When a sale isn’t a sale

Don’t leave your comparison pricing to retailers

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by

From the Summer 2016 issue of the magazine.

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Why some online sales are a lie: Amazon vs. WalmartThe mysteries of pricing have always vexed consumers, but the explosion of online shopping has only added to the confusion. At issue is the elusive list or “compare at” prices retailers use to illustrate the potential savings. Consider the Hamilton Beach Adjustable Temperature Contact Grill & Panini Press that Amazon.ca was recently selling for $49.88, a 41% discount from its “list price.” Over at Walmart’s site, where the grill wasn’t on sale, shoppers could still pick one up for $49.88. So where does the comparative price come from? For some retailers like Amazon the list or suggested price may simply be an estimate. Online shopping might be more convenient, but if you really want a deal, don’t leave your comparison pricing up to the retailers.

 

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