Amazon has quietly dropped the list price option on its website. The online commerce giant was famous for its deals.
The New York Times reported that Amazon has removed any mention of a list price. The retailer's new approach to pricing comes after it has become the subject for consumers' lawsuits. Apparently, discounts on both online and offline items were claimed to be less than they seem.
"When Amazon began 21 years ago, the strategy was to lose on every sale but make it up on volume," Larry Compeau, a Clarkson University professor of consumer studies, said. "It was building for the future, and the future has arrived. Amazon doesn't have to seduce customers with a deal because they're going to buy anyway."
According to Fortune, manufacturer prices are commonly used to increase sales by letting shoppers think that they are getting discounts. In some cases, though, manufacturers assign their products with high list prices. Retailers then undercut them with lower prices.
One seller, named Travis, complained in an Amazon forum that the list price on his product, which he did not identify, had been removed from the website. "I'm well aware that it is bogus but it is a common marketing tactic that works very well at boosting sales," he wrote.
"We've been conditioned to buy only when things are on sale," executive director of TruthInAdvertising.org Bonnie Patten said. "As a result, what many retailers have done is make sure everything is always on sale. Which means nothing is ever on sale."
TIME noted that list prices may be meaningless. However, the real reason that Amazon is eliminating them could be because they no longer need to compete with other retailers.
The company has established itself to be the first place that shoppers turn to for any kind of purchase. This time, Amazon could be pushing the idea that consumers should buy items at the site on the sole price listed there.