study shows that men get distracted by flashy colors while shopping, which causes them to buy things that aren't actually good deals. Another report from last week suggests that the average price of iPhone apps is steadily dropping — but that might not be a good thing for your wallet in the long run. For more information on how you can remain an informed shopper, read our consumer news roundup!

  • Urban Outfitters in the Wrong for Collecting Customer ZIP Codes?
    A Virginia law firm filed an accusation last month claiming that Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are illegally requiring customers to provide their ZIP code at checkout when paying with a credit card. The complaint claims that these sister companies use the ZIP codes to gain other customer information, which is purportedly contributing to identity fraud.
    [BuzzFeed]

  • Canon Extends Warranty on Refurbished DSLR Cameras
    As a Canon user notes in the Rumors Forum, the camera manufacturer has increased the warranty length on its factory-refurbished DSLR cameras and lenses; previously, these items received a 90-day warranty, but that has been extended to a full year, thus quadrupling the amount of time that these refurbished goods remain under warranty. [Canon Rumors Forum]

  • iPhone App Prices Will Continue to Drop
    According to mobile analytics firm Flurry, as of April of this year, 90% of all iPhone apps are free and ad-supported. iOS app developers will continue to shrink prices because there is a high demand for apps that users don't have to pay for. However, this likely means that you'll be expected to make in-app purchases all the more too. [GigaOM]

  • Retailers Decrease Inventory for Back-to-School Sales
    This season, it seems as though retailers are ordering less inventory than usual. Data from China reveals that orders haven't shrunk this quickly since September 2012. It is safe to say that many retailers are ordering more conservatively to avoid leftover inventory. [Reuters]

  • High-End Retail Depends on Revenue from Outlet Branches
    Instead of opening additional department stores, many high-end retailers like Bloomingdale's and Saks are instead expanding their outlet arms. These ventures are relatively more profitable because outlets don't offer the department store glam atmosphere and customer service. But while outlet stores will most likely benefit retailers in terms of revenue, these high-end stores face the challenge of keeping their customers who are willing to pay higher prices away from the outlets. [BusinessWeek]

  • Full-Page Ads Now on Foursquare
    Foursquare has gone full-blown ad happy. The location-based social networking site has begun rolling full-page ads that appear after a user checks in at specific locations. But it's not all bad: these in-app ads often immediately offer a coupon or a suggestion that is relevant to that location. [The Verge]

  • IMDb App Now Offers Option to Purchase Movie Tickets
    IMDb recently overhauled its iOS and Android apps to incorporate an all-important function: users can now purchase movie tickets right from their mobile devices, much like now-competitor Fandango. [CNET]

  • Share an Über Cab Ride
    Über, the on-demand transportation app, released a new feature last month that allows users to split fares with another other passenger by simply inviting friends from their contact list via text. [TechCrunch]

  • Flashy Colors Attract Men, Not Women
    Recent studies show that, when it comes to deals, men pay more attention to color not the price. The Journal of Retailing claims that men tend to assume that something marked in red is a bargain, while women are more likely to read the fine print. [The Consumerist]

  • Ways to Find Additional Discounts at Costco
    Beyond buying in bulk and using wholesale club coupons when they're available, there's a secret to scoring even better deals at Costco and its ilk — and it's staring you in the face. The numbers and codes on price tags actually indicate a variety of things, from markdowns to discontinued items, to information regarding restocking. Pro tip: if a price ends in $0.97, you're likely looking at a markdown. [LifeHacker]

Follow @dealnews on Twitter for the latest roundups, price trend info, and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.
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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4 comments
dealnews-Lindsay
@daddyslipdisk Three of the four authors for the report were men.
daddyslipdisk
Only a woman would report that "men get distracted by flashing colors while shopping". I guarantee that the study doesn't exist and if it is, I guarantee it's written by a woman.
dealnews-Lindsay
@bilboBagit Thanks! High five!
bilboBagit
I like this Roundup
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