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Scott Shepherd
12-08-2015, 9:27 AM
What in the world is going on with their pricing for the holidays? I'm seeing crazy, crazy inflated list prices on things just popping up recently. I have a number of products I've followed and bought in the past so I have a decent idea on the pricing. Some things I bought as recently as 2 weeks ago and I tend to watch them to some degree. On black Friday I bought an item that was showing a list price of $89, but it was on sale for $49. Great deal right? Well, upon showing it to a family member, they decided they'd like to get one for someone. I look it up to send them the link. List price? $159.99 now. The interesting thing is that I was watching this item about a month ago when I was researching the category, so I'm well aware of what the price has been for a while now, and it's always been $89 list price and normally selling for $59.

Another item I have personally bought a number of are the battery packs for charging devices. They make good gifts for tech people. I bought 3 of them last year, with the larger one being listing for about $60, on sale for about $40 at the time. The prices on those things has been falling and I bought a smaller one, same brand, about 3 months ago for less than $15. On Amazon right now, they $129.95 list price, marked down to $22.49.

I've been watching it with interest in the last two weeks and it looks like a lot of people are inflating their list prices to crazy levels, then offering things at the same price they've been offering them for all along.

Be careful if you are shopping Amazon this holiday. The "deals" aren't what they look like by any means, on many products.

roger wiegand
12-08-2015, 9:36 AM
'Twas ever thus. A time-worn retail strategy, now automated and variable in real time using "big data" pricing optimization algorithms. 'Caveat emptor' has not stopped being true.

Have you ever looked at a number of items on Amazon and then found that the price had increased when you returned to one of the first choices you looked at? They know you'll pay a little more after you've shopped and appear to be ready to commit to a purchase.

Pat Barry
12-08-2015, 10:09 AM
'Twas ever thus. A time-worn retail strategy, now automated and variable in real time using "big data" pricing optimization algorithms. 'Caveat emptor' has not stopped being true.

Have you ever looked at a number of items on Amazon and then found that the price had increased when you returned to one of the first choices you looked at? They know you'll pay a little more after you've shopped and appear to be ready to commit to a purchase.
I have been told by multiple folks that airline seat pricing works the same way. Its best for that to check pricing, availability, etc on one computer and order from a different one

Myk Rian
12-08-2015, 10:11 AM
Shop on Ebay.

Dimitrios Fradelakis
12-08-2015, 10:37 AM
Shop on Ebay. Agreed. A lot of eBay members also use Amazon when you buy from eBay. Just a few weeks ago I purchased a larger needle and fluid cap from a member on eBay. They in turn purchased it off Amazon and had it sent to me. I guess if you have Amazon prime it's worth it. They can list X amount of items on eBay and never have to make a trip to the post office or deal with the items directly.

Scott Shepherd
12-08-2015, 11:05 AM
I don't think it's going to impact my buying from Amazon. Their service is still second to none in my opinion. I also know they don't control the pricing, their suppliers do in most cases. And in the end, it's not the sell price that's changing, it's only the crossed our MSRP that makes you think you're getting a better deal than you are, it just seems to have gone bonkers in the last week or so.

I saw a 16GB micro SD card which normally run about $15 on sale for $5. The MSRP was $189. They are $15 or so all day long, everywhere, if not cheaper. If they said MSRP was $35, it would probably have been about right, but $189 for a 16GB memory card? That's not even the MSRP for 128GB stick.

Wes Mitchell
12-08-2015, 11:11 AM
It's the same thing Kohl's does with clothes. Just inflate the MSRP and it makes people think they're getting the deal of a lifetime. 70% off sounds a lot better than 20% off, even if the final price is $5.99 either way.

Mike Lassiter
12-08-2015, 11:25 AM
and the grocery stores do the same thing. Someone not knowing any better will think it's a good deal until next week when the "on sale" price tag is gone and the normal price is again posted. Deception seems to be the new marketing stradigy.

Kevin Russell
12-08-2015, 4:21 PM
I was in the middle of adding items to my amazon cart where you had to buy ship from and sold from amazon items to get the combo deal. I'm about to click the button to complete the purchase when It shows a message that one of the items I had in my cart is no longer available and was replaced with one from another seller. I go searching for the original listing and it's still available but it's now $9.95 more then 2 minutes prior.

I've also had the same thing happen above where I purchased an item from ebay and it was shipped to me from Amazon from a different seller. I always search for an item I'm purchasing on multiple sites before buying to make sure I'm getting the best and correct price so I know the ebay item was $3 cheaper at the time. Immediately after the shipment arrived, I checked amazon and it was $2 cheaper than ebay.

A lot of sellers will raise the price to an outrageous amount when the item is out of stock instead of having to go through the process of relisting.

Brian Elfert
12-08-2015, 4:47 PM
Amazon's list prices have always been a joke. I pay no attention to the list price or the supposed savings off of list price. All I care about is the price I actually have to pay. I just ordered a series of parts for my Toro mower. I ended up ordering from several different places to get the best price. Two of the parts I found at half the price on either Amazon or Ebay.

I was at Menards this weekend. They had an advertised price on an item. I looked at the regular price tag under the "sale" price tag and the advertised price was the same as the regular price! What a deal!

Ken Fitzgerald
12-08-2015, 4:58 PM
It's a common retail practice in brick and mortar stores and it would not surprise me if it happens at Amazon.

Airline ticket prices are extremely terrible about it. I have logged on.....got prices.....started looking at different routes because times for transfers at some airports can be a concern. By the time I checked, those ticket prices have increased and I hadn't even logged off yet..............

Like Brian, I only worry about what I actually end up paying.

Harry Hagan
12-09-2015, 7:39 PM
Scott,

I've used this website to track prices and receive alerts on Amazon products when they drop to a price I've established.

http://camelcamelcamel.com/

Dave Lehnert
12-09-2015, 9:00 PM
How about Amazon prime.
$99 year and get free two day shipping.
I am not a Prime member. I placed and order Sunday night. My order showed I would not receive it till Sunday (Week later) Guess what was on my door step today 3 days later?

Art Mann
12-09-2015, 9:17 PM
If someone pays $99 for Prime, then two day shipping isn't free. It cost $99 per year.

William Adams
12-09-2015, 9:59 PM
Amazon Prime also affords access to Amazon’s video library, as well as book lending, so if one views the membership as paying for that, then the shipping can be rationalized as a free bonus.

Garth Almgren
12-10-2015, 3:12 PM
Amazon Prime also affords access to Amazonís video library, as well as book lending, so if one views the membership as paying for that, then the shipping can be rationalized as a free bonus.
That's how I look at it. $8.25 a month for Amazon Prime video (fairly on par with Netflix) - the shipping and ebook library are bonuses.

I do end up buying more than if I didn't have the 2 day shipping I think; sometimes it's easier to order it online and get it two days later than it would be to drive into town and find out that the brick & mortar stores are out of stock.

Kev Williams
12-10-2015, 6:29 PM
I've always loved (hated?) devious marketing strategies...

Back when we were in high school (talkin' the early 70's here!) my friend and neighbor worked for the grocery store, which was at the end of our street less than a block away. One evening I went in, and he was making a tuna-fish can pyramid.
"That looks like fun!" I says--
"Yeah, Nick's having another one of his 'sales', and I gotta work late stacking cans."
"So, 3 for $.79, is that good?"
"Well, every time he makes a can pyramid he sells out the same day!"
"So, what's the regular price?"
"$.25 a can..."

Chris Padilla
12-10-2015, 9:03 PM
"There's a sucker born every minute."

It all comes down to understanding human behavior and psychology. The best marketers know what makes most humans tick and they go right for it.

Kev's example above is classic and happens all the time. $0.25/can is not as enticing or exciting as 3 for $0.99! Also the buy 2 for $4 when you can get 1 for $2 if you read the tag for a couple seconds. They compel folks to simply buy more.

Then there is the $99.99 item that is really just $100 but you'll sell more and your product will seem cheaper if you list it at the annoying XX.99 price instead of a penny higher.

Brian Elfert
12-11-2015, 2:15 AM
I've always loved (hated?) devious marketing strategies...

Back when we were in high school (talkin' the early 70's here!) my friend and neighbor worked for the grocery store, which was at the end of our street less than a block away. One evening I went in, and he was making a tuna-fish can pyramid.
"That looks like fun!" I says--
"Yeah, Nick's having another one of his 'sales', and I gotta work late stacking cans."
"So, 3 for $.79, is that good?"
"Well, every time he makes a can pyramid he sells out the same day!"
"So, what's the regular price?"
"$.25 a can..."

This reminds me of the "sale" the merchantile on Little House on the Prairie had on one episode of the show. The merchantile had advertised in the newspapers of the day a 30% or 40% off sale and the store was swamped with customers. The trick was they had increased prices 40% or 50% so they were making more money than on a normal day. Obviously, Little House of the Prairie was a TV show, but this has happened in real life many times too.

Chris Padilla
12-11-2015, 2:19 PM
Yep...double the prices and then have a 50% off sale. Sneaky to the unsuspecting.

paul cottingham
12-11-2015, 3:08 PM
I don't think it's going to impact my buying from Amazon. Their service is still second to none in my opinion. I also know they don't control the pricing, their suppliers do in most cases. And in the end, it's not the sell price that's changing, it's only the crossed our MSRP that makes you think you're getting a better deal than you are, it just seems to have gone bonkers in the last week or so.

I saw a 16GB micro SD card which normally run about $15 on sale for $5. The MSRP was $189. They are $15 or so all day long, everywhere, if not cheaper. If they said MSRP was $35, it would probably have been about right, but $189 for a 16GB memory card? That's not even the MSRP for 128GB stick.

Amazon, like Walmart, tightly control their pricing. They tell vendors what they will "pay" for their products, and leave it up to the vendor tomset a price. This allows everyone to pretend it is a sale. I remain unimpressed by their tactics, and have never been in a Walmart nor have i ever bought anything on Amazon. And i am in their key demographic, not well off financially. If they are the only ones selling it, or selling it cheap enough, we dont need it. (Not saying anything about anyone, just a deeply held,deeply personal belief.)