Amazon Discounts, Deals and Coupon Codes

Amazon's List Prices Are Slowly Going Away

So long to Amazon's suggested retail prices?
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It looks as though Amazon is getting rid of list prices (a.k.a. a product's suggested retail price) on some items, which were typically displayed alongside Amazon's lower prices. The e-tailer has yet to make a formal statement regarding why it's dropping the comparison on many products, but Yahoo suggests that the motivation may be to sidestep potential lawsuits — there have been several involving a number of major retailers. In some states, you can get into hot water for promoting deals that aren't really deals after all.

So, how does this affect shoppers?

Anyone who's ever shopped on Amazon, and that's pretty much everyone, knows the surge of triumph you feel when you snag a deeply discounted product. As the New York Times reports, research shows that the sheer idea of getting a deal plays a major role in whether or not we actually make a purchase.

Take this Sansui 65-inch 4K LED HDTV. Amazon's list price is $1,572.50. It's on sale for $900 — a 43% saving. But a quick Google search reveals that other online retailers, including Walmart and Jet.com, boast similar — and in some cases, lower — prices. The more you research, the less sweet this Amazon deal gets.

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Of course, this is not to say that Amazon doesn't have good deals on their site. This Asus laptop, for example, is currently on sale for $339.99, which is $160 less than the list price. Good luck trying to find it cheaper elsewhere - Walmart had it listed for $455.39 (now out of stock), while Newegg currently has it up for $434.99. In this case, the list price/sale price comparison is actually reflective of a good deal; it just took a little extra digging to figure that out.

Either way, list prices are fading out on Amazon with apparently no rhyme or reason. For example, virtually all car seats have been stripped of them. If you search for, say, backpacks, the results are mixed. This Venture Pal has a list price that reflects a 70 percent discount.

But this AmazonBasics laptop backpack is list-price free.

 

If you're wondering how you can tell whether you're getting a good deal or not without the list prices, there is a workaround. The price-tracking tool on camelcamelcamel let's you view the pricing history for most Amazon products. When you run the AmazonBasics bag URL, you'll see that the current price of $29.99 is actually a pretty good deal. (The highest was $34.21 in March; the lowest was just over $25 last month.)

The biggest takeaway here is that you can't automatically assume that something listed as "a deal" on Amazon really lives up to the name — especially with list prices gradually disappearing. We suggest price tracking it via camelcamelcamel, or, to take it a step further, do a quick Google search to get an idea of how much competitors, and even the manufacturer, are selling the product for (the "Shopping" tab on Google can help a lot with this.)  Just keep shipping costs in mind. If you're a Prime member, two-day free shipping is tough to beat. You might find the same product cheaper elsewhere, but consider if it's worth any additional shipping fees you may incur.

 

What do you make of the Amazon list price situation? Tell us in the comments below!



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About the Author
Marianne Hayes Contributor

Marianne Hayes is a freelance writer, wife and mother in Tampa Bay. After earning a degree in journalism and creative writing from the University of Central Florida, she spent nearly a decade getting lost in New York City and Los Angeles before making her way back home again in 2014. Marianne's writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, LearnVest, The Daily Beast and more. When she's not writing, Marianne is usually cruising her local bookstore with her two daughters.

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15 Comments

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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep BogartOfElCajon?
#2
I'm glad you mentioned comparing prices with Google Shopping along with CamelCamelCamel. It's the Best way to do a quick comparison.
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep onlineaddy?
#3
Amazon.com's list prices are mostly inflated anyways. You can never trust them. So, in that sense, good riddance.
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#4
Quote from onlineaddy
:
Amazon.com's list prices are mostly inflated anyways. You can never trust them. So, in that sense, good riddance.
Agreed. This changes nothing for the true SDers who exhaust their online price searches for hours before pulling the trigger on anything. You don't base a deal by its comparison to its list price. That's rookie stuff.

As long as ccc continues to work with Amazon, we're better off without "list" prices.
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Joined Apr 2007
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#5
MSRP (or list price) has always been a joke. It's just an excuse for them to claim they are giving you some great price, when in fact it's either just the same or a bit higher than you would pay for the same product for another vendor. I am far more in favor of an CRP system (Competitive Retail Price) in which they display what it usually goes for at various vendors.
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#6
Good riddance! Some sellers have ridiculous list prices to make you think you're getting a good deal . It would be nice if Amazon (sold by Amazon) kept it, but the rest have become pointless and deceptive.
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#7
That's because no one believes them. It's just an opportunity to show fake discount.
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#8
So how will this affect programs like the video game program, where you get 20% off the list price? If there is no longer a list price, will we get 20% off the price shown? If that is the case, then when something goes on sale, will Prime members get another 20% off? I don't see that becoming true.
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#9
The example shows an Amazon product (Amazon basics) of course the list price can't be higher than the actual price.
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#10
I don't like to make sweeping statements, so instead of saying all, I will say many, many, many retailers use the same price-hiking/on-sale scheme. It's common practice. Ever shop a Kohl's?

When deciding on an item, I ALWAYS shop around and compare other prices to Amazon's. Then I check shipping prices and taxes. Since Amazon has a place of business in CA, where our state taxes are so high, I can sometimes do better elsewhere, but not very often.

I love Amazon because there are reviews to read and questions can be answered by people who have bought the item I'm considering. The only complaint I have is that sometimes the discussion encompasses several similar, same-brand items and not just the one that is being reviewed. Just have to be careful about that.

Another thing I love about Amazon is their return policy. Over the years, I've had to return 3 pairs of shoes and 1 computer. SO easy. Slap on a sticker, call for a pickup. No questions. No complaints. No charges. Money refunded immediately.

Yep. I'm a fan.
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#11
Quote from Writeful
:
I don't like to make sweeping statements, so instead of saying all, I will say many, many, many retailers use the same price-hiking/on-sale scheme. It's common practice. Ever shop a Kohl's?

When deciding on an item, I ALWAYS shop around and compare other prices to Amazon's. Then I check shipping prices and taxes. Since Amazon has a place of business in CA, where our state taxes are so high, I can sometimes do better elsewhere, but not very often.

I love Amazon because there are reviews to read and questions can be answered by people who have bought the item I'm considering. The only complaint I have is that sometimes the discussion encompasses several similar, same-brand items and not just the one that is being reviewed. Just have to be careful about that.

Another thing I love about Amazon is their return policy. Over the years, I've had to return 3 pairs of shoes and 1 computer. SO easy. Slap on a sticker, call for a pickup. No questions. No complaints. No charges. Money refunded immediately.

Yep. I'm a fan.
Eh, ever since I started running Amazon products through the fake review analysis, I have lost faith in Amazon reviews. It is standard practice for every seller to hand out free products in exchange for 5 star reviews. The Amazon review system abuse is just anther scam that will eventually be called out by smart consumers. That is why pretty much every product on Amazon is a "5 star" product LOL! 9 out of 10 times I have run a product through fakespot, the reviews earned an "F" for authenticity.

http://fakespot.com/
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#12
While I agree with checking reviews, I'll also point out one glaring flaw that was not mentioned when comparison shopping. That's, always check the actual model number, especially when talking electronics. WalMart and many other retailers may appear to have the same thing but due to their cost requirements manufacturers often make slight differences in the models (lower quality hardware, fewer features, etc..). Just something to be aware of when comparison shopping.
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#13
Piggybacking off of the comparison shopping comment. There are other great tools that can help find lower prices. Honey and Wikibuy come to mind. Honey runs a coupon check and looks for discounts that can possibly be used at other retailers. Wikibuy works when you are shopping on Amazon, it also searches other retailers and presents the best price for the exact product you are searching for when it finds a cheaper price. Putting these in your toolbox will help you maximize your savings when shopping at Amazon. I also use camelcamelcamel and it'll display the history of the pricing for any product on Amazon and setup a price watch that alerts you when it drops below the price you want it at. Great stuff. I've saved a lot of money in the past year because of these tools.
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#14
Quote from valgalder
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The example shows an Amazon product (Amazon basics) of course the list price can't be higher than the actual price.
This is what I was thinking, the article is very good but you can't use a site exclusive item to make a comparison about MSRP when no one else sells it.
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#15
I keep forgetting checking camelcamelcamel...
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