Great ‘Amazon Shopping Tricks’ Hunt

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  • This article in The Times last week says that in 2000, there was a scandal when customers discovered that if they deleted their cookies - the computer files that store information on a user's internet use - they could obtain a different price for the same goods on Amazon. This was because Amazon were offering different prices for the same things to different customers, depending on what their purchasing histories suggested they might be willing to pay.

    The article says that this is now common among internet sellers but invisible to the customer; and that Amazon was "unavailable for comment". The Office of Fair Trading is looking into this issue generally.

    So, it's not clear (to me, at any rate) whether Amazon are still tailoring prices to individual customers but it might be worth deleting your cookies and seeing what happens - you might get a cheaper price!

    This is very true. I actually work for a company which sells this kind software and we have used Amazon as a case study in the past. It is the same with many other websites such as Easyjet and Lastminute.com. It can work in a number of ways depending on which version is being used. The light version places a cookie and logs the IP address. The top end version does this and then actually maps your PC like a fingerprint (Operating system/browser/make/model etc) and is 99.999% effective. It is meant as a product to combat fraud but this use of logging customers interests and fixing prices is now the most common use and 100% legal. It also works with interest in products, if a specific product/flight route on a specific date is searched upon x amount of times then it will automatically raise the price. You will find this on 50%+ of e-commerce sites nowadays unfortunately.

    Sneaky eh? ;)
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  • competitionscafe
    competitionscafe Posts: 4,050 Forumite
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    edited 4 November 2009 at 12:22AM
    How to donate to charity (at no extra cost to you) when shopping at amazon:

    As amazon are not on any of the cashback sites (as far as I know) if
    you want you can visit amazon.co.uk via one of these charity links and
    a % of your purchase will go to the charity at no extra cost to you:

    VSO:
    http://www.vso.org.uk/donate/shopping/amazon.asp

    Epilepsy Action:
    http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/mall/amazon

    Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
    http://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/fundraising.html

    I am sure there are others too (try searching google)

    I know that you can get nectar points too but the value of the points is only a few pence on an average order so personally would prefer that 5 or 6% of the amount I spent went to charity than getting a few 'points'.

    If you are that bothered about nectar points it might be possible to get points and go via a charity link by clicking on both before you shop. I tested this by clicking on the nectar link and then clicking on a charity link - I still got the nectar points and I assume that the charity still got their commission but no way to tell for sure.
    "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
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  • KDH_2
    KDH_2 Posts: 130 Forumite
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    MBNA cardholders can use their card to buy Amazon gift vouchers at a 7% discount through
    http://www.mbna.co.uk/lifestyle/# ( others discounts of up to 9% at other shops through the same site)
  • Here is something that I discovered - I always went onto the Nectar website first so I could be re-directed to Amazon and obtain Nectar points for my Amazon purchases. But I never went back to check my Nectar account to make sure I actually received the points as I (wrongly) assumed the point allocation would be automatic. And, then I discovered that all of my points for my Amazon purchases for the last few years were never credited to my Nectar account. I reported the missing points to Nectar in July 2009, am still waiting for them to fix the errors and really don't understand why it's taking so long....:confused:

    I always find its best to ring Nectar directly, their email support isn't great!
  • Torkijo
    Torkijo Posts: 506 Forumite
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    jenniewb wrote: »
    I have to say, for me Amazon have the best customer service in terms of faulty products. Twice now I have had items that have become faulty, one was a Sony MP3 player, the other a polar watch/HRM. With each, before they had even been posted/arranged to be collected by courier I had a replacement at my door within days. Few companies in the UK either trust or work that efficiently. Luxembourg or not, they put Comet, Argos, Play and many others to shame!

    I would tend to agree, putting them behind Lakeland but above everyone else - especially when returning items using the prepaid return slips etc.

    I have found different prices when i view from my netbook not logged in to when i view from desktop logged in.
  • Students get 5% discount on Amazon purchases with NUS card - you need to register on the NUS website and it will give you a code to paste into the gift voucher code box when you order on Amazon.

    Granted it doesn't sound like a lot but if you buy a lot of stuff on there (I'm thinking textbooks, particularly for next year as the codes run out on the 31st August 2010) it soon adds up.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
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  • Lovefilm and Amazon are doing a promotion. might be worth checking out.

    If you sign up for a 14 day trial it looks like you get a £20 voucher when you become a paying member.

    https://www.lovefilm.com/visitor/sign_up_1.html?promotion_code=AMZFB9&cid=jasfo

    "In order to qualify for your £20 Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate, you must validly register for the free trial and make your first DVD Rental monthly payment"

    But the membership costs are all from £4-18 or so, so no matter what one you chose you make a profit.
  • Torkijo
    Torkijo Posts: 506 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Home Insurance Hacker!
    A.Jones wrote: »
    It is now free supersaver delivery on any purchase (at least until the New Year). So unless you are desperate for products to arrive next day, £50 is a lot to pay for delivery over a year, when you can get the delivery slightly slower for nothing.

    But its very very useful when you forget Birthdays as you can use the free next day to their addres directly -saving you the postage cost as well.
  • This is very true. I actually work for a company which sells this kind software and we have used Amazon as a case study in the past. It is the same with many other websites such as Easyjet and Lastminute.com. It can work in a number of ways depending on which version is being used. The light version places a cookie and logs the IP address. The top end version does this and then actually maps your PC like a fingerprint (Operating system/browser/make/model etc) and is 99.999% effective. It is meant as a product to combat fraud but this use of logging customers interests and fixing prices is now the most common use and 100% legal. It also works with interest in products, if a specific product/flight route on a specific date is searched upon x amount of times then it will automatically raise the price. You will find this on 50%+ of e-commerce sites nowadays unfortunately.

    Sneaky eh? ;)

    I this is a very significant revelation and maybe one that Martin himself might show an interest in. I had long suspected that "cheap" flights get less cheap once you have looked at them more than once, so this is very interesting corroboration. I wonder just how much we consumers are being ripped off by this method overall. I think we should be told!
    So, many thanks ejaculator for this info, now can you help us? Can we always cure the problem by deleting cookies, or by using a different browser each time? Anyone have any other suggestions?
  • Amazon have gone post free because the far superior site for books is The Book Depository. Generally cheaper and quicker and less arrogant than Amazon. And post free.
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