I’m a loyal Amazon customer, and with the free trial of Prime, I’m now a more frequent customer as well. The LA Times recently carried a story on Amazon’s "dynamic" pricing scheme. I read the story with some interest, and, while it was intriguing, I assumed the issue was a minor annoyance because Amazon was notifying customers if the price of anything in their respective carts had changed since they added it. At least that was my position before this weekend. I purchased a DVD from Amazon last week, so when I returned to the site this weekend, I was not surprised that they recommended the soundtrack. At ~15 dollars it seemed like a deal. So I clicked on the item to view the description, scanned it briefly and had to leave for dinner. When I returned and added it to my cart it was…..~19 dollars. Would I have paid 19 dollars for the soundtrack at the outset? I might have. But the fact that the price had changed so quickly was a bit disconcerting. My response- I went to iTunes and bought the soundtrack for ~10 dollars. Perhaps the transparency into pricing increases is supposed to reduce time to transaction (and across many consumers over time it might), but for this consumer, it’s been a reminder to compare prices before I consummate a purchase with Amazon.
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