“It’s discounted…just trust us”
This is a fascinating
The main thrust of the article?
Amazon is eliminating list prices from many product pages.
As a former retail manager, that seemed odd to me at first, especially for a discounter to do.
A number of people re-flipped the article from my free ILMK magazine at Flipboard so it has caught the attention of other people as well.
First, what are we discussing?
The “list price”, similar to the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is what the publisher suggest that the price of a book should be in a store (or online).
Nobody is mandated to use that price…it’s possible a book never sells for the list price, although small bookstores may certainly do it.
It’s valuable as a comparative measure…if the list price of a book is $20 and one store sells it for $20 and another sells it for $16, most people will feel like they are saving $4 by shopping at the discounter (and they are, if they have already committed to buying the book, and if the cost of buying it is the same…for example, the cost of gas is the same if you are going to a physical store).
One of Amazon’s three tenets is price (the other two are selection and customer service).
I decided to take a look at the
which I wrote about here:
I checked some of the tradpubbed (traditionally published books).
Interestingly, this is promoted as “up to 80% off”…but sure enough, I wasn’t seeing the list prices on the product places.
However, I could see it on the deals’ page, before I tapped on an individual title.
That means that if you get to the book, you can’t see how much Amazon could be saving you.
I think they may be experimenting with this, but how could it be a positive for them?
I suppose it could get people to stop thinking about price. That would give Amazon two advantages I could see.
If you aren’t thinking about price and list price, you aren’t thinking about the competitors.
That’s where I am with Amazon. I don’t tend to comparison shop any more: I just want to buy from Amazon. It’s so much easier…I trust them with my credit card information and shipping address. I can order right through our
just using my voice.
They don’t need to entice me based on a single discount.
I’m fine with that.
I’ll shop around if I’m not satisfied with Amazon’s price, but that would be the decision not to buy something from Amazon…I think price isn’t much influencing my decision to buy something.
The other thing is that, by not having a list price shown, it would make it easier for them to raise the price in the future. You would notice if a book went from $5 below list to $3, but you might not as easily notice a book going from $6.99 to $8.99.
Now, I’m not saying that’s the plan, but to me, this is a major shift away from Amazon promoting itself on the basis of being a discounter. It moves the more towards what I’ve said they want to be…the “infrastructure of the internet”.
What do you think? Does it bother you that Amazon might not show list prices? Do you think they’ll stay with and expand this strategy? Do you think of Amazon as a discounter now, and comparison shop before you buy something? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.