Amazon – can someone explain...

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 6, 2011
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...their prices (especially their *RRP* price-listings)?

They are simply untruthful, and make their so-called discount "savings" look higher then they should be.

Here are two quick examples:
• Apple 27 inch Thunderbolt Display.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-27-inch-Thunderbolt-Display/dp/B005DXS7DQ
RRP: £951.53.
Price: £804.94.
You Save: £146.59 (15%).

My issues here are:
1) Since when has this been RRP'd at "£951.53", when it clearly shows on Apple's own website (on the Tech Spec's page, so outside of Apple's own actual online store) at £899.00 (http://www.apple.com/uk/displays/specs.html )?
2) This then makes Amazon's discount appear to be higher (15%) then it actually is really (10%)!


• Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M (vs.) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fujitsu-ScanSnap-S1500M-Document-Scanner/dp/B001VGG6X2
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fujitsu-ScanSnap-S1500-Document-Scanner/dp/B001VGJ7JM
RRP: £716.99 vs. £417.00.
Price: £445.53 vs. £337.74.
You Save: £271.46 (38%) vs. £79.26 (19%).


My issues here are:
These machines are IDENTICAL, except for their physical colour (white vs. black) and one comes with Acrobat For Mac the other Acrobat For Win.
3) Hence, while I don't know the proper RRP on these, but how on earth can one have an RRP of £717 while the other £417.00?
Trust me, I've checked the specs are almost identical, so how can the Mac version possibly be RRP'd £300 (72%) higher??
4) thus, the prices they are charging are also massively different: £107.79 (32%) more for the Mac version??
5) Again, this then makes Amazon's discount appear to be higher then it actually is likely to be!


How can they expect users to treat their pricing seriously, when it seems (to me at least) to be all over the place?

(PS: I contacted them twice for comment, and they gave me the shrug-off as per usual from these large companies!)
 
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jimthing

macrumors 65816
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Apr 6, 2011
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London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
What? You didn't check the links before answering.
- All *Amazon's own prices* (ie. not marketplace sellers).
- VAT is *always* included in EU.

So not "some companies" just Amazon themselves, and VAT has nothing to do with it. These are the FULL prices delivered to my front door (using free Super Saver shipping).

Anyone else have some actual relevant reasons here. As this is really bugging me.
I mean, how can they get away with such false, misleading info (specifically talking about RRP's)?
 

Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
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Well, according to this (pdf):

4. If you want to make price comparisons, you should do so only if you can justify them. You should be able to show that any claims you make are accurate and valid. As a general rule, you should only compare like with like, but comparisons with prices which you can show are being charged for very similar goods, services, accommodation or facilities and have applied for a reasonable period are also unlikely to be misleading. Guidance on these matters is contained in this Code.
My take is that Amazon can quote RRPs as long as they have some justification for it. RRP seems to be different from what we in Canada/US tend to use, which is "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" (MSRP). MSRP would be set by Apple, but RRP seems to be open to broader interpretation.

That said, I don't know what Amazon is using for justification. Obviously not Apple. But if other retailers in the UK routinely set the price for the Thunderbolt display higher than Apple, that could be a factor.

You'd have to ask Amazon, I guess, since I couldn't see anything on the page about how they derived their RRP.
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
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Apr 6, 2011
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Yeah, I figured that the RRP was not a "legal statement".

But what about the Fujitsu one: only 72% RRP difference on identical models‽
Why do they even bother advertising an (obviously entirely wrong to customers) RRP? Do they really expect us to take them seriously on ANY of their pricing?
 

Surely

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Oct 27, 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
Well, according to this (pdf):



My take is that Amazon can quote RRPs as long as they have some justification for it. RRP seems to be different from what we in Canada/US tend to use, which is "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" (MSRP). MSRP would be set by Apple, but RRP seems to be open to broader interpretation.

That said, I don't know what Amazon is using for justification. Obviously not Apple. But if other retailers in the UK routinely set the price for the Thunderbolt display higher than Apple, that could be a factor.

You'd have to ask Amazon, I guess, since I couldn't see anything on the page about how they derived their RRP.
As an aside, I read that television manufacturers are going to start forcing sellers in the US to use RRP instead of MSRP starting with the 2012 models. Prices are expected to go up because of this.


I've had great experiences with Amazon....I'm a big fan. Usually the stuff I buy is either lower than what I would find elsewhere, or the same price.

For example, I bought a 2009 MacBook Pro for $1050 from Amazon, and it is usually $1199. I bought the base 2011 Mac Mini for $568 from Amazon, and it is usually $599. I bought the 128GB/4GB 1.6GHz 11" MacBook Air from Amazon for $1098, and it is usually $1199. And don't get me started on the low RAM pricing. Oh, and since Amazon doesn't collect sales tax in my state, I may or may not have declared this and paid it on my state income taxes.;):p

I can't explain their reasoning for their pricing where you are though :/
 

jimthing

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 6, 2011
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London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
As an aside, I read that television manufacturers are going to start forcing sellers in the US to use RRP instead of MSRP starting with the 2012 models. Prices are expected to go up because of this.


I've had great experiences with Amazon....I'm a big fan. Usually the stuff I buy is either lower than what I would find elsewhere, or the same price.

For example, I bought a 2009 MacBook Pro for $1050 from Amazon, and it is usually $1199. I bought the base 2011 Mac Mini for $568 from Amazon, and it is usually $599. I bought the 128GB/4GB 1.6GHz 11" MacBook Air from Amazon for $1098, and it is usually $1199. And don't get me started on the low RAM pricing. Oh, and since Amazon doesn't collect sales tax in my state, I may or may not have declared this and paid it on my state income taxes.;):p

I can't explain their reasoning for their pricing where you are though :/
Yeah, I think you miss the point: I know they often have good prices.
The point is the RRP figures for same items are wildly different — why?
(eg. Fujitsu ones above: only 72% RRP difference on identical models‽)

To say again, this makes their discount percentages massively higher in real terms, eg. 15% discount they advertise, instead of the 10% real discount on the item (which is thus a 50% higher discount than reality).

I've heard of algorithms being used, but if they are wildly inaccurate that make Amazon look very very silly, then why use RRP's in the first place? The only usage is for searching their database via discount parameters, but again, if the RRP's being used are plainly false, then the discounts users are getting in their search results are also entirely false.

If something is wrongly RRP'd massively higher, then sold substantially lower, the discount percentage looks MASSIVE in comparison.

Are they really expecting users to be so thick as to not notice this? Seem so, AFAICT...