Secrets Of Online Shopping Discrimination [Yes, We Pay More than Others] - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Secrets Of Online Shopping Discrimination [Yes, We Pay More than Others]

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Most people think you can usually find a better deal when you shop online.

But the price you see can be different than what other people see. The type of computer you use, your online search history, even your zip code have all been used by online retailers to determine what price you pay.

In a study conducted by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston, nine out of 16 online retailers and travel websites tested showed different prices or difference results for the same searches.

For most of the items, everyone’s search resulted in the same price. However, it didn’t happen every time.

When Owens looked up a night’s stay at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando on Travelocity on her laptop, she was shown a price of $132 per night. The same search on Travelocity at the same time on a mobile phone came up with a price of $119.

A spokesperson for the travel website said it sometime does offer lower prices for people who use smartphones.

A similar finding was discovered when participants searched Rosetta Stone’s online language software.

Those in the group who searched on a desktop computer were shown a price of $249 for Levels 1-5 of Mandarin Chinese. Those who used a mobile device were offered the same products for $189 – a $60 difference.

Researchers found 9 of 16 online retailers use “price steering” or “price discrimination”

When you log onto a website, companies can see your search history, your clicks, the type of computer and browser you use, and even determine your location. All of this, according to Wilson, can be used to personalize prices online... [Full Story]

[Ed:] I have absolutely witnessed this discrimination first hand--most obviously when looking for airline tickets with Alaska Airlines. Here is what I recommend in the future when shopping on Black Friday or for high priced tickets like travel on Airlines....

Go to your browser history. Delete everything. Then go into "private" or "incognito" mode. This will help clear your search history so that the bots can't use your browsing history against you. While there may still be bias and 'discrimination' just these two actions will potentially help you save money.

If you truly want a better deal you will have to use a VPN network...that's a bit more complicated...ask in the comments for more information.


Read More: Celebration of Life for Virginia Demmert (November 26, 2016)

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