Wal-Mart Beats Amazon On Many Prices

Never been a big fan of Wal-Mart, a huge fan of Amazon, I was taken back this weekend reading Bloomberg news about the latest study which shows that Wal-Mart prices are frequently better than Amazon’s.

“A study conducted by Kantar Retail, a London-based research firm, compared prices on a wide range of 36 items and found that on average they’re 20 percent more expensive at Amazon than at Wal-Mart. The “Glee” DVDs? At $38.99, they were about $14 pricier at Amazon than Wal-Mart when the study was conducted in April. On goods such as food, Amazon’s prices were almost 60 percent more, though some items are cheaper, the study said,” the Bloomberg article by David Welch says.

Consumers “trust Amazon will have a low price,” said Anne Zybowski, a Kantar analyst who co-wrote the study. “On many items, they do have competitive prices. That’s how Amazon has won millions of customers one shopper at a time.”

“Still, when it comes to controlling prices, Amazon is playing catch-up with Wal-Mart  which has been building its supply base, wringing costs from its vendors and amassing buying power for 50 years. Amazon is working on bringing in new vendors and lowering costs in its supply chain, Zybowski said.

“Last year, the Seattle-based company’s sales grew 41 percent to $48.1 billion. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, increased U.S. sales at its namesake stores 1.5 percent to $264.2 billion. Wal-Mart shares have climbed 27 percent in the last 12 months, compared with a 14 percent gain for Amazon.

Robin Sherk, the co-author of the report, said Kantar became interested in the issue after noticing that Wal-Mart shoppers five years ago started noticing a trend of more customers moving to the internet for shopping. At the time about one quarter of Wal-Mart shoppers went to Amazon, now that figure has doubled.

Maybe Wal-Mart should take heed and advertise its cheaper prices.

I tested the difference in prices on Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter bars. At Amazon they are about $2 each, including shipping with Prime Membership, which I have. At Wal-Mart’s web site I ordered the same product at $1.20 each without additional shipping charge by getting two sets.


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4 Comments on "Wal-Mart Beats Amazon On Many Prices"

  1. Bryan Lizotte | June 25, 2012 at 10:38 am |

    Yes, Amazon tends to be a rip off. I generally don’t purchase from Amazon, unless I can’t get the item anywhere else. They also have strict rules for the individuals businesses that sell through them. I purchased several small items from one Amazon business and I was charged a $5.95 shipping and handling fee for EACH item even though they were shipped together and the total shipping price was $4.00. When I complained to the seller they told me that that was Amazon’s policy. Amazon keeps that extra fee. So for 3 items that were $5 each I was charged $32.85. Amazon sucks!!!!

    • Actually, if the seller were fair and reputable, they have the ability to refund the shipping overcharges. I sold on Amazon for many, many years and I ALWAYS refunded the shipping differences. So it’s not totally Amazon’s fault, although it’s stupid they don’t change their system

  2. I have been both a Walmart shopper, for life, and an Amazon shopper for probably 15+ years. I do not shop blindly. I do research prices, shipping charges, return policies, and compare customer service even. I will always shop Walmart till the day I die… Its my therapy! I also, will always shop Amazon for the same duration, as it also serves as my therapy, and it makes me feel victorious!. I am always bragging about the fantastic deals I get on Amazon! I am not sure how you can conclude a ‘study’ on Walmart vs Amazon, using only 36 examples. I definitely find that more items that I look for, or normally buy, are a much better deal at Amazon, than at Walmart. I only look for items at Amazon that have free shipping, and there are many, many choices within the “Free super saver shipping’ option. Sometimes it is not convenient, or an option to wait, so I end up running to Walmart, however, if its not something that I need immediately, I almost always order it from Amazon. I find that where I get the most bang for my buck at Amazon is, in household items, and most certainly, with Pet Items!… Food, supplies, wee pads, snacks, collars/leashes, food, clothes, grooming supplies. The prices for these things in Pet stores are phenomenally high…They are a little better at Walmart, but they have only a small Pet department, So, I most definitely get the best deals in selection and price at Amazon! I find Amazon to be of good quality sellers, items, and service. You can check ratings on each of these things before you purchase or deal with any seller. In a nutshell, I think I would give up Walmart altogether, to keep my Amazon!

  3. with Amazon, I can view thousands of items at once from my easy chair–with Walmart, I cannot.(I’m not about to run around Walmart searching to see if they have, say, that “special” book)

    with Amazon, there are several vendors who may offer a range of cheaper prices–with Walmart, I cannot. (different vendors of the same item don’t offer a wide range of pricing);

    Did the study compare “new” vs. “older” prices of the same item?

    I view Walmart as one step up from a dollar store, with items that some could consider “throwaways” after a couple of years usage.

    I would also try Walmart for big ticket items (tv for example) that I know will be more expensive than other big box stores, and that I know would be either more expensive or dangerous to ship than from Amazon.

    I would try Walmart for seasonal or “emergency” (winter gloves, underwear when traveling) clothing, or for hardware items.

    Finally, I would not use Amazon for household items (outdoor living furniture, kitchen appliances, garden stuff) when I can get them right away and avoid shipping. I wouldn’t even bother comparing the shipping costs.

    Amazon–wider range of a product, convenience of view, better range of pricing;
    Walmart–cheaper for necessary items, quick pick up

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