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The Los Angeles Times reports that while Amazon said that it was phasing out the use of list pricing on its site - a tacit acknowledgement that it is a "a controversial practice accused of deceptively inflating how much consumers save" - a new study from Consumer Watchdog "finds that the pricing system remains widely used, affecting more than a quarter of the 4,000 products examined by the advocacy group on Amazon ... In its study, Consumer Watchdog said it found at least half the list prices examined were greater than the prevailing market price."

The Times says that Amazon calls the Consumer Watchdog study "misleading."

“Manufacturers, vendors and sellers provide list prices, but our customers care about how the price they are paying compares to other retailers,” Amazon said in a prepared statement. "We validate list prices against actual prices recently found across Amazon and other retailers, and we eliminate List Price when we believe it isn’t relevant to our customers.”

The Times also says that Amazon has introduced a “was” price, "using recent price history of the product on Amazon. That provides customers with 'an alternative reference price when we don’t display List Price,' the statement said."
KC's View:
It is not in Amazon's best interests to try to be half-pregnant. Either get rid of the list prices, or don't. But whatever it does, Amazon - like every other retailer - needs to be transparent with consumers and act in the shopper's best interests. Always.