Will Amazon Tweak Make It Harder to Spot Deals?

Amazon.com
Hadrian / Shutterstock.com

You may not have noticed, but your Amazon shopping experience is changing.

The e-commerce giant appears to be eliminating list prices from product descriptions, according to a recent New York Times report that cites pricing specialists. Amazon did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment.

Michael Kovarik, who runs a comparison-pricing startup called Rout, tells the New York Times that his analysis indicates Amazon has been regularly eliminating more list prices, also known as manufacturer’s suggested retail prices.

According to Kovarik, as much as 70 percent of products are unaccompanied by list prices now — compared with about 29 percent in early May.

Guru Hariharan, chief executive of the retail analytics firm Boomerang Commerce, notes that “Amazon is a data-driven company with very few sacred cows.”

Larry Compeau, a Clarkson University professor of consumer studies, explains to the Times:

“When Amazon began 21 years ago, the strategy was to lose on every sale but make it up on volume. It was building for the future, and the future has arrived. Amazon doesn’t have to seduce customers with a deal because they’re going to buy anyway.”

So now, Compeau continues, Amazon is “trying to figure out what product categories have customers who are so tied into the Amazon ecosystem that list prices are no longer necessary.”

The New York Times also notes that Amazon’s experimentation with list prices comes amid dozens of consumer lawsuits over apparently inflated discounts stemming from manipulation of so-called list prices.

As we recently reported, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s all have been sued for allegedly misleading bargain-hunting customers. To learn more about how you can avoid falling for such pricing strategies, check out “Retail’s Biggest Ripoff Parades as a Buying Opportunity.”

What’s your take on Amazon’s pricing system? If the retailer removed list prices, would you shop at Amazon? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early
7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early

The sooner you claim your Social Security retirement benefits, the more you — and perhaps also your spouse — stand to lose. Here are the stakes.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You don’t need to hire a contractor or do extensive renovations to add value to your home.

It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things
It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things

Sometimes, the difference in quality makes it worthwhile to open your wallet a little wider.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories