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Amazon Changes Its Pricing Strategy

Amazon has changed the way it displays pricing, according to the New York Times. While it used to show how much an item was reduced from list price, Amazon has now dropped any mention of a list price, displaying only the actual selling price, according to the newspaper.

“The new approach comes as discounts both online and offline have become the subject of dozens of consumer lawsuits for being much less than they seem.”

But the Times seems to think it’s more than that, continuing, “It is also occurring while Amazon is in the middle of an ambitious multiyear shift from a store selling one product at a time to a full-fledged ecosystem. Amazon wants to be so deeply embedded in a customer’s life that buying happens as naturally as breathing, and nearly as often.”

Amazon has also been testing another approach: “It tells the potential buyer what the price used to be on Amazon.”

The Times pointed to discussions on the Amazon seller boards such as this onestarted on May 6 titled, “Why does Amazon not display “list price” anymore?”

In it, Amazon sellers debate whether MSRP pricing is deceptive – some say it’s an effective sales tool, others say some sellers use it to manipulate rankings.

Have you noticed changes in how Amazon displays product pricing, and has it impacted your exposure on the Buy Box? Let us know:

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.