When Cookies Bite Back – Dynamic Pricing Can Increase Your Online Shopping Costs

cookies

I know most people are not techie geeks like me. They don’t want to get involved with the “guts” of their computers and the software that runs on them. However, if you do any shopping online, you need to know about cookies and how they can cost you money.

Cookies are tiny files, implanted into your computer by the websites you visit, that track your purchases, spending habits, and online movements. When a site recognizes you or shows you information tailored to your interests, it is using cookies. Most cookies are innocuous, used only by some marketing department to determine whether you were attracted to their advertising and how you used the site. However, in recent yea

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4 Responses to When Cookies Bite Back – Dynamic Pricing Can Increase Your Online Shopping Costs

  1. I’ve noticed this with travel sites, too. I’ve done research, gone back to my partner to tell him of a price, then when I go back to the site to purchase, blammo! Higher price!

  2. Stephanie says:

    You said that you were “offered a different price or offer about 50% of the time when I used the computer full of cookies, and about half of those offers were higher than the price shown to me on the clean computer.”

    Does that mean that only half the time there was a difference, and in those cases, only half were higher on the cookie computer, the other half of those cases, it was lower on the cookie computer? It seems like you have even chances of the cookie computer showing higher or lower prices.

  3. shizane101 says:

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of this, but I understand cookies well enough to see how this can work. Great article!

    Out of curiousity, I’d like to know of a site that’s doing this.

  4. Bob says:

    You also have to be aware that in many cases the site you search on does NOT sell you anything, but shows you the inventory of someone else and the someone else changes. I used Amazon one day to find Tylenol Night Time Allergy pills in a three-pack for $19.25. The next day I searched again and found the same item for $17.80. The trick was that the first search went through Amazon to a “pharmUSA” site and the next day it showed me the price through “Right Aid”. It was not cookies but the reseller changed.

    Cookies are actually wonderful because good sites remember the books, clothing, ebook reader I own and zip code near where I shop, map, go to the movies. Be too aggressive removing cookies and you will loose a lot of convenience. Get too casual about having to re-type these into web sites and you will leave a lot of personal information on a variety of computers.

    Scan your cookies every so often and delete individuals from sites you dont recognize or use frequently.

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