Huge problem eBay can’t ignore
EBAY has a "price jacking" problem - and many Aussies could be getting scammed as a result.
That's according to a recent article by Life Hacker, which revealed Allphones's eBay store was recently caught selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for a massive 20 per cent off.
But the article claimed there was "only one problem" with the incredible deal.
The pre-sale price was listed at $1619.99 - a huge $120.99 mark-up on the recommended retail price.
"Allphones is currently selling the 128GB Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for $1295.99 - which it claims is a 20 per cent discount on the RRP," the article stated.
"However, Allphones' list price is an eyebrow-raising $1619.99. Something clearly doesn't add up here."
Reporter Chris Jager claimed merchants like Allphones who "artificially increase prices" were catching out unsuspecting Aussies who believe they are getting a great deal.
"Allphones is using Australian stock and the deal doesn't come bundled with any extras - so there's literally no reason for this mark-up," Jager wrote.
"The above 'deal' is one of the worst examples of artificial price inflation we've encountered."
Of course, artificially raising prices to claim amazing discounts is nothing new - it's one of the oldest tricks in the retail book.
But while it's technically against the law, it's very difficult to crack down on. It's particularly tricky in the case of online retailers like eBay and Amazon, which feature a staggering number of third party retailers on their sites.
In a statement provided to news.com.au, an eBay spokeswoman said the site's ongoing tech sale featured 23 sellers offering 20 per cent off a range of more than 36,000 goods.
She said the 20 per cent off referred to the discount on the sellers' pre-established list price - which cannot change seven days prior to the start of the sale through to the end.
But she said the seller in question was clearly at fault.
"This seller has been removed from this promotion as they are in breach of our retail promotion terms and conditions," the spokeswoman said.
"All sellers who take part in our retail promotions are subject to contractual terms and conditions that prohibit this type of activity and we will continue to enforce these as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring genuine value is offered by our sellers."
She said eBay featured more than 40,000 Australian small and midsize businesses and 1.1 billion listings globally.
"We have measures in place to ensure sellers aren't artificially inflating their pricing - specifically to benefit from the sale discount," she said.
"We believe in offering genuine value to buyers and pride ourselves on having the best price. "That's why we have Best Price Guarantee - our commitment to buyers that if they find a cheaper price on another site, we'll not just match the price, we'll beat it by five per cent."
As a marketplace, eBay is not actually responsible for setting prices.