Buyer Beware: The Amazon “Bait & Switch” Pricing Scam is Real (Here’s How to Avoid It)

Updated June 20, 2024 by Kyle James

Amazon pricing can be REALLY sneaky. There I said it. This is something that I’ve been yelling about for years and over the weekend I discovered a blatant “Bait & Switch” practice that Amazon now employs to lure shoppers into thinking the price is great, only to pull the rug out from underneath us and basically have the low price disappear. Below is the exact scenario that I encountered, along with the response from Amazon, so you can be aware of this new sneaky pricing scam that Amazon is using.

Buyer Beware: The Amazon Bait & Switch Pricing Scam is Real

The Bait & Switch Scenario:

Amazon Ice Maker with low price

My daughter is in college, has a birthday coming up, and has been jonesing for a small ice maker for her dorm room.

So off I go to Amazon and see one for $44.99 with great reviews and I think “I’m all over this one like white on rice”.

I then tap on the ice maker and get taken to the product page and much to my surprise I CAN’T find the $44.99 price anywhere….the price listed is a whopping $89.99.

A HUGE 45 dollar price difference, with the previously mentioned $44.99 price NOWHERE to be found.

See Also: How to Buy Amazon Unclaimed Packages and Save Money

So Off I Go To Amazon Chat…

I typically get good results when starting a live chat with Amazon, especially when I have an issue like not getting my package in 2 days or a return question.

But I was sorely disappointed this time.

The rep started out by telling me that Amazon changes pricing all the time, then she had me add the ice maker to my cart to see if the $44.99 propagated at checkout which of course IT DID NOT.

Then she kept saying I would get lower price when I signed up for the Chase Amazon Visa which I thought was a hilarious spin of the problem. (screenshot below)

Clearly, “Joan” had a hard time understanding my issue and could not give me answers to my questions.

Amazon live chat conversation

I quickly realized this was getting nowhere, so I bid a fond farewell to Joan, and decided to call Amazon directly.

So I Called Amazon Customer Service…

Like it was 1986, I figured out how to make a phone call to Amazon customer service.

The first person I talked to was of little help so I asked to speak to his supervisor.

I was quickly transferred and FINALLY was able to speak with someone who actually understood my issue.

I explained that this was a clear BAIT & SWITCH and Amazon needed to honor the advertised price of $44.99.

I was pretty hot under the collar by this point as I was close to 30 minutes into this ordeal.

She explains that the $44.99 is the price from one of the 3rd party seller who just happened to be charging $45 for shipping making the price the same as Amazon’s.

The 3rd party sellers (also know as the “Other sellers on Amazon”) link was buried on the product page making for a very confusing situation.

But sure enough, after some searching, I was able to find the 3rd party seller that she was talking about and see where the $44.99 price was originating from.

The Word “from” is Clearly the Problem

The word FROM is the problem

Wrongly, Amazon seems fine with using the tiny word “from” on their search results page as it grabs the shoppers attention when they see a low price.

But come on Amazon, don’t put the word “from” right next to the Prime logo as it makes shoppers think they can get that low price with Prime 2-day shipping.

Very deceiving and something that I feel is a clear “bait & switch” that Amazon needs to fix immediately.

At the very least, they should remove the blue Prime logo when it’s a “from” situation to avoid confusion.

See Also: 6 Slick Ways to Score Amazon Prime for Free or Real Cheap

The Solution: Amazon Needs To Be More Transparent

The Amazon rep basically told me that the 3rd party seller was being very deceiving by offering that LOW price but then having incredibly HIGH shipping costs.

I told her that Amazon needed to do something about this and she promised to tell her supervisor about this issue so it could be run up the corporate ladder.

Will anything come of it? Probably not.

But if you notice the same thing, call Amazon at 1-888-280-4331 and voice your concern.

Maybe if enough of us call they will change how the display their pricing in the search results.

How to Avoid This Pricing Scam

I was told that the word “from” appears the most when using the Amazon app and you rarely see it when shopping on the website via your laptop or desktop.

So the BEST WAY to avoid this scam is to NOT shop via the Amazon app but instead to shop directly through

Also, keep a sharp eye out for the word “from” and know that it means the price you’re being shown is NOT going to be the actual amount you pay and typically won’t include 2-day Prime shipping. 

Ask the Reader: Have you ever noticed this very sneaky pricing scheme that Amazon does? Do you remember what the product and price was? Let me know in the comments, thanks.

By Kyle James


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Usually when products are presented in the way you describe, Amazon also includes the statement that the item is/may be “Available at a lower price from other sellers [link] that may not offer free shipping”. Clicking on the ‘other sellers’ link opens up a list at the right side that sorts purchase options by total price from low to high”. See attached image for an example

I use it all the time — particularly for ‘used, like new’ items from Amazon

Amazon Example.PNG

I haven’t noticed what you’ve experienced, but one thing that drives me nuts is when it shows a price, but when you go to the product page that price is only if you do Subscribe & Save.


Yes, many times they do that. One representative told me to use screen shot original price and if it increases price, screen shot that and show it to them later. She also said to try to use incognito screen.


Also, I hate when you subscribe & save items , they just go up in price without Amazon informing you. Since Amazon does not put the price on the subscribe , save items, u need to look for the price when u originally placed the order. At times I noticed if I did not cancel a subscribe & save order. I would wind up paying more as opposed to a buy it now.
We need to file a class action lawsuit.
Any lawyers out there willing to tackle Amazon sneaky pricing?.?


Poster on another website stated that prices are higher on the app and do not use it at all.

Andrea Slack

I feel Amazon and most corporate types just aren’t gonna be happy until they get ALL our money and will use any deceptive tactic to do so! “Residual Interest” anybody?

God forbid the CEO’s can’t get more of what they already have!!! Ever wondered or maybe you know just where do my late fees, OD fees go?

I have a feeling the big dog gets to pocket them, I’m sure I’m wrong and if you do know I sure would like to be enlightened please.


This exact thing has happened to me.

The pricing issue and delivery date issue. I even went out of my way to yell at least 2 reps the pricing issue and explained bait and switch to no avail, I had screenshots but the representatives REFUSED to acknowledge my messages about it and would act like I didn’t even send a response in chat

It’s out of hand and the worst part is that the company does not care about or need my business so there is no retention effort or ownership of issues. The customer service response inconsistency and professionalism reflect how little my business means.