The online retailer has been found to be hiking RRPs to make reductions seem bigger than they really are.
Amazon is exaggerating the savings it offers on products by up to 500%, according to a new investigation from the Sun.
The online retailer was found to inflate the recommended retail price (RRP) on a number of items including TVs, toys and gadgets, to make it appear that its selling price offered a significant saving.
However, in reality the probe found shoppers were getting a much smaller saving, if any at all.
The invesigation found a box of Lego Duplo bricks on Amazon available for £19.95, saving £6.51 on the RRP of £26.46.
However, in reality the item has a RRP of £20.99 — meaning the 'saving' was exaggerated by 526% and buying at Amazon’s £19.95 selling price would only save you £1.04.
In another example Amazon claimed that a Sony TV had a RRP of £800 and was available for £499 – suggesting a £301 saving. But the actual RRP was £649, meaning the saving was just £150.
The investigation also uncovered instances where Amazon actually charged more than the RRP for an item. An Apple sports watch was found to be available for £317, apparently saving £22 on the RRP of £399.
However, the real RRP for the must-have gadget is £299, meaning shoppers that went for this ‘deal’ paid £18 more than they need to.
The investigation found many items with the worst pricing 'mistakes' were being sold by third-party sellers.
Amazon said it has removed or corrected the inaccurate RRPs after the Sun contacted them.
Time to play fair
This is not the first time Amazon has been accused of offering bogus savings. In 2013, Which? uncovered various examples of dodgy pricing
Alex Neill, the director of policy and campaigns at Which?, told the Sun: “This is a cheap tactic that could cost people dearly.
“Our own investigations have also found retailers using dodgy discounts to lure people into buying goods they could have found cheaper elsewhere.
“Following action by the Competition and Markets Authority to tackle misleading supermarket pricing, it’s time for all retailers to play fair and ensure special offers really are special.”
What Amazon says
An Amazon spokesman said: “We work together with product manufacturers to provide our customers with a wide range of information about any given product including RRPs.
“We aim to provide the very latest information as well as every day great value on the tens of millions of products available at Amazon.co.uk.”
How to really save money at Amazon
If you want to save money when shopping online, don’t assume Amazon is cheapest. Always compare prices for the things you want before making a purchase and double check the real RRPs.
Amazon’s prices are always moving up and down, but there are tools that can help you track them and strike at the perfect time to make a saving.
CamelCamelCamel, for example, allows you to enter the maximum price you would be willing to pay for an item and alerts you when Amazon hits your target or goes even lower.
If you regularly shop with Amazon you might also want to consider signing up to Prime. The subscription service costs £79 a year, or £7.99 a month, and gets you a range of benefits including unlimited free one-day delivery, access to exclusive sales like Prime Day and access to Instant Video.
For more tips and trick read: 18 sneaky ways to save money at Amazon.
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