Can someone explain why camera prices fluctuate so much? I don't think I've ever experienced something quite so frustrating to shop for as a camera. In my search for the right camera in the last month or so, I've seen the Panasonic Zs20 go from $228 to $279 to $249 to to $238 to $299 to $228 and now to $275. Many times these prices stayed for only a couple of says with no indication that it was a sale and that they were changing.
I haven't been watching it as closely, but the ZS15 has changed a few times just in the last week.
How the hell does anyone shop for a camera with such fluctuating prices? And how do stores/companies justify these constant changes?
This was the subject of another thread last week, where I mentioned that I had seen the price of the ZS15 go from $165 to $182 and back down to $165 in the space of an hour. I don't have any inside information, but I think it's safe to assume all the big on-line retailers use sophisticated computer software to adjust their prices as competition, sales, and supply conditions may warrant in order to manage their inventory and maximize their earnings from sales. In fact, the software may be sophisticated enough to offer the same goods to different shoppers at different prices at the same instant, or different prices to the same shopper at different times, perhaps depending on what that individual may have waiting in his "wish list" or "shopping basket" for future purchase. What's the best way to cope with such sudden unannounced price changes? Stop by the DPR forums every day! When someone spots a drastic price drop on-line, typically they will post a message for others to notice and take advantage of. If you happen to be shopping for a particular camera when someone spots a sudden price drop, you may be lucky enough to take advantage of the heads-up in time to put in an order before the price goes back up again.