Everyone makes mistakes. And while a few grammar or spelling errors can go unnoticed, in the world of online shopping, a small mistake can bring down the wrath of customers. We have all been there: you find something you like at a certain price and see it again later at a lower price.
You then check the website again and again, hoping that the original price will finally be lowered again. But, unfortunately, that never happens. This is where an online store’s pricing policy comes into play.
As a reminder, most major websites have a minimum and a maximum price for their items so that they do not sell them below cost or above cost (and thus make a profit).
When a store allows its prices to be listed below or above this range, it’s called wholesale pricing and is usually used by small businesses that want to get as many customers as possible to buy their products without having to limit the sale prices for each item.
On the other hand, if an online store has fixed prices at a certain level, it means that it only makes money from its products if it sells them at that price (and therefore charges whatever price it deems appropriate for each item).
In other words, once your competitors know what your fixed selling prices are, they can make sure that they do not undercut you by offering the same product at a lower price than you, so as not to lose potential customers.
What’s the difference between wholesale and fixed pricing?
Wholesale prices are usually used by small businesses that want to get as many customers as possible to buy their products without having to limit the selling prices for each item.
Fixed prices, on the other hand, mean that a store simply charges whatever price it deems appropriate for each individual item.
When an online store has fixed prices at a certain level, it means that it only makes money from its products when it sells them at that price point (and therefore charges the price it deems appropriate for each individual item).
Therefore, fixed prices are usually used by larger companies that can sell more products and make more money because they can afford to do so without worrying about the competition.
How to tell if an online store has a wholesale or fixed pricing policy
Most online shopping websites offer a range of prices for their products. Most of these online stores use fixed prices (i.e. they charge the same amount for each product) and make money only when a product is sold.
Amazon, for example, sets the price for its items at 95% of the retail price by default. That means if you want to buy a $10 Amazon gift card, you’ll be charged $0.95 per item.
On the other hand, retailers who use wholesale pricing only make money on a product when they sell it wholesale, even if that means charging less than it costs them to produce it.
They want as many people as possible to buy and sell their products while still making a profit on each sale, so they do not set fixed prices for individual items.
You can see this in how retailers like Walmart or Target have different prices for different products in different departments of their store, but not necessarily on the website itself.
This can also be seen in the “All Marketplace Sellers” section on Amazon, where you can find random products that are sold at different prices depending on whether you buy or sell from them.
What to do when you find an item at a lower price than retail price
When you find an item at a lower price than the retail price, there are two options. You can either contact the store via email and ask why they mispriced it or you can do what many people do: just not purchase the product in question.
What to do when you find an item at a higher price than retail price
If you find an item that’s been marked at a higher price than its retail price or if it has wholesale pricing, then it’s best to let the store know. You can contact customer service and they’ll likely be able to adjust the price for you.
If you still can’t get the item reduced, then it might not be worth buying from this store in the first place.
Should you buy at the lower price or wait for the retailer to drop their price?
The decision to buy at the lower price, wait until the merchant lowers his price, or not buy at all is still yours. It’s always a good idea to compare prices online before you buy anything, just in case the retailer does not catch the mistake.
It can be disheartening when you realize that the price you saw online was wrong, but if it’s not the first time you have seen the item, it may still be worth waiting until it’s on sale again. If you do not mind passing up a buying opportunity and waiting, then buying now is not a bad option!
If there is no way to turn back the clock and buy the item at a lower price, you might want to consider buying something else from them instead.
Maybe there’s a good sale going on right now, or maybe the prices are just too high for your tastes, if that happens often. Whatever you decide, have fun shopping!
What’s the best course of action when there’s no drop in sight?
The best course of action when an online store’s pricing isn’t dropping is to contact the customer service team and tell them that you want to take your business elsewhere.
If they really want to keep you as a customer, they should drop their prices back down and apologize for any inconvenience they caused.
If an online store does not have fixed retail prices, it’s up to the customer to keep an eye on prices as they search for bargains and make sure they do not get ripped off. If a store has a fixed pricing policy, it has to make sure that the prices of its items cover its costs or make a profit.
And while this can be difficult in the world of e-commerce, there are always ways to negotiate with stores to get what you want.