Study: Online Shoppers Naive about Retail Prices

A study shows that most online shoppers are unaware of the fact that retailers charge different prices for different people, a practice whose PC term is “price customization”.

I realized this several years ago in a similar event as posted in the CNN story:

Amazon.com outraged some customers in September 2000 after one buyer deleted the electronic tags on his computer that identified him as a regular customer and noticed the price of a DVD changed from $26.24 to $22.74. The company said it was the result of a random price test and offered to refund buyers who paid the higher prices.

In effect, Amazon weasels were charging loyal customers higher pices. WTF?

To edumacate yourself, read Seventeen Facts American Shoppers Need to Know – But Don’t (PDF file).

2 thoughts on “Study: Online Shoppers Naive about Retail Prices”

  1. There’s an easy solution — delete your cookies before you buy anything. Or better yet, don’t buy from Amazon — they’re bunch of crooks anyway…

    I wonder how Kevin feels about his beloved Amazon over his hatre for Costco. At least Costco is upfront about their membership fee and they hit you once a year while Amazon does it behind your back EVERYTIME you shop there… hmmm!

  2. Hmmm…it also reminds me of a case study about Priceline.com. People assume that Priceline is REALLY bargaining for them when getting them tickets…what they were (I don’t know for sure if they still are, but it wouldn’t surprise me) really doing was matching what someone offered vs. a contracted rate between the airline and Priceline and pocketing the difference…a very simple business model yes? They made a mint off of ‘saving’ people money…(sigh)

    What was P.T. Barnums corollary? A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place…

    Erstwhile Doug

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