If you’ve done a bit of shopping on Amazon, you may have noticed prices on some goods fluctuating. Some items seem to get cheaper during certain times a day, while others seem to get more expensive the more you visit the page. As a consumer, you always want to make sure you’re getting the best prices, so this can be a bit vexing
This article will explain how and why Amazon prices fluctuate the way they do. It will also go into some detail on how to make sure you’re getting a fair price for your items when buying on Amazon.
Does Amazon Increase Prices After Viewing?
According to Business Insider, Amazon changes prices on items up to 2.5 million times a day. These price fluctuations are driven by automated algorithms that constantly process data on customers’ shopping habits, as well as a wide range of other factors.
The system itself is not explained anywhere on Amazon, so the process of figuring out the fluctuations is a bit of trial and error. Most of the price fluctuations are based on things like supply, demand, competition, and whether or not the item is listed by a third party seller. However, many customers have noticed that the price for an item seems to go up if you check the item page frequently.
Amazon does this based on confidence that you will pay the increased price. It is not always that simple, however. There are literally hundreds of data points that Amazon uses to analyze customers’ buying habits, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell why the prices are going up or down.
Does Amazon Change Prices Based on User?
One of the simplest data points that Amazon uses to determine prices and sell items is your user profile. Your shopping habits are recorded, and Amazon will recommend you items based on what the system thinks you will buy. These recommendations are highly biased, and will often favor items listed directly by Amazon rather than third-party sellers.
According to DZone.com, Amazon has 200 million customer accounts, along with 1 billion gigabytes of data hosted on more than 1.4 million servers. All this data goes a long way towards expanding Amazon’s profit margins.
Your user data is not just used for recommendations. The system will also change prices on items that it thinks you will buy. Sometimes it will make items cheaper to goad you into buying them, while it will increase prices at other times if the system is confident you will buy them anyway. This is also heavily influenced by the time of year, as in the prices of potential Christmas gifts around the holiday season.
Do Amazon Prices Go Up the More You Search?
Supply and demand is a powerful force. By using advanced data analytics, Amazon often changes prices based on how many users are searching for the same item. This is a simple manifestation of supply and demand in action. If more people want an item, Amazon can get away with charging more money for it.
If you want to avoid these types of price increases, it’s important to be strategic about when and how you buy your goods.
For example, shopping for popular electronics or video games around Christmas time is probably not the best idea. Buy your goods ahead of time, or search for cheaper options from third party sellers if you want to save some money.
Why Do Amazon Prices Go Up the More You Search?
As mentioned above, Amazon’s data analytics give the system a lot of control over when and how to profit from your purchases. Amazon is quite advanced in this respect, even compared to other major online retailers. They supposedly pull in an extra 25-30% in profits due to these types of practices.
In short, Amazon prices go up because they can. They have the data that allows them to know when you will buy items, and how much you are likely to pay for them.
If you search for the same item over and over, the price may increase. If other users are also searching for the same item en masse, then the price will be much more likely to go up.
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Why Do Amazon Prices Go Up After Purchase?
Sometimes, you might notice the price on an item increasing after you purchase it. This may seem strange, since you would think Amazon would want to jack up the price before you spend money on the item, not after. The explanation for this is actually quite simple.
Amazon increases prices on items that are purchased to stop the item from going out of stock. Raising the prices discourages many people from buying the item, giving Amazon some time to re-stock before raising the price again.
Does Amazon Change Prices Based On Location?
Your location is actually one of the more important factors in how Amazon determines prices. This is because it directly affects things like shipping costs and item availability. Generally speaking, customers in the continental US will get the best deals from services like Amazon Prime.
Amazon knows that you are less likely to buy items if the shipping costs are very high, or the delivery time is inordinately long. Accordingly, Amazon will often set prices and recommend items largely based on where you are in the country. Different locations also affect availability for niche items like obscure board games or software.
Amazon price fluctuations can be frustrating, but they allow the retail giant to operate on the scale that it does. The best thing we can do is inform ourselves in order to try and get the best prices available from Amazon. There are plenty of posts on Reddit and other forums detailing customer experiences in this regard. You can also check out articles from Marketwatch.com or Quora in order to figure out the best strategies from getting good prices at Amazon.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask away in the comments section.