Exposing price discrimination in online shopping (Marketplace)

[ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Attention online
shoppers. The Black Friday special
you can’t afford to miss. On your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Imagine this. Three shoppers at
the same store, at the same time,
buying the same product. At the checkout,
the first shopper is charged $5. But the next
shopper pays just $3. And the last one, just $2. No one was using
coupons or loyalty points, so what’s up? If it doesn’t seem fair,
tell that to the internet. Our shoppers are about to hit
the web to help us investigate an emerging
trend in online sales. Retailers charging different
customers different prices for the same product,
all based on your personal data.>>I’m Ali Minton and
I rarely shop online.>>I’m Grant Leclerc. I regularly shop online
and I look for the best deals.>>I’m Nadia Rashwan. I almost only shop online.>>Charlsie: Okay, c’mon in
everybody. Grab a seat. Welcome, welcome. Our expert is
Jesse Hirsh. A tech guru who says price
discrimination is a way for online retailers to
make more money.>>This is about information. The more information they have
on an individual, the more they can prey upon your
needs or your desires to charge you something more for
something you really want, and maybe charge you
something less for something you’re on the fence about, as a way to persuade
you to make that purchase.>>Charlsie: So the bottom line,
you could be getting charged a different price for
the same product. I want to ask you guys, are you
willing to kind of give up some of your personal information if
it means you’re going to get a better price?>>Maybe in some
instances but not overall.>>Is it specifically
for that transaction? Is it for other purchases,
do they sell it?>>I am a private person and I
like to protect my information.>>Charlsie: So, how do
online retailers track your digital footprints? What kind of shopper you are? The websites you go to? Cookie anyone? A computer cookie is a small
file websites can place on your computer or smartphone. It allows them to pick up
certain information while you surf the web, so they
can target you with ads. For instance, I’m on wayfair.ca. I’m gonna go shopping for
new towels and I come across these blue
ones and I like ’em. But I’m not ready to
buy them just yet. Now I’m going to go check
out the latest news and when I get here, guess what? Wayfair is here too. Now they’re not the
only ones doing this, but it’s an example
of cookies in action. Retailers can also use this
information to judge what you’re willing to pay for something.>>Charlsie: All right. So you’ve all brought
with you a laptop, you’ve also brought
a cell phone, and that means you’ve also
brought with you all of your online personal history,
so that’s good news for us today because that’s exactly
what we want to test out. We’re gonna have you
look up hotel rooms, even a couple of rental cars,
we want you each to look at the same city for the same dates. The question is,
will you get the same price? Can you guys plug in
and hook up for us, please? [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: On their laptops,
each of our shoppers opens a regular browsing window. And then another one where
you’ve gone incognito. That allows them to
browse the web in private. And then we’ve also asked you
guys to open up another regular browsing window on your
cellphone because evidence suggests prices
on those devices could be different. First up, we’re gonna
go to Travelocity. Search for Panama City,
Panama, November 15th, checking out on November 24th. All right,
so everybody’s all set. Your screens are loaded. On your marks, get set, search! [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Travel bookings are
one of the biggest components of e-commerce.>>Let all your
travel worries drift away…>>Charlsie: Travel giant,
Expedia, owns several sites like Travelocity which
is known for its gnome and its promise
of low rates.>>Wander wisely…>>Charlsie: As we
pour over the results, some other ones
to share as well. A Marketplace survey of
the habits and attitudes of online shoppers. We asked about 2,000
Canadians and found nearly half shop online at
least once a month. About three-in-four of us
compare prices before buying. Half of us have also
booked a hotel room online. We’re at travelocity.ca. It’s travel we’re booking
back at our pricing test. Hotel rooms on Travelocity. The first thing we notice
across our nine windows is not everyone’s getting
the same results. What was the first one
that came up for you?>>They’re different
in different browsers.>>Charlsie: That’s known
as “steering”. Websites display search results
in an order that’s based on what they know about you
and your spending habits. You’ve got Aloft Panama as your
first and what was the first one that you got in incognito? Country Inn Suites.>>It’s significant…it
indicates the difference in price points of what each
individual’s perceived as being able to afford. So it does speak to a
certain level of customization.>>Charlsie: On your marks,
get set, search! We’re now searching
for hotels in London, but so far, barely a blip.>>I got $2 off on my
cell phone versus the web browser, incognito.>>Charlsie: Oh, so you
got $282 on your cell phone, $280 on incognito,
and $280 on your desktop.>>I got the difference as well
and the cell phone was $2 more than on the laptop.>>Charlsie: Our team ran
a pre-test of Travelocity beforehand and found several
examples of different prices for the same room. In one case, $144 versus $154. $181 versus $200. $270 versus $278 a night. Imagine a week. So you guys have
fresh windows open. We switch to a different site. Now what we want you to do is
go to Priceline and we’re going to test out another city.>>Just go to Priceline. They add new thousands
of new deals everyday, up to 60% off. Priceline became the world’s
largest online travel company with guarantees of the lowest
price on everything you book.>>We even dated the same guy.>>Who?!>>Charlsie: This time we’re
going to have you search for Orlando and you’re
going over March break. The best time to
be in Florida, right? Take me to Florida, hit search. Anything jump out
at you right away?>>So on a regular browser the
Radisson Hotel in Orlando is $124 as compared to incognito
is $198 for the same.>>Charlsie: That’s a
pretty big difference.>>Big difference.>>Charlsie: Is that
the biggest so far?>>That I’ve seen.>>Charlsie: This time it
seems to pay for Grant to show his cookies but it’s hard to
know when and where it applies. For instance, does it apply
to car rentals on Priceline? Now I’m going to ask you
guys to add a car rental into this search. What did you get?>>Both of mine were
exactly the same.>>Charlsie: But Grant
notices something immediately. A mid-size rental
for $61 incognito. It’s just $53 in
his regular browser.>>I have in the past been very
focused on getting and driving the car
price down on websites, so I’m wondering if it knows
that I’m a bargain shopper and that’s why I’m
getting the discount.>>Charlsie: Is he
onto something, Jesse?>>Absolutely, I think Grant’s
past consumer behaviour has very much influenced, they know
that he haggles they know he’s looking for a deal and they’re
trying to close that deal as quickly as possible.>>Charlsie: Haggling is more
often found at street vendors like this. So this one’s $20. Can I give you $10? In the war between
buyers and sellers, it used to be the
only way to go.>>$15.>>Charlsie: $15? Is that the lowest you can go? You won’t take $10?>>No, $15.>>Charlsie: But when the
fixed price was invented, a truce was called. These days, though,
the truce is over and technology is the new weapon, as we’re
finding out in our test of online travel sites.>>It inflates the regular
price from $567 to $572.>>If you think about it
from a negotiating position, the provider is
actually haggling with us. They’re showing us different
prices and yet we don’t have the opportunity to negotiate
back and I think that would be possible if we knew their logic,
if we knew what time of day was better, if we knew of
gender or age or geography made a difference. These are factors that I
think should be disclosed.>>Charlsie: That’s what
Canadians think too. We’d like to know what’s
going on on the other side of the screen. 88% say online companies
should be more transparent about the customer data they
collect, use, or share. Maybe because only 18%
believe we have control over what marketers
know about us online.>>Charlsie: Next stop,
Seattle. To one of the world’s
biggest travel companies. So what do you say
to the Canadians, including our testers,
who got different prices for the same thing?>>I say that they should
keep shopping around.>>Charlsie: This is
your Marketplace.>>Charlsie: The pricing
game on your Marketplace.>>Charlsie: We’re testing
online travel sites, uncovering numerous examples
of different prices for the same hotel room on the same
site at the same time.>>Grant is getting a far
greater substantial discount than Ali is getting.>>Charlsie: Could it
be price discrimination? Our survey shows Canadians
are concerned about companies offering different prices to
different customers based on our online shopping habits. 72% are concerned about
companies tracking those habits without us knowing. 66% don’t know
how to prevent it.>>The best dot com for
booking hotels is hotels.com.>>Charlsie: For our final test
we’re at hotels.com and though you can’t tell from the ads,
it’s also owned by Expedia.>>All those words
are spelled correctly.>>Charlsie: Let’s try New
Year’s Eve in New York City. As we search on, the results
are raising suspicion. Oh, my gosh. $734 for the Belvedere.>>Versus $712
for the Belvedere.>>Charlsie: Oh, so there
you go, you got $712 for the Belvedere, Ali.>>And even the
original price is different.>>Charlsie: So you got–
what does yours say, Ali, for the original
price there?>>$918 and $896.>>Charlsie: That’s a
pretty big difference. New Year’s Eve in New York is
clearly a pricey affair many of us can’t afford. But even if you can,
you might wanna look twice, especially on your phone.>>Another one I found was the
Highline Hotel on the computer it’s $675, and it’s $655 showing
the same base starting price.>>Charlsie: Nadia and Ali also
see a price difference for the Highline Hotel. Cheaper on their phones
and incognito than in a regular browser. But you have to wonder, why? [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: So we book some
travel of our own and go looking for answers in Seattle.>>How are you doing?>>Charlsie: So do you
make these yourself? You do? We wanna know why there’s so
many price discrepancies from one person to the next. One browser to the other. Even on different devices. What does Expedia actually mean?>>So what it means is
speed plus encyclopedia.>>Charlsie: We’re at the
world headquarters for Expedia, whose brands include
Travelocity and hotels.com.>>About 600 million people
come to our sites every month.>>Charlsie: Sarah Gavin is
their VP of communications. We’ve already shared
our test results with her.>>You guys gave us enough
information that we were able to completely retrace the steps
for what these customers did.>>Charlsie: Gavin offers a
surprising explanation for the price differences
uncovered by our testers.>>They went to the
hotels.com site first, which is our U.S. site. So they got tagged as a
U.S. customer and then, in their incognito browser,
they went to hotels.ca first. So even though on the first
one they went back to hotels.ca, they were still a
US customer, as far as our site was concerned, and our
hoteliers were concerned.>>Charlsie: So open up a new
incognito window and we’re going to go to hotels.com now. Here’s what Expedia is saying. When our testers opened a
browser and typed in hotels.com, the actual name of
the company, they were taken to its American site.>>Ali, your left window
there is actually the U.S. rather than Canada. There you go.>>Charlsie: So it’s
ca.hotels.com. So they clicked
on the site’s Canadian flag, and were taken to
the Canadian site. But Expedia’s system still
viewed our testers as American and showed them
different prices, though in Canadian dollars. Bottom line? Price discrimination. So is this the way that the
site is supposed to be working?>>Absolutely. In the incognito example,
the incognito traveler was seen as a Canadian traveler and the
other traveler was seen as a U.S. traveler, and there’s
absolutely different deals to be had.>>Charlsie: So you agree
then that giving different people different prices
is exactly what you do.>>We love giving great
deals to customers, and if that means that they’re
travelling internationally, if that means that
they’re on mobile, if that means that they’re
booking as a package, if that means that
they’re a member, absolutely.>>Charlsie: And that
is price discrimination.>>Our customers
tell us it’s awesome.>>Charlsie: It’s awesome. Awesome, maybe,
but not very transparent. Or in keeping with
the company’s motto. If the motto is the
best price guarantee, why does it matter if
I’m shopping incognito, or on a regular browser? Why are the prices
any different at all? If it’s just supposed to be
the best price, guaranteed?>>They’re not going
to be different if you’re a Canadian customer.>>Charlsie: Tell that to our
testers who are Canadian and got different prices
and had no idea why.>>Big difference between
the incognito price tends to be higher for all the cars.>>Charlsie: As for Priceline,
the site where we found differences in hotel
and rental car prices, it says, [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: So how
widespread is this kind of price discrimination? In the off-line world,
like at this movie theatre, seniors pay less. That’s a form of
price discrimination. But it’s transparent and it’s
a discount that’s available to many people. Online, how do we
even know when it’s happening? [ ♪♪ ]>>I actually did all my
Christmas shopping online last year.>>Charlsie: You did?! Every single thing.>>Charlsie: Doug Stephens
warns, these new ways of pricing, there’s more coming.>>The whole world
is basically changing. The entire world of retail. Everything. All of the conditions that gave
rise to the retail we see around us today are
completely unravelling.>>Charlsie: Doug is a retail
futurist and advises some of the biggest names in the business. He says personal prices make
a lot of sense for retailers.>>If we step back even 20 years
ago when your only choice as a retailer was to pick a price
and put it on the product, you were doing two things,
you were either selling too low to consumers who might have
paid more for the item or you were turning consumers away who
didn’t want to pay that much. So retailers are always
trying to get the optimal price for a product. The difference is now they can. Now they can actually
use technology to do that.>>Charlsie: We show you
how to game the system. Plus, price tracking on Amazon.>>Well, that’s crazy.>>It is unfair.>>You’d feel ripped off.>>Charlsie: This is
your Marketplace. Write to us…>>Charlsie: The real deal
on your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Need more
proof online pricing is all over the map? Just hop in a Uber when it is
rush hour or after the bars get out. Suddenly, a ride that
normally costs $10 is now $15. Uber calls it surge pricing. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: And lots of
others are doing it too. Take Amazon, for example. It is the biggest
e-commerce site going. 61% of people we
asked shop on Amazon. But many are surprised to
hear it too uses surge pricing.>>Amazon is actually changing
its price is millions of times a day across just about
every item on the site.>>Charlsie: That is going
to be huge news to people.>>Yeah, and Amazon is doing
this because they’re taking into a wide variety of
different considerations. What is the
popularity of that item? What are the seasonal factors
that may be affecting the price of that item? What are the
competitive factors? They put all of that together
into these algorithms that are constantly sort of hashing
out these different prices.>>Charlsie: In fact,
Amazon’s prices fluctuate so often it is like
a guessing game. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: You guys want to
play a guessing game with us? So we thought we would
play one using this webcam. So you’ve seen
one of these things before?>>Yeah. Wait, what is that,
is it a webcam?>>It is a webcam.>>From like 1998?>>Charlsie: I want you to
tell me how much you think that costs. $60, $80 or $120?>>Online?>>Charlsie: Yep.>>I’m going to go with $80.>>$80.>>Charlsie: What do you think?>>I mean I would
never spend $100. $60.>>Charlsie: $60?>>Yeah.>>Charlsie: What if I made it
easy for you guys? It actually costs all three of
those prices.>>That doesn’t make it easier. That makes it more confusing>>Charlsie: To clear up the
confusion we bring out a chart from a site that tracks
prices on Amazon. This is actually a chart of
what this webcam costs over the last year.>>Oh, wow.>>Charlsie: Do you see how it
goes up and down like that?>>Oh, yeah.>>Yeah. How interesting.>>Charlsie: Bottoms out over
here $60 and then it went up to $80, and then the
highest price is $120.>>Wow.>>Charlsie: Yeah. And then look at this. This is just the
last couple of weeks. Okay? So here it was. October 15th, just $60,
and then they are you go, in just a matter of weeks,
almost a 50% increase.>>Wow. That’s crazy.>>Charlsie: Same webcam,
different price. How would you feel if you’re the
guy that paid $120 and somebody else got it for $60?>>Right.
You would feel ripped off.>>Charlsie: Prices have
always been a mystery. But who really knows
what something should cost? But it’s even more so with
things like dynamic pricing and price discrimination. So, here are some tips on
gaming a system that is trying to game you. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Go incognito. Look at products using a private
browsing window to see if the price is higher or
lower in that mode, free of your history. Or you can also delete your
third-party cookies if you want to see prices unaltered by
your history along with fewer targeted ads. Use price tracking tools to
watch prices and get alerts when prices drop. As for our testers,
they have their own take away.>>It is not fair that
our spending habits, our buying habits
are being tracked.>>You are only one way
bartering and that is kind of unfair. Being able to set the
parameters of what they can see, then at least you’ve got
some control back in your hands.>>I need to be a bit
more diligent and using different platforms,
technology to really find the best price.>>Charlsie: Especially
when prices might cost you your privacy. [ ♪♪ ]>>Travel nightmares.>>We got delayed about three
times before they decided to cancel our flight.>>Lost luggage.>>Customer service hell. What are your flight rates?>>They did not
seem to care it all.>>We’re chasing
the people with power.>>If an airline isn’t fined
when they break the rules, then why should
they follow the rules? [ ♪♪ ]

100 Replies to “Exposing price discrimination in online shopping (Marketplace)”

  1. Actually, isn't this good? It means if you can use a bot for the algorithm to check you as a price sensitive person you can save money.

    However, you have to keep in mind that the algorithm can change our perception of value if they show you a product for 1000$ that is dropped to 800$ when it was a 700$ product all along. I could easily write a chrome extension that all it does is change the websites by adding HTML to the price lower by some amount by some process and call that the "actual value", and have the website say "you lose 5$- of value" and maybe it might help people in debt make better choices hahah.

  2. No wonder why my husband and I keep getting different prices on Our Pcs, Phones and Ipads. Really annoying, and sleazy imo. I've tried bypassing this stuff before, and by simply logging in the prices will change again. Luckily for me, the prices are generally cheaper than going icognito.

  3. i always got price with $20-30 less than my friends of items under $200 on Ebay. Now this explains it. They now know if you're a bargain shopper? Wow

  4. i love how they are supposed to be on "our" side but leave out the website name that tracks prices on amazon. https://ca.camelcamelcamel.com

  5. CBC should do hiring discrimination video in large Canadian cities.
    Mostly if white girl, she'll get whatever job she applies for without a second thought.

    But for the immigrants who are non white, and native, and all other come seconds.
    Let's talk about the reality.

  6. Block the cookies or buy in incognito …. and pay more..yay!

    Jees.. the left is literally seeking everything they can complain about. I used to be liberal… now I am full Right Wing.. and enjoying my lifestyle, instead of being like these pathetic people, or doing what they want me to do.. feel guilty for enjoying the hell out of the fruits of my labor… labor these crying complainers just can't ever preform the right way anyway. See darlings, I decide how much I will make you pay for my products… every single time..

  7. Amazon does a great 👍 job showing on their site comparison prices for the same product. It’s always about buyers beware in the capitalist society.

  8. This chick is dumb. She just keeps throwing the words "price discrimination" to make everything she is saying like it's something of value 🙁

  9. Expedias explanation is absolutely false. Regardless of what browser you use, or device, geography is not dictated by cookie data, but rather by IP information. If i go to a canadian website the website will know i am american because of my IP address (unless you are using a VPN). this will not change regardless of what domain name i go to. Canadian or otherwise. So, they lied to your face. Never expect anybody in any corporation to be honest with you when it comes to PR.

  10. The thing with Uber is that the price changes because of the amount of people who need rides and the amount drivers in a specific area.

  11. Wal mart does the same thing at there box stores…certain zip codes have same exact item for less…not as a result of sales either…

    Byw the stores in the different zip codes were within 10 miles of each other…

  12. Huh. If this is true then I bet there are websites that could supply u with cookies to help drive down prices.

  13. The lady with dark hair,Nadia should be in modeling. She is a very attractive lady.
    That being said,it's despicable the way many businesses work today. Along with the morals of many people,there are few morals left in the world of business today. Ethics or however you like to call it,goodness and decency is becoming a thing of the past.

  14. I was on a hotels website in private viewing, My phone using Expedia signed in on the app was shy of 40 dollars more! It was the same room for the same night compared to about 40 less on private mode not using a 3rd party like Expedia.

  15. What's CBC isn't mentioning is that if they're buying through an App on iOS, Apple takes a cut, and 2 dollar difference(1,5-2%) probably covers that. No doubt prices are changed, but you need to include all factors for you viewer to consider in order to be completely trustworthy.

  16. It's not discrimination. You all throw that word around way tooo easily now. It's manipulative market tactics. Just like a candy bar in a rich neighborhood will be $5 more than that same candy bar in the ghetto.

  17. uhhh if the price on the items are the same for each customers, there shouldn't be a problem unless someone has too much time on their hands

  18. I often book a hotel in advance with cancellation option. After a few days or weeks I go back and look it up, if the price has changed. Often it’s cheaper and so I just rebook it for a cheaper price.

  19. that is marketing, and business.

    you pay what you want, with what you feel you can afford.

    what the fuss?

  20. I experienced the same. When I used my google account to check a price I got a amount of 800 rupees for a product and later when I logged in from my mother's Google account I saw that same item costed around 650 rupees.

  21. But this has always been the case. Travel Industry has dynamic demand-based pricing models since forever (even before the internet). More people viewing a particular hotel or a particular flight will drive its price upwards. The video opens up with a Retail Chain and obliquely implies that the online retail industry is also a part of demand-based pricing model but this is not the case. The retail industry (shops such as Amazon, Etsy etc.) do not have dynamic pricing – all people see the same amount at a particular time.

  22. I am somewhat olds school. Research on line, then go to Flight Central, or a store that specializes in the product I am looking for. I usually buy in the shop….

  23. One component this segment didn't touch on is the human effort that goes into building these black box algorithms. The time and skill of talented software developers and psychologists is making Amazon millions, rather than contributing to systems that could help billions of people. That's not the fault of the laborers of course, just a question of societal priorities.

  24. no one looks at our data it's only with a lifeless machine. "Marketplace" is good but please stop all the drama and come straight to the point. It's a crime to waste viewers time.

  25. 19:59 They miss with Amazon the guy selling it on there could be paying a higher price as well. Once Amazon or a larger seller runs out they little guy who sells it and doesn't get as good of deals is now the only seller.

  26. as to pricing, you need to be informed. my local bike shop ups prices outrageously, for the regular customer, but i just asked politely for them to price match the lowest price out there and they said yes. a bottle of electrolytes are 12 bucks there and less than 8 where i used to bu them. that's a 30% price bump ! that is a lot, but they are small and have a low profit margin due to less overall sales. always ask. be informed.

  27. Even if your device blocks cookies, there are many ingenious ways that you can be identified by information about your system. And that's worth a whole segment on its own.

  28. This is why you should never use a fly-buys card or any form of credit card to buy goods with at supermarkets, because of it's data collection usage, that then can be sold to anyone who's willing to pay for it.

  29. I woner if they woul be discriminate against if they paid for it all in cash instead of the virtual reality fictional currency of the digital blackmail of the banks credit car system that charges people for using their digital currency.. that are as well charging on the transactions, as to those of an account keeping fee on the account… all slavery to their blackmail.

  30. If we accept gas prices to fluctuate daily, then digital haggling isn't so far off. I find it interesting how it knows what we've searched and noticed we didn't buy it, so the next similar item that pops up is at a better price. I guess it's just upto us to choose our prices.

  31. We ran into this with flights! Different prices at different times of day on various sites. Even different flights were shown to be available at night vs in the morning, you wouldn’t be able to find them anymore!

  32. How to mediate this:
    1) Use iOS and macOS it has so much anti-track technologies built in.
    2) Use Safari
    3) Replace Google with duckduckgo.

  33. At 16:20 I don't get how a Senior Discount is price discrimination. They usually don't earn any more money as all their money is from the 401k and pension if they have one. Plus they already worked the rest of their lives and should be able to enjoy something a few dollars less since health care is way too damn expensive (in the USA). Yes I know places like Canada have government funded H.C.

  34. Quit portraying consumers as victims. These are transactions that are entered into under no duress and with consent of both parties. If you don't like it, don't BUY it. It's so easy to blame somebody else for your problems.

  35. The other unmentioned issue: The operating system. They very well could be charging apple users more since apple carries a price premium.

  36. "About Us" by Neverest, a Christian Canadian musical group managed by Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys (near the 10:00 mark/timestamp).

  37. The medium-pink colour of the vehicle shown on-screen in this video near the ~16:00 mark/timestamp is very nice!

  38. I have noticed when I window shop, (even if I don't leave any items in the cart) take time to think about it and come back to buy, that the price is higher then it was at first. I stopped looking up items until I am sure I want to buy.
    I noticed that an item with great reviews has a price that is much higher than if the reviews aren't that great.
    I left a review one time that mentioned an added benefit to using an item that wasn't listed in the products description. I went back less than a week later and found the price had jumped more than 50%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Yea I guess now days a price is not set in stone when you have to worry about getting ripped off just because of how you chose to surf the net. It really enforces the fact that shopping in person in a brick and mortar store calling or going to the Hotel directly will get you a better price.

  40. People tend to forget they don't have to shop on amazon. Other shops (even gasp physical ones) have better offers; smaller shops may even allow for personal negotiations. People are just too lazy to compare prices these days.

  41. Was shopping online for an air B & B ….. As I had shown interest on a specific booking (and was still shopping for a number of days) each time I revisited that specific booking the price increased, I researched this phenomenon cleared my browsing history and cookies and surprise ….. went immediately back to the much lower initial price.

  42. Another difference is the device used, if you browse from an Apple laptop you are telling the company that you care more about appearance of status than actual value for your money.

  43. Play with the algorithms. As a man, i occasionally shop for female items, particularly those relating to "significant life events". I search for wedding dresses, baby clothes, trips to places I don't go, and other age, gender, habit, and other contradictory, significant purchases. I see the results in the ads displayed, confusion in cookie land. They don't know who I am.

  44. Price discrimination is not a bad thing, it's not one sided because no one is forcing you to pay more. If you pay X amount for something then find out you could have got it cheaper it shouldn't matter because obviously you were willing to pay that price, no one forced you. The real issue is online prices allows all retailers, amenities, etc. to compare prices basically instantly, this means they all have incentive to charge the same price, which before the internet would usually only happen with collusion, which is illegal, but now prices are readily available so no collusion is needed. Prices being online for everyone to see has actually increased prices, not lowered them as some might think.

  45. This piece didn't really offer anything new and there was barely a need for it. I'm not sure why anyone would be shocked or surprised to learn this. This happens everywhere online as well as offline. In fact it happened even before there was online shopping. Tourist destinations have "tourist" prices all around the world, travel agents, when you buying a car not everyone pays the same for the same car, the same item in the store when "on sale" costs less than it does the next day, those "manager's specials" in grocery stores when things near the sell by date, seasonal items.. it goes on. I see it as basic free market supply and demand. Stop making it everything about "discrimination"

  46. Amazon is to eBay what Target is to Walmart. Amazons prices fluctuate so wildly because their market place is supported by individual sellers and small business'…like eBay.

  47. Amazon doesn't actually set the prices. All of the products on Amazon are by third party sellers, just like eBay, just new products instead of used. So, third party sellers are the ones changing their prices.

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