Cyber Monday: Watch Out for Higher Prices

Cyber Monday one of the few times that the general population uses the word “cyber.” On first glance, Cyber Monday is also looking like a decent price competitor to Black Friday, now forever remembered as the day that poor Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death.

After a glance at’s homepage, I found a couple of surprisingly good deals. Check out these samples:

Brother HL-2170w Laser Printer: $89.99
Sanyo Xacti VPC-E2 Waterproof Camcorder: $199.00
New Wave Enviro Tinted Stainless Steel Water Bottle: $5.98 (this enviro-nerd product usually runs at $12+)

Browsing through discounts like those, you’d think Amazon’s Cyber Monday offers bargains on everything. Not so. Some prices were automatically slated to increase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much to the surprise of unsuspecting shoppers.

Here are a couple of quotes from Amazon’s forum:

Sony STRDG-820 was about $213 and is now $299
I bought an oneida gravy boat last wednesday for $19.00. Friday when it arrived I checked the price again, and it was $91.99
I had a meat thermometer in my cart on Sunday and when I logged in to buy it on Monday it had gone up significantly.
RipStik DLX was $65 early today (a great price); jumped $41 to $106!

Commenter D.L. Hammer explains what’s going on:

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Its called the 21st century. Walmart has been developing and testing a shelf price tag that will change automatically based on supply, demand and up to the minute cost of shipping. All computer generated. No more sales people walking around trying to put price tags on items only to have the cost go up in a week and put another price tag on top of that price tag. Remember when you used to peel off the newest tag to see that the price used to be cheaper. This is nothing new. Mom and pop shops have been doing it forever. Did you ever ask passengers on the same flight as you what they paid for their ticket to fly on the same day to the same place as you? You would be amazed. It is only the basis for all business SUPPLY/DEMAND.

I agree, but Amazon and other retailers should make it more obvious that prices change in real-time. The beauty of human labor was that shoppers could spot employees and be aware that prices were changing. Now, without warning, customers are in the dark. The onus is on Amazon to make its system more user-friendly and staunch shopper resentment.

  • Victoria

    Why should Amazon make it any clearer (than already being a dynamic website) that their prices are likely to change? People are only hacked off because they thought by waiting to Friday or today they would get a better deal. Instead the price went the opposite way. Tough. That’s the risk of waiting to see if something changes in your favour; it might change against you.