I am not nieve about the games many big retailers play with pricing. Having been a manager or owner in the retail market for the last fifteen years, I’ve seen a lot of “pricing theories” come and go. Still, I found myself feeling a little shocked when I read an article in the Casper Star Tribune this morning which described a new trend. Evidently, retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Sears and others are using computer programs that constantly change the prices of certain items on their online stores throughout the day. The article gave an example of one product varying in price by $70 in one day.
To be honest, I felt a little angry. What happened to just pricing a product at a fair price and putting it on sale when it didn’t sell after a reasonable amount of time? The article admitted that the average consumer is unaware of these schemes. And that is just exactly what it is… a game.
As our world moves more and more to a digital marketplace and mega retailers like Amazon gain more and more market share, I feel afraid for the consumer. Your local retailer could never get away with something like this. Most that I know don’t play games. They offer a fair price that stays the same until the item goes on sale. You see to us, our customer is not just a nameless, faceless buying machine. You are our customer. We know you. We know your family. We know what you like. If we want to keep you as a customer, we must be honest and act with integrity in our business dealings and in our pricing.
So this holiday season, visit your brick and mortar stores. You can be sure the item you are buying wasn’t $70 cheaper an hour ago.