More than that, Staples appeared to consider the person’s distance from a rival brick-and-mortar store, either OfficeMax or Office Depot.
If rival stores were within 20 miles or so, Staples.com usually showed a discounted price.
In what appears to be an unintended side effect of Staples’ pricing methods-likely a function of retail competition with its rivals-the Journal’s testing also showed that areas that tended to see the discounted prices had a higher average income than areas that tended to see higher prices.
Offering different prices to different people is legal, with a few exceptions for race-based discrimination and other sensitive situations.
But price-changing online isn’t popular among shoppers.
Some 76% of American adults have said it would bother them to find out that other people paid a lower price for the same product.
Story by Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Jeremy Singer-Vine and Ashkan Soltani for the Wall Street Journal.
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