Amazon Needs to Stop With the Phony Kindle Sales


It’s time for another ebook reader rant. This one has been bugging me for awhile now, and Amazon just keeps doing it over and over again hoping to take advantage of people that aren’t paying close attention.

Usually Amazon is fair and on the level when it comes to advertising and not intentionally misleading people, but that’s not always the case.

For some reason Amazon feels compelled to advertise bogus sales on certain Kindle models, and they do so regularly.

I would expect to see these kind of tactics from companies that are struggling to stay in business but not from Amazon.

If you go to the Todays’ Deals page and select “Kindle” from the list you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Some of the deals are legitimate sales, but a good share of them are completely fake.

For example, Amazon advertises the Kindle for Kids bundle as being marked down by $25, a savings of 20%. But it’s priced at $99. That’s the price that it always sells for; it has never sold for more than that. It’s not a sale at all. It was “on sale” last week when it was $79. Now they are just flat out lying.

It’s the same story with the Fire HD 6. They try to make it seem like it’s on sale for $69 but it’s actually been at that price for several months now.

You can’t call something a sale when it sells for that price all the time. It’s misleading and it’s dishonest.

They do the same thing with their various Kindle bundles as well. They advertise them on the sales page like they are a daily deal when in fact they are selling for the same price they always sell for—they aren’t really “on sale” at all. They just purposely inflate the regular price higher than it ever sells for to make it seem like they are on sale when they aren’t on sale at all.

Amazon needs to shed these phony sales tactics and just stick to legitimate offers instead of trying to fool people into thinking they are getting a good deal when in fact they are not.

8 Responses to “Amazon Needs to Stop With the Phony Kindle Sales”

  1. Well, it’s not a SALE, but the list price shows what you WOULD pay if you bought it all separately. You ARE saving money.

    Take the Kindle for Kids bundle:
    Kindle $79.99
    2 year Square Trade warranty $19.99
    Cover $24.99
    Total if bought separately: $124.97

    You get ALL of that for $99.99. That is definitely a deal. How is that a phony sale???

    I bought this bundle when Prime users got $30 off… which makes it an even better deal for $69.99.

    • Bundles by definition should cost less than purchasing each item individually. That’s the nature of a bundle. Otherwise there would be no point in offering it. But then listing the bundle on the “sales” page at the regular price that it always sells for is what I have a problem with. The bundle itself isn’t “on sale” at all. It shouldn’t be listed on the daily deals page.

  2. I can’t really see this as lying. It’s a common marketing technique that all retailers use. If something is marked down they call it a sale. If it stays marked down at what point do they stop calling it a sale?

    The problem is that marketers misleading us in a country that values free speech makes for an automatic conflict that simply isn’t easy to resolve. Misleading isn’t lying. There’s lots of overlap but they’re not the same thing.

    Simply calling it lying is misleading. 🙂


    • But if it’s at the same price it originally started selling at, like the Kindle bundles, then it’s not “marked down” at all. Either way it’s misleading, and listing something on the sales page and making it seem like it’s has been marked down when it’s selling at the same price that it always sells for is lying in my (e)book.

  3. Sadly I have come to expect this kind of thing from many major retailers.
    In this country (the UK) there are regulations about sales and offers. The prices described as the “normal” ones have to have been the ones applying for a certain amount of time and in a certain number of the retailers outlets otherwise the retailer has to include notices saying that these conditions aren’t actually met. But the retailers still find ways around them and put the disclaimer somewhere where it is unlikely to be seen.
    I have seen a product be “on sale” at 52p for over a year, go back to its “normal” price of 92p for 3 weeks and then go back “on sale” again, this time at 62p, again for several months, after which this became the “normal” price. So a 20% price increase was described as a special offer for a long period.
    The upshot is that I don’t believe anything that they say when they tell me I am saving money and at times I actively avoid shopping there.

  4. Just plain mean of Amazon…

  5. Certainly for me the Amazon bubble is becoming very thin, if not already burst. In Europe their “Lightning deals” where before only on occasion, are now a daily event containing mainly junk rather than the original genuine offers. Time for Amazon to take a long hard look in the mirror.

  6. I agree with you Nathan; if the Usual Daily Price is Not being Discounted for certain time periods or with specific requirements only, [eg for people over 55 today only]; it is not a Sale nor “On Sale”.
    Bundling Products for Discounts is what my Insurance does for Multi Products [Auto, Life, Home Owners]; or my Communications Provider [Cable TV, Internet, Home Phone] to simply get the consumer to “Buy More for a Bit Less”.