Discounted Offers On Ecommerce Sites Actually Cost More Money, Confirms New Study

The word discount is something that really attracts any buyer out there. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay less for a product or service that’s in demand?

Hence when the terms discount and Amazon arise together, you know online shoppers are bound to fall in love. But a new report claims you shouldn’t be too focused on finding the best online deal because chances are, you’ll be paying more in this case.

The study goes into detail about how so many sellers on the app are not as honest to shoppers as they should be. Moreover, this particular collaborative study has found many vacuum cleaners that are put on sale on the app actually pretend to give discounts. But if truth be told, the price has actually gone up.

Researchers working at the University of Florida, Arizona, and even South Carolina have teamed up to explore whether or not Amazon sales are worth it or not. And by that we mean if they’re offering a price that would benefit shoppers or the sellers.

And that’s when they realize that during sales, the sellers on the app tend to raise the price and put up a previously seen ‘unadvertised’ list price. It’s also seen crossing out the most expensive list prices and providing a false impression that users are going to get a bargain deal.

We automatically assume that the discount is there but you are actually putting out 23% more. Then with time, the price drops, and then you’ll see the discount tag and the list price disappear. This particular tactic is seen for not only household appliances like vacuums but electronics like cameras, kitchen goods, drones, and even books. So it’s more or less like a misleading strategy.

But still, those who aren’t aware tend to lean more toward the term sale. And that just goes to show that products tend to improve with sales rankings. Whenever you see the term discount on Amazon, you’re bound to pay higher. That’s what the study found.

Now, the big question on people’s minds is linked to whether or not the current rules in place are deceptive or not in terms of pricing strategies. Moreover, are all sellers involved in such behavior allowed to do this legally or not?

Well, according to the current rules and regulations in place, there is a ban on such deceptive practices related to fake prices. Hence, sellers need to put out truthful comparisons of prices. And that’s why you’ll find hundreds of examples in the past where consumers were seen putting out so many Class Action Lawsuits against huge stores like JC Penny and the like of Ann Taylor.

Such stores are accused of adding false claims of discounts for the sake of displays and for deceiving the shoppers. But with that said, you need to understand that not all of these cases meet the definition of a lie.

As confirmed by one professor recently, most current laws outline the values of list prices. Moreover, they aren’t saying anything linked to misleading a buyer by manipulations of the time that such prices are introduced.

For this particular study, the researchers looked at common household appliances on the app that were posted between 2016 to 2017. And that’s when it was seen how researchers grabbed a hold of nearly 1700 vacuums and took around 500,000 individual prices into consideration. And that’s when they found almost all of these were linked to no price change or price drops when new list prices were introduced. But around 22% had an increase in price.

So the take-home message is to be cautious when shopping online with discounts. Just don’t believe everything you see because every discount is not equivalent to a low price.

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