KDnuggets : Polls : 2000 : Amazon.com Differential Pricing (Sep 2000)
If Amazon.com shows different prices on the same book to different users, it is [200 votes total]

a valid use of data mining (62) 31%
discrimination - should stop (83) 42%
OK, if explained to users (50) 25%
don't know (5) 3%


  • I work over 80 hours a week. As a small business owner, I may make good money, but does that mean I should be charged more than unmotivated individuals who are broke because they don't want to work more than 30 hours a week. I don't think so.
  • the users accepts the conditions for negotiation when they read them.
  • Should preferenced customers disappear in off-line world? Should Gold Cards or Platinum Cards disappear?
  • The interesting thing is that dicrimination of pricing is very common in the insurance industry - the basis for actuarial work and in airlines - based on load factors. The key is is the pricing available to groups of customers with similar profiles.
  • simple supply and demand, competition from other suppliers should offset
  • a dangerous policy to implement
  • A person is always free to shop elsewhere. Don't like the price they're giving you on a book? Go somewhere you like better. Attrition is a valid subject for data miners to study!
  • As a consumer I don't necessarily like it, (unless I get a lower price!). However, economically speaking, (think of a monopolist's MR curve) the ideal is to have each person pay the maximum amount that they are willing to pay.
  • While I said OK if explained, I think it would be very unwise in any case.
  • Who mines the miners...? I've long thought we should and here is an excellent incentive/opportunity.
  • This has been done for years on big-ticket items in the U.S., and in marketplaces in much of the world. It's called "bargaining". Just a new technique.
  • This is exactly what much of the efforts in commercial data mining are aimed at. Call it discrimination if you like, but remember who pays the piper. Vote Nader!
  • Don't ask this question again. it is stupid; price can never summarize the essential difference between difference users.
  • Price discrimination is a fundamental economic concept, similar to what happens when one buys a house or a car, or goes to the public market. If our society will not tolerate price discrimination, then the market will make it fail.
  • This is not different from me receiving two credit card offers with different rates

KDnuggets : Polls : 2000 : Amazon.com Differential Pricing

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