Can You Get An Adjustment From Amazon If The Price Goes Down?

mb-201311policyWe had an interesting situation pop up last week that I thought I would share in relations to Amazon’s price change policy.  In 2008, Amazon stopped issuing adjustments if the price of an item went down after you had purchased it.  From Consumerist:

Only orders placed before September 1, 2008 are eligible for a price difference refund under the Post-Order Price Guarantee policy. As of September 1, 2008 we are no longer offering discounts if prices change on our website after you make a purchase.

It’s been quite a few years, but I do recall requesting a refund and getting one if the price went down within a few days of placing an order.

When they changed the policy, I sort of understood why.  Amazon changes prices all the time based on demand for an item, as well as supply that they have available, and I would imagine that competitor pricing is also taken into account. As technology has advanced, all of these variables can be tracked and likely adjusted by computers.  Responding to price adjustment requests requires a human to review and issue the refund, which sort of defeats the purpose of maximizing their use of technology, which is one reason Amazon has been able to grow to the levels that they have.

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Is Amazon Prime Worth The Cost?

I’ve been a member of the Amazon Mom program for over a year now.  This has been a great savings boost to us, as we got 30% off diapers and other baby supplies, as well as a year free of Amazon Prime shipping benefits.

The free year of Prime just came to an end for us.  We still get to enjoy the discounted diapers and baby supplies, though they’ve recently cut it back to a 20% savings (hint: items that you subscribe too have stayed at the 30% off level, and I’ve been told that you can activate ‘dormant’ subscriptions, change diaper sizes, and those will maintain the 30% savings threshold as well, but your mileage may vary).  What we will no longer get is free two-day shipping on just about any item sold by Amazon.

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What’s The Latest With Amazon Mom?

It’s been a year since Amazon introduced their Amazon Mom program, where you got an extra 15% off baby items, including the biggest baby item expense of all: diapers!

I signed up a few weeks after the program was introduced and it has been an absolute lifesaver.  I’m curious, though, if anybody that signed up from the get-go knows what Amazon might be doing.

The initial sign-up granted you three months of the extra 15% off items in the subscribe-and-save program (which granted you 15% off to begin with, for a total of 30% off), as well as free Prime benefits so that you could enjoy free 2-day shipping on many items.   You could extend that for up to a full year by making regular purchases in the baby store.  This means that you could earn up to a full year of benefits.

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Is Amazon Getting Pinched On Shipping Costs?

One of the things that Amazon has been known for is free shipping on most orders over $25, or for all orders if you’re a Prime member.  It’s one of the things that set them apart, but I wonder how long it can last without being eliminated or changed in some form.

I ask because I’ve noticed a change in our shipping carriers that has to be a money-saving measure.

Previously, nearly every order we placed with Amazon was fulfilled by UPS.  In the last few months, though, I’ve noticed that they were fulfilled by ‘PRESTIGE’.

Prestige?

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Save Money On Amazon By Watching Price History

The other day I was doing some shopping.  There was something that I needed and Amazon is the cheapest I could find it.

I was all set to purchase the item, but I had a nagging feeling that the price was still a bit too high.

I had heard that there were some sites that you could use to track Amazon price history, so I used Google to find ‘Amazon price history’ and the first option was for a site https://camelcamelcamel.com/

I was able to check the price history, and find that I was, indeed, paying the highest recorded price for the item that I had entered.

Something on the right hand side of the page caught my eye.  It indicated that you could actually install an add-on onto my browser (Firefox) that would provide you the ability to pull information automatically, without having to navigate to a separate site.

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How Much Did I Spend On That Again?

Amazon is my favorite site for shopping online.  One of the bigger reasons I like them is for the fact that you can look back in their order history for years and years.  I can see purchases I’ve made from as far back as 2001.  That could have been when I started buying from them, or maybe ten years is all they keep.  I’m pretty sure, though, that I really didn’t start using Amazon until 2001, so I think these are all truly ‘firsts’

I thought it would be fun to go back and take a look at a few purchases and see some ‘firsts’ through the years.

January 1, 2001 – First purchase of the century
My very first Amazon purchase of the 21st century was on January 1, 2001.  It was a gift card for a close family member who has a New Year’s Birthday.

April 12, 2001 – First Book purchase
I purchased three books.  Before that, it was off to the bookstore.  Since then, I’d guess that 80% of my book purchases have come through Amazon.  The book: Dreamcatcher by Stephen King.

April 29, 2001 – First textbook purchase
I was in an MBA program at the time.  Before that, I purchased everything I needed at the bookstore at outrageous prices.  I looked and found books I needed for much cheaper on Amazon.

July 24, 2001 – First CD and First Movie purchase
My first CD purchased from Amazon was Three Chord Opera by Neil Diamond (still a big fan, by the way!) and my first DVD was Singles.

September 12, 2001 – First Charitable Donation
For awhile, you could donate money to charities via Amazon’s website.  They don’t do this anymore because now most sites allow you to donate directly, but this wasn’t the case at the time.  I donated to the Red Cross following the 9/11 attacks.

August 21, 2002 – First Electronics Purchase
These are the ones that will make you sick because you realize how much you paid for technology that gets dated.  I purchased a 3 mega pixel camera for $400.  I purchased a 128MB smart card for $50 to go in the camera.  You can get cameras with three times the megapixels for one-third the price, and the cost for a smart card is at least 95% cheaper per megabyte.  Yikes.

December 4, 2002 – First Purchase I Have No Recollection Of
I purchased a pair of gloves that I don’t remember buying and on an American Express card that I don’t remember ever having.  I think I had one through work, so I must have put these gloves on there for some unknown reason.  Strange.

January 27, 2003 – First Purchase I’ve Never Opened
I bought a wireless card for my desktop computer.  I just organized the basement storage area with my computer stuff and this is still sitting there in the shrink wrap.  $60 down the drain as I’m sure the card is pretty well worthless at this point!

June 16, 2003 – First Hilarious Purchase
Going into the summer, I decided I needed a confidence boost to talk to girls.  I bought a couple of ‘how to get any woman you want’ books.  Even though I went for some of the less tacky ones, can you ever really buy non-tacky books of that variety?  They were fun reads, and hey, wouldn’t you know it, that is the same summer that I happened to meet the future Mrs. Beagle.  Maybe this should have been entitled “Best Purchase I Ever Made”  (editors note: After I established my relationship with the future Mrs. Beagle, I distributed these books out to single friends, but don’t really know if they were of any help)

November 26, 2003 – First Kitchen Purchase
I bought a set of pots and pans.  Nothing fancy, but for a bachelor they did just fine, and they lasted me until our wedding where we got a real, grown-up set.

May 27, 2007 – First Honeymoon Planning Items
We planned our honeymoon in Hawaii and purchased books with tips and tricks for the two islands we decided upon.  This gave us a few months of reading to get all the ins and outs down beforehand as our honeymoon wasn’t until September of that year.  These books, combined with a travel agent who specialized in Hawaii vacations, made for some incredible visits that we never would have otherwise made.

November 27, 2007 – First Christmas Ornament
I purchased a Lenox ‘First Christmas Together’ ornament for my new bride, and the best price was found on, of course, Amazon!

March 26, 2008 – First Gold Box Deal (and Camping Tent) 
Mrs. Beagle had introduced me to camping a couple of years earlier (I’m not the outdoors type), and we were looking our own tent as we’d previously borrowed one owned by her parents.  I found a deal on one through their ‘Gold Box’ section and we gave it a shot.  It was a Columbia tent advertised as waterproof, and I have to say, it definitely was!  The first time we used it, we set up and awaited a predicted ‘passing rain shower’ that turned into a three hour thunderstorm complete with downpour that lasted the entire three hours.  We stayed cozy in our tent the entire time without a drop of water getting in!  Now, I subscribe to their Gold Box deal RSS feed with the hope of finding another tent deal, since that one fit us great but is a little too small to now accommodate Baby Beagle.

September 22, 2008 – First Baby Books
We found out we were expecting on September 7th.  We bought a couple of books: My wife got one for things to expect during pregnancy.  I got one called “My Boys Can Swim!” (editors note: this still makes me *lol*) and we got two copies of “101 Ways To Spoil Your Grandkids” which we later used to ‘announce’ our pregnancy to our parents.

February 26, 2010 – Most Recent Order
Baby Beagle had two identical blankets that became his ‘favorite’.  Well, he learned to drop things out of the cart during grocery shopping, and after one incident where Mommy was looking the other way, he was down to one.  They didn’t sell it in the store any more, so we turned to Amazon and got two more, for a really good price too!  This was our last order to date but certainly there will be more.

I love how Amazon keeps track of what you purchased.  Looking back, I can see gifts that I’ve purchased over the years, I can look at my tastes and how they’ve changed in books and music, I can look at how technology has changed and how stuff I thought was a great deal then looks shocking now.  It may sound silly, but seeing this consolidated list brings back some memories.

Thanks, Amazon!