Shopping Discussion

Caveat emptor - Amazon Subscribe& Save

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 26th, 2017 4:53 pm
16 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2009
4199 posts
4342 upvotes
The problem is not from the idea of S&S. The actual problem is from Amazon. How can I trust a company to define an inflated price as a MSRP and Amazon still claims this is the best price they can offer at the moment. I will trust more from Walmart S&S, not from Amazon S&S.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2016
821 posts
223 upvotes
That's a very good point - Amazon's prices are all over the place and determined solely at their own wild discretion.
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Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2009
4190 posts
1260 upvotes
As a Canadian...

Could the issue be that the majority of consumer goods companies are American while we have a banana republic currency?

Currency goes down 30% and you expect companies to just take the loss and if it gets worse they should still give you the old price?
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Mar 13, 2003
2850 posts
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Alberta
renoldman wrote:
Aug 16th, 2017 8:54 pm
As a Canadian...

Could the issue be that the majority of consumer goods companies are American while we have a banana republic currency?

Currency goes down 30% and you expect companies to just take the loss and if it gets worse they should still give you the old price?
This is an American article.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2009
4199 posts
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This is new insert into the article :

[CLARIFICATION: Amazon asked us to point out that when signing up, customers must click through a prompt explaining that "Subscribe & Save" prices can change from delivery to delivery. What's more, "We also email customers ten days before every recurring subscription delivery to let them know their order is being filled and we call out the current price of the item and the price from their last delivery, giving them the chance to skip or change the order if they want."]

Amazon really doesn't understand the concept of S&S. The purpose is providing convenient for customers to receive product in certain period of time. Yes, it will inform customer before the delivery and let the customers decide if they still want to proceed the next shipment. However, with the history of Amazon inflated price, customers will be forced to cancel the shipment and find the product somewhere else because of the huge inflated price. You see, that's a big contradiction from the original concept of S&S which provides the "convenient". Amazon actually kills the S&S idea from its inflated price concept. I don't think customers will cancel the S&S shipment if everywhere is selling the same regular price, but not with huge inflated price. Unfortunately Amazon is no longer supporting the concept of price protection for customer.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2009
4190 posts
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scouzer wrote:
Aug 16th, 2017 9:04 pm
This is an American article.
Correct, but this is a Canadian forum.

It is unrealistic for US companies to charge a steady price in a currency that is not stable.

A stable currency does not swing like the Canadian Dollar does.

I would bet that the majority of the people complaining on this forum are complaining because the price is changing due to currency fluctuations.

The US article would miss the currency fluctuation point as the US Dollar is relatively stable when compared to the Canadian Dollar - and consumer goods companies are largely American.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2016
821 posts
223 upvotes
renoldman wrote:
Aug 16th, 2017 8:54 pm
As a Canadian...

Could the issue be that the majority of consumer goods companies are American while we have a banana republic currency?

Currency goes down 30% and you expect companies to just take the loss and if it gets worse they should still give you the old price?
Also related to Amazon's sneaky pricing strategy of locking in lazy customers
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Jun 8, 2008
3977 posts
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Toronto
springdays wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 9:06 am
Apparently this issue is getting widespread press:

http://time.com/money/4466333/amazons-s ... -increase/

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/tech ... on-it.html

In essence: the price you are quoted for Subscribe and Save is NOT the price you get charged when it ships!!!! Price differences can go up by 50%
I recently made a subscribe and save order and it was very clear when I made the purchase that the price may change. It reads:

"All Subscribe & Save orders receive a discount on the Amazon.ca price of the item. Because the Amazon.ca price may change from time to time, the amount you pay each month may change. You will receive an email reminder before each delivery that will provide advance notice of any changes, and remind you that you can cancel the order or make subscription changes before the items are shipped."

Or are you suggesting that once I approve of that particular installment, the price could change again before shipping?
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Sep 19, 2002
2513 posts
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Vancouver
I'm not sure why there's an expectation of fixed pricing when the delivery interval can be up to 6 months.

You're paying for the convenience of free shipping and regular deliveries to your door. You can cancel or skip deliveries at any time. And you get email notifications in advance.

It sounds like customers want to lock in at low prices and never have to worry, and also get choice. Like anything else, you can only pick 2 of the 3 constraints.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2016
821 posts
223 upvotes
wirebound wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 9:32 am
Or are you suggesting that once I approve of that particular installment, the price could change again before shipping?
Yes. This exactly.
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2016
821 posts
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Spinner wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 4:06 pm
I'm not sure why there's an expectation of fixed pricing when the delivery interval can be up to 6 months.

You're paying for the convenience of free shipping and regular deliveries to your door. You can cancel or skip deliveries at any time. And you get email notifications in advance.

It sounds like customers want to lock in at low prices and never have to worry, and also get choice. Like anything else, you can only pick 2 of the 3 constraints.
Fluctuations can be > 50%. As the article states, for non diligent customers, it can be considered bait & ...

Guardian has an interesting article today about the "dynamic pricing" introduced by companies like Amazon https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... s-facebook
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Jun 8, 2008
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springdays wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 9:03 pm
Yes. This exactly.
Sorry, what I mean is that they'll email me with the cost for the next instalment in my subscription and that cost may be higher than the original cost for the first instalment but that quoted price then would be what I'm charged. I have the option to purchase it or not. I don't see this as contradictory to their email to me though. It says prices can change.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 23, 2016
821 posts
223 upvotes
wirebound wrote:
Aug 24th, 2017 7:27 am
Sorry, what I mean is that they'll email me with the cost for the next instalment in my subscription and that cost may be higher than the original cost for the first instalment but that quoted price then would be what I'm charged. I have the option to purchase it or not. I don't see this as contradictory to their email to me though. It says prices can change.
I guess what I am referring to is:

I order. I get quoted the price. The price is sent to me in an email.

When the item ships that price now changed. The receipt is different. I contact Amazon.ca customer service (which is very sporadic) and I'm told, even after the order price is confirmed, Amazon can just change the price.

Insanity.

Maybe it works better for you, though, by the sounds of it.
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