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Customers Sue Amazon Over “Buy Now” Feature, Claim It Tricks Them Into Spending More

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Customers Sue Amazon Over “Buy Now” Feature, Claim It Tricks Them Into Spending More

Customers Sue Amazon Over “Buy Now” Feature, Claim It Tricks Them Into Spending More

Source: Quora

Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, is in the eye of a storm over a new feature on its online platform. Many of the eCommerce company’s customers have lamented falling victim to the latest “Buy Now” feature on the company’s website. 

They complain that the new button has led them to purchase goods accidentally. Let’s see how.

A Genius Move By a Retail Giant

Source: Quora

You wouldn’t need to look too closely to spot a new button addition to Amazon’s product pages. The “Buy Now” button sits comfortably under the “Add to Cart” we all know. 

Amazon said it added this button to help ease customer’s shopping experience. If you want to make a quick purchase, the “Buy Now” button is your friend.

The New Button is Called the "Buy Box"

Source: Quora

Not every customer wants to go through the add-to-cart process before buying a product. Amazon believes that the new button, known as the Buy Box, will help customers bypass the add-to-cart feature. 

With this new feature, customers who have decided what they want to buy can get straight to it. The Buy Box removes the need to compare products from multiple sellers, just straight to purchase.

The Buy Box Offers a Significantly Easier Shopping Experience

Source: Quora

Compared to how shopping was done in its absence, the Buy Box has significantly improved the ease of shopping. Amazon says the Buy Box helps customers go away with the best deals. 

The button will also save the time that would have been spent going through a step-by-step process. As fine as the idea looks, it apparently has some upsides.

Shoppers Aren't ConvincedWhile many shoppers have had amazing experiences with the new button, others have gone through some tough times. These shoppers aren't convinced that Amazon meant well with the introduction.  A government-sponsored lawsuit allege

Source: Quora

While many shoppers have had amazing experiences with the new button, others have gone through some tough times. These shoppers aren’t convinced that Amazon meant well with the introduction. 

A government-sponsored lawsuit alleges that the online retailer is manipulating the feature to make customers spend more money than they would have. It accused Amazon of pushing customers to buy more costlier products than they would have if they had to see the options.

Is Amazon Pushing Selfish Interests?

Source: Quora

The lawsuit accused the company of promoting certain high-priced items through its website’s algorithm. These items are suspected to be affiliated with the company. 

If this allegation is true, it means that Amazon no longer prioritizes its customer’s interests as it has always claimed. It means Amazon has opted to make money off its customers in less than noble ways.

Is Amazon Betraying Its Customers? 

Source: Quora

Many customers seem to think so. Interestingly, a report by a leading IT news website suggests exactly that. The report claimed that the Buy Box mostly displays items from sellers who are under the Fulfillment by Amazon service. 

According to the report, these sellers pay extra for this preferential treatment. Amazon compensates them by displaying their items with the Buy Box to convince buyers that they are getting the most lucrative deals.

Amazon is Facing a Serious Opposition From Government Officials

Source: Quora

The lawsuit being filed against the retail giant has some heavy government backing. 17 state attorney-generals have joined the lawsuit. They are accusing Amazon of various infractions. 

These include engaging in an illegal monopoly of online shopping, reducing product quality, and increasing consumer prices. “Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform,” said Lina Khan, chair of the United States Federation Trade Commission.

The Buy Box System is Hurting Sellers, Too

Source: Quora

It is important to note that buyers aren’t the only ones at the receiving end of Amazon’s Buy Box idea. The victims also include merchants who haven’t signed up for Amazon’s special programs, such as the FBA. 

These disadvantaged merchants, even though they have more lucrative products than the Buy Box promoted ones, won’t get the attention of most customers.

Amazon Accused of Having It's Thumb on the Scales

Source: Quora

There have also been talks of Amazon forcing sellers to participate in its eCommerce fulfillment service. Amazon punishes sellers who refuse to pay instantly for the service by denying them Prime-free delivery, harming their eligibility for the Buy Box. 

“It’s very difficult even for market participants to necessarily know when Amazon is putting its thumb on the scales and favoring its own interests,” Stacy Mitchell, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s co-executive director, told the press.

Amazon Has Intervened in the Issue

Source: Quora

Probably due to the intense pressure from customers and the government, Amazon has announced some adjustments to the Buy Box feature. The feature will assume a new name – Featured Offers. Also, Amazon has promised not to give priority to sellers with Prime badges. 

However, there are still concerns from its customers who do not trust that the retailer has turned a new leaf.

Here's How to Evade the Buy Box

Source: Quora

As you must have already seen, using the buy box is easier but also riskier. You might be clicking on the button under the influence of your impulse. Take some time to reflect on the action before you take it. 

You can also search for similar products from other sellers. You just might find lots of them at lower prices. It’s better to buy smart than to buy fast.