Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

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jlawrence01
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by jlawrence01 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:11 am

catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:34 pm
Hi Bogleheads -

The other day I was at Costco and checked the price on San Francisco Bay coffee k-cups. They had the SFB French Roast variety for $29.99 (100-count). Later that day I checked the price on Amazon. It was $44.28. Yikes! Amazon is 48% higher than Costco on this item! :shock: I


The last time that I ordered San Francisco Bay coffee, it was cheaper to purchase the coffee directly from their website.
https://www.gourmet-coffee.com

mmcmonster
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by mmcmonster » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:31 am

vitaflo wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 pm
I didn't stop shopping on Amazon because other places were cheaper, I stopped shopping on Amazon because so much of their inventory (even those "sold by Amazon") are counterfeit. If I'm getting a knockoff, I don't care that it's cheaper.
Convenience is very important for me. I like just going to one place online and buying everything there. Amazon.com was the place for me.

I markedly cut how much I buy from Amazon, not because of price, but because I have no idea who I am buying from.

There are several times that I would buy something that I thought was from Amazon but was actually from Amazon Marketplace. Maybe I miss the fine print somewhere, but I can't be sure now and the trust is lost.

Also, there are a few times I bought rechargeable batteries from them where the charge didn't hold a few months later. By the time I figured out the problem, it was too late to take the hassle to return it. Pretty sure I got at least one fake USB stick (where the computer recognized one size, but it held significantly less) as well.

My wife won't even consider ordering electronics from Amazon anymore. It's just for books (if it's something not of comparable price at Barnes and Nobles) and oddities that we can't easily find elsewhere (ie: a particular hair clip my mother in law likes, shelf dividers, etc.)

FireProof
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by FireProof » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:53 am

The only thing I buy at Amazon at this point is generic Chinese computer chargers (and even that would probably be better from something like AliExpress). Prices are rarely notable, but much more than that, it's just so confusing - a million unknown sellers with a million fake reviews selling slightly different products with slightly different names, and no reputation to protect. I'd much rather have a few clearly-defined options from a reputable retailer. And even if i want cheap disposable crap, neighborhood Chinese five and dime stores tend to be quite a bit cheaper, and you can actually see exactly how crappy it is before you buy it.

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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:20 am

catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:34 pm
Hi Bogleheads -

The other day I was at Costco and checked the price on San Francisco Bay coffee k-cups. They had the SFB French Roast variety for $29.99 (100-count). Later that day I checked the price on Amazon. It was $44.28. Yikes! Amazon is 48% higher than Costco on this item! :shock: I realize it's just one data point, but I find this amazing. Is it just grocery items where Amazon is way over-priced? Or does it extend to other categories?

I invite y'all to contribute other examples of price differences to this thread....
It was never the lowest in all items. Every time you buy first always check other places online, local stores with a website etc. to make sure difference isn't too high.

Cody
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Cody » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:43 am

Is there an app or search website for finding the lowest price on items?

Just got caught with a $50 restocking fee of a computer at Walmart. Lowest price but because it was a 3rd party seller (yuk) there was a restocking fee.

What is to prevent companies like Walmart saying everything ordered on line is a restocking fee item?

Does Amazon have this fee, Costoco does not.

I see you can return Amazon products now to Kohls.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by FI4LIFE » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:39 am

I would encourage people to try Walmart.com, especially if you have a Walmart close by. In the times I have compared the two, I have found that Walmart prices are the same or better. There's also the convenience of being able to return directly to the store (no repackaging the item). I've found the items to be packaged better as well.

I agree that the interface is not as attractive as Amazon but it is still functional.

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midareff
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by midareff » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:43 am

If shelf price is the only concern than yes. Add the cost of gas and/or transportation and your time and see if the result is different. Keep in mind you are paying for it to be delivered tomorrow in almost all cases so shopping you will go.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:44 am

People love to hate Amazon.
You got to admit it's convenient. Why would I even drive around town to save unless it is a appreciable amount?
Most items I buy on Amazon are not worth the drive for the savings. I shop Costco anyway (it's close) so would go with OPs purchase of K cups.
To deal with driving to Walmart, Target, and Home Depot parking and wandering around the store - what's that worth?
Amazon is my first go to. See the info on a product, the price, etc. All there at my fingertips.
I am not quibbling over cents.
Maybe I drank the Kool aid, but it's good.

MotoTrojan
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:46 am

There are web browser plugins that allow you to shop on Amazon but then find the best price on the web.

dustinst22
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by dustinst22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:59 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:46 am

How often to you get a manufacturers warranty with a new item purchased on EBay? How do you identify those sellers?
I don't worry about warranties unless its a big major electronic purchase. In those cases I'll generally pay a bit more and through Costco (i.e. like our TV and vitamix).

Jags4186
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:02 am

eBay is the best for books. I got a couple of gently used Bill Bernstein books on eBay for $3 each inclusive of shipping. They barely were touched. Amazon wanted $20+ for each.

This doesn’t work on new releases, but I rarely read new releases.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:05 am

Amazon is for convenience and the large breadth of selection. It stopped being the low-cost powerhouse a decade ago.

Casper
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Casper » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:33 am

Just on the specific point about pricing on the SF Bay k-cups -- they used to be the best combination of low price and good quality for k-cups on Amazon (IMO). The price went up around the same time that Amazon introduced their own k-cup brand, which is even cheaper than SF Bay used to be. So that probably factors into it.

Agree with everything people have said about Amazon not competing on price. I haven't seen them claim to be the cheapest. They're competing on convenience, selection, fast shipping, and their shopping algorithms. And many times they are in fact the cheapest.

At the same time, also agree with comments about fake reviews and cheap Chinese knockoffs flooding Amazon. A few years ago I was concerned about all the reviews from people who had gotten the item for free. Now there are tons of fake reviews and cheap imported products that don't last. Recent example for me is a trail camera my wife bought me. Worked great at first, died within 6 months. Company sent me a free replacement (it was actually a newer, "better" model). It also died within 6 months.

It's like anything else. There are good aspects and bad aspects.

michaeljc70
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:11 am

boogiehead wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:14 pm
Amazon no longer needs to compete strictly on price as they have a competitive advantage in terms of their logistics ability. What is more shocking to me is the big price discrepancy of target in-store price vs. their online price. The mark-up for in-store items can be as much as 50% more :annoyed !
I recently experienced this at Target. I went on my phone and ordered the item online for in-store pickup. It was ready before I left the store.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:43 am

Cody wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:43 am
I see you can return Amazon products now to Kohls.
You can also drop it off at a UPS store. We did that last week - amazingly simple. No labels, no wrapping, just let them scan the return code and done!
Don't be a lemming.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:48 am

catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
I'm pretty sure I checked 100-ct vs. 100-ct... But I just now checked Amazon's prices again. Their current price for SFB French Roast, 100-ct, is $45.93.
Still haven't seen the 100-count on Amazon.
Don't be a lemming.

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catdude
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by catdude » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:36 am

JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:48 am
catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
I'm pretty sure I checked 100-ct vs. 100-ct... But I just now checked Amazon's prices again. Their current price for SFB French Roast, 100-ct, is $45.93.
Still haven't seen the 100-count on Amazon.
Here it is (at least it shows up on my computer)...

https://www.amazon.com/Francisco-single ... r=1-4&th=1
catdude | | "As much as cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." (Abraham Lincoln)

02nz
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by 02nz » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:39 am

catdude wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:36 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:48 am
catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
I'm pretty sure I checked 100-ct vs. 100-ct... But I just now checked Amazon's prices again. Their current price for SFB French Roast, 100-ct, is $45.93.
Still haven't seen the 100-count on Amazon.
Here it is (at least it shows up on my computer)...

https://www.amazon.com/Francisco-single ... r=1-4&th=1
3rd-party seller. Those tend to mark up the price more than Amazon does but of course it varies by product.

GT99
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by GT99 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:55 am

tic wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:50 pm
Amazon is rarely the cheapest. This has been studied and quantified.

The real kicker to me has been that recently I have twice found Amazon Basics brand items (new) cheaper on Ebay than they were on Amazon.
I'd love to see where this is studied and quantified - in my experience "rarely" is a big exaggeration. I rarely find a difference between the big retailers online (walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc) at all, although I rarely check ebay. Usually if I find something cheaper than Amazon has it, the difference is made up in shipping cost. I certainly have found times where things were cheaper elsewhere, but it's not common - and it's much more likely on uncommon goods.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Glockenspiel » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:12 pm

I've found the same thing. Frequently, it is much more expensive than if I just ordered from Target, especially for small $ items. Something that is normally $4 in a store will often by like $6 or $7 on Amazon. Or instead of $7, will be like $9.99.

Big Dog
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Big Dog » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:29 pm

I never assumed that amazon was the lowest price. Even on their recent Amazon (Christmas in July) promo, Costco had some items cheaper.

dustinst22
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by dustinst22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:34 pm

GT99 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:55 am

I'd love to see where this is studied and quantified - in my experience "rarely" is a big exaggeration. I rarely find a difference between the big retailers online (walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc) at all, although I rarely check ebay. Usually if I find something cheaper than Amazon has it, the difference is made up in shipping cost. I certainly have found times where things were cheaper elsewhere, but it's not common - and it's much more likely on uncommon goods.
If it's an item ~ $50 or more, always check google shopping and ebay. One of these two will almost always have a much better price. Another advantage here is often you avoid sales tax plus you can use ebates/rakuten in many cases.

The way I see it is that everyone has a price point where they'd like to save money even with slightly less convenience. For me, anything above about $50 I'll at least do a quick search to see if there is a significant difference. For the rest, I generally just go with the convenience of amazon.

Another thing -- always check fakespot for amazon purchases. This helps avoid buying something that's been inflated by reviews that aren't authentic. Ever since I started doing that the quality of my purchases has been much better.

alfaspider
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by alfaspider » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:13 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:12 pm
I've found the same thing. Frequently, it is much more expensive than if I just ordered from Target, especially for small $ items. Something that is normally $4 in a store will often by like $6 or $7 on Amazon. Or instead of $7, will be like $9.99.
Many times with Amazon your are paying for the convenience. If I need a $5 item, I can either pay $7 on Amazon (transaction completed in 15 seconds with a couple of clicks) or I can take 15 minutes and drive to the store and back and pay $5. So the question is whether the $2 is worth 15 minutes of your time. The answer likely depends on how much you are buying and how badly/when you need the item.

rolandtorres
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by rolandtorres » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:27 pm

Amazon has historically been not competitive on pricing for food, particularly perishables. That probably contributed heavily to their buying Whole Foods and planning more Amazon grocery stores. If Walmart stocks the food item, it's generally going to be the cheapest that you can find shipped, with sometimes Target matching. For everything else, Amazon is probably going to win for most non-sale price showdowns, minus an occasional loss to a Costco or other warehouse that is cheaper w/ a different bulk SKU.

decapod10
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by decapod10 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:33 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:34 pm
GT99 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:55 am

I'd love to see where this is studied and quantified - in my experience "rarely" is a big exaggeration. I rarely find a difference between the big retailers online (walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc) at all, although I rarely check ebay. Usually if I find something cheaper than Amazon has it, the difference is made up in shipping cost. I certainly have found times where things were cheaper elsewhere, but it's not common - and it's much more likely on uncommon goods.
If it's an item ~ $50 or more, always check google shopping and ebay. One of these two will almost always have a much better price. Another advantage here is often you avoid sales tax plus you can use ebates/rakuten in many cases.

The way I see it is that everyone has a price point where they'd like to save money even with slightly less convenience. For me, anything above about $50 I'll at least do a quick search to see if there is a significant difference. For the rest, I generally just go with the convenience of amazon.

Another thing -- always check fakespot for amazon purchases. This helps avoid buying something that's been inflated by reviews that aren't authentic. Ever since I started doing that the quality of my purchases has been much better.
Yes, eBay can often beat Amazon. Of course, if you are the type of person that is worried about fakes (which was brought up previously), ebay is even worse than Amazon on fakes. However, especially on big ticket items, you can save a lot of money on eBay if you wait for a coupon (either a 10-15% off coupon, or a 6-10% eBay Bucks promo).

I often wonder how some sellers on eBay make any money. I was looking at phone cases that cost 79 cents US that are shipped from China. I can't imagine they are making any money on that, maybe they just need the positive ratings.

dustinst22
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by dustinst22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:38 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:33 pm
if you are the type of person that is worried about fakes (which was brought up previously), ebay is even worse than Amazon on fakes. However, especially on big ticket items, you can save a lot of money on eBay if you wait for a coupon (either a 10-15% off coupon, or a 6-10% eBay Bucks promo).

Yep, great point -- particularly with stuff that is easy to counterfeit like brand clothing or fashion items. Typically ebay is better for specific niche items that aren't very likely to be counterfeits. And as always, check seller reviews.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:26 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 pm
I didn't stop shopping on Amazon because other places were cheaper, I stopped shopping on Amazon because so much of their inventory (even those "sold by Amazon") are counterfeit. If I'm getting a knockoff, I don't care that it's cheaper.
Could you share the general type of fakes you received?

I don't think I have ever received a fake, but perhaps I have and just didn't know it.

I can see where clothes might be pretty easy to sell as real name-brand ones.

I also have read reviews of mainstream batteries like Duracell and Everready where a purchaser was certain they received fakes.

Anyways any info would be welcome, buyer beware and all!

Thanks,

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:37 pm

catdude wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:36 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:48 am
catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
I'm pretty sure I checked 100-ct vs. 100-ct... But I just now checked Amazon's prices again. Their current price for SFB French Roast, 100-ct, is $45.93.
Still haven't seen the 100-count on Amazon.
Here it is (at least it shows up on my computer)...

https://www.amazon.com/Francisco-single ... r=1-4&th=1
Got it now, thanks.

Note that other vendors offer it for a bit less: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B01CAJU63O
Don't be a lemming.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:38 pm

02nz wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:39 am
catdude wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:36 am
JoeRetire wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:48 am
catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 pm
I'm pretty sure I checked 100-ct vs. 100-ct... But I just now checked Amazon's prices again. Their current price for SFB French Roast, 100-ct, is $45.93.
Still haven't seen the 100-count on Amazon.
Here it is (at least it shows up on my computer)...

https://www.amazon.com/Francisco-single ... r=1-4&th=1
3rd-party seller. Those tend to mark up the price more than Amazon does but of course it varies by product.
In this case, the seller is the manufacturer.
Don't be a lemming.

spidercharm01
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by spidercharm01 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:29 pm

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:32 pm
I’m probably the last human who isn’t prime, never have been, never will be. I watch prices like a hawk and I simply can’t shop there they are so high... not a fan
Same here..never been a prime member and never will be. I don't understand people's fascination with 2 day delivery (which isn't free by the way). And they forget that they are paying higher prices.

tesuzuki2002
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:38 pm

it happens pretty often... I find more and more I'm going away from Amazon ... they had draw with low prices and people just tend to go there now... but it's quick to search around and find a price 20-40% cheaper for the same item...

The Walmart model... lower prices and pull people in... people get hooked and continue on with the herd as prices go back up.

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vitaflo
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by vitaflo » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:36 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:26 pm
vitaflo wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 pm
I didn't stop shopping on Amazon because other places were cheaper, I stopped shopping on Amazon because so much of their inventory (even those "sold by Amazon") are counterfeit. If I'm getting a knockoff, I don't care that it's cheaper.
Could you share the general type of fakes you received?

I don't think I have ever received a fake, but perhaps I have and just didn't know it.

I can see where clothes might be pretty easy to sell as real name-brand ones.

I also have read reviews of mainstream batteries like Duracell and Everready where a purchaser was certain they received fakes.

Anyways any info would be welcome, buyer beware and all!

Thanks,

Broken Man 1999
First was a pair of earbuds. They were an obvious knockoff (to me anyway, I've bought these same earbuds many times before).

The 2nd was a water filter for my GE refrigerator. This one was harder to tell, but something seemed off about the label on it, as well as the packaging. I checked online and sure enough it was counterfeit. Both were "shipped and sold by amazon".

Since then I rarely purchase stuff on Amazon. A friend of mine also stopped purchasing there when he was shipped a fake stick of deodorant of all things!

Since Amazon co-mingles all products from all sellers (including Amazon) into one bin, I'm not about to play the fake product lottery.

reln
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by reln » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:52 pm

catdude wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:34 pm
Hi Bogleheads -

The other day I was at Costco and checked the price on San Francisco Bay coffee k-cups. They had the SFB French Roast variety for $29.99 (100-count). Later that day I checked the price on Amazon. It was $44.28. Yikes! Amazon is 48% higher than Costco on this item! :shock: I realize it's just one data point, but I find this amazing. Is it just grocery items where Amazon is way over-priced? Or does it extend to other categories?

I invite y'all to contribute other examples of price differences to this thread....
I can usually find things cheaper somewhere other than Amazon.

Caduceus
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Caduceus » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:56 am

I always assumed that the inventory held by Marketplace sellers was identified differently compared to Amazon's own stock. But if they do co-mingle inventory for all products, it makes sense that a buyer buying from a counterfeit third party might get genuine Amazon stock, and someone buying from Amazon might get counterfeits.

Personally, the reason I shop from Amazon is their customer service. I do comparison shop, and Amazon doesn't always have lowest prices, but when there's a problem with my order, Amazon is hands down the best. Their customer service can take a long time researching the issue, but it is almost always resolved in my favor.

I've had one order worth hundreds of dollars go missing - it was marked as delivered but it was never delivered. Amazon simply refunded me the money - they asked no questions. Their margins on the retail business are not high, and if I had to guess, between the one huge refund I got (assuming the item was lost in the post and not returned to them) and several smaller returns I made, Amazon has made a slight loss on me over the last several years. No profit on my account.

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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:51 am

In addition to Amazon not having the lowest prices, they try to dupe people into not paying attention. They put items into the Subscribe & Save category at reasonable prices, get you to sign up, then drop the item in the future. You simply order it again, not realizing they have dramatically raised the price.

In addition, they'll put items into Add On Item category. I bought 3/4" round labels for $3.45 for a box of 1,008 this way. Fast forward 2 years, and Amazon wants $8.15. That's an increase of 136%. Yeah, that's inflation...

Amazon's goal is to get people so lazy they don't look, and simply rely on Amazon for everything. In doing so, they either drive the competition out of business, or kill their profits as they struggle to compete. Think world domination.

Pay attention.
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F150HD
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by F150HD » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:35 am

Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently
I never believed they did always have the lowest prices, to me that was never necessarily the point of Amazon- to me it was that you could get the same product (or a hard to find one) delivered directly to your home for nearly the same price in a store without the hassle of driving around all day to locate said product (timekiller). Sometimes it was a better deal, but not always. Their pricing is often competitive though.

Their prices fluctuate daily anyway, if not hourly or sometimes even quicker.

Even if a product is higher priced there, the time savings by not having to drive store to store to find something (frustrating) has value (to me)

02nz
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:14 am

Katietsu wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:46 am
dustinst22 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:07 pm
amazon hasn't been the price leader for many years. Always cross shop google shopping and ebay for any big purchases. Ebay is often the best actually and you can typically get a rebate thru rakuten.
How often to you get a manufacturers warranty with a new item purchased on EBay? How do you identify those sellers?
Many regular retailers/e-tailers also sell on eBay. So I've bought from Best Buy, Newegg, Dyson, etc. If the price is the same as Amazon, then eBay can come out cheaper with cash back, discounted gift cards, eBay coupons, eBay rewards, etc. It's all about stacking deals.

02nz
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:22 am

There's one deal I'll keep going back to Amazon for: 20% off when you use at least 1 Membership Rewards point from a linked Amex card.

They've been doing this for Prime Day ($50 max discount, but can be used in multiple purchases). I think Black Friday they had the same but with a $100 max. If you have multiple accounts that can mean a lot of savings.

The brilliant part is that you can use just 1 Membership Rewards point (not worth it to use more) and pay the rest with an Amazon gift card. So when Best Buy has an Amex offer ($25 off $250 recently; other stores like Lowe's have also had 10% offers), I buy Amazon gift cards. Then I use that gift card to buy Best Buy GCs on Amazon when there's a 20% offer. Comes out to a 28% discount. This works for any GCs sold by Amazon (Uber, Lowe's, Whole Foods, lots and lots more) except Amazon's own and Visa.

The offer is technically targeted, but I've had 100% success by un-linking and re-enrolling in Shop with Points, and waiting a couple of days.

multiham
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by multiham » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:54 am

You really need to think about the role each of these retailers play.

Costco - Wants unique offerings from their suppliers (sometimes exclusives) at a strong value. They have to be able to justify to their members why they are paying a yearly fee to shop at Costco. If you could consistently get the same exact product cheaper or at the same price at another retailer, how do you justify charging a membership fee? I always check their pricing for large purchases and items with no expiration date. Some of their foods and other items are just too big for our small family to use.

Target.com, Walmart.com - Pricing may vary via their online site and in-store. Both of these retailers use zone pricing which means the price I see if I live in NJ may be different than the price I see if I live in Florida. An example would be if you live in the NE and your predominant grocery story is Stop N Shop, Walmart pricing will likely be higher than if you live in Florida where Publix is predominant. Walmart has locked themselves into a situation where they always have to have the lowest price (or match it). They continue to drive this with their Marketing. However, you may not be able to find exactly what you are looking for if a manufacturer refuses to give Walmart great pricing/terms on a line of items.

Amazon - Pricing has changed (upward) as they have moved from a model of acquiring customers (no matter what the cost) to actually trying to make a profit. They will still price competitively and change their pricing instantly based on sophisticated models. They never promised to be the cheapest, they promised to be convenient and to carry a huge assortment (From A to Z). Just think about how much profit Amazon makes on the cloud and their other businesses.

Also, I strongly believe the days of significant price differences between large retailers on BRAND name products will disappear. So many manufacturers are implementing policies to restrict how low a retailer can go on price. The penalty to the retailer of breaking the rules can be anything from not receiving anymore product for a period of time to a reduction in their promotional funding provided by manufacturers.

Jim Beaux
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Jim Beaux » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:30 pm

jyoung wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:53 pm
jebmke wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:41 pm
Amazon hasn't been the low price spread in quite a while. If price is your goal, you really have to pay attention.
I agree with this. The Amazon interface is very simple to search, compare, and read reviews on just about any item imaginable; however, the item you ultimately want to purchase can usually be found elsewhere at a lower price. At least that has been the case for me. Ironically, I now use Amazon primarily for research and buy elsewhere just like I used to use Best Buy and then buy at Amazon... circle of life and all. :)
'Zactly! :happy

I value my hometown brick & mortar business's and know one day we just may be at the mercy of the big internet merchants once they put our locals out of business. If the prices are within a few dollars I try to buy local.

Traveler
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Traveler » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:57 pm

I don't understand people's obsession with Amazon. To me it is irrational consumption that sooner or later will catch up with itself. Seems that the word "convenience" is used as an excuse to be lazy and not spend an extra three minutes finding it cheaper elsewhere. These will be the people who stick their hands out to the rest of us to help support them in retirement when they have little money.

02nz
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:32 pm

One of the really annoying things about Amazon is not doing price adjustments, which almost all retailers do within the return period. I just rebought something that dropped from $37 to $27, more on principle so that Amazon has to eat the cost of return shipping for this inane policy.

Smk18
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Smk18 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:26 pm

Groceries, coffee , drinks etc are not cheaper in Amazon comparatively .

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tuningfork
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by tuningfork » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:11 pm

Traveler wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:57 pm
I don't understand people's obsession with Amazon. To me it is irrational consumption that sooner or later will catch up with itself. Seems that the word "convenience" is used as an excuse to be lazy and not spend an extra three minutes finding it cheaper elsewhere.
For me it's also about convenience if I have to return an item, and that convenience is often worth a slightly higher price to me. Amazon has the most convenient return policy of any online store I've used. I don't have to return items often, but when I do, it's just a few clicks, print out the pre-paid UPS return label, and drop the package off at a UPS store. Very fast, and no extra cost to me other than a trip to the UPS store which I can stack with a trip to the grocery store next door. I've had similar return experiences with some other places, though I usually have to call and talk to someone live, or a person has to review the return request which may take a day or two. Some places have restocking fees, some require you to pay for return shipping, etc. None of that with Amazon.

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MP123
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by MP123 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:11 pm
Traveler wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:57 pm
I don't understand people's obsession with Amazon. To me it is irrational consumption that sooner or later will catch up with itself. Seems that the word "convenience" is used as an excuse to be lazy and not spend an extra three minutes finding it cheaper elsewhere.
For me it's also about convenience if I have to return an item, and that convenience is often worth a slightly higher price to me. Amazon has the most convenient return policy of any online store I've used. I don't have to return items often, but when I do, it's just a few clicks, print out the pre-paid UPS return label, and drop the package off at a UPS store. Very fast, and no extra cost to me other than a trip to the UPS store which I can stack with a trip to the grocery store next door. I've had similar return experiences with some other places, though I usually have to call and talk to someone live, or a person has to review the return request which may take a day or two. Some places have restocking fees, some require you to pay for return shipping, etc. None of that with Amazon.
Last time I returned something to Amazon they gave me a credit immediately after the package was scanned at the UPS store and before it even started moving back to their return center. Pretty cool.

I agree it's not the cheapest but little things like that add up.

jlawrence01
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:03 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:26 pm
vitaflo wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:50 pm
I didn't stop shopping on Amazon because other places were cheaper, I stopped shopping on Amazon because so much of their inventory (even those "sold by Amazon") are counterfeit. If I'm getting a knockoff, I don't care that it's cheaper.
Could you share the general type of fakes you received?

I don't think I have ever received a fake, but perhaps I have and just didn't know it.

Ordered a NEW battery for my LG Escape 3 cell phone. Received a battery that was obviously used and had been pried from another phone.

Caduceus
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Caduceus » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:02 am

I'm a bit confused by the folks here saying that they can't tell what is sold by Amazon and what by a third-party seller. It seems pretty clear to me which items are sold by Amazon and which are "Sold by XXX" - or do you mean that Amazon should make it even clearer? It's listed in the price box - "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com" - for every item, isn't it? And if it isn't Amazon, they will tell you which seller it is.

Have you ever received a fake that comes under "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com"?

davebo
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by davebo » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:17 pm

If Amazon is the seller, the prices are usually decent. If it's a 3rd party seller, it's completely up for grabs. After every shower, we spray it down with one of those tile cleaners. Looked up the price on Amazon and a 2-pack is $14.39. Price checked it at Walmart and they are selling for $6.36 for a 3-pack.

They have good prices on some things, but I wouldn't even say it's 50/50 anymore. Walmart is my go-to for checking prices.

Traveler
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Traveler » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:52 pm

MP123 wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:50 pm
tuningfork wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:11 pm
Traveler wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:57 pm
I don't understand people's obsession with Amazon. To me it is irrational consumption that sooner or later will catch up with itself. Seems that the word "convenience" is used as an excuse to be lazy and not spend an extra three minutes finding it cheaper elsewhere.
For me it's also about convenience if I have to return an item, and that convenience is often worth a slightly higher price to me. Amazon has the most convenient return policy of any online store I've used. I don't have to return items often, but when I do, it's just a few clicks, print out the pre-paid UPS return label, and drop the package off at a UPS store. Very fast, and no extra cost to me other than a trip to the UPS store which I can stack with a trip to the grocery store next door. I've had similar return experiences with some other places, though I usually have to call and talk to someone live, or a person has to review the return request which may take a day or two. Some places have restocking fees, some require you to pay for return shipping, etc. None of that with Amazon.
Last time I returned something to Amazon they gave me a credit immediately after the package was scanned at the UPS store and before it even started moving back to their return center. Pretty cool.

I agree it's not the cheapest but little things like that add up.
Add up to what? The fact that when you overpay on items from Amazon that it was simply an insurance policy for an easy return?
I bought a new phone charger recently - looked at Amazon and it was $16.99 with free shipping if I spent $25. Looked at Walmart.com and it was $12.95 with free shipping. I ordered from Walmart. Then someone mentioned eBay (I never even think of them) and darn it I found it there for $9.90 with free shipping.

No, I wasn't willing to pay 31% more for the insurance of being able to easily return it to Amazon if the <$20 item didn't work. Not to mention that it's not as if I couldn't return it to Walmart.

Caduceus
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Re: Amazon -- no longer the lowest prices, evidently

Post by Caduceus » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:56 am

It's funny. I posted here not too long ago about Amazon's superior customer service and now I have another comparison. Recently ordered some household items from Macy's. They took forever to come. When they arrived, TWO items were missing. I called in to Macy's and the customer service rep was EXTREMELY rude. She kept implying that I was lying about the missing items. I explained that it was simple enough to verify the shipping weight of the package, wasn't it? After all, there's a tracking number, and the courier that they use surely enters the weight of the package at the point they received the parcel. Since both the items would have added up to some significant difference, it was a simple matter of trying to pack the same set of items again and she would realize I was right about the missing items.

The whole experience was so aggravating. I have never had a customer rep flat out imply I was trying to commit fraud. That was just nuts.

Compare this to Amazon. The only time something went missing, Amazon apologized for their mistake (actually, it was probably lost by the post, so not even Amazon's fault), and refunded it without so much of a whimper. When I asked Macy's for a follow up reference number, they had none! Amazon gave me a reference number, sent me an email within two hours to follow up, AND THEN gave me a promotional credit for my troubles, even though they already refunded me. Amazon's customer service is nuts, in a good way. Macy's customer service - nuts, in a bad way.

I'm not saying I'm not going to compare prices and go with the lowest price. But if Amazon is selling something for $22, and Macy's for $20, I would definitely buy from Amazon and NOT from Macy's. That's essentially a 10% excess margin Amazon can earn from someone like me on lower-priced items.

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