Buying Books

When asked what I want as a gift for the holidays, I often give out a number of book titles. I love to read, or at least listen to audio books on the way to work.

So the question becomes – print, e-book, or audio book?

I usually tell them to surprise me, since all those types work for me! (But honestly, I prefer a printed book. For me, it’s a sensory delight to be able to touch, smell, and see something in book form.)

According to pewresearch.org, about three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 67% of Americans having read a print book in the past year.

Relatively few Americans consume digital books – which include audiobooks and e-books – and not read print books, according to pewresearch.org. Just 7% of Americans said they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months. In particular, 10% of 18- to 29-year-olds only read books in digital formats, compared with 5% of those ages 50-64 and 4% of those 65 and older, according to pweresearch.org.

So, how many books have you read in the past year?

Have you purchased print, e-book, and/or audio books in the past 12 months? If so, what do you usually buy?

Do you prefer to read e-books or print books or listen to audio books?

Let us know!

Record Your Book Purchases
So if you buy a book, e-book reader, or audio book as a gift (or for yourself!), please remember to scan the purchase.

Many books have UPC barcodes. However, don’t scan any store barcodes that may have been placed on the book; only scan the UPC barcode.

Happy shopping!

 

Not an NCP member yet? Sign up at join.ncponline.com.

 

Holiday Shopping – In Store Or Online?

Thursday is Thanksgiving – Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And then the real fun begins: Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales!

Will you be out early on Friday, or even late on Thursday, looking for the best deals? Or are you waiting for Monday and hitting up some Cyber Monday sales? Or doing both? Tell us all about it!

As you know, this week is when the holiday gift-giving season really gets rolling. In fact, this holiday weekend shopping is expected to be bigger than ever, with 74% of Americans planning to spend on either Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to finder.com.

The average adult is expected to spend $483.18 this holiday shopping weekend, which equates to $90.14 billion — up $30.57 billion from 2017’s spending of $59.57 billion, according to finder.com.

And who says men aren’t shoppers? At least for the holidays they are. (you can include my husband in that category!) According to finder.com, some 77% of men say they plan to shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, versus 71% of women. In addition, men are expected to spend nearly double that of women, budgeting an average $626.44, compared with $342.50 for women.

Now for you Black Friday shoppers, here is some interesting info from blackfriday.com (yes, there’s actually a website dedicated to Black Friday!):

  • In 2017, 11% of Black Friday shoppers started shopping before 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Another 11% began at 6 p.m. An additional 25% started at 10 a.m. or later on Black Friday itself.
  • During Black Friday weekend 2017, 64 million shopped both online and in stores; 58 million shopped only online and 51 million shopped only in stores.
  • In 2017, Black Friday was the most popular day for in-store shopping (77 million shopped in store on Black Friday 2017).
  • Heading into Black Friday 2017, consumers said they were looking for deals on the following: Tablets/laptops/PCs/TVs (27%); clothing (24%); smart-home gadgets (15%); toys (15%); gift cards (11%); and travel (8%).

If you’ve ever wondered where the terms Black Friday and Cyber Monday came from, here’s a little history lesson, from skimlinks.com: “Black Friday” was first used to describe the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy in the 1960s by newspapers in Philadelphia. At the time, the newspapers felt the massive crowds in stores and insanity in the aisles were comparable to the original “Black Friday”: a stock-market panic that followed the collapse of the price of gold on September 24, 1864.

Cyber Monday, meanwhile, was a pure marketing term created in 2005, to take advantage of the growing online shopping market.

OK, so whether you shop in a store or online, please remember to record all of your holiday shopping purchases. And take special care recording your online purchases (since we know you’ll be doing a lot of Cyber Monday shopping! LOL).

Here are our best tips for recording online purchases.

  • Online purchases may come in one or multiple shipments and don’t always include a packing receipt. Consider printing out your email/order confirmation so you can refer back to it when reporting your purchase.
  • If your items do come separately, please scan them as you receive them.
  • If an item arrives with the UPC barcode covered by another label, try carefully peeling off that label and scanning the UPC barcode on the item (or manually enter the barcode number if the barcode is damaged).
  • If you buy something from the website of a retailer that also has a storefront, make sure to report the trip as an online purchase. For example, if you order something from Walmart’s website, select “Walmart .com” when you record the purchase (whether the item was shipped directly to you or picked up at the store).

Have a very happy holiday, and I hope your holiday shopping experience is a good one!

Honoring Our Veterans

Sunday, November 11, is traditional Veterans Day, although it will be officially observed on Monday, November 12. As I’m sure you know, this holiday is dedicated to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

So we all need to make sure to honor the veterans for their great service to this great country!

Important! If you are a veteran, or if you know a vet, please make sure to take advantage of the many free or discounted meals and services for this holiday. See the links at the end of this blog posting.

Here are some interesting facts from history.com:

  • 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2014, three states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

Veterans and active duty service members – Please visit these websites and see all the offers that are available to you:

Discounts and Veterans Day deals:
militarybenefits.info/miscellaneous-discounts-veterans-day-deals-veterans/

National Restaurant Veterans Day deals:
militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/

Local area promotions, categorized by state:
militarybenefits.info/local-area-veterans-day-deals-for-veterans/

Additional website listings of Veterans Day offers:
www.veteransadvantage.com/blog/discounts-benefits/veterans-day-2018-food-freebies-veterans-and-active-duty-personnel-part-i

themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/

Thank you, and have a great weekend!

NCP Named One Of The Top Places To Work On Long Island!

We’re very proud to announce that we’ve been named a 2018 Top Workplace by Newsday!

(Newsday is a daily newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island.)

We’re thrilled to have been included on the list, and thankful to all our associates, who made this possible.

The list of winners is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few, according to Energage, the company that administered the survey.

“Top Workplaces is more than just recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover, and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”

Again, we are thrilled by this designation!

We want to thank all our NCP associates, as well as our panel members, who’ve helped us become a better company.

Have a great weekend!

Get Out And Vote!

As I’m sure you’re aware, the midterm elections are on Tuesday, November 6. I have just one request: Please vote!

I think we’ve seen how much an election can change things; so no matter which side of the political aisle you’re on, it’s so important to go vote. If your state has early voting, get out there now! (Unfortunately, New York State, where I live, does not have early voting.)

As an NCP member, you know how valuable your opinion is. Well, the same is true for elections. Your vote – along with the votes of your family, friends, and neighbors – can help determine the direction of the country.

Voter turnout in the United States can fluctuate, depending on the type of election. In recent presidential election years, about 60% of the voting eligible population votes, while about 40% votes during midterm elections, according to fairvote.org.

We are very fortunate to be able to vote. So, please exercise that right and pick whomever you believe will do the best job for your town/village, county, congressional district, state, and the country as a whole.

Here is some useful voting information:

Have a great weekend, and please remember to make your opinion count by voting!

Not an NCP member yet? Sign up at join.ncponline.com.