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Old 09-19-2010, 04:03 PM   #1
loki8481
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Default how does amazon pricing work?

it's weird

I've had a usb dvd drive sitting in my shopping cart for months. put off buying it because I wasn't really using my netbook anymore, but I have been lately, so I decided that today would be the day I finally bought it.

did a search for slim external dvd drives just to see if anything better came out recently, and saw the same drive that was in my shopping cart for $47 listed as $40.

just to confirm, I clicked on the drive in my shopping card to compare model numbers and sure enough, same drive... but now that I've clicked on the burner from my cart, the exact same drive will only list at $47 (instead of the $40 that it was listing at 5 minutes prior). wth?

search results:



actual item page:

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Last edited by loki8481; 09-19-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Edited because I misunderstood: It may just be that Amazon's price changed in between refreshes...
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPickins View Post
Looks like it's $47 if you buy from Amazon. Click the "21 new" link to see the prices from other merchants (of which the lowest price I see is $36 with $8 shipping from Action123).
curse you, user error!

sometimes Prime seems like such a waste when the amazon price w/ prime is the same as a 3rd party's price w/ shipping.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loki8481 View Post
curse you, user error!

sometimes Prime seems like such a waste when the amazon price w/ prime is the same as a 3rd party's price w/ shipping.
See my edit. I'm not sure what I originally thought was the cause really is what happened.

Although, it is strange that DealBarn has it for exactly $40.05 like in the first pic...
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that if you place an item in your cart Amazon will "lock" that price for a short time. Probably only a few days. I guess they didn't update the information for you until you actually looked at the item again.

For keeping track of the price, just look at camel. Based on that, you probably looked late April. Since then it's changed price several times.

As Pickins said, Amazon displays the lowest price (price+shipping) on the main page. Sometimes a third party retailer will have a cheaper price than Amazon. So this is why the main page shows a non amazon merchant, though I'm guessing you already knew this part.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loki8481 View Post
curse you, user error!

sometimes Prime seems like such a waste when the amazon price w/ prime is the same as a 3rd party's price w/ shipping.
Well, you do get the two day shipping. Plus Amazon customer service. I'll generally stick with Amazon/fulfilled by Amazon unless their is a third party seller with a significantly cheaper price, which does happen.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loki8481 View Post
curse you, user error!

sometimes Prime seems like such a waste when the amazon price w/ prime is the same as a 3rd party's price w/ shipping.
Is the 3rd party going to get it to you in 2 days? You don't need Prime to get free shipping from Amazon, you only need it to get free 2 day shipping.

I've had Amazon Prime for several years and average more than one order a week. I think the only times I've bought from a third party that wasn't fulfilled by Amazon (with Prime) is when buying used books. It hasn't been my experience that I can save money by buying from third parties and paying for shipping.
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Last edited by mugs; 09-19-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terzo View Post
I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that if you place an item in your cart Amazon will "lock" that price for a short time. Probably only a few days. I guess they didn't update the information for you until you actually looked at the item again.
I didn't see this at all. I put a Kryptonite lock in my cart and it changed prices up and down (almost every day) over the week that it was in my cart.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugs View Post
I've had Amazon Prime for several years and average more than one order a week. I think the only times I've bought from a third party that wasn't fulfilled by Amazon (with Prime) is when buying used books. It hasn't been my experience that I can save money by buying from third parties and paying for shipping.
It happens, but you have to keep your eye open. If you're looking over a short time frame, then I'd agree with you.

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I didn't see this at all. I put a Kryptonite lock in my cart and it changed prices up and down (almost every day) over the week that it was in my cart.
Apparently I need to check my facts. I thought this was true, but don't really have any sources (just something I had heard). It seems your experience has proved me wrong.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:10 PM   #9
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I'm seeing $47.25 so they are not singling you out.

You do have to be careful about prices changing from the supplier being Amazon vs. someone else. When Amazon is out of stock they often switch automatically to another supplier who might be cheaper (but charge shipping).

I was shopping for a PS2 memory card and the main listed price varied from $6 - $15 over a few days depending on whether it was Amazon or someone else. Sadly the $6 cards were not genuine Sony. I've seen the same thing with games.

Last edited by DaveSimmons; 09-19-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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Amazon's prices do oscillate up and down quite wildly, I've found. If you watch an item its quite tricky to try and catch it when its at minimum price. It can change by +/- 25% back and forth over a couple of weeks, even ignoring third-party sellers.

I read that at one time they experimented with per-user pricing, so if you were logged in you saw a different price for the item than if you weren't, based on Amazon's calculations of how much you were likely to want it (based on your previous purchases and/or how frequently you had looked at that page). Don't know if this is true, but if it is I'm glad they dropped the idea.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmv View Post
I read that at one time they experimented with per-user pricing, so if you were logged in you saw a different price for the item than if you weren't, based on Amazon's calculations of how much you were likely to want it (based on your previous purchases and/or how frequently you had looked at that page). Don't know if this is true, but if it is I'm glad they dropped the idea.
I can see why they did drop it, as I don't see how that would end up well. If they would charge more for a frequently viewed item...well, if I'm not buying a the current price why would I pay more? And if they decreased cost based on how much you view it, it seems like that would be easily abusable (say, a script that refreshes the page continuously).
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugs View Post
Is the 3rd party going to get it to you in 2 days? You don't need Prime to get free shipping from Amazon, you only need it to get free 2 day shipping.

I've had Amazon Prime for several years and average more than one order a week. I think the only times I've bought from a third party that wasn't fulfilled by Amazon (with Prime) is when buying used books. It hasn't been my experience that I can save money by buying from third parties and paying for shipping.
Correct. Prime is also to ensure you get excellent handling from Amazon, not some merchant who may or may not answer e-mails or the phone, if they supply a number.

I'm betting the merchants adjust their price to match Amazon, not the other way around.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:27 PM   #13
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...4938792&sr=1-1

Prefer to wait until another day to buy some of the items in your Shopping Cart? Click the Save for later button that appears to the left of any item in your Shopping Cart. This will move the title below the cart, to a list of saved items that you may buy in the future. Click the Move to cart button next to an item when you are ready to purchase it. Please note that if you move an item from an Amazon Marketplace seller to the Saved Items--To Buy Later portion of your cart, we cannot guarantee that the item will still be for sale when you are ready to buy it. Items in your Shopping Cart will always reflect the most recent price displayed on the item's product detail page. Please note that this price may differ from the price the item held when you first placed it in your cart.
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