Crucial Hates Mac Users???

macagain

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 1, 2002
296
96
So, it was time to buy more memory for my powerbook. I checked the Crucial site and a gig stick was $189 and change. Good deal I thought... I'll order it when I get home. Got home, it's now $195 and change. Ok, I thought, it's kinda like the airline pricing thing, goes up and down depending on time of day and demand. Next day, checked it again, and great, it's back to $189. Was about to order and got sidetracked. Got home, decided to order, and whoa, back to $195.

Strange, I said to myself... thought a little bit more about what was different... at work (during the day) I use windozexp/firefox, at home (at night) i use os x/safari. Can't be, I thought to myself. So, I whipped out the compaq, fired it up and lo and behold, $189. Went back to the mac immediately, $195!!!

What gives???

yes, exactly the same part #
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
jsw said:
You might get some insight from this thread....
To summarize: Crucial uses cookies and browser data to attempt to customize the price for the viewer: Customize in this case means "charge the highest price that still results in the viewer placing the order"

Their criteria for pricing isn't known, but may be based on browser, OS, geographical location, and the other pages you have browsed on the Crucial site. They cannot, in general, tell what other sites you have browsed because they cannot read other sites' cookies. They can tell which site you linked into the Crucial site from -- so they would know whether you typed "www.crucial.com" or linked from MacRumors.

You get different results in part because your different browsers don't share cookies with each other, and in part because you may have arrived at the pricing page by different hyperlink routes throught the Crucial site.

What they are probably doing is changing the pricing somewhat randomly, under different scenarios, and aggregating a ton of customer behaviour data. Then they will look for any strong correlations, and turn those into a longer-term pricing strategy.


Or alternatively:
Just get your RAM from a Mac oriented RAM dealer like Data Memory Systems in the USA or us in Canada, and deal with real humans rather than this web-robot froofraw. Better prices, too.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

stridey

macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2005
1,136
0
Massachusetts, Connecticut
CanadaRAM said:
To summarize: Crucial uses cookies and browser data to attempt to customize the price for the viewer: Customize in this case means "charge the highest price that still results in the viewer placing the order"

Their criteria for pricing isn't known, but may be based on browser, OS, geographical location, and the other pages you have browsed on the Crucial site. They cannot, in general, tell what other sites you have browsed because they cannot read other sites' cookies. They can tell which site you linked into the Crucial site from -- so they would know whether you typed "www.crucial.com" or linked from MacRumors.

You get different results in part because your different browsers don't share cookies with each other, and in part because you may have arrived at the pricing page by different hyperlink routes throught the Crucial site.

What they are probably doing is changing the pricing somewhat randomly, under different scenarios, and aggregating a ton of customer behaviour data. Then they will look for any strong correlations, and turn those into a longer-term pricing strategy.


Or alternatively:
Just get your RAM from a Mac oriented RAM dealer like Data Memory Systems in the USA or us in Canada, and deal with real humans rather than this web-robot froofraw. Better prices, too.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
Is that even legal? That can't be legal... can it? That's amazing.terrible. That's... that's... *sputters off into incoherence*
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
I'm really surprised to hear this. It always seems that the majority of MacRumors members have recommended Crucial. It may be legal, but its not good ethical business practice.
 

mcarnes

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2004
1,929
1
USA! USA!
Wow. I've bought a lot of RAM from Crucial over the years. I've always praised them. But this is very poor business practice. Why not just decide on a fair price and be done with it. It must be a lot of work to decipher all that user data. What a waste.

Bah, now I gotta find someplace else to buy ram. Leaves a bad taste in your mouth, kinda like Tiger Direct. Bah.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
wdlove said:
I'm really surprised to hear this. It always seems that the majority of MacRumors members have recommended Crucial. It may be legal, but its not good ethical business practice.
Crucial does an excellent job of advertising, so they have good brand recognition.

One could be charitable and say that Crucial sells the RAM for a certain price, and then experiments with dynamic discounts...

There's no way it could be legislated against - that would prevent sellers from putting on limited time sales, and would essentially be enforced price fixing. What Crucial is doing is the same as a chain of stores putting on a sale price on canned peas at one location only for one day only; except Crucial is doing it on a one-on-one basis with a much shorter timeframe.

The problem Crucial has is that Web shoppers have the time to repeatedly visit, and then they have a nasty habit of comparing notes. Crucial have dropped the ball in EXPLAINING to their customers what is really going on.
 

ArcticFox

macrumors member
May 22, 2005
66
0
Newberg, OR
Wow - that's really...freaky. I was planning on getting another gig for my PMac but I'm not so sure that I should, now that I know what the are doing to their users. It's the cheapest place to buy it still, but should I give them the pleasure of taking my money in exchange for both RAM and horrible business practices?

Something to think about, this is.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ArcticFox said:
Wow - that's really...freaky. I was planning on getting another gig for my PMac but I'm not so sure that I should, now that I know what the are doing to their users. It's the cheapest place to buy it still, but should I give them the pleasure of taking my money in exchange for both RAM and horrible business practices?

Something to think about, this is.
Crucial is seldom the cheapest place for quality Mac RAM,
Try DMS: http://www.datamem.com
 

ifjake

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
562
1
i dunno i was always under the impression that cheap RAM has the tendency to fail more often. but i was also under the impression that Crucial could be trusted. my RAM world is getting rocked tonight.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,582
490
Melenkurion Skyweir
Despite what many Mac users say/suggest, I never ordered from Crucial. As another poster above mentioned, Crucial almost never have the lowest prices. Their RAM is just Micron RAM, and Micron manufactures RAM for many companies including Apple, Corsair and Kingston.

Anyway, I just go to http://www.newegg.com for my RAM mostly.

(And don't be such llamas - more expensive = more stable? By that logic, we should all be buying Apple RAM! :rolleyes: )
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ifjake said:
i dunno i was always under the impression that cheap RAM has the tendency to fail more often. but i was also under the impression that Crucial could be trusted. my RAM world is getting rocked tonight.
There are companies that sell other companies rejects for cheap; these cheap RAM can be very unreliable. So there's cheap, and then there is good RAM that is less expensive.

RAM from a reputable supplier is generally going to have a lifetime warranty and have less than 2% failure rate. Crucial (Micron) makes good RAM, no doubt. So do others.
 

oldpismo

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2003
89
0
UK
I just checked prices on the crucial US and UK sites from my PC and Mac using Safari on Mac (obviously) and firefox and ie on the PC. All prices were the same when looking for memory for a 20" iMac G5 1.8

I did note however that when I specified the ram by hand (rather than by computer) it was MORE expensive, so that implies that they are mac friendly, giving you a discount if you own a mac.

Peter
 

m-dogg

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2004
1,338
0
Connecticut
There was a story about this practice on CNN's website recently. I'm copying it below. Makes you wonder what other websites do this or not...

-----------------------------
Study: Shoppers naive about retail prices online

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most American consumers don't realize Internet merchants and even traditional retailers sometimes charge different prices to different customers for the same products, according to a new survey.

The study, "Open to Exploitation," found nearly two-thirds of adult Internet users believed incorrectly it was illegal to charge different people different prices, a practice retailers call "price customization." More than two-thirds of people surveyed also said they believed online travel sites are required by law to offer the lowest airline prices possible.

The study, expected to be released Wednesday by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, is the latest to cast doubt on the notion of sophisticated consumers in the digital age.

It said 87 percent of people strongly objected to the practice of online stores charging people different prices for the same products based on information collected about their shopping habits.

"I don't think people understand this is being done," said Willi Stabenau, 23, a musician in New York who participated in the survey. "We don't let ourselves be tracked that way in any other facet of our lives. Why would you want that to happen while you're shopping?"

The Internet empowers careful shoppers to conveniently compare prices and features across thousands of stores. But it also enables businesses to quietly collect detailed records about a customer's behavior and preferences and set prices accordingly. Changing prices is generally lawful unless doing so discriminates against a consumer's race or gender or violates antitrust or price-fixing laws.

Stabenau said he shops online frequently but always remembers: "They're after your money, and you want to spend as little as possible."

"People are fooling themselves if they believe otherwise," Stabenau said.

Stores aggressively try to retain loyal customers who generate the highest sales while discouraging bargain-hunter shoppers who are less profitable because they check many sites for the same product at the lowest price. They are known within the industry as "bottom feeders" who don't show any brand or merchant loyalty.

First-time buyers at a retailer could see higher prices than a firm's repeat customers, and retailers may not offer discounts to consumers who buy the same brands regularly without even looking at alternative products on the same site.

"It's really murky because companies are so loath to discuss this," said researcher Joseph Turow. "This is a new model of shopping reality. The question becomes, what do people feel is right? Can't more openness be the order of the day?"

The study urged government to require retailers to disclose exactly what information is collected about customers and how the data is used, and it urged schools to teach students better how to protect themselves as consumers.

Turow found a retail photography Web site charging different prices for the same digital cameras and related equipment depending on whether shoppers had previously visited popular price-comparison sites. He said grocery stores increasingly offer personalized discounts and coupons based on a person's shopping behavior.

Amazon.com outraged some customers in September 2000 after one buyer deleted the electronic tags on his computer that identified him as a regular customer and noticed the price of a DVD changed from $26.24 to $22.74. The company said it was the result of a random price test and offered to refund buyers who paid the higher prices.

The Annenberg study was based on results from a telephone survey from Feb. 8 to March 14 of 1,500 adults who said they had used the Internet within the past 30 days. The margin of sampling error was reported to be plus or minus 2.51 percentage points.
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