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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:44 AM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Don't assume Amazon has the lowest prices on presents

My wife and I have had Prime for quite a while and use it frequently for buying gifts and having them sent straight to peoples houses. For some reason I was always under the impression that Amazon prices were lower than big box retailers and free shipping was icing on the cake. So my wife and I went to Target to shop for some toys for the kids xmas presents. I downloaded that Amazon app for my phone that lets you scan UPC codes to check prices with them. I was expecting that Amazon would be cheaper than Target by quite a bit. Needless to say I was very shocked to discover that of the 8 toys we looked at 7 of them were SUBSTANTIALLY more expensive on Amazon. 2 items were almost double the price.

If you're wondering it was a Doc McStuffins doctor kit ($14.99 at Target, $$40.99 on Amazon) and a Jesse Toy Story action figure ($8.99 at Target $25 on Amazon).

Now I'm a little gunshy about just buying things that seem like good deals on Amazon without doing further research.

Just thought I'd share this enlightening moment with other shoppers.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:55 AM
Antigen Antigen is offline
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I noticed that a while back. Especially with Amazon vs Target. The main appeal of Amazon, at least these days, for me, is the easy free shipping. Sometimes it's worth it for me to pay a little more to avoid the hassle of going to the store, and sometimes not.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Nitpick:
The first is "Sold by Deal Bucket and Fulfilled by Amazon."
The second is "Sold by The Journey's Treasures and Fulfilled by Amazon."

As far as I know Amazon has nothing to do with these prices. They don't happen to sell them on their own.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:43 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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I learned that a long time ago. A lot of times the Prime price is about equal to the non prime price plus shipping. But I still use the heck out of it... I'm happy to pay for that convenience.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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I'm pretty much sold on Walmart.com over Amazon. Really good prices and free shipping on most. Just have to pay sales tax, which I don't mind a bit.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:49 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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My general impression is that Amazon has sufficiently cornered commerce on the internet so that they don't really have to compete on price any more. If you try shopping for most things, chances are that almost every link will bring you either directly to Amazon or to an Amazon affiliate. So the days of the internet being a good place to price shop seem to be over.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:51 PM
bump bump is offline
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Usually when I'm buying things online, if the price is similar, it comes down to whether or not adding sales tax or shipping makes the total cost higher one way or the other. That's the great thing about something like Amazon Prime- if you order enough over the course of the year, the part of the annual feed that amounts to any one thing is pretty low- certainly less than 8.25%.

That being said, it's not uncommon that buying local, especially with sales and promotions, can be cheaper than Amazon. It's like Wal-Mart- most things may be cheaper, but some things are definitely cheaper at Target.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2012, 01:56 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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I was tipped off to a great app called Red Laser. I haven't used the Amazon one, but Red Laser will give you the on-line prices from a dozen different vendors.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:37 PM
lost4life lost4life is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
If you're wondering it was a Doc McStuffins doctor kit.
Something about that just sounds wrong.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:02 PM
Sattua Sattua is online now
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It's true. Everyone pays for the Prime "free shipping". Amazon is definitely good for books and other media, but usually bad for other stuff.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:10 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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I'll just note, again, that you don't need Prime to get free shipping from Amazon.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:27 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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If you don't have prime, they often throw in free-shipping as kind of a bait and switch. Often the free shipping option means they wait several days, and then ship it by the slowest available method. I think they hope you will be drawn in by the free shipping offer, and then when you see how long it will take, pay for a faster option. Also, I find that the free shipping is seldom the default shipping option on orders where it is available. So if you don't pay close attention, it is easy to end up paying shipping you didn't intend to.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:51 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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I am a prolific online shopper, since I live somewhat in the boonies and hate going in malls and most retail outlets anyway. I buy about 99% of things from either Amazon or B&H Photo, based on the combination of availability; selection; clear, simple and reasonably-priced shipping (often simply free); lack of sales tax; and reliability. I occasionally make wider searches as a price check but it's not one time in 50 that anyone beats these two mega-sources, at least, not without questions about reliability, speed of processing, return policies, etc. (I think I've bought about four items at deep discount from buy.com, but always with a great deal of nervousness.)

I don't have to save the last nickel on price and I'm happy to pay a little above some shyster's lower price to get the reliability of Amazon. I'm even happier when, as just recently, I buy a few high-ticket items, find that B&H is significantly the cheapest, put in my order, and get it for free shipping less than 24 hours after clicking Buy.

At a certain point, it's not worth an hour of shopping, comparing bottom-line prices (which on some merchants can't be obtained until you get to the final checkout step), and risk-taking on second-tier merchants just to save the last one or two percent on the deal. Quick search, check Amazon, check B&H, check anyone with a substantially lower price, buy.

Yes, Amazon's free shipping can be maddeningly erratic. This time of year, it's as fast as any other option; summertime, could take ten or twelve full days... or not. You pays yer money and you takes yer chance...

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 12-10-2012 at 03:53 PM..
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:06 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
If you don't have prime, they often throw in free-shipping as kind of a bait and switch. Often the free shipping option means they wait several days, and then ship it by the slowest available method. I think they hope you will be drawn in by the free shipping offer, and then when you see how long it will take, pay for a faster option.
Not much of a switch. Ordinary non-prime free shipping usually gets me my stuff in less than a week. Apart from once or twice when I had to grab a last-minute gift and paid for priority, when is that not fast enough? I don't need that book or DVD any particular time. Unless I need something to do now, in which case any physical shipping is too slow, and I want a download.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
Also, I find that the free shipping is seldom the default shipping option on orders where it is available. So if you don't pay close attention, it is easy to end up paying shipping you didn't intend to.
That's true. You gotta check the box.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:17 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
If you don't have prime, they often throw in free-shipping as kind of a bait and switch. Often the free shipping option means they wait several days, and then ship it by the slowest available method. I think they hope you will be drawn in by the free shipping offer, and then when you see how long it will take, pay for a faster option. Also, I find that the free shipping is seldom the default shipping option on orders where it is available. So if you don't pay close attention, it is easy to end up paying shipping you didn't intend to.
Are we talking about Super Saver shipping? It is hardly a bait and switch if the terms are expressly said to, among other things, involve delivery within 5-8 business days. They can't be expected to spring for 2 days for every customer. The default shipping options can get you, but they're common to most internet retailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPress View Post
I am a prolific online shopper, since I live somewhat in the boonies and hate going in malls and most retail outlets anyway. I buy about 99% of things from either Amazon or B&H Photo, based on the combination of availability; selection; clear, simple and reasonably-priced shipping (often simply free); lack of sales tax; and reliability.
I hate shopping too, and things like no sales tax is icing on the cake. Nevertheless, possibly prepare to be sad. California fought hard to collect taxes which they will then use responsibly. Amazon fought back but ultimately didn't succeed. Other states jumped aboard; the list is short now but more are coming. I know my state will be added in 2014.

I also know they're a big evil corporation, but I feel okay supporting them. Even better than I feel about Google, as some people out there think they are a non-evil exception to megacorps.
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:50 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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I know online sales tax is coming. I don't even particularly object to it; it's one of those loopholes that really do need plugging.
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:53 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
IMHOtep the Justifed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
I also know they're a big evil corporation, but I feel okay supporting them. Even better than I feel about Google, as some people out there think they are a non-evil exception to megacorps.
Even as an Amazon seller I don't think they're evil; they're a huge business, nothing more, nothing less. Expecting them to be a house o' warm fuzzies is sure to lead to disappointment.

Ditto for Google, and as for their famous motto, methinks the lady doth protest too much. Power corrupts, always, and Google is damnably, frighteningly powerful.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2012, 08:12 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is online now
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Even on their own site, the prices aren't always better. However, depending on how you're shopping, the free shipping may tip the balance.

A couple months ago, we wanted two widgets. Amazon had it, as did a third-party seller. The third party was 10-15% cheaper - but shipping brought it up to higher than Amazon's price.

Then I did the math. Shipping for *two* items was no more expensive than for one, at the third-party place. So buying two from them was cheaper than buying two from Amazon.
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:03 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Before buying almost anything online except books, I check Google Shopping to see if anybody has it cheaper. It covers both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers but obviously it can't encompass every seller of every item. I usually find that Amazon has competitive prices when you take into account the expense and inconvenience of driving to the store. I generally use supersaver shipping, which is admittedly slow, but I'm an unusually patient soul.

For books, I check bookfinder.com instead. Amazon usually has the best prices on new books, but for used books I find better deals elsewhere about half the time.

Last edited by bibliophage; 12-11-2012 at 08:04 AM..
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