Updated! Amazon has a well-earned reputation for having the lowest prices around.
But is that always the case? Wikibuy, a crowd-sourced shopping tool, says otherwise.
The Texas-based business tracked 59 product categories across thousands of e-tailers from April 24 through Dec. 3, and found that on average, Amazon’s prices were 11 percent higher than those at other sites after incentives, cashback credits and rewards points were factored in.
The greatest price disparity was in TVs, where Amazon’s retails were higher by 20 percent on average, while tech products in general sold for 13 percent more (see chart, below).
Even Amazon’s own proprietary electronics devices were available elsewhere for less, Wikibuy said, including the second-generation Echo Dot, which sold for $38.52 on average at Amazon during Black Friday week but was available on Wikibuy for $33.08, a 16 percent differential.
“Great prices are available all over the Internet, not just Amazon,” observed Matt Gratt, Wikibuy’s head of growth. “It pays for consumers to do some research and remember ‘the rest of the Internet’ also has great deals, sometimes better than Amazon.”
The study also found that many items were priced lower after Black Friday weekend than they were the rest of the year, including that same Echo Dot (down 35 percent); the 500 GB Xbox One console (down 22 percent); and HTC’s Vive VR goggles (reduced 14 percent).
Amazon, however, disagrees with the pricing assessments, and considers Wikibuy's research "deeply flawed and misleading." As a spokesperson relayed to TWICE, “Customers come to Amazon to find low prices and great deals throughout the holiday season, and we continue to offer customers thousands of incredible deals on top products for their holiday shopping needs. Amazon prices are as low or lower than any other retailer, and we work hard for customers to ensure that’s true during the holiday season, and all year long."
Nonetheless, Wikibuy’s findings mirror those of LendEDU, which compared same-item prices at Costco and Amazon and found that a 38-product basket was 12 percent cheaper at the wholesale club.
Wikibuy, available to consumers as a free browser extension, collects its pricing information from 1.6 million users. Shoppers can purchase items from thousands of retailers through the platform, which displays the lowest prices and applies available coupon codes and loyalty rewards.