For a few years, Amazon’s protected users against immediate price drops after purchase with an informal price protection policy that refunded you the difference if the cost of something you bought was slashed mere days later. It appears those good times are over.
Over the past month, Amazon customers began complaining that the online retailer was no longer honoring price protection refunds on anything, with the sole exception of televisions.
GroovyPost was the first to notice the change in early May after readers reached out. Most recently, Recode spoke to Earny, a startup that helps people find price difference refunds on items they’ve purchased online, about the price protection policy.
Amazon’s price change policy has changed several times over the years. At one point the company allowed price refunds for 30 days after your purchase, which later changed to just 7 days—prices on Amazon change often.
It’s not clear why Amazon decided to cease the informal price protection policy. Perhaps too many people were taking advantage of the offer or prices became too volatile to continue supporting it. Recode suggests that startups like Earny were making the price difference policy too easy for customers. Whatever the reason, it’s over now.
The impact on you at home: Unless you’re buying a television there’s seems to be little point in hoping for a price difference refund from Amazon. If that kind of guarantee is important to you, other retailers still offer pricing protection, including Best Buy, Dell, and Walmart. Otherwise, you’ll just have to accept the prices Amazon offers and be done with it.