How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

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The right price—the one that will extract the most profit from consumers’ wallets—has become the fixation of a large and growing number of quantitative types, many of them economists who have left academia for Silicon Valley.

It may come as a surprise that, in buying a seasonal pie ingredient, you might be participating in a carefully designed social-science experiment. But this is what online comparison hath wrought. Simply put: Our ability to know the price of anything, anytime, anywhere, has given us, the consumers, so much power that retailers—in a desperate effort to regain the upper hand, or at least avoid extinction—are now staring back through the screen. They are comparison us.

Source: How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All – The Atlantic