Amazon pricing strategy explained: [Selective User Pricing]

Selective User Pricing is a way by which one product or product type will be priced higher/lower to one customer compared to other. Subsequently, this is relatively new way by adopted for amazon pricing strategy. You can almost say it is a transnational scam!. 

हिंदी में जानकारी और वीडियो को देखने के लिए यहां क्लिक करे :

Amazon Pricing Strategy explained with proof

Is‘Selective user pricing the next big deal (or scam??) in online shopping. Their online deals are so good that we will never even doubt that Amazon is cheating customers.

First, some insight about the ‘back-end’:

Below are some technical insights before understanding amazon pricing strategy. (ignore if you are from software/technical background).

When you first create an account at amazon or any other e-commerce website, a unique ID is generated and linked with your account and recorded in amazon’s back-end database. This is a data-management tool. That is to say, each time you shop, this record is updated with your details, like order id, money spent, your reviews, activities, interests, even your response to their pesky suggestions.. etc. it’s all in there. This is what helps in amazon’s pricing strategy.

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Most importantly, there are complex algorithms that runs in the back-end that determines what product to show you, what to cross-sell, what best offer suits you etc.

“Selective Pricing Strategy” is how amazon is cheating customers – Consumer complaint board.

All these are technical stuff but above all the scariest thing is:- They can manipulate the prices of products that you are particularly interested in depending on your ‘spending ability’ and ‘affinity to buy’. Yes. You read it right.

In other words, if you are a person who has shopped for similar products, have spent good amount of money so far, then chances are that an item worth 500 bucks, will appear as 1200 bucks to only you & people like you!. Are you getting the pricing strategy of amazon?

You being a busy person like me, entrusting amazon that they are here for customer benefit and buy that product. As a result, I got to catch the amazon pricing strategy.

Here is the proof of amazon pricing strategy:

I will keep it very simple & to the point. You figure out how amazon cheats. I am assuming you will also figure out what do I mean by ‘selective user pricing‘.

Recently, I ordered a product called “Cantu Shea Butter Men’s Collection Leave in Conditioner, 13 oz.” on 28th January 2019.

The price I saw was – Rs.1,125 – It had free delivery, fulfilled by amazon etc since I am ‘prime’ member. I just ordered it just like any other order. Little did I know about amazon pricing strategy then.

I simply trusted amazon to show me best offer either in terms of price or seller feedback. In reality, neither were the criteria. The seller (Africanmart) is a below average rated one and price is the worst price for that day! Click the link and look at the feedback if you have an amazon account. I don’t know how amazon allows such sellers.

Amazon Pricing Strategy explained with proof 1
Price that I saw
selective user pricing explained
My order and the price I paid

Yes, now where is the cheating? you ask.

Next day, I casually told my wife that I bought this product. She, out of curiosity checked it out from her amazon account and guess what? – She saw a price which is almost half of what I saw!!!!

This is very next day (or even same day if she had checked) – My order wasn’t even delivered to me yet.

amazon pricing strategy explained with proof of my product

So, to summarize:-

Q :- What is the pricing strategy of amazon?

A :- Your necessity of that product, your propensity to buy, probability of purchase and size of your pockets are all well calculated and used for maximum profit!

I’ve already contacted amazon support so many times. Even the seller was contacted many times. I even know all the counter arguments that supports this kind of cheating. I have answers for that too.

On top of all these, the product, being a cream, was not sealed. It had leaked, there was no protection either in packing or sealing.

What are the takeaways from this experience?

Know this in addition to amazon pricing strategy:

  • Fulfilled by amazon‘ is a joke!. So, consequently, Amazon prime membership is also a joke unless you like limited movie, music and TV collection. Because, amazon will simply say that they trust the seller and won’t help in a refund even if you haven’t touched the product yet, don’t bother on these two.
  • Never show your ‘buying pattern’ to anyone. To do so, you’ll need to have multiple accounts. But, it is not ideal though.

Before Buying:

  • Always check the Seller feedback before buying.
  • If I had chosen COD (Cash on Delivery) instead of online payment, I could have cancelled it during time of delivery or as soon as I caught the scam.
  • If at all I go back to amazon again to buy, (which I really doubt).. I’ll only chose COD as payment option. As a result, it give a buffer time to cancel in case you get a better deal.

After Buying:

  • Don’t waste your time writing any bad review about the product with a mention of Amazon in it. It damages their brand image and therefore, they’ll outright reject the review and will never post it.
  • There is no point in trusting amazon as a middle party. After all, they are here for profits and by hook or crook, they’ll make it. How else do you think Jeff Bezos is one of the richest men in the world?

You might have read news like this:- https://www.zeebiz.com/companies/news-this-man-cheated-amazon-of-rs-30-lakh-here-is-how-it-was-done-83207

Yes,many people in India are cheating eCommerce sites like amazon and Flipkart . I used to think ‘What is wrong with these people? Why do people take advantage of the customer friendly policies of MNCs. However, after this experience, my faith on ‘Karma‘ has just got strongeer. 🙂 You get what you give amazon and you very well deserve it..!

JUST FOR THE RECORD:- Below images and screen shots are my back and forth with amazon and the seller. Observe what have I asked and what response I’ve got.

हिंदी में जानिए इस वीडियो में :-

ज़्यादा से ज़्यादा लोगों को शेयर करिये ..!!!

Some extras of this incident:– Summary of my ‘call’ with customer care.

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  • Q: Firstly, why is the product not sealed? Secondly, it is leaking. Can you please help?
  • – Amazon agent:- Sure sir. Can you send the pictures.
  • – After seeing the pictures:- Sir, It’s OK Sir, you can use it. No problem Sir.
  • – We can’t refund Sir. Please raise your issue with the seller. We can’t help you. Really sorry Sir.
  • Q:- Why do you allow these type of badly rated sellers even after so many customers’ complain?
  • – Amazon agent:- I can’t comment on our policies Sir.Please raise the issue with seller.
  • Q:- Ok. I don’t want the refund. However, can you explain why this selective user pricing happened to me?
  • – Amazon agent:- Sir, this happens to everyone. Across India. You are not the only one Sir. Everyone is affected by it.

In conclusion, I hope this was helpful to know how amazon has put the pricing strategy in place and you’ll take care and precaution next time when you shop online! – (Regarding product prices).

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  1. […] to download all my purchase history. Personally, my major chunk of online spend is on amazon.in. Though amazon’s business model is rigged to betray customers, it is relatively slightly better compared to other cavalier e-commerce sites in […]

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