Retailers ‘Discriminate’ Against Online Shoppers, Shocking Study Shows
It's called "Price Steering" or "Price Discrimination", it has nothing to do with your ethnic backround, but CAN result in online shopping NOT being the bargain everyone believes it is.
According to CBS Miami TV, and a report from Northeastern University, where you live, which digital device you use to order, and other factors CAN result in often dramatic price differences when buying online. Something to keep in mind as we approach Cyber Monday for the holidays.
The study compared a wide range of purchases made from online travel and retail sites shows 9 of 16 retailers engage in what's called "Price Steering." A woman who booked a hotel travel stay on Travelocity using her laptop, it cost $132. But the SAME package came up with a price of $119 when she used a smartphone. A Travelocity official confirmed sometimes the company offers additional discounts for smartphone users.
Another group was searching for language lessons, to learn how to speak Mandarin Chinese. Using a laptop, the price was quoted for the course as $249, but on a smartphone, it was $189.
These, and a plethora of other examples, have led the researchers to say companies seem to favor smartphone use for purchases. Other companies said prices can vary for online shopping regionally. For example, a Christmas tree bought online might be cheaper in the West, than the Northeast, where there's fewer trees and more environmental restrictions.
Price Discrimination occurs when two different users are quoted two different prices for the exact same product. We bet you've seen that happen right? One place quotes one price, but somebody else gets a different price for the same website and product.
Just because you're using a secure connection to shop doesn't mean retailers can't build a personal profile of you, based upon your personal information used during the transaction. Retailers are constantly messing with their logyrhtyms in efforts to get the 'maximum' reasonable price from consumers. So, sometimes a consumer who appears to be more affluent might not get as good a deal.
Northeastern U researchers said it's hard to find out if you're getting the best price, but did suggest shopping for it at multiple sources, and even log off to your shopping site, then log back on and search to see if you can get a better price on that item before buying.