Web

List prices be damned: Amazon reportedly showing only one price for products

Amazon Prime Day
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
Amazon is mainly known for offering relatively deep discounts on products, showing those discounted prices next to list prices. However, it seems that the world’s largest online retailer is doing away with such comparisons and will be only showing one price, reports the New York Times.

Used as a psychological tactic, putting discounted prices next to list prices tells customers that they are getting a bargain. The theory is that if customers see a product with a discounted price next to a list price, they are more likely to pounce and purchase the product.

“We’ve been conditioned to buy only when things are on sale,” said Truth In Advertising executive director Bonnie Patten. “As a result, what many retailers have done is make sure everything is always on sale. Which means nothing is on sale.”

As Patten mentioned, the problem with constantly putting products on sale is that customers cannot tell if something is a good deal when everything is on sale. This is an issue that Macy’s, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and others have either dealt with or are currently dealing with in court, thanks to lawsuits accusing retailers of fraudulent list prices that no one has ever paid.

As it relates to Amazon, out of 47 random discounted products the Times looked at in past articles, 39 of them no longer had list prices when recently checked. In the place of a list price was either white space or a previous price a product might have been listed under on Amazon.

Amazon has not said why it started making this change, though the prevailing thought seems to be that it wants to avoid lawsuits. A chief executive at a retail analytics firm believes that list prices are already on their way out; Amazon is simply expediting the process.

“Our data suggests that list prices are going away,” said Boomerang Commerce chief executive Guru Hariharan. “Amazon is a data-driven company with very few sacred cows. At the very least, it is conducting a store-wide test about whether it should change its pricing strategy.”

Given the company’s upcoming Prime Day, Amazon will continue to use discounts in some form as a means to sell products. At the same time, don’t be surprised if you see only one price for any given product.

Product Review

Alexa, annoy my neighbors! The Echo Sub brings the boom you've been missing

Amazon’s Echo Sub is aimed at Echo speaker owners looking to inject some room-moving bass into their smart speaker experience. We quickly learned that it’s a niche product, but one that does its odd job extremely well.
Deals

These 30 Amazon Coupons can help you save on the things you need

Did you know there are thousands of Amazon Coupons and promo codes that you can take advantage of? We found coupons for everything from tech to everyday products. Find out what savings you've been missing out on.
Computing

Corsair’s latest SSD boasts extremely fast speeds at a more affordable price

Despite matching and besting the performance of competing solid-state drives from Samsung and WD, the Corsair Force Series MP510 comes in at a much more affordable price. Corsair boasts extremely fast read and write speeds.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Mobile

Pixel 3, Home Hub, and Pixel Slate — our first look at all Google’s new devices

Google has taken the wraps off of a slew of new devices, including the Pixel 3 smartphones, Google Home Hub smart display, Google Pixel Slate tablet, and more. We were at the event, and took a ton of photos of all of Google's new products.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Mobile

PayPal will soon let you withdraw cash at Walmart, but there’s a catch

PayPal has teamed up with Walmart to allow its account holders to withdraw and deposit cash at the store. The service launches at all Walmart stores across the U.S. in early November, but there's a catch.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Computing

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.
Computing

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.
Computing

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Computing

Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says

New research from the "Do Not Track" features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their information targeted by specific ads based on their web histories and cookies.