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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Your browser influences what you pay online.

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clarkhoward/travel/mac-users-being-fed-pricier-hotel-searches/nPfRc/

Please everyone read and spread it around This should become illegal!

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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Natural selection.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your browser of choice can influence what you pay online | www.clarkhoward.com

Please everyone read and spread it around This should become illegal!

I do not think it should be illegal. I think buyers should learn how to shop around for the best deal.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I do not think it should be illegal. I think buyers should learn how to shop around for the best deal.

did you even read the article? if you are using safari browser, you might pay more at certain sites. Its like going ti a restaurant and getting a menu with higher prices than the rest of the tables.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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did you even read the article? if you are using safari browser, you might pay more at certain sites. Its like going ti a restaurant and getting a menu with higher prices than the rest of the tables.
Hence what bob said. People should learn to be more 'net savvy'. Like I said, natural selection, if your dumb enough to buy something without shopping around, don't expect any sympathy.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bob Maxey View Post
I do not think it should be illegal. I think buyers should learn how to shop around for the best deal.
Very similar to the companies who change the prices based on your location. You have no control over that unless you surf anonymously, and the average user knows nothing about how to do that.

WSJ: Retailers adjusting online prices based on location and perceived income | The Verge

All of it should be illegal.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if your dumb enough
Oh, the irony.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, the irony.
Congrats on spotting a swypo have a silver star
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Old February 20th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There are so many factors in marketing any product, that the pricing based on browser seems trivial by comparison. Compare same-station gas prices around town, near freeway off-ramps, etc. Compare sales rep attitudes based on the way you're dressed and/or the age/condition of the car you arrived in at the lot.

That info we deliver to every site we visit is there for a purpose (for the website admin/owner), it's not only about how to render the page.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's like going through a drive through and the price changes depending on what car you are driving.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That's like going through a drive through and the price changes depending on what car you are driving.

Drive through carwash? Hummer costs more than a mini
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So basically, the article says everyone should use Chrome.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your browser influences what you pay<br>online.

When will Mac users learn

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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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did you even read the article? if you are using safari browser, you might pay more at certain sites. Its like going ti a restaurant and getting a menu with higher prices than the rest of the tables.
Something like that sometimes happen here. If a store thinks you might be rich, like you have a real iPhone or something, they will frequently try charging you the higher price. And foreigners will frequently be charged a premium price, especially if they think you might be an American. Unless you know enough Mandarin to ask for discount and can haggle.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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When will Mac users learn

I know. Its not that Macs are expensive after all. Its that only Mac users buy macs and when doing so, they're using Safari to make the purchase!

I can't wait for someone using apple products to say "this cost x"...
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Your browser of choice can influence what you pay online | www.clarkhoward.com

Please everyone read and spread it around This should become illegal!
I'm nearly certain that the agencies have found that Mac users most often demand the pricier joints. Otherwise it'd be forced pricing, which does not work for anything other than door to door sales.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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it might be just a tip of the iceberg. Image companies giving you the price they want to, or you can even make the rest of the stores online charge you the same price. I think its a very dangerous situation for consumer's rights. It has nothing to do with how tech savy you are.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 04:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Drive through carwash? Hummer costs more than a mini
The car wash service is for the actual car. A Hummer is bigger than a Mini, so I would say the effort in servicing a Hummer is more than a Mini and a higher cost for the Hummer is reasonable. If I go through a drive through at a restaurant, I am servicing myself. That does not change with the car I drive.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The car wash service is for the actual car. A Hummer is bigger than a Mini, so I would say the effort in servicing a Hummer is more than a Mini and a higher cost for the Hummer is reasonable. If I go through a drive through at a restaurant, I am servicing myself. That does not change with the car I drive.
There are simply people who have never paid one bill in their life and everything they have is from mommy's and daddy's wallet. Anyway....

Let me put it in simple words for you. What is happening is pure discrimination. If they can study your behaviors of buying things online, it's fairy possible that you are never going to find a proper deal online. In other cases they can base things on studies, and lets say, are willing to give a better deal to a Jewish, Indian or Chinese user over Caucasian or Black person. How would they know? Well you type in things and some have keyboard registered. Same way with locations. If you order things from Harlem or south bronx you should not pay less than people ordering from SoHo (or central park facing buildings)

This example is not limited and this should be strictly prohibited, as it was mentioned before you don't pay 30% more for driving to best buy in a Porsche over people on Honda's and Toyotas.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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There are simply people who have never paid one bill in their life and everything they have is from mommy's and daddy's wallet.
That reminds of the thread came up a few months ago here in the Lounge. Young man didn't get a job because he had an iPhone.
Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone ? The Register

"Students who have iPhones don’t work. Everything you have was bought by your parents. You haven’t bought anything by working yourself."


Of course this is China, and things like that can happen here.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 04:53 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It is unfair and shouldn't be allowed .. but it's also not unusual in the 'real' world.

I recently moved to the edge of a very up-market area and when we were getting quotes for things like building work, they were way higher (like double) what they had been for the same work in our previous house in a more average area.

Same thing with quotes from gardeners and cleaners.

You'll also notice that if you go to any up market area, you pay more for most things - a coffee in Starbucks, food at the local supermarket, gas .. Of course, some of that is because the businesses are probably paying higher rents, which is not the case in the virtual world.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 05:02 AM   #22 (permalink)
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What?

Let me get this straight, sites are detecting your browser and changing the price accordingly?

No question really, that should be illegal.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 08:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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This hit the news sometime last year. Yes, it should be illegal. I think the story was focusing more on how travel sites were showing Mac/Safari users upscale hotels or resorts as a higher-ranked result than they would be on a PC or other browser.

Sure, using Chrome will work, until they realize they can get the OS version as well.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 08:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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So, we all know we can get browsers to fake this info: the question is, what should we have it pretend to be to get the best prices?

I'm guessing a XP / IE7?

I think I have an actual machine with that
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Your browser influences what you pay<br>online.

I noticed years ago price diffences such as this and am grateful for the common sense I was blessed with. I Never just jump the gun and buy something I always shop around as some would say, it's all about doing our research before buying any product. Just as we don't just use any software or app we look at ratings and reviews. I even go so far as checking the BBB and/ or consumer reviews. Keeps me from getting ripped off.

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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:06 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedt View Post
That reminds of the thread came up a few months ago here in the Lounge. Young man didn't get a job because he had an iPhone.
Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone ? The Register

"Students who have iPhones don’t work. Everything you have was bought by your parents. You haven’t bought anything by working yourself."


Of course this is China, and things like that can happen here.

Thats a nonsense, but qualifying for a job mostly depends on how well you are prepared for the interview. It's a circus that might disqualify the applicant just for not sending the follow up letter.

Anyway coming back to the post. Whatever big corporations are doing getting us close to situations described in books such as "1984" or "The Giver" You do not want to give total control of your life to someone.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:15 AM   #27 (permalink)
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did you even read the article? if you are using safari browser, you might pay more at certain sites. Its like going ti a restaurant and getting a menu with higher prices than the rest of the tables.

I did and I looked at several patents. Google is a big player in this variable pricing; they hold a patent on at least one such strategy. The idea is nothing new as the patent files will attest.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:21 AM   #28 (permalink)
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What?

Let me get this straight, sites are detecting your browser and changing the price accordingly?

No question really, that should be illegal.
That is part of it. As I have said, there are patents covering variable pricing.

Patent US5822736 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

Patent US5987425 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

You should read the citations and references and see how this evolved. the solution is simple: shop around and find the best price.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:25 AM   #29 (permalink)
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How about a form of Linux and FX?

I happen to use an XP laptop, but I'm doing my damndest to keep that POS IE from even running. I use FX ESR, Opera, and Iron. I also use Startpage and Duck Duck go as search engines.

There are still ways of searching for prices. Ebay sellers, Amazon, etc. See what the fair trade is for a camera by checking one of the reputable online sellers. Then find the deal. Check that dealer out. Amazon does post lists of prices from various sellers.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 10:46 AM   #30 (permalink)
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That is part of it. As I have said, there are patents covering variable pricing.

Patent US5822736 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

Patent US5987425 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

You should read the citations and references and see how this evolved. the solution is simple: shop around and find the best price.

why do you think if it exist and its patented, its fine? Yes, people shop around, but its not right, certain things should be controlled by the government. You do not want to overpower big corporations.
I shopped around for a car insurance few months back, and I tried to negotiate the quote. I was told that price was final and they do not negotiate the price because its prohibited by law.
There are things here and there, but Id be really pissed to get higher prices at my favorite sites just because I use coupons all the time.

Black Friday is already a myth, you can get much better deals year round, next thing to become a myth is "shop around" because what they are doing is trying to put an end to, and no matter how many stores you visit, you are going to pay the primium price.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:49 AM   #31 (permalink)
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user-agents are fun:
xkcd: Umwelt






As far as this goes, I'm pretty indifferent. I imagine it is similar if you went into a pawn shop. If you were buying something that the seller should sell for anything from 1x to 3x, and you walked in dressed very well, flashing expensive products, you would be far more likely to pay 3x to 4x.

It's this practice applied to the internet.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I'm wondering if some business people will lobby for a law that will make faking your browser or other information illegal. I'm sure if there is money involved, people dealing with it will find some way to make sure consumers can't cheat their way to lower prices. There seems to be a push over the years to ensure your identity online is authentic. Google+ and many other sites are enforcing users to use their real identity instead of a pseudonym which is has been more or less the norm since back in the BBS days.

This topic also reminds me of some automated vending machines. There was a story on them that revealed these automated vending machines can automatically raise the price of cold drinks when the weather gets hotter.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 04:17 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That's like going through a drive through and the price changes depending on what car you are driving.

I'm sure you remember the Lethal Weapon skit with Joe Pesci and his little scene about the drive-through. Same thing applies I think.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:41 PM   #34 (permalink)
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That is part of it. As I have said, there are patents covering variable pricing.

Patent US5822736 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

Patent US5987425 - Variable margin pricing system - Google Patents

You should read the citations and references and see how this evolved. the solution is simple: shop around and find the best price.
I could care less if Google or anyone else is in on this, it's still wrong. Shopping around is one thing, but now you're supposed to use multiple browsers to find a fair deal? Ridiculous.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:20 PM   #35 (permalink)
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the solution is simple: shop around and find the best price.
But I think the point is that different people will find different prices when they shop around. You might shop around but all the prices you find will be higher than the guy who shops around using a different browser. You will never find the cheapest prices, just the best available for your browser, or your skin colour.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:45 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Something like this should not be illegal. This can be used for partnerships with certain browser developers. It is a very useful tool in marketing! However much the customer may not like it, what are customers going to do? Boycott the internet? No, I think not! They will just use the browser that gets the lowest prices.

In the browser market now-a-days, the browser doesn't mean too much. The main reason I use Firefox is because my keyboard screws up in chrome, and the only reason I'd use chrome is because it matches my google fanboyism. The browsers these days are generally all similarly sophisticated, and not really in need as an important choice. This tactic can give your choice meaning.

I am all for equallity between browsers and innovation and open source. However, without some sort of competition and a common agreement that "no matter the browser" applies, innovation stops. No need to go further. The competition brings users better prices accross the board, each browser having healthy competition with eachother to bring the best deals to its customers can be a very good reason to choose a browser.

So no this should not be illegal, it drives innovation, drives competition, and brings better prices to customers. Why would anyone want this illegal? We could all do with saving a penny.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:33 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I am all for equallity between browsers and innovation and open source. However, without some sort of competition and a common agreement that "no matter the browser" applies, innovation stops. No need to go further. The competition brings users better prices accross the board, each browser having healthy competition with eachother to bring the best deals to its customers can be a very good reason to choose a browser.

So no this should not be illegal, it drives innovation, drives competition, and brings better prices to customers. Why would anyone want this illegal? We could all do with saving a penny.
I disagree because the prejudice that allows an online retailer to charge the user of one browser less is not a feature of that browser that can be consciously improved and maintained by the browser's developer, such as speed, flexibility of plugins, etc. Likewise the developer of a victimized browser, such as Safari, can do nothing to stop that unfair price adjustment for the users of their browser.

How is that competition and innovation in browser technology? The only difference that concerns the retailer is the browser's identity, and not any aspect of the technology, which is the only realm of innovation available for the browser developer.

It is not within the power of the browser developer to "bring the best deals to its customers" if they are being priced out of the competition by the code of the retailers' websites, short of faking the browser's ID.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:22 AM   #38 (permalink)
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But I think the point is that different people will find different prices when they shop around. You might shop around but all the prices you find will be higher than the guy who shops around using a different browser. You will never find the cheapest prices, just the best available for your browser, or your skin colour.
It is disgraceful. Just because someone is using a mac, or owns something else that is deemed 'expensive', does not mean that person is rich. They might have actually worked hard, saved for their purchase, won the lottery, or stolen it lol. They might be having a bad user experience with said items, & may go back to being a peasant lol. Furthermore, a lot of wealthy people have got to where they are, by being CHEAP!

I think this is one of many examples why the world economy is borkened. Business people trying to price customers out! A false economy. People aren't idiots, they vote with their feet. The only way to grow a business is to attract EVERYONE. Quantity of customers will always win over greed.

Businesses who pitch their prices too high will have employees standing about looking bored, & no customers. Eventually they will go bankrupt.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 09:15 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I really liked the part about dropping something from your amazon cart to get a lower price. To me these are the same things that happen in stores all over the country.

And I'll admit, my first thought was "how long until we have a plugin that scans the price under each user agent".... and it sounds like very similar plug ins exist.

It's sneaky and maybe a bit underhanded, but so is the majority of the internet.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 02:52 PM   #40 (permalink)
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They might have actually worked hard, saved for their purchase, won the lottery, or stolen it
A very valid argument, and you had me up until that last bit.


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Furthermore, a lot of wealthy people have got to where they are, by being CHEAP!
I think you mean frugal.

I'm very frugal in how I do my spending. I hate parting with my cash, and will normally research an item and look for the best price until my eyes bleed. Of course it also depends on the vendor. Sometimes Id rather give that little bit extra to my favorite vendor.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #41 (permalink)
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While riding a motor bike through Thailand, the more touristy towns had different gas pricing for "Farung" or westerners. I actually had station attendants run out and stop me from pumping, put the handle back, hit a buttom that made the price double, then hand the pump handle back to me, with a smile.
I could've argued, but the cost to me was trivial then.
I wont stand for that here in the States though. If I find you're price-gouging me based on my race, or what kind of credit card or browser I'm using, I'm going to raise my fist and shake it.
I might even whine a bit.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Something like this should not be illegal. This can be used for partnerships with certain browser developers. It is a very useful tool in marketing! However much the customer may not like it, what are customers going to do? Boycott the internet? No, I think not! They will just use the browser that gets the lowest prices.
But is it the browser or is it something else? I read the piece and I am not sure it is accurate; I am not sure it is inaccurate, either. Perhaps it has more to do with Google (or others) with patented technology that varies the prices based on other factors like your history.

I will admit that I do not know either way. I have researched Google's patents to some extent and they are based on prior work via references and citations mentioned in the patent. So there are several players in the variable pricing game

Anyone know for sure if it is the browser or something else? Perhaps a combination of several things.

I certainly would never changes prices based upon the browser my magic software detects. Too many browsers and a wealthy are likely to use any of the popular browsers and the poor could be using Safari.

Based upon the sites I visit, the software would report I am rich one day and broke the next. Today I will search for expensive bike parts, nice cigars and homeless resources. I'll drive them nuts because I am using Opera on one machine and Safari on another as I look for vacations with cheapo air travel and "costly" hotel rooms.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bob Maxey View Post
But is it the browser or is it something else? I read the piece and I am not sure it is accurate; I am not sure it is inaccurate, either. Perhaps it has more to do with Google (or others) with patented technology that varies the prices based on other factors like your history.

I will admit that I do not know either way. I have researched Google's patents to some extent and they are based on prior work via references and citations mentioned in the patent. So there are several players in the variable pricing game

Anyone know for sure if it is the browser or something else? Perhaps a combination of several things.

I certainly would never changes prices based upon the browser my magic software detects. Too many browsers and a wealthy are likely to use any of the popular browsers and the poor could be using Safari.

Based upon the sites I visit, the software would report I am rich one day and broke the next. Today I will search for expensive bike parts, nice cigars and homeless resources. I'll drive them nuts because I am using Opera on one machine and Safari on another as I look for vacations with cheapo air travel and "costly" hotel rooms.
According to one of the articles I was reading, some of it is based on your geolocation. For example, area A is a fairly upper-class area, and if those who live there shop online they'll get much higher prices than those who would be shopping with a geolocation from area B where they are lower income. Area A would get price gouged, whereas area B would have the lower prices.

Websites Vary Prices, Deals Based on Users' Information - WSJ.com
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Old February 26th, 2013, 05:57 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I'm very frugal
I'm tight as duck's arse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
I hate parting with my cash, and will normally research an item and look for the best price until my eyes bleed
Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrah View Post
Of course it also depends on the vendor. Sometimes Id rather give that little bit extra to my favorite vendor.
My favourite vendor usually has the lowest prices

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According to one of the articles I was reading, some of it is based on your geolocation
Really?!

How do I fake my location? How do they know my location?!
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Old February 26th, 2013, 09:00 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I'm tight as duck's arse.



Ditto.



My favourite vendor usually has the lowest prices



Really?!

How do I fake my location? How do they know my location?!
They probably base it on IP address. You could try to fake it with either a proxy or some kind of plugin.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #46 (permalink)
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here is the bottom line: in free entreprise, the buyer can always say no and walk away if you think the price is too high . In the past i went to car dealers and the minute i heard the words " deal is only good if you buy today" i left. I tell saleman that he isn' t paying, i am. So i decide when and how much to pay. Unless i am sure it is good deal after checking and also shopping around, i am not buying.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #47 (permalink)
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here is the bottom line: in free entreprise, the buyer can always say no and walk away if you think the price is too high . In the past i went to car dealers and the minute i heard the words " deal is only good if you buy today" i left. I tell saleman that he isn' t paying, i am. So i decide when and how much to pay. Unless i am sure it is good deal after checking and also shopping around, i am not buying.
Perhaps you are correct. I know where to get the best prices for what I buy. I know how to find the bargains, but I do not worry about a few dollars saved and I do not spend the day looking for the best price unless the savings are potentially substantial.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #48 (permalink)
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How do I fake my location?
Use anonymous surfing to hide your IP address.

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How do they know my location?!
Geolocation is added to web applications by the web site designer.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 05:23 AM   #49 (permalink)
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here is the bottom line: in free entreprise, the buyer can always say no and walk away if you think the price is too high
True enough, I guess.

It is a tax on the non-technical, though. And the hard of thinking.

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In the past i went to car dealers and the minute i heard the words " deal is only good if you buy today" i left. I tell saleman that he isn' t paying, i am. So i decide when and how much to pay. Unless i am sure it is good deal after checking and also shopping around, i am not buying.
That's all well and good, the issue here though is that your shopping around could be influenced by the browser you use: you would never actually see the best deals available.
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