I recently had an experience where I thought amazon was doing this - I'd get one price when signed in to prime and another cheaper price when not signed in. I called up amazon and the rep was astonished as she could see the exact same thing. A few minutes of digging and she figured out what happened. Amazon was showing me signed in the item shipped from amazon (candidate for prime) and showing me not signed in the item shipped from someone else. When shipping was added in, Amazon was always showing me the lowest price available. In both cases, I was presented an option to choose a different supplier, but it wasn't very prominent on the page.
(A few weeks ago, I needed a mini-USB cable. I ordered it at about 2am, and it was delivered around noon. All for $4.68...)
Bountii is much more powerful than Froogle & Bing because prices aren't just X in one store and Y in another store. Bountii is all about helping price-conscious consumers get the deals most people don't find. Good for them for raising awareness of this new kind of price discrimination.
This sort of thing has gone on for years. You used to be able to find a good deal on a flight at orbitz.com, leave to go comparison shopping, come back, and see a higher price. Clear the cookies, the original price was back.
Aside from login, the vast majority of cookies on the web don't significantly benefit the user. The only reason I don't use a browser that ignores or prompts for cookies is that so many websites use them inappropriately these days, and the web would be unbrowsable without them.
Then there's no middle man and you get all the discount. Hassle for cheaper items, but worth it for bigger stuff.
I once signed up to get a 0% rate credit card (first 6 months) that gave cash back on purchases. I signed up through my affiliate link that paid out something like £40, had a few K of credit for 6 months, and got cashback on everything I bought using it. Then I cancelled it. I expect they hate customers like that.
I have seen this several times, on both newegg and Buy.com. Normally the "add to cart to see price" type items are cheaper if you don't do the bing cash back
My wife's company runs into this issue, and they try to stop the merchants from raising prices, but sometimes a few companies slip through the cracks.
However, maybe Bing doesn't make this against their ToS. In which case, that's bad.
terencekwan at gmail dot com
Wonder if Bing is revenue-sharing w/ their vendors this way somehow.