By Brecken Branstrator

Seattle--Amazon is slowly, and quietly, changing the way its items’ prices are listed on the site.

In a move that is sure to have a ripple effect in the e-commerce market, The New York Times reports that Amazon has, in many cases, removed the mention of list price, or the original price, on its items.

When the e-tailer first was getting its start and building up its consumer base, the buyer saw the list price noted, versus what they could buy it for on Amazon and how big the discount was.

Now, the e-commerce giant is moving away from list prices to noting only the cost to buy.

Amazon did not respond to request for comment by press time.

The move is notable not only because there have been several consumer complaints and lawsuits against large companies over how meaningless the list prices have become, but also because Amazon is undergoing a shift of its own.

“When Amazon began 21 years ago, the strategy was to lose on every sale but make it up on volume,” Larry Compeau, a Clarkson University professor of consumer studies, was reported as saying to The Times. “It was building for the future, and the future has arrived. Amazon doesn’t have to seduce customers with a deal because they’re going to buy anyway.”

Now, Amazon is trying to see which of its categories are so important to its shoppers that list prices and discounting no longer matter.

It reportedly started getting rid of list prices about two months ago both for its own products and third-party merchants.

Oftentimes, consumers’ biggest issue with list prices is that they rarely are what the manufacturer or retailer actually charges for the item, making the discount seem bigger than it is.

Suits regarding discounts that aren't actually discounts have been filed recently against such companies as Macy’s, Kohl’s, J. Crew and Ann Taylor, and with more continuing to pop up as consumer discontent continues, it remains to be seen if other online retailers will follow Amazon in kind.

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