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One of the many brilliant ways Amazon gets you to spend a dollar.

Have you noticed that Amazon has resorted to some fairly brilliant psychological chicanery lately? Nothing new, as Amazon has set the gold standard for efficient online business, but fascinating all the same.

The digital retailer is taking tips from brick and mortar regarding impulse buys. The tunnel of products you are standing next to while waiting for the register is designed to have a micro price point and macro audience. When you are buying milk and come home with both milk and "Cherry-Vanilla-Hot Garbage" flavored Bubblicious Gum for $1.29. The grocery store is relying on the fact that you can't be bothered to return it (too much effort or time), you are too late to return it (past the time allowed), or you have already opened it.

See one example of this in action on the Amazon website by clicking into the Kindle Store section.

In the main listings for each Kindle category, they have decided to emphasize the dollar figure of each ebook, and use smaller less prominent font case for the cents (Images below). 

It seems like such a small and simple presentation change, but it has caught me at least one time. They are counting on the impulse buyers who mentally emphasize the zero aspect and less so the 99 cents. 

There is a secondary special benefit of this crafty presentation. If you see the large case Zero, you might quickly click the "buy now" button thinking it is a free book. They are not misrepresenting the cost of the product, they are relying on fast clicks from people paying less attention. This instantly initiates a transaction. 

Have books you want to return? Read the entire ebook/digital media Return Policy for details -->

Boiled down: With digital purchases, Amazon has a policy (as of today at least) that you can get a refund after no greater than 7 days.

Other retailers like Google Play, Barnes and Noble.. they all simply use the word "Free".

What does this mean?

If you click to "Buy Now", get charged 99 cents, then fail to notice, a dollar leaves your wallet and moves to theirs and you might not even notice. 

It is pretty ingenious and I hope that the person who presented the idea got a nice little bonus in their paycheck one week. Smart presentation deserves reward.


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