|Tue July 5 2016 13:01:34|
Should Amazon and Other Sites Ban MSRP Prices?
By: Ina Steiner
Should sites like Amazon ban MSRP prices? The New York Times
has sellers buzzing with a story saying Amazon is moving away from displaying Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. "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," it wrote.
The newspaper is referring to cases where shoppers accuse merchants of overstating deals and misleading consumers. It's not a new problem - a group of attorneys general sued Overstock.com
in 2010, for example. The lawsuit had cited an example where Overstock allegedly advertised a patio set for $449.99 claiming a "List Price" of $999, but arrived with a Wal-Mart sticker showing the price to be $247. The complaint accuses Overstock of often making up "list prices" and "compare at prices."
Sellers began noticing changes on Amazon on May 6, and while many sellers were not happy, others were pleased.
In one thread
, a seller who offers his own branded items said by offering a "list price" and putting it on sale, "it made people think they are saving money." When another seller said using list price in this way was "bogus and an insult to the buyer's intelligence," the seller replied, "I'm well aware that it is bogus but it is a common marketing tactic that works very well at boosting sales."
In another thread
several sellers said they were happy to hear the news. "So glad you asked. Only now realizing MSRP is gone for health supplements. Happy to see this because they (most supplement sellers) showed inflated bogus amounts to make it look like buyers (they would have to be stupid) were getting a good deal. I didn't show bogus amounts so it always looked like my products were discounted the least. Playing field is now even."
We'll have more on this in Wednesday's Newsflash - in the meantime, let us know what you think about the way Amazon and online sellers display discounted prices.
Should Amazon stop displaying MSRP prices, or do they help your sales? Do you think the change will prompt eBay to make a similar move?