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10 times Amazon tricked your ass into spending more money

(FINANCE NEWS) Although they are notorious for underselling, a closer look shows that Amazon is not *always* the best bet when you want to get the most bang for your buck.

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Time to #shopsmart again

Amazon’s claim to fame is their low prices. You can find virtually anything you need on their site, and have it delivered straight to your door. So why shop anywhere else? Although they are notorious for underselling, which has caused some rifts with businesses in the past, a closer look shows that Amazon (and vendors selling through Amazon) is not always the best bet when you want to get the most bang for your buck.

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Strategic pricing

When analyzing Amazon’s pricing algorithm more closely, Boomerang Commerce revealed that they do not have the lowest prices across the board. Instead, Amazon uses strategic tactics to lower prices of the most popular items. They focus on the most viewed and best-selling items to undercut competitors.

It is a strategy that certainly makes them money and leads consumers to assume that they must be the cheapest option for all products.

If you’re in the market for less popular items, you may want to spend a little more time comparing prices before adding another item to your Amazon cart, even if comparing a retailer selling on Amazon versus in their brick and mortar store. To illustrate our point, we’ve compiled a quick list, including a variety of items that are all less expensive than buying on Amazon.

Where they get you

Tazo Zen Tea (24 bags)
Target, $2.99
Amazon, $4.58

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Sephora Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner
Sephora, $12
Amazon, $20.98

Alter Eco Chocolate Organic, Deep Dark Sea Salt 2.82 Oz. – Case of 12
Alter Eco, $44.28
Amazon, $45.66

Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner, Spray Bottle, 30 Oz.
Walmart, $2.85
Amazon Prime, $2.99

RCA MS60BKR 32″-60″ Ultrathin Fixed TV Mount
Walmart, $22.79
Amazon, $69.81

IKEA Holmo Floor Lamp, 46”
IKEA, $12.99
Amazon, $18.60

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MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension Skinfinish Beaming Blush
Macy’s, $33
Amazon, $52.97

CAP Barbell Rubber-Coated Hex Dumbbells, Set of 2 (10lbs each)
Walmart, $17.80
Amazon, $36.78

Oreo Limited Edition Peppermint Sandwich Cookies, 10.7 oz.
Target, $2.99
Amazon, $3.99

Rejuvenate Stainless Steel Polish, 10 oz.
Home Depot, $5.97
Amazon Prime, $10.95

Don’t panic just yet

Throughout the list, you will notice a range of price discrepancies. Some are small, and others yield a wide enough gap that you may suddenly feel the need to double check your next few Amazon purchases. Don’t panic. There is no need to cancel your Prime membership yet.

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The fact remains that online shopping still has its perks: it’s convenient, comfortable, at times cheaper, and you can order everything you need while never changing out of your pajamas.

But while Amazon may have everything, but they are not the answer to everything. Especially when it comes to shopping smart. Your bank account could benefit from spending a little extra time expanding your shopping horizons (or at least price checking before paying).

#ShopSmart

Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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