Erez Zuckerman on why ZSA doesn’t have Black Friday sales

Following a very heated exchange I had with @Bmosbacker (:upside_down_face:), I ran across this post from the ZSA keyboards founder:


the SanDisk that was previously over-priced by $100, has been reduced.

@JohnAtl indeed, in fact, I almost wrote in my original post on the “sale” that I doubted the legitimacy of the sale price difference with the “original” price. I just went back to Amazon to look again at the “original” price. They state the “list” price–in other words the inflated MSRP–before the sale price.

But, even more intriguing is that the price changed again–it went up from the price I got. I paid $185 two days ago. They are now charging $320, an increase of $135 in two days. Given that, I still got a good deal–just not as good as they’d like me to believe by giving the original price as the MSRP. :grinning:

Based on an article referenced in the one you posted, the prices I’m seeing may be different than what you or others see due to the use of cookies on the Amazon site.

Lots of manipulation and mind games …

Price on Nov. 26:

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I love the layout of their keyboards - curved rows, split hands, which is the only way ortholinear makes any sense to me. A bit pricy tho, but yeah. If I was still working I’d totally hit my boss up for a Moonlander!


I saw an article once about how some sellers use bots to set Amazon prices, based on their competitors’ prices. It showed a book that was at something like $5000 or so because two bots were essentially competing to be “not the cheapest, but the second cheapest” back and forth using algorithms. And somewhere else the book was expensive, but like $50 instead of $5000. :smiley:

Although in a more practical example, from the “2021 is weird” department…

Our local discount grocery store sold an 8 oz block of cheese for $1.69 a month or so a go. Long-term regular price. A couple weeks or so ago, the price was up to $1.84. No biggie, prices are going up - I expect stuff like this. But it said “SALE!”, with a “regular” price given of $1.99.

They marked it up $0.30, essentially for the purpose of being able to discount it $0.15 and claim that a $0.15 price hike was a “sale”.

I swear you can’t make this stuff up. :slight_smile:


Back when we sold a lot of used books on Amazon I noticed this odd book pricing thing. As best I could determine, these sellers with high prices managed to manipulate the algorithms so that their entry became most prominent. If someone bought from them, they would immediately buy the book from another seller (at normal prices) and have it shipped to the buyer, pocketing the difference. I can’t imagine it ever worked, but if it did it would be a big payday, and the cost to keep a listing up is basically free…

This type of nonsense is a big part of the reason that, for used books, I’ve almost given up on Amazon. I usually go someplace like ABE.


AbeBooks is owned by Amazon! AbeBooks - Wikipedia

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Didn’t know about that, but honestly, it sure doesn’t seem like it. It runs differently, the pricing seems more sane, and overall it’s just a better platform.

Maybe Amazon owns it and just hasn’t decided to muck it up?

I agree. It’s an entirely different experience.

The Keepa plugin for Safari will report price history for almost everything sold on Looking at this drive:

you can see that it did briefly sell for its $459 “list price” when it first came out and even briefly above that price in January this year! On the other hand it has been selling for less than $319 for most of the time and was actually at its best price, $185, on Thanksgiving day!

Also, if you particularly select as the seller, the price is $225 at the moment and not $319, which was a third party seller price and apparently the only one available early this morning!

Let the buyer beware!


I paid $180 and $153 (lightning deal) for the older version of the 1TiB model in 2018 and 2019. is a good way to be alerted of lower prices.

What we think of as Amazon is, many times, just people selling through Amazon, so sometimes it’s a buyer’s market, and sometimes a seller’s.


That is a great extension. Do you happen to know if it takes much memory or materially affects battery drain? I’m OCD in minimizing impact on memory and battery drain–probably needless on my part given I’m sporting a M1 Max with 32GB memory–but still … :grinning:

No idea about battery consumption since I use it on my iMac. It doesn’t seem to have much impact, but ti probably costs some network activity since (as far as I know) it works by crowd-sourcing the prices from users browsing Amazon. I doubt that they could get away with scraping the site!

I used to use this plug-in but I heard some pretty severe privacy issues about it. Be aware.

I just read that site. I’m operating on the assumption that the article is accurate. Based on that, I think I’ll steer away from that extension. Thanks for the heads-up.

There is a cost to using any service. I find the value of Keepa worth it’s cost for the known risks. For the potential risks, well I’ve got that with any business on the Web and with any of their hackers. Nothing Keepa knows about me that Amazon doesn’t already know!

Everyone has different stance on their privacy. If you don’t care that keepa might be selling your (personal identifiable) data to other parties, that’s totally okay. Just want others to know the issue.

Here is an excerpt from the article

Keepa extension is equipped to collect any information about your Amazon visits. Currently it will collect information about the products you look at and the ones you search for, all that tied to a unique and persistent user identifier. Even without you choosing to register on the Keepa website, there is considerable potential for the collected data to be deanonymized.

Some sloppy programming had the (likely unintended) consequence of making the server even more powerful, essentially granting it full control over any Amazon page you visit. Luckily, the extension’s privileges don’t give it access to any websites beyond Amazon.

The company behind the extension fails to comply with its legal obligations. The privacy policy is misleading in claiming that no personal data is being collected. It fails to explain how the data is being used and who it is shared with. There are certainly companies interested in buying detailed online shopping profiles, and a usable privacy policy needs to at least exclude the possibility of the data being sold.