Online Shopping Price Discrepancies

I heard on CTV news today that someone discovered online price discrepancies. I’ll be honest, I’m kinda schocked this isn’t well known by now. But at the same time, I’m sure there are people out there that don’t know.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about – stuff sold online can and will be sold at different prices all over the place, even sometimes the same site. The example they used was a char that was priced at $700, $500, and even $200.

Its pretty normal to be able to find the same product being sold by different companies at different prices. Amazon may have sold the chair for one price, and a furniture store like Ikea could have been selling it for another. Thats why its important to at least take the SKU or product name and search around online for the same product at different companies. Whats a little more sneaky is that CTV pointed out that even the same company may sell the same product to you, but at different prices. The price varied depending on if you were looking at the site on your phone, computer, or other devices.

My best guess is that its because each of the devices have been separately profiled by ad agencies such as google / facebook. Based on your demographic that the ad agency thinks you’re in, they would sell the product to you at different prices. People making over $1 million / year probably don’t care about spending a little extra money on a relatively cheap product like a phone charging cable. But if you’re just barely getting by, then you’ll spend the extra time looking around for the best deal.

This is a good example as to why I:

A) Dislike large ad agencies that collect as much information as they can on you. I want to be sold a product for what its actually worth, not based on how much a company will think I will spend on it. The price then no longer reflects the quality of the product.

B) Use a VPN. It probably doesn’t help as much as I want it to, but it at least adds one more level of difficulty in companies trying to create a profile on me.

C) Avoid “anonymous” serveys.