The uneasy relationship between Amazon and discount-tracking sites


A niche industry of Amazon (AMZN -0.4%) deal-watching sites has popped up to give consumers yet another crack at squeezing the e-commerce giant for deals.

Sites such as Camelcamelcamel.com, Keepa.com, and Thetracktor.com will alert users via e-mail when items hit a certain price and have more detailed data than larger well-known coupon sites like DealNews and Slickdeals.

How does Amazon react to the margins-squeezers? The company provides sales data directly to the sites and pays a referral fee for purchases made from them.

Execs with the retail upstarts realize the uneasy relationship with Amazon might not go on forever, but they have a neat back-up plan: Track Wal-Mart's (WMT +0.2%) deals and prices.

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Comments (3)
  • phildevoyd
    , contributor
    Comments (216) | Send Message
     
    Yikes! Online retail is being made into a stock market. All we need is a bid and an asked; name your price and a merchant comes to you.
    11 Dec 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • seekasp
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    That sounds like Priceline.
    11 Dec 2013, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • moneymorality
    , contributor
    Comments (212) | Send Message
     
    The more democratized and prevalent e-commerce becomes for regular household needs, to include grocery, the more what's new will become old again, meaning whether we call it e-commerce or bricks and mortar retail, at the end of the day, it's retail. The winners in this space are the consumers and the retailers that can get the goods to the customer the way they want to receive it, and still make a profit. The shopping that my family seems to be doing more and more of online, and in significant volume, is for household essentials and food items. I find the Walmart.com experience, whether through their iphone or ipad ap, desktop, etc, to be superior to all other options for these types of purchases.

     

    Amazon may be a great way to buy "anything" online, and when you search for many items, they certainly show first, but search for Heinz ketchup online, and see who's site pops up first then. I think what's clear is WalMart wants to sell us lots of toilet paper, garbage bags, cheerios, razors, etc. because we need these items and they can make money doing it. Soon, they will be delivering fresh organic milk and organic bananas to my home. They are not interested in being a portal to sell anything to anyone, at a loss.

     

    Maybe WalMart should change their current slogan/value proposition to "Save Money on the things need. Live Better."
    11 Dec 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
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