Why do prices change so much, and so quickly?

benjie

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
May 17, 2010
Messages
63
Location
London
A couple of weeks ago I bought the Panasonic 14-140 (new, but unboxed) from Park cameras for £399.99. It seems for once in my life I bought at the right time! By the time I ordered it, it had already gone up to £429.99, but they honoured the lower price. Then a few days later it increased again- to £499.99. I just checked Park's site, and would you believe it's now £599.99!

So, why do prices change so much, and so quickly?
 

Danny_Two

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
182
Location
London
Strange, Park camera's are usually super consistent, all the stuff i've been interested in has never changed price. Amazon one the other hand seem to go up and down regularly.
 

JohnF

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
185
Location
Oberursel, Germany
Ah, the mysteries of retail pricing.

Basically you have several factors going on.

1) Supply chain. If you stock an item that is replaced on a regular basis, your price may vary rather quickly. If you sell, say, 500 cameras a month, 200 of N and 200 of C, as well as 50 P, 30 O and 20 S, but you have a minimum order for each of 200, then the prices for N and C will change every month, but the prices for P will change every 4 months, for O every six months and for S every 10 months. Hence while N and C will go through small incremental changes, O and S will jump more significantly, everything else being the same;

2) Exchange rates, one of the major reasons for the above;

3) Supply and demand. If an item is moving off the shelves as fast as it can be stocked, that is a fairly sure sign that it may be underpriced. The closer you get to the last few shopping days before Christmas, the greater the likelihood that you will find higher prices to take advantage of the fact that you have limited time to research prices. A good retailer would spike his prices on the last day of shopping before Christmas, as you can't run around looking for prices very long, and will end up paying a premium for shopping too late.

There may be other reasons, but that sort of covers the basics...

JohnF
 

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