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12 July, 2006

Amazon warning

It looks as if Amazon UK has covertly changed it's policy on adding items to customers' wishlists, which makes items look cheaper than they really are and discourages use of the free postage facility.  Don't be caught out!

As an example, Thom Yorke's new don't-call-it-a-solo album, 'The Eraser' costs £8.99 and is eligible for free delivery when in a combined order totalling more than £15. Adding it to my wishlist drops that to £7.41. Bargain!
Looking closer (i.e. only after having transferred it to the shopping basket) I notice that it'd be coming from Amazon Jersey, not Amazon UK itself, and hence isn't eligible for free delivery. Postage is £1.24, so the total price is £8.65; still cheaper than Amazon UK but bear with me for a moment....

If I want to buy Alain de Botton's book 'The Architecture of Happiness' at the same time, that costs a straightforward £10.78 plus £2.75 postage; Amazon Jersey doesn't sell it.

Bought together... well, I can't buy them together; Amazon treats them as two entirely purchases costing £8.65 and £13.53. Calculating the total for myself, that's £22.18.
Yet starting the whole process again, avoiding my wishlist and thereby specifying I want the CD from Amazon UK, I am able to combine the order, qualifying for free delivery and paying £19.77.

Sometimes buying two separate items (e.g. ) from Amazon Jersey can be cheaper than a combined order from Amazon UK (a sample purchase of a DVD and a CD I won't bother to itemise would have saved 14p), but I want to make two points:

  • Buying from Amazon Jersey should be an option for those who want it, but one should have to consciously choose it, rather than it being the unstated default.
  • It should be made clear, up front, that one would be buying from Amazon Jersey, and potentially paying more than necessary, if one uses the wishlist.

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