Published December 08, 2010
Welcome to On Sale at FOX Business, where we look at cool stuff and insane bargains.
Give a gift card, or just sell one. Google’s got books. Amazon wants you to try reading on the Web. And Visa has a new way to pay wirelessly.
Two to Tango
Want to give someone a gift card, but have no idea where they’d prefer to spend the extra cash? Check out Tango Card, a gift card that can be used at a variety of stores. The retailers participating in Tango include Target, (TGT) Amazon, Gap (GPS), Home Depot, Nike, Pottery Barn, REI, Starbucks, and Zappos, to name a few. For a full list, click here.
Tango card users can buy what they want, and then use the remaining balance to contribute to a number of charities, from Habitat for Humanity to the National Park Foundation. And those who want to keep tabs on their card balance can download the free Tango iPhone app and store the balance online for cyber-shopping sprees.
And, if you find yourself getting a few unwanted gift cards this holiday, you do have options to redeem them for cash, or find the one you want at a discount. Check out Gift Card Rescue,Plastic Jungle, and Cardpool.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its very own e-bookstore this week, aptly called “Google E-books.”
Many of the more than 3 million e-books are free, and available for any device that operates a Web browser. Google E-books gives users access to books from its own store in addition to other online vendors that sell EPUB and PDF-formatted literary works. Sony e-reader users, Nook fans, iPad and iPhone owners, and those who carry Android devices can download the app now. Peruse Google’s extensive collection, searching by subject, “Best Of” lists, or price, here.
Amazon (AMZN) responded to Google’s (GOOG) book bid with a new Kindle for Web app. Now Kindle for Web users can read entire books online, without downloading or installing anything. (Before today they could only read a few chapters.)
That’s good news for readers, and now there’s also good news for writers. Amazon says third-party booksellers and self-published authors can sell content and allow their readers to read content via widgets on their own sites. Sellers also have the chance to earn referral fees through Amazon’s Associates Program for the sales made on their sites. Kindle for the Web supports Chrome OS devices, and also uses HTML5. Check it out here.
Pay on the Go
Visa (V) and DeviceFidelity just released its microSD payment service for those who like to pay via mobile phone.
Visa’s In2Pay works with Blackberry Bold 9650, iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3G, and the Samsung Vibrant Galaxy 5. All that is needed ito use the service is a microSD card, which can be plugged into the phone’s memory slot. (iPhone users without such a slot can use specially-designed cases to make the payment program work.)