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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazon is a Cheater: How to Get Cheaper Books

Hello, book lovers.

I just found out Amazon and lots of other retailers charge faithful customers more than newbies who stop by for a look. I'd like to muster up some righteous indignation right now, but I find that it's all been used up by the poor people who can't live on 500,000 a year. Gee, I'm clipping coupons, and you might have to give up your personal trainer. Hmmmmm.

There is a way around Amazon's underhanded little strategy, but it's a large pain in the arse. You have to delete your cookies so they don't recognize you as someone who's bought tons of books from them in the past. As someone who's supported them through Kindle worship. As someone who's given gifts to their family, bought from them. *Waves fist impotently*

But then all those sites that automatically recognized you don't any more. And you have to type in that password you haven't used since you signed up because your cookies don't scream out your name. Oh the joy of emailing for all those passwords!

I get it, Amazon. You're in this to make money. No surprise there. But I must say, this looks bad. Especially after you ran out of Kindles well before Christmas - or held them hostage . . . Especially after the author bullying incident.

I hope you think about the bad press this'll get you. I don't mind you making a profit, but prices should at least be the same for everybody if you aren't going to reward loyalty.

I haven't decided what to do yet yet. Maybe the best strategy is to shop on a friend or relative's computer - provided they don't go to the same retailers and get recognized.

Or maybe they'll just make it so aggravating I won't buy as much stuff anymore. After all, I need to save money. But if you book lovers out there want a better deal, start writing down those passwords.

8 comments:

Writer Chick said...

Well, now doesn't that stink. Cookies are my downfall.

irishoma said...

Hi Tricia,
Thanks for the advice.
Donna

K9friend said...

Gee whiz, and here I thought that retailers loved customers who come back for more. Great way to reward them, Amazon!

Tricia Grissom said...

Yeah, give me stores that give you coupons for spending money there, or free shipping.

Catherine Rankovic, USA said...

Are you sure? The MSN story only says amazon.com denies it. Who has proof?

Tricia Grissom said...

There have been other reports of Amazon's price issues http://consumerist.com/5126730/save-money-shopping-online-by-deleting-your-cookies and the original story is at http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/24/ramasastry.website.prices/

Granted, they may have changed their practices. I'm going to test it out to see, and I'll let you know what I find. I suspect they do it sporadically to elude detection.

Reji said...

Computers in my public library do not allow cookies, so shopping from one of their computers is a way to get around the cookie dilemma.

Tricia Grissom said...

Ah ha! Thanks Reji.