A Profitero study showed Target’s online prices were 25% more expensive than Wal-Mart’s, which were just slightly more expensive than prices on Amazon.
Goldspeed.com supports a 110% price guarantee on identical items it sells that shoppers find at less cost elsewhere. It’s also gotten good at finding out when offers on other sites aren’t what they seem to be.
When you advertise yourself as the Internet’s largest discount jeweler and offer a 110% price matching guarantee on anything sold on your site that a shopper finds at less cost on another site, you’d better be prepared to make good on it. Goldspeed.com, No. 366 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide , does just that– but it’s also gotten good at finding out when competing offers on other sites aren’t what they seem to be.
“If something seems too good to be true, it probably is,” says CEO Neil Kugelman. In some cases Goldspeed has determined that a competing online jeweler has represented a piece of jewelry on its site as larger or heavier than it actually is, and priced it based on that lower actual materials cost. The net effect is that it appears to be offering the “same” merchandise as Goldspeed but at a drastically lower price.
That becomes an issue when a shopper asks for the price match based on the inaccurate information. Goldspeed honors the match if a lower-priced item is truly identical to its own merchandise, but it can also determine when that is not the case. Unlike categories such as consumer electronics, there is a certain value to the raw material of stones and precious metals that are in the jewelry Goldspeed sells, based on weight and indexed commodity prices. “If we are selling a gold chain for $250, for example, you can take the chain and melt it down, and there is certain amount of raw material there. You can’t do that with an iPod,” says Kugelman, who will give a presentation, How to Choose a Backend Solution at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose. .
Kugelman says that “very often,” another site is selling products that differ from its own and the images shown are not what is actually going out to the customer. The difference may be in weight of an item, in its carat or gram weight. “We attempt to point out to the customer that this is weight of the item, and this is the price of gold today–do the math,” he says.
If a retailer is selling an item for less than the current price of the gold in its stated weight, for example, Goldspeed knows that the description is off. “Once you explain to customers how there is a certain cost that the item can’t possibly fall below-because market value dictates the price of gold-most understand,” he says.