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Amazon thrives on its frugality

Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 4:49 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this file photo made May 25, 2010, Amazon.com Inc. CEO and founder Jeff Bezos speaks during the company's shareholders meeting in Seattle. An undersea expedition spearheaded by Bezos used sonar to find what he said were the F-1 engines that helped boost the Apollo 11 mission to the moon located 14,000 feet deep in the Atlantic. In an online announcement Wednesday, March 28, 2012, the Amazon.com CEO and founder said he is drawing up plans to recover the sunken engines, part of the mighty Saturn V rocket that launched Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their moon mission.

Ted S. Warren, AP

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Amazon has gone from an online seller of books to technological behemoth partially because of consumer frugality, according to CNNMoney.

The prices of goods sold by the online giant can be as much as 13 percent less than competitors on and off the internet, according to the Chicago-based investment banking firm William Blair and Company. Amazon's sales add up to more than 20 percent of all U.S. online retail sales, and analysts expect the company to grow at a yearly rate of 20 percent, according to the article. That would add to the 160 million active users Amazon already has.

One Saturday in December 2011, Amazon gave customers using the company's free Price Check mobile app to compare the price of an item at a non-online store with Amazon.com's price, 5 percent off of the product, according to CNNMoney. Customer usage of the app tripled.

Being frugal is more than just a way to beat out the competition, it's one of Amazon's 14 leadership principles. The $48 billion company started saving tens of thousands on electricity by taking light bulbs out of vending machines in 2009, according to the article. That might not seem like a huge sum compared to the entire company's worth, but it shows that frugality is a big part of Amazon's mindset.

EMAIL: bbullock@desnews.com

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