Wednesday, 2 July 2014

08:02 – Barbara and I are binge-watching series four of Downton Abbey on Amazon streaming. We’ll finish the final three episodes tonight. We generally keep two or three series in progress. Once we finish Downton Abbey, we’ll be down to just Dawson’s Creek on Netflix streaming. We’re about halfway through that, so we’ll add something else, probably The Wire on Amazon streaming.

09:52 – I think Amazon is screwing with me. They “reward” frequent customers by increasing the prices they charge, apparently on the assumption that satisfied customers won’t bother to compare prices. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that Amazon is getting less and less competitive, so I’ve cut back on purchases from them. I used to check their dynamic pricing changes by getting prices on something while I wasn’t logged in and then logging in to compare the original prices with the logged-in prices. There was sometimes no difference, but quite often the logged-in prices were higher, sometimes significantly so. And even when they aren’t, Amazon often isn’t competitive with other vendors. That “free shipping” they offer with Prime turns out not to be so free, and even their non-Prime prices are often considerably higher than those of alternative vendors.

For example, I just checked this morning to see how much Amazon was charging for Keystone Meats All Natural Ground Beef, 28 Ounce. Amazon wanted $10.77 per can, whether or not I was logged in. So I went over to the Keystone Meats website, where I found that they were selling a case of 12 cans for $80. Even with $20.62 shipping that comes to only $8.39 per can, so Amazon is charging about a 28% premium.