Holiday Travel Saving Secrets: Beware of Price Steering

A new study claims that some of the most popular e-commerce websites don’t always offer the same prices to everyone.
1:55 | 11/03/14

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Transcript for Holiday Travel Saving Secrets: Beware of Price Steering
Holiday travel doesn't mean logging on to get the best deals, or it often does, I should say. You're shopping online. It could cost you more. Rebecca Jarvis has more. Reporter: These days it's hard to beat the convenience of online shopping. But now, a newly released study by northeastern university claims that some of the most popular commerce websites don't offer the same prices to everyone. You could be spending more and not know it. Different companies are deciding based on what computer you're using, what device you're using. They want to learn your preferences as they learn from you and your history, they can show you those specifically. Reporter: The researchers call it price steering. Two shoppers receive different product results from the same website. Most of us are only going to look at the first page. A website would put the most expensive products at the top. They know most eweusers won't go all the way down. Reporter: Two shoppers can be offered different prices for the same product on the same website. The studies authors call that price discrimination, thoi they point out that in general this is not illegal. How do you get the best deal? Do your research before you buy. Shop on a computer and a mobile device. Try the search logged in and as a guest. Clear your cookies. Ask a friend to check for you on his or her computer. For "Good morning America," Rebecca Jarvis, ABC news, new York.

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