Price Discrimination Plagues the eCommerce Sector
In 21st century we know much about discrimination. But eCommerce ‘gives’ us one more, not so known as other types – Price Discrimination. For example, you can buy airplane ticket online for $80, and some days later your friend from another city buys same ticket online for $70. But how? He wasn’t looking for tricks how to buy cheaper – like using specific date and time of buying, using proxy networks etc. He just bought same ticket $10 cheaper. How?
Sometimes they call it ‘price personalization’. But more correct to call it price discrimination! Why one should pay more than another just because he lives in another city or was looking for this ticket several times before? European Union already banned price discrimination, and it looks like a good decision and example for us.
Price discrimination is being banned in one country by another, but it’s already everywhere, even outlaw. Retailers use all that they can to ‘personalize’ prices – Big Data, ‘lesser data’ of their own, like cookies, geotags, purchase history etc. It’s not uncommon today to see a personal price for one single customer! But the main method to personalize price is your IP address. It can reveal very much data about you.
Some companies try to fight price discrimination using proxy networks. If they use IP address for price discrimination, why shouldn’t we catch them by use proxy networks and see different price for different IPs? It works. Sometimes. Depending on type of proxy networks used in this activity.
If one who fights price discrimination use classic proxy networks with fixed IPs, he or she has increased chance to fail. Why? These IPs are limited and they all are known, so companies, that use price discrimination, can (and will!) strike first and type ‘correct’ price for all these IPs.
The decision is clear – use mobile proxy. Mobile proxy, like Airsocks, use mobile IP and use peer-to-peer technology instead of central servers. Mobile IP numbers are nearly unlimited and – much more important – they are real for millions of real smartphone users. Look, it’s impossible to type ‘correct price’ for such IP: same address can be used by someone’s proxy and by real customer!
And it’s great. Say no to price discrimination – use mobile proxy and buy cheaper!