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You know how when you shop on Amazon there is a price and a then a “list price” which is usually much higher?
The effect is that you feel like you’re getting a big discount shopping on Amazon.
It turns out Amazon might be publishing list prices that are too high.
Mouse Print first noticed the problem with an array of general consumer products such as Kraft’s Mac & Cheese and a 100-count box of Splenda.
As if this afternoon, most of these prices have been fixed, except for a ton of pet food items.
Take for example the dog treats you see above. The retail value of one Merrick Flossies is approximately $4, making a 50-count supply valued at no more than $200. Yet Amazon claims the list price stands at a whopping $422.89, more than doubled what it should cost.
We tried to contact Amazon for comments, but did not receive a response.
The incident reminds us of last year when Amazon listed a seemingly normal book about flies for $23,698,655.93. Biologist Michael Eisen blogged about the unrealistic selling price, and documented how Amazon’s price for the book The Making of a Fly constantly went up day after another.
Here’s what happened: A professor required this book for a class and students naturally flocked to Amazon to purchase the text. Eventually, only two sellers still had the product available.
Because the book quickly became an exclusive, hot ticket item, Amazon’s algorithm for retailers to competitively price their product catapulted the retail value to more than $23 million.
We’re not sure if this is the same situation with the pet food offerings on the site, but it seems hard to believe the world is running out of doggie treats.
Deli Cat Dry Cat Food
Ok, we know having pets can be expensive but you can’t fool us, Amazon.
Higgins Celestial Blend Bird Food
Who can resist 89 percent off retail list price? Only ten left in stock!
Redbarn Filled Bone – Peanut Butter
Dog foods are getting so fancy these days, but at $6.70, the bone’s a steal.
iPhone/Android: This Saturday, December 10 would be a good day to go shopping. Amazon’s offering 5% off (up to $5) for select items if you barcode scan them using its Price Check app; the offer can be used three times.
To get the discount, you’ll need to check prices on a qualifying item in one of these categories: Electronics, toys, sports, music, and DVDs. After putting it in your shopping cart with the Price Check App, you’ll have 24 hours to buy it (you can do it from the Amazon website or other Amazon apps) and get the 5% discount automatically applied.
As we’ve noted before Amazon Price Check is a really versatile price checking app you can use to look up products using your voice, photos, barcodes, or old-fashioned text search.
The promotion starts at 9pm PST December 9 and runs through 11:59pm PST December 10. So go download the app by the weekend, if you haven’t already.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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