Deep in this Washington Post story on dynamic pricing—prices that change based on what online retailers know or guess about individual customers—come these lines:
[A]s much as retailers try to foil bargain shoppers, consumers do hold the upper hand online. Dynamic pricing is easy to counteract. Search multiple sites – including ones that collect prices from across the Internet as well as the sites themselves. Run searches on more than one browser, including one which you have erased cookies. Leave items in a shopping cart for a few days to gin up discount offers.
That makes the rest of the story, and wafting consumer protection concerns with dynamic pricing, a little humdrum. Indeed, it belies the headline: “How Online Retailers Stay a Step Ahead of Comparison Shoppers.”
Even better advice—certainly the simplest—is: Don’t buy what you can’t afford. That is serious consumer protection.