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Discussion Starter #1
In another recent thread @colchar asks about alternative online sources for DVDs because "amazon.ca prices are stupid". Are they ever!

I used to be a very frequent customer; prices were good and service is great. However the company has become greedy and increasingly willing to charge its Canadian customers far more than exchange-rate-adjusted prices for products that are listed on amazon.com for much less.

Used to be, we could compare prices and shipping/border costs on amazon.com vs. amazon.ca, do a little math, and order from whichever would be least expensive. Not much anymore - amazon.com now refuses to process Canadian orders for a great many products, insisting that orders be placed on amazon.ca where they cost more - often a lot more - than they do on amazon.com after exchange rate is calculated.

Some examples I just quickly looked up; I've seen even worse. Post your own when you see them.

Pigtronix Infinity looper pedal
Amazon.com US$449, Amazon.ca CDN$659, 47% more when the exchange rate is 25%.

Intel i7 6850 CPU
Amazon.com US$400, Amazon.ca CDN$630, 57% more when the exchange rate is 25%.

Yamaha Tyros 5 arranger keyboard
Amazon.com US$4,785, Amazon.ca CDN$6,799, 42% more when the exchange rate is 25%.

(I do understand that currency fluctuates and companies want a bit of a buffer to protect themselves against a collapse in the value of their inventory, but c'mon!)

Sometimes the price difference is insane, 300%, 400%, even more. Amazon has supported an explosion of third-party sellers on its web store, some of whom are outright shysters hoping to snag someone dumb enough to pay several times the value of a product. If they're successful amazon collects a much-fatter fee than if the products were priced honestly, so it apparently-happily permits the practice. However lately it's not just third parties but often Amazon.ca itself that is charging incredibly-high prices for goods.

Amazon.ca has become a dangerous marketplace for the unwary. Please post your own examples.
 

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There are really good deals on Amazon but there are tons of ripoffs too
 

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Amazon is like any other open marketplace online or offline. There are a lot of vendors and you have to shop carefully. Overall I find Amazon a little pricy but if you pick the right vendor (usually fulfilled by Amazon) shipping is cheap and quick and pricing is reasonable. They also have stuff that is hard to track down elsewhere. It is usually available elsewhere, it's just hard to find. If I can find it anywhere else I usually buy elsewhere.
 

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These days I will only buy something that is "fullfilled by Amazon" in the least.

The other thing I've noted lately is that if you choose free shipping they will often hold back picking the order until their estimated delivery date approaches. Used to be that anything from the Mississauga warehouse would be at my door in two days no matter what the shipping option was.
 

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I've seen a Peavey Envoy Amp on Amazon dot CA for 1000.00.

Did not buy, but did email him the link to a local vendor of Peavey that had the same amp for 400.00(ish) but special order.
I've found that the listings SOLD by amazon are priced fairly, The ones fufilled by amazon and sold by amazon stores a higher.

SOLD by Amazon: Amazon it self sells the listed item.

FULLFILLED By Amazon: THe owner of an Amazon Store has had his inventory shipped to an Amazon storage/shipping facility and when the order comes in from this private listing, It's auto-forwarded to the Facility and then packed and shipped from there- For a fee.
I have a friend who's looking into this for his store.

Traditional Amazon Store - The lister does all the work and shipping himself.

The traditional Amazon store I've found the most strange pricing. Most of the time I exclude them from my search, unless it's something that's only available in the used market.
 

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You have to watch out for the third party sellers. Most of the prices are out of whack. I will only purchase from them when it's sold/shipped via Amazon out of Mississauga. I was looking to get an NVIDEA Shield a while back. You could purchase it direct from NVIDEA for $199 USD. Amazon.ca had it on there from a few 3rd party sellers at $600 CDN. So you have to do your research before buying.
 

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Yesterday, I was looking for some Gorgomyte available in Canada.

It seems you can't buy it direct anymore either, but it's sold at StewMac for @ $12 CD.
One listing in Amazon.ca had the stuff listed over $80! Huh, wtf?!?
 

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I don't understand how many of these vendors calculate their pricing. I remember reading somewhere that an algorithm is used but that algorithm is seriously fucked up when DVDs of TV show seasons are listed at several hundred dollars.

I also don't get why prices fluctuate so much. I have a bunch of stuff saved in my cart that I will order eventually, and every time I log in I see price changes for most of them. Some are only a few cents, but others are changes of several dollars.

My most recent issue, which resulted in my thread, was trying to find copies of seasons of a particular TV show. On Amazon.ca they are sold by a third party and the prices are stupid. On Amazon.com they are sold by Amazon International and, even with the exchange rate, the prices are decent. On the page for each individual season it says that they ship to Canada but when checking out it says that they cannot ship to my address. I finally managed to get a reasonably competent person on the phone and they couldn't even get Amazon.com to ship them to Amazon Canada's offices. The issue has been escalated but I am not hopeful of a resolution and expect that they will simply change the listings to say that they do not ship to Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<snip> I've found that the listings SOLD by amazon are priced fairly, The ones fufilled by amazon and sold by amazon stores a higher.<snip>
While that used to usually be the case - it was usually the third-party sellers whose prices were high - I'm increasingly seeing it with "sold by and ships from Amazon.ca" items. Can't remember specifics at the moment, but several times in the past several months I've cursed them for their avarice and not ordered from them. I agree with most of the points here about third-party sellers often being more-rapacious, but it's definitely not just them anymore. Next time I bump into an Amazon-only one I'll post the two links here.

And there are still exceptions to what I'm whining about. I ordered an electric stapler from amazon.com, slightly cheaper all-in than it was on amazon.ca and one of the getting-rarer instances that amazon.com would permit me to order it in Canada. I ordered it three days ago, shipping was supposed to take 7-14 days but it will arrive (from Tampa FL) today.

Memories of the old Amazon; used to be able to do that often, but now amazon is making it difficult so they can squeeze us more.
 

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I don't understand how many of these vendors calculate their pricing.<snip>
I don't know - just guessing - but I believe that they're "Hail Mary" listings, praying for someone too rushed or too dumb to investigate the value of the item they're buying. In the many cases in which the seller also fulfills (instead of having it shipped by Amazon) I'd bet the sellers don't even own the product they're selling.

For those inclined, selling products worth $100 to hapless buyers for $200-$300, then ordering them from somewhere (often a distributor that will drop-ship them for you) and delivering them seems like a pretty good and easy business. I hope they have trouble sleeping at night though.
 

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I don't know - just guessing - but I believe that they're "Hail Mary" listings, praying for someone too rushed or too dumb to investigate the value of the item they're buying. In the many cases in which the seller also fulfills (instead of having it shipped by Amazon) I'd bet the sellers don't even own the product they're selling.

For those inclined, selling products worth $100 to hapless buyers for $200-$300, then ordering them from somewhere (often a distributor that will drop-ship them for you) and delivering them seems like a pretty good and easy business. I hope they have trouble sleeping at night though.
Actually you are spot on. Many of them do just that. They will take your order and then order that item from another party and drop ship it to you. I found several of them doing that. Those are the ones that always have a 2-3 week shipping time. I order from Amazon and many times the item is delivered the next day from Mississauga. Beware of the 3rd party guys, they are all over Amazon.
 

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These days I will only buy something that is "fullfilled by Amazon" in the least.

The other thing I've noted lately is that if you choose free shipping they will often hold back picking the order until their estimated delivery date approaches. Used to be that anything from the Mississauga warehouse would be at my door in two days no matter what the shipping option was.
Got ripped off by some third party US vendor via Amazon.ca. $6 shipping fee for a $20 item that I nhad ever received. The seller claimed that the package was returned due to "non-deliverable address". Now, that was news to me, as it was the same address that was on my Amazon.ca account. Asked them to send me a photo of the shipping label, nothing but lame excuses. Took it up to Amazon.ca, just more of the "we care about our customers" BS. I had only lost the shipping fees, so I did not want to waste more time pursuing it. From then on, it has been "fulfilled by Amazon.ca" only.

Since the beginning of this year, I noticed they had switched from Canada Post/UPS to a company called Intelcom for delivery. None of my orders had been delivered on time with those guys. The worst I have had with them so far, was a 5-day delay from Amazon's expected delivery date. That was 12+5 days on the Free Shipping option. However, I have seen quite of few unhappy Amazon.ca customers complaining about Intelcom delivery issues on Reddit. Quite a few of them had way worse experience than mine.

I am going to sign up on the Canada Post FlexDelivery service and see if it would help. I would much rather pick up the package at a CP outlet than wondering when it will show up at my door.
 

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Every once in a while I'll end up on amazon.com by accident and find the deal of a lifetime, only to realize it doesn't ship to Canada. Then you look up the same item on amazon.ca and it's a stupid amount more money. Depressing.

Other than a tuner and mics, I don't think I've made any music instrument purchases on Amazon.ca The prices are for the most part are either higher or the same as local stores are selling for - in which case I'll buy from the local store. But... Long as you are aware of your prices and where the item is coming from, Amazon works great. I ordered an RV type BBQ late last Monday night, and it was on my door step by Wednesday noon. That's impressive.

I've certainly seen the "third party" sellers on Amazon like what @GuitarsCanada mentioned in the post above. You can see the same guitar sold by Axe Music on amazon for $999.00 listed by another seller on Amazon for $2500.00. It's crazy. I think the name of the high seller on music stuff is something like "Urban Inspirations".
 

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Got ripped off by some third party US vendor via Amazon.ca. $6 shipping fee for a $20 item that I nhad ever received. The seller claimed that the package was returned due to "non-deliverable address". Now, that was news to me, as it was the same address that was on my Amazon.ca account. Asked them to send me a photo of the shipping label, nothing but lame excuses. Took it up to Amazon.ca, just more of the "we care about our customers" BS. I had only lost the shipping fees, so I did not want to waste more time pursuing it. From then on, it has been "fulfilled by Amazon.ca" only.

Since the beginning of this year, I noticed they had switched from Canada Post/UPS to a company called Intelcom for delivery. None of my orders had been delivered on time with those guys. The worst I have had with them so far, was a 5-day delay from Amazon's expected delivery date. That was 12+5 days on the Free Shipping option. However, I have seen quite of few unhappy Amazon.ca customers complaining about Intelcom delivery issues on Reddit. Quite a few of them had way worse experience than mine.

I am going to sign up on the Canada Post FlexDelivery service and see if it would help. I would much rather pick up the package at a CP outlet than wondering when it will show up at my door.
I just ordered some tuners and they are being shipped from Mississauga by CP, fortunately.
 

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Online shopping isn't any different than buying groceries
No supermarket will have the best prices on every item... would be way too easy
You just need to shop around
 

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Online shopping isn't any different than buying groceries
No supermarket will have the best prices on every item... would be way too easy
You just need to shop around
Today we ordered our groceries online, it was easy and a huge timesaver. Picked them up on the way home, took 5 minutes for a list an arm length long.
 

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I never buy from Amazon.ca until I check out Amazon.com first. Then I usually buy from Amazon.com.
 
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