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Amazon Prices, Legally binding?

7 posts in this topic

Anyone know what the legal position is regarding prices on Amazon.de?

Today I placed an order for a high priced item and received an order confirmation by email but a short time later I got another email saying the order had been cancelled as the item was no longer available despite having been listed with 9 remaining. I subsequently clicked on the link and the same item appeared listing 10 available but with a price increase of over €230. It is obvious to me that the item is still available but the seller is not willing to accept the original advertised price, it  was a good bargain but not a giveaway while the new price is at the absolute top end and available at least €150,- .cheaper elsewhere. I have complained by email to Amazon and await a response but would really appreciate it if anyone could confirm what my buyers rights are in this situation.

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No it's not legally binding on either of you.

The contract is not completed until they confirm they have received your payment. Any time before that, both parties can walk away.

 

For a contract to form there needs to be

  1. an offer
  2. an acceptance of the offer
  3. a consideration
  4. an intent by both parties to form a binding agreement.

 

Putting the item on the website is an invitation for you to make an offer.  

Although the process went as far as them accepting your offer, they never actually took your money so the contract was not complete.

 

An analogous situation is where you pick something up in a shop and it has the wrong price on it, when you get to the till they don't have to honour the lower price , but you don't have to pay a higher price if you don't want to. There is simply no contract.

However if you get through the checkout and you have paid, they can't make you pay the 'extra' or make you give the items back, if they notice the mistake, that is after the contract is concluded.

 

NB I am not a lawyer if you want legal advice pay someone.

 

 

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Many thanks for that, the order was cancelled so they are not asking me to pay the higher price. Interestingly though they do say that if the payment has been made then it will be refunded in 5-7 days. I pay them by Lastschrift and it is not showing on my bank account but I would not expect to see that until next Friday or Monday at the earliest, from what you say if they have taken payment then the cancellation, regardless of the refund offer, would be invalid.

Thanks again.

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Just to give closure on this:

The electronic complaint I submitted to Amazon on got a response on the lines of the vendor no longer supplies the item which must have sold out in a very short time on the day due to high demand, the item at the higher price was the same but from a different vendor. In my opinion it seems unlikely that an item costing more than €500 would sell out 9 pieces in the space of less than the hour it took between the order confirmation and the cancellation, but what can I prove.

On a general comment with respect to Amazon, although I still use them for price checking, these days I rarely buy anything from them, their prices are usually higher than elsewhere and their non-Prime delivery times are terrible. In particular buying name brand electronic/computer equipment and components and bike parts are much cheaper from German based specialist companies with online shops.

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Re: Selling out, many resellers run scripts checking amazon for the price on an almost constant basis.

If one supplier lists only a small number of items in stock and other suppliers think they can resell at a higher price ,  then it's not impossible that the other suppliers just bought all 9 of them.

 

 

 

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Maybe but given in this case the new vendor listed at absolute top price, while a quick look outside Amazon turned up prices around €150,- cheaper seems unlikely they could make a quick killing.

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I dunno, you originally bought from Amazon, presumably others did too. Anyway who said resellers are always rational :-)

 

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