Exposing Price Discrimination in Online Shopping

Exposing Price Discrimination in Online Shopping

CBC News, 2017

Editorial Rating



Imagine paying $5 for a cup of your favorite brew at your local café. Perhaps you’re satisfied with the price. But when you notice that the next customer orders the same drink but pays just $3, and the next hands over just $2, how do you feel? Scammed? Exploited? Wronged? In the online world, you constantly experience such price discrimination, though you’re likely unaware of it. Consumer watchdog Charlsie Agro deftly sheds light on the clandestine practice of price discrimination and advises online shoppers on how to seek and find the lowest prices and best deals.


Price discrimination – that is, charging different customers different prices for the same products – is a common practice online, though consumers are rarely aware of it. Vendors determine how much to charge individuals based on their personal data. If you are willing to yield some personal privacy, you could earn a lower price.

Have you ever browsed a product online and subsequently had ads for that product follow you around the Internet? Cookies – small digital files that websites put in users’ devices – track users as they surf the web, allowing companies to target tailored deals to individuals based on their search history. In an

About the Speaker

Charlsie Agro is a reporter for Marketplace, a consumer watchdog program on Canada’s CBC News.

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