Have you ever have experience that you buy more than you were planning when you find the dual pricing at the stores or the online stores? According to the Nikkei newspaper (日本経済新聞), Japanese customer financial protection agency has been pointed out the Japanese amazon’s dishonest action, which was the trap of a dual pricing last year. (日本経済新聞, 2017)
As you can see the picture, this product was about $360 before discount, and it became about $100 after 72% off discount(about $260 discount), which made me feel suspicious. So I researched this product’s details, and I found out that this product’s label was made similar to another products that is actually sold by $360.
Amazon lost a lot of trust from customers after this issue found out because this news was published on TV, newspaper, and magazine. They tried to sell fake products with wrong price and they also displayed the illegal dual pricing such as they displayed sale the price and the reference price on the same page to make the products completely look like cheaper than the reference price even though the products have never been sold by the reference price.
Even there is the law that clearly explains this is illegal to do at the stores or the online stores, a lot of the stores or online stores still do this illegal action right now in our daily life. On the Japanese consumer agency website provides five different cases to explain the rule of the dual pricing because every stores have different situations and sell different products. First, the stores or the online stores cannot compare the price between two products that are completely different products(real product and fake product). Second, the stores or the online stores cannot display the sale price and the special price that offered for limited time of the day. Third, the stores or the online stores cannot display the sale price and the future price on same page or board. Forth, the stores or the online stores cannot display the sale price and the desirable retail price. Fifth, the stores or the online stores cannot display the sale price and the price that is from other competitors.(消費者庁, n.d.) These rules warn to the stores or the online stores not to make customers misunderstand to buy their products with the wrong price.
However, I think there is also the issue for people who buy the discount products even though they do not need them. Those people does not have the right judgement to decide whether they need the products or not. According to news.com.au, “The problem is our shopping bias to pay less for a given item can blind us to the fact we actually don’t need the item at all or it doesn’t suit us or might be the wrong size,” Dr Jenny Brockis said.(Killalea, 2017) She pretty much explained that most human brains feel happy when buying the discount products so human brain falls out of sensory paralysis.
To avoid having this issue for customers, I think it is the best solution for us to understand how the stores or the online stores buy the products with the cheap price from the producers, and sell the products with more expensive price to customers. Because there are still so many stores and online stores that secretly use the illegal dual pricing system to get benefit with the reason the government cannot check each items of reference prices for every stores or online stores exist in this world to compare with the sale price to the reference price.
This graph is showing that how the stores or the online stores obtain their products with half price or less of the nominal cost. All stores usually charge the nominal price when they are not on sale, which is already included discount price, benefit price and buying price. All customers have to understand this system before they are going to be involved in this trap. (ソフトバンククリエイティブ, 2009)
We feel lucky when we see “SALE” or “- % off” when we go to shopping. We often meet with these situation in our daily life. However, customers should know that the stores or the online stores use a lot of different strategies to sell their product without having the deficit as possible as they can otherwise the stores or the online stores cannot survive in the marketing world. So all customers should doubt first, why they are selling with this discount price. Because I am pretty sure that they do not give customers the discount with no reason. Also the stores and the online stores are always trying to make the products look cheaper than as usual with using the dual pricing strategy. So all customers should stay back a little bit and think before they put the discount products in their shopping cart.