No More Price Adjustments at

I’ve always enjoyed shopping at Their prices have always been very competitive and the free shipping and no sales tax are excellent perks. The one negative about Amazon has always been that their prices fluctuate wildly, sometimes day to day (especially during the holidays). If you shop with them regularly, I know you’ve experienced this. I know that retailers put things on sale periodically, but this is not what Amazon does. Amazon adjusts prices according to a formula known only to them and the reduced price might last a matter of hours, days, or weeks. (Note that I am not speaking of their Deal of the Day or the Lightening Deals here, but their regular merchandise pricing.)

In years past I shopped with them regardless of this quirk. Amazon always had a policy that, if the price went down on an item within thirty days of purchase you could write to them and they would issue you a refund for the difference. This made it a bit easier to deal with their price gyrations. I could order something, secure in the knowledge that if it went down the next day I could get a price adjustment.

As of this year, that policy is no more. I found this out the hard way when I ordered a bunch of television series on DVD. Less than 48 hours after I placed my order, the price of each set went down anywhere from $5 to $10. The total loss to me was significant, as I had ordered a lot of seasons. I emailed Amazon asking for a price adjustment and was told that they no longer do that. I was disappointed, to say the least.

I wrote them back, letting them know of my frustration and expressing the fact that I felt like, without the adjustment policy, they were cheating people with their crazy up and down prices. Either keep the prices consistent or offer the adjustments. I know many brick and mortar stores still offer price adjustments on items if the price goes down within 7, 14, or 30 days, depending on the retailer. I told Amazon that, in the future, I would shop with retailers that either offered consistent prices or price adjustments. To their credit, Amazon did make a one-time only exception to their new policy and did offer me a refund of the price difference on my order. That’s great, but next time I’ll think twice before ordering from them again.

I am very sad to see their price adjustment policy go. I can’t begin to guess why, in a crumbling economy, they would choose to do away with the one policy that made a lot of customers more comfortable shopping with them. I hope that if enough people complain they might bring it back, but I doubt it.

So I’m writing this piece as a warning to those of you who are planning to do a lot of Christmas shopping through Amazon this year. If you are expecting to be able to buy now and get adjustments later, forget it. Don’t buy from them until you are sure the price is as low as it will go, or until the price is so low that you feel like you’re getting a bargain no matter what happens to the price in the future. My own shopping habits will change this Christmas because of this. If I do order something from Amazon, it will only be things that I know cannot be found cheaper elsewhere or that are difficult to obtain. Anything else will be purchased from retailers with stable prices or price adjustment policies. My advice is this: If you buy from Amazon, don’t look at the price of your item again. If it’s gone down, you’ll only make yourself sick.

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15 Responses to No More Price Adjustments at

  1. shraz says:

    Yup too bad but as long as they have Good Prices + Free Shipping + Tax Free, I am happy.

  2. Rob says:

    I agree it does seem like a big business mistake to do away with this policy during these economic times, perhaps they saw Comcast raise their prices and figured hey if they can raise prices in these times why cant we do away with adjustments…. GREED will get either company nowhere with me, Im canceling comcast and will rethink my Amazon shopping.

  3. JLS says:

    I have never had that problem. I guess it’s because I only buy in the “used” section. I then buy based upon price and condition.

  4. catmom says:

    Thanks for the info. I don’t shop there much but I know a lot of people that do!

  5. Ed says:

    If you’re buying a expensive item like a camera and the price goes down significantly within 30 days, wouldnt it be wise to refund it and repurchase it at a lower price? That seems to be the case for me here. My camera has gone down 100 bucks since I purchased it a 1.5 weeks ago. So it’s worth it for me to ship it back even if I have to pay for shipping.

  6. Betsy says:

    Can you return what you bought, and rebuy it at the discounted price? Assuming return shipping is less than you are “owed”, you will at least recoup some of your $$.

  7. Deanna says:

    I do a lot of my holiday shopping on Amazon and throughout the year I shop with them occasionally. I never really noticed their crazy price fluctuations until this holiday season and I not happy. One of the more significant price changes I encountered was on a Playstation 3 game I ordered on Dec. 1st for $50.99. This morning I saw it on their website for $29.98. I immediately called them up to complain. The customer service rep told me they no longer offer price adjustments, but will do it for me just this once. I also complained to her about receiving someone else’s packing slip in my box when my package arrived yesterday. I used to think Amazon was so great, but now I’ve changed my mind. I’m not sure I will be ordering anything else from them in the future.

  8. mailia says:

    I purchased an item here for $64.99 (U-Dance game) and within a few weeks it was only $20.00 that is $45.00 cheaper. I called they refused to budge. I was also hung up on a few times. I returned the item and brought the item from Wally world for $20.00 with .97 cent shipping. There are so many other stores with better return policies and great customer service. I will take my money elsewhere.

  9. Steven DeBaun says:

    I agree with the article completely. I can understand not matching prices of other websites, but the policy of not matching their own website within 30 days of purchases make Amazon a very unattractive retailer in my opinion. Almost any reputable retailer of any size will match their own prices within 30 days of purchase. With the wild price fluctuations already evident on amazon’s site, this refusal to match their own prices makes shopping with them something like gambling.

  10. Can says:

    It just happened to me yesterday. After about 10 hours from my purchase, the price went $10 down. I was aware of their price policy so I’ve been watching it for a few weeks and it didn’t move even $1 up or down at the time. I’m going to think twice next time, too.

  11. Carmen says:

    I too had the same problem this year with Amazon after seeing my items purchased last week go down by $11.00. Have always gotten a refund but the refused this year. WILL DEFINATELY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY CONTINUED LOYALTY TO AMAZON.

  12. dominik says:

    personally, i don’t buy something unless i am happy with the price. So if it goes on sale the next day, i have no reason to bitch, although i definitely would prefer the lower price, of course. I hope to never be jealous of other’s good fortunes, be it something as petty as receiving a lower price, or something much more important.

  13. Common Sense says:

    I just came across this article and comments. If this person was unhappy with the price at the time of purchase, then they simply should not have purchased it. There is no reason to whine like a two year old about unfair it is after their decision was made to purchase the item at a certain price, and then see a lower price is offered at some point in the future. This demonstrates immaturity and hints at a deeper petulant side of this person’s character. Don’t buy whatever thing it is next time if you aren’t happy with the price offered for sale.

  14. Beth says:

    I totally agree, I’ve placed like 3 orders from Amazon in the last few weeks and I keep checking the prices hoping my items have stayed the same or increased since i’ve ordered..not the case for the most part they’ve gone way down! It drives me crazy…but I also agree that if it was a decent deal when I ordered I shouldn’t complain! I just wish I could get a price adjustment..i didn’t know that you can’t.

  15. TJ says:

    I was ready to purchase a speedlight that rose in proce by $30 one week ago, then yesterday it came down $20. I place it in my cart, then trouble with the site……after working through the issue with Amazon CS, the price went back up, and I was out of luck!!!!

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