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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Today, ABC News Inc. revealed a rather disturbing story about amazon.com one fo americas top book sellers online. Acording to ABC amazon.com changes the price of items depending upon factors like, if you have an account with them, if you sign on to the site from a different computer, what you have purchased is the past, etc..

    Now when I heard this, I must say, I was a bit bothered. I don't like the idea of someone changing the price of something I'm buying simply because they think that I can pay more for it, then charging someone else a lower price for whatever reason.

    Does anyone know anything about the claims made in that news report or if this is really true? If so could you please explian. I know that this could be done technicaly, but I don't know why.

    Isaac
    [www.disegno.com]www.disegno.com[/url] -Coming Soon
    isaccofedele@yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    You don't fly much do you???

    Sounds like their trying to implement a type of airline pricing which is a mixture of supply and demand and booking agent whimsy.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  3. #3
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    What do you mean I don't fly much!? And since when did amazon start selling airline tickets?
    Isaac
    [www.disegno.com]www.disegno.com[/url] -Coming Soon
    isaccofedele@yahoo.com

  4. #4
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    Here are some articles about what Amazon was doing.

    BBC News Site
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_914000/914691.stm

    Amazon Business News
    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000913/bs/amazon_prices_1.html

  5. #5
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    Thanks, I found the story quite interesting and could not resist asking.

    If they really are doing this and it could be proved, they could be shut down under the comm act of 1992.

    Isaac
    [www.disegno.com]www.disegno.com[/url] -Coming Soon
    isaccofedele@yahoo.com

  6. #6
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I didn't say they were selling airline tickets.

    Airline tickets are priced by several factors including:
    • How much your willing to pay as seen by your past payment history.
    • How frequently you fly with the same airline
    • What time of day you buy your ticket
    • What day of the week you buy your ticket
    • How many seats are left, not only on that flight but on all flights for that day of your trip.
    • Number of Frequent Flyer Miles.
    • Finally by the class of ticket you buy


    The chances of there being two people on a flight that paid the same price for a ticket are really small.

    Going by the list above you can see that Amazon is trying to apply airline pricing to their products. Personally I don't see how it is illegal, there is no law that says you have to charge each customer the same price or reward frequent customers with potential discounts and special offers. Nor is there a law prohibiting them from offering new customers a larger discount while excluding established customers.

    Different Industries do it all the time. Examples of "Join now for 12 months and get 3 months free" are seen on Web Hosting companies everywhere. Go into a department store and get a credit card and they will give you 10% off your first purchase with it.

    If you want to pay lower prices simply delete your amazon.com cookies. Or set Internet Explorer up to ignore cookies from that site.

    [Edited by wluke on 09-28-2000 at 07:07 AM]
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Amazon is just doing price research. Anyone who buys a book for a higher price will get a refund in the mail so that they really paid the cheapest price available.

    Besides amazon already has very cheap prices.

    And don't think they're so evil. If a big national corporation approached you about doing a website for them which is exactly the same as the website you did for a local small business, ie takes the same amount of work, would you charge them the same knowing the small business had a budget of 1000's and the corporation of millions or billions?

    Chris

  8. #8
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    About 2 weeks ago Amazon.com apologized, refunded the difference for anyone who paid more, and said it was a mistake (uh huh sure) and that they would never do it again.

    Owen

  9. #9
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    Thanks Wayne, I misunderstood you.

    I don't have any source to back up what I'm saying, but it seems to me that if someone is being charged more and not being refunded there is something shady going on here. It's not as though amazon is just giving someone a discount for becoming a member or purchaseing a certian item, but they are changing the prices at random. Does that not seem a bit shady to any of you?
    Isaac
    [www.disegno.com]www.disegno.com[/url] -Coming Soon
    isaccofedele@yahoo.com

  10. #10
    Idea Developer
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    I think they are waking up and smelling the coffee, and they know from what they can make money, and from what they can, and do stuff just to attrackt more poeple. I think although anoying if you look at it from their point of view, genius
    Professional PHP programing / Hosting
    aim: downtoi3iz icq: 74637813

  11. #11
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    We can't blame them though. After all they gave us a great service for a couple of years, and they were not making any money. I don't mind Amazon making money, and I will carry on buying from them as long as they are cheaper than the High Street.


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