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Most shoppers flock to phrases like “sale,” “clearance,” and “everything must go.” But not all sales are as they seem.
Amazon Prime Day is an annual shopping event that’s exclusive to Prime members. The sale claims to allow members access to amazing deals they cannot get anywhere else. According to the owner of a Charlotte, North Carolina-based startup, however, the alleged discounts are smoke and mirrors.
Jason Jacobs, founder of Remodeez, a small company that specializes in fragrance-free foot deodorizers, said Amazon raised prices on Prime Day in order to deceive shoppers. Jacobs was shocked to find out his product that usually retails for $9.99 doubled in price that day.
“They showed the product at $15.42 and then exed it out to put ‘$9.99 for Amazon Prime Day.’ And on the final day, the price was like $18.44. So, we put a support ticket in right away and I rallied some friends through social media to go to their complaint board and complain,” Jacobs told Fox Business.
Jacobs believes the price surge was due to popularity. In the past when outlets such as BuzzFeed and Forbes featured Remodeez footwear, he noticed that Amazon increased the listed price.
“It’s not like they’re bumping it by a buck and making a little bit more money. They are really tanking sales and it kind of has a ripple effect to us, being a small company trying to do demand planning,” he told Fox Business.
Even if Jacobs wanted to lower his prices, he says, Amazon won’t let him.
“We have an agreement… we say here is the suggested retail price and we all agree on that, but the vendor [me] cannot mandate a price, you can’t price fix,” he said.
Jacobs is not the first to claim the delivery mogul is deceiving Prime members. The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog released concerns about the company earlier this month. The group claims Amazon’s new sales tactic is to list previous prices that are inflated and fictitious, causing customers to believe there are major savings.
Jacobs said by speaking out against Amazon he has “the risk [of them] squashing him for making noise,” but told Fox Business it is worth it to bring the issue to light.
“I don’t think they are being malicious about it, it is just something that they need to tweak,” he said.
In the meantime, make sure to do your research on discounted items before you end up spending more money for a “sales” item than its original price.
Vanna Vasquez is a former intern at the Daily Dot whose work focused on viral news, politics, and YouTube. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she has also published bylines with BuzzFeed.