Buying at the right time can save a lot of money quickly. A new study analyzes the tricks used by online retailers. What time of the day do you save the most?

Discounts always apply offline.  Online it often depends on the time of day whether you can save.

Dhe bun costs 55 cents in the morning and 35 cents in the evening. The beer price in the pub is tailored to the drinking mood: whoever has something to celebrate pays four euros. If you only come by for an after-work beer, two euros fifty.

That would be the analog translation of the price setting on the Internet. The Brandenburg consumer center has now systematically examined this practice. To do this, they looked at the prices at 16 German online retailers from the end of January to the beginning of March and examined a total of 1133 prices. If you use the findings, you can simply save money.

If you shop in the evening, you save

Media Markt often lowers its prices around 6:45 p.m. The same Samsung cell phone cost 800 euros at the beginning of February, then on February 18 briefly 580 euros, but before and after that it was again more than 750 euros. If you shop at Media-Markt, you should be patient, compare again and again and ideally go shopping in the evening. The same applies to the Comtech platform: the same USB cable was sometimes available there for 1.75 euros and sometimes for 6.79 euros.

When it comes to auto parts, too, it’s worth tracking prices over a longer period of time and shopping in the afternoon. ATU frequently lowers the prices for car batteries, tires and engine oil in between. In the afternoons the prices were reduced by up to a quarter and increased again the next morning. The competitor Tirendo goes one step further. The prices of some winter tires fluctuated between EUR 219.30 and EUR 638.50 within the five weeks examined.

Otto and Zalando also change their prices frequently. At Zalando, G-Star trousers advertised by Pharrell Williams usually cost between 80 and 100 euros. But when Pharrell Williams appeared on the halftime show during an important basketball game, the pants cost almost 200 euros for almost a week.

The weather affects prices

On the other hand, online pharmacies have comparatively stable prices. Doc Morris dynamically adjusted the prices of only seven out of 70 products. Only a few adjustments were made to 34 other products. Sanicare adjusted six prices several times. 55 products only had different prices on two days: February 14th and February 18th.

This could be related to the flu outbreak in February and the weather. On February 14th, the lowest temperature in many German cities fell below minus 5 degrees. On February 18, the minimum temperature fell in many places.

Traders play with credibility

In the study, however, Sanicare is the king of price differentiation. The prices are not fixed for 87 percent of the drugs. Media Markt changes the prices of two thirds of its products, Zalando by half. At the DIY stores Obi and Hornbach, however, it is only 17 and 11 percent. However, Obi changes the prices of its products frequently, although the fluctuations were small. A window sill had a different price almost every day, but consistently cost around 20 to 21 euros.

Online retailers are taking a risk with price differentiation. Last year, a study found that retailers can quickly lose credibility as a result. The proportion of respondents who found a retailer to be less credible when they noticed that the retailer changed prices frequently was up to 30 percentage points.