The hidden cost of cookies...

Discussion in 'General Software' started by adz, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. adz

    adz Member

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    Have you ever wondered what kind of difference your browsing history can make when you shop? We were surprised to see this before/after photo that reader David sent. He tells us that he was shopping Hotwire for car rentals and took screen shots before and after he cleared out the cookies in his browser. It’s striking how different prices are when Hotwire thinks that he’s a new visitor who has never been to the site before.

    Source...

    Wonder how many other sites engage in this kind or activity? What ever happened to the concept of rewarding repeat customers instead of shafting them?
     
  2. mtma

    mtma Member

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    Hobbyking has popup specials that only appear if the site determines you've never been to a particular product before - but they do tell you that the special isn't going to be offered again rather than just quietly put prices up.
     
  3. TERRA Operative

    TERRA Operative Member

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    Yeah, I clear cookies then leave pages up of things I am interested in on Hobbyking to see what price I can get. :D
     
  4. Drnrg

    Drnrg Member

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    I work in the eCommerce industry, cookies are the most widely used technology to track your browsing behaviour on a particular site across sessions and are fundamental to targeted marketing activity, the fact that hotwire increase their prices for repeat visitors isn't so strange in a tech sense, but odd in a sales sense, sounds like they want people to transact on first visit.
    You'll find that most decent sites offer additional discounts or savings on your 2nd, 3rd etc... visits, especially if you start a shopping cart and abandon (they have more reason to want your business).
    The same tracking technology is used by ad-serving platforms so that when you click through to a site from a paid search ad on google you happen to see banners for that site all over the web. There are now browser options that allow you to simply check a box that state you don't want to be tracked, firefox and chrome have them, and theres widespread debate going on at the moment about cookie tracking behaviour, legislation has been passed in the UK that forces businesses to explicitly ask you on line if you want to be tracked or not

    interesting times indeed!
     
  5. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    Doesn't HobbyKing just drop the prices down to "Platinum Member" pricing if you leave it for long enough? You never get them once you've logged in (at least if you are a Platinum Member) but that's just because you get the discounted price on everything automatically.


    Most of the time I don't mind search results and similar things changing based on what I've searched for previously, but every now and then (mainly when I'm looking for something very different to normal) it can be a pain in the neck. Much like Google's horrible tendency to display results from Australia regardless of whether I'm searching Google.com.au or Google.com - sometimes I do want to get stuff in the USA.
     
  6. Euphoreia

    Euphoreia Member

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    "Update: As many people pointed out to us, it looks like clearing those cookies and/or logging out of the site changed what vendors Hotwire displayed to David. That’s the real reason why the prices magically fell."
     
  7. vellanet

    vellanet Member

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    Not necessarily, I'm Platinum Elite and see higher prices than first time visitors sometimes, I usually give Anthony an earful for that.
     
  8. NiHiL

    NiHiL Member

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    Signing up, loading a cart and then abandoning is a legitimate technique used by many savvy shoppers nowadays. Invariably you will get email within a day or two. Then it's time to negotiate. This all depends on the site and products of course, but you'd surprised how flexible it can make vendors.
     
  9. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    I'm sure lots of site farm plenty of information. At the end of the day I'm a bit "Meh" about it really....as you can spend vast amounts of time trying to protect your precious email.....then you sign up for some free prize draw at the royal show :lol:
     
  10. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

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    Lol those ridiculous 'Win a family portrait' ones from the dodgy togs, years ago an ex entered those and won heaps of third prizes for the shoot and 'discount' pics that were a real rort.
     
  11. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Yep, that's the one! The old discount pictures ; )
     

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