Amazon is the most popular online retailer in the world for a reason. Just a few clicks and you could have anything, from a new TV to a pair of pants, in a day or two. Better yet, it has the cheapest prices around. Or does it? A new study has shown that Amazon doesn't always have the best prices, but it does a good job tricking you into thinking it does.
Overall, the study found that the online marketplace harnesses the 'psychology of price perception' in buyers by making millions of individual price changes a day.
Boomerang Commerce found that Amazon will often lower prices on its most popular products but raise the price on less popular items at the same time. So, Amazon might offer huge savings on a popular item but price comparable models or products higher at the same time. That way, the online retailer appears to have the best price but still makes money.
When you make a big purchase such as a TV, odds are you're going to buy other accessories and items before you're done shopping. Boomerang Commerce found that Amazon has taken advantage of that in order to make it look like it has the best savings around.
Boomerang uses the example of a $350 (£230) Samsung TV that was discounted $250 (£165) on Black Friday.
But at the same time, Amazon increased the price of the HDMI cable needed for the TV, as the product would not change the price perception of the larger purchase.
The easiest way to make sure you're getting a deal is to price match every item you're going to buy before purchasing, not just the most expensive stuff. That way, you can whether or not you're really saving money.
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