Amazon Stops Price Drop Refund Policy on Most Goods

dgstorm

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Amazon has been pretty good about giving customers a refunded difference if a product they just bought drops in price within a short time of their purchase. That will no longer be the case. Amazon will stop offering customers a refunded price difference if there happens to be a price drop on it after purchase. The only exception to this is TVs.

According to Amazon, they technically aren't stopping their policy, they are in fact simply enforcing what was already in place. Amazon claims that they only ever had that policy on TVs, but their customer support personnel where simply extra generous with doling it out to other products if customers contacted them and complained. From now on, Amazon will simply be using the refund option strictly with TVs only as their original policy dictated.

Insider speculation suggests the likely reason Amazon has moved in this direction is because of internet services like Earny. If you are unfamiliar, Earny is a service that scans a users emails for recent receipts and then compares them to price listings on the same product to see if there were any recent price reductions. The service then alerts the user so they can contact Amazon for a refund of the difference. It sounds like this service was making it too efficient for consumers to cut into Amazon's profits.

While some might find it frustrating that Amazon is going this route, ultimately it's just smart business and capitalism. After-all, when a customer finally enters their credit card info and clicks on "purchase" through Amazon, it's obvious they were satisfied enough with the price to "pull the trigger" and buy it. Once a price is settled and a sale is made, it's not the retailers' fault that a price drop occurs afterwards. What do you folks think?

Source: Amazon stopped giving refunds when an item's price drops after you purchase it
 

Powarun

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Problem is then Amazon complaining about people returning things too often because they won't give them the credit. Really its better economically for a webstore to do price match rather than having things shipped back because such and such product is found elsewhere then dealing with the return.
 

Mustang02

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Problem is then Amazon complaining about people returning things too often because they won't give them the credit. Really its better economically for a webstore to do price match rather than having things shipped back because such and such product is found elsewhere then dealing with the return.
You're confusing price matching and this article. This article is about buying a TV for $500 today and tomorrow it's $450.
 

Sajo

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I'm OK with it. I shop on Amazon frequently and agree with the statement that when I clicked Buy, I was happy with the price at that point in time. I have never bought a TV through Amazon, or anything as expensive as a new TV. But I never went back to see if the items I did buy had dropped in price a few days later, never really even thought about it; maybe I'm just too busy to think about checking. If I am OK with the purchase price today, and it happens to go on sale for cheaper tomorrow, then so be it. Bad luck & timing on my part, I don't expect them to refund the difference.

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mountainbikermark

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Where I work we have a policy where if you find a lower price , even if we put it on sale afterward, within 10 days we'll refund the difference upon request.
Though I agree with those above that state clicking buy means agreeing to the price listed, I don't mind getting a refund if I find a lower price either. I bought a bike a couple of years ago from work. It went clearance the next week. They gave me back the difference. The following week they ran a "half off every Schwinn bike today only" special. Guess what. I got the difference back by matching the online price. Between the 2 refunds I got over $100 back.

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dgstorm

dgstorm

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To be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with consumers taking advantage of the situation if a retailer (or etailer) offers such a policy, but I don't blame Amazon for NOT offering such a policy.

Also, I think I see what @Powarun is trying to say, and he makes a great point. He is pointing out that many retailers offer such a policy because it can be cheaper for them in the long run with some customers. Some folks will go to the trouble of returning an item if they find it cheaper a few days later, and then re-buy it at the lower price.

This is more expensive for the retailer than if they had simply offered a refund of the difference. This is because now they basically gave the original buyer a discount anyway (when he re-buys it), and they are also stuck with the returned item, which must be sold at an even deeper discount or returned to the OEM. The retailer gets boned extra in this scenario.
 

mountainbikermark

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To be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with consumers taking advantage of the situation if a retailer (or etailer) offers such a policy, but I don't blame Amazon for NOT offering such a policy.

Also, I think I see what @Powarun is trying to say, and he makes a great point. He is pointing out that many retailers offer such a policy because it can be cheaper for them in the long run with some customers. Some folks will go to the trouble of returning an item if they find it cheaper a few days later, and then re-buy it at the lower price.

This is more expensive for the retailer than if they had simply offered a refund of the difference. This is because now they basically gave the original buyer a discount anyway (when he re-buys it), and they are also stuck with the returned item, which must be sold at an even deeper discount or returned to the OEM. The retailer gets boned extra in this scenario.

This is exactly why Toys R Us adopted the policy they have years ago. It costs more not to have it than to have it.

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zinethar

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While I mostly agree with the "you were happy when you bought it" side my only exception is when they know it will be on sale within a short period of time and fail to let you know before the purchase. For example in the US there will be holiday sales starting very soon. If I went to a store that knew what I wanted would be on sale either give me the sale price or the option of getting it today at normal price or wait for the sale then the decision is mine to make. Years ago Sears had many angry customers (me included) and changed their policy to let you know that it would be on sale in the next 30 days. Good customer relations.
 

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While I mostly agree with the "you were happy when you bought it" side my only exception is when they know it will be on sale within a short period of time and fail to let you know before the purchase. For example in the US there will be holiday sales starting very soon. If I went to a store that knew what I wanted would be on sale either give me the sale price or the option of getting it today at normal price or wait for the sale then the decision is mine to make. Years ago Sears had many angry customers (me included) and changed their policy to let you know that it would be on sale in the next 30 days. Good customer relations.
While I get your point, I feel like that goes above and beyond good customer service.

Why not just start the sale early if you're going to give people the discount before the sale officially begins?

Would I be more than happy if a store/associate let me know that the item I wanted would be cheaper if I wait a week? Sure, but I don't see that as customer service. I see that more like insider trading. Haha!

I guess it's all in how you look at it. I'm happy to save money anywhere I can, but if I had bad timing and something goes on sale later, unless it's a SERIOUS discount, I just chalk it up to my loss.

I don't think stores, online or brick-and-mortar owe us a heads up when something is going to be on sale. If they send out a flyer/email with sales info, I still assume there may be other items on sale that aren't listed in that ad, but other than this kind of advertising, I don't see where they should have to alert me of an upcoming sale if it's not otherwise listed somewhere.

It's business. While I see the points made by those saying that they'll incur more cost from a person returning an item than if they'd just issue the refund of the difference, I also know that there are many people who would decide it wasn't worth the effort of going through the return for a few extra dollars back. Although I know some who'd send the item back right away just to buy it again too.
 

mountainbikermark

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While I get your point, I feel like that goes above and beyond good customer service.

Why not just start the sale early if you're going to give people the discount before the sale officially begins?

Would I be more than happy if a store/associate let me know that the item I wanted would be cheaper if I wait a week? Sure, but I don't see that as customer service. I see that more like insider trading. Haha!

I guess it's all in how you look at it. I'm happy to save money anywhere I can, but if I had bad timing and something goes on sale later, unless it's a SERIOUS discount, I just chalk it up to my loss.

I don't think stores, online or brick-and-mortar owe us a heads up when something is going to be on sale. If they send out a flyer/email with sales info, I still assume there may be other items on sale that aren't listed in that ad, but other than this kind of advertising, I don't see where they should have to alert me of an upcoming sale if it's not otherwise listed somewhere.

It's business. While I see the points made by those saying that they'll incur more cost from a person returning an item than if they'd just issue the refund of the difference, I also know that there are many people who would decide it wasn't worth the effort of going through the return for a few extra dollars back. Although I know some who'd send the item back right away just to buy it again too.
Back in the days when snail mail was how we found about upcoming sales I see the point about letting the discount be done early as most sales flyers showed up a day or so before the sale started. This was especially true of grocery stores. If we don't know ahead of time, because the store didn't tell us, I really like that insider trading analogy but if there store releases the upcoming sale before it starts I side with the customer being able to get the price early but only because I know from experience in the grocery business when I was young that folks would buy it on Saturday before the mail came, return it after the mail came then come back the next day and buy it at the sale price. My grandmother was FAMOUS for that. She'd spend $5 in gas driving around in her air craft carrier sized Cadillac to save .15 on a can of soup, spending the entire day Saturday grocery shopping then again on Sunday after church to rebuy what she took back because it was on sale Sunday.

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xeene

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I've spent close to $18k on Amazon in last 9 years and this will have zero effect on me.
 
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