Money Matters » Are you being Scroogled?

Are you being Scroogled?

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Are you getting Scroogled? Do you shop online regularly? If so, there is a very good chance that you are getting scroogled, Scramazoned and otherwise screwed!

The term ‘Scroogling’ was initially an attack campaign created by Microsoft/Bing to drive users away from Google services by attacking their advertising practices, specifically how google tends to use peoples shopping practices to determine and target other products that may be of use to those consumers, But Google ISN’T the problem we’ve encountered, Amazon Is!!

In this case, perhaps we should call this getting Scramazoned! You’ve probably always been taught to thoroughly research items before you purchase them, seek out the best price before settling and making the purchase. But, what if we told you that researching items online can actually cause you to LOSE money.

Here’s how:

Every time you visit a website little bits of information, called cookies, are stored on your computer. When you are learning about a product or seeking out the best deal available and then go back at a later date, those cookies are being read by those shopping sites and the deal that you thought you found is suddenly Priced Higher.

Here’s an example: This week we provided an article on the benefits of adding Quinoa to your diet, with a link to Amazon. The very first day we searched for Quinoa, it came up as $10.49 , as you can see here:


Today, less than 24 hours later, Quinoa (at the cheapest price) is suddenly $14.25 from the same SOURCE, Amazon Prime:


However, on My system I utilize multiple browsers, several of which do NOT store Cookies. Doing a search on Amazon for Quinoa in a Clean Browser window with NO Cookies stored returns the following price: $13.95


Here is the difference between MY Prime Account and My Son’s Prime Account:
There are several things to note here:

  • Both accounts are Logged In.
  • Both accounts are PRIME.
  • Both Accounts are being accessed on the EXACT Same Computer, but in different Browsers. One Browser has cookies disabled, One Browser has cookies Enabled.
  • Note that my Son’s account is not only Cheaper, but offers MORE Items using the Exact Same Search Term.
  • In the top account the Quinoa is $14.25, In the Bottom Account the Quinoa is $13.95, PLUS an additional listing for Prime Pantry of $10.49- which is NOT available in the top account. (apologies for the bad screenshot).


    How to Avoid Getting Scroogled, Scramazoned, & Otherwise Screwed

    Always take the time to research a product thoroughly before purchasing it. Don’t feel like you have to purchase something that instant just because that’s the lowest price you’ve seen. Online companies thrive on impulse buys. ~ Open a different browser altogether and copy & paste the link into the browsers address bar.

    ~ If you’re planning on going back to that page in a few days, bookmark it, then Clear the cache & Cookies on your browser before revisiting the page.

    ~ Add it to your shopping cart BEFORE you Login, Amazon will then give you the option of logging in and the item will likely be a cheaper price.

    ~ If more than one family member in the house has an Amazon Account, it is worth each member logging into their OWN account to check and see if they can get the best price.

    ~ Set your Internet Options to ALWAYS Delete cookies and clear your cache when you close your browser.

    Have you been Scroogled? Scramazoned? or Otherwise cheated while shopping online?

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    3 thoughts on “Are you being Scroogled?”

    1. amazon is so annoying like that!

      my husband uses a browser app that i’d heard of- (for firefox) or (for chrome). it follows prices on amazon, tracking them as sold on amazon by amazon and by third parties. this way you can look at the items pricing history and have an idea if it’s likely to go up or down.

      if it’s never been lower, get it now; if it’s super high, then wait. i don’t recall if you have to have the items in your cart or wishlist, or if it has to be for an extended period of time.
      but it’s great and has saved us loads. additionally, there are probably other versions for other browsers.

    2. This also happens when you search for a deal on a flight, rental cars, or hotels. If I am undecided I keep the window open for the site with the best deal and refresh it only once a day. If I haven’t opted to purchase a ticket in a week, the prices begin to decrease


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