Local News


Amazon secret: First price may not be the lowest

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 2:59 AM, Oct 12, 2016

Do you shop Amazon much? It's so easy nowadays, with free delivery and the lowest price on your item listed right up top of the search results.

Or is it the lowest price? A new report says not necessarily.

Search reveals list of sellers

Do an Amazon search -- for example, for a baby stroller -- and the site shows you a list of sellers, starting with the lowest price.

But an investigation by the nonprofit news group ProPublica claims the site favors products sold directly by Amazon, followed "Fulfilled by Amazon" sellers.

It claims independent sellers, no matter how low their price, often get slighted.

ProPublica analyzed 250 product listings and claims that 75 percent of the time, Amazon or "Fulfilled by Amazon" products showed up first -- even if other sellers were cheaper.

It's even more of an issue, the report says, if you are not a Prime member.

How this can cost money

And from the doesn't that stink file, how this can cost you money if you are not careful:

The report looked at Loctite Super Glue: The first listing, sold by Amazon, is $7.80. If you are not a Prime member, shipping is another $6, the report found.

But further down the rankings is a mom-and-pop store offering it for $6.75, a dollar less, with free shipping.

It's easy to miss, which may have you saying, "Doesn't that stink?"

Amazon responds by saying "we alert customers that lower prices may be available from other sellers.," and says "service and fast delivery are critically important" as well.

How to protect yourself

Bottom line: When shopping Amazon, don't assume the first listing is the best listing with the lowest price.

You could save 20 percent by just scrolling down for other vendors, so you don't waste your money.


“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”). The information included in this article was obtained independently by Scripps reporters.  While purchases from links inserted in this article may result in a commission for Scripps, no Scripps reporter benefited from that commission.

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