What NOT to buy at Amazon, Walmart and Target

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Amazon’s got prime deals.

Amazon is about 11% cheaper overall than Walmart, Target and Jet, according to a new, independent study of online prices of 52,000 products across 13 categories from research firm Profitero.

Walmart is the closest competitor to Amazon in terms of price, with average prices only about 3% higher than Amazon. Meanwhile, the study found that Target was 17% higher and Jet was 12% higher.

Profitero looked at the prices of more than 52,000 exactly matched, in-stock products across 13 categories — beauty, vitamins and supplements, video games, toys & games, tools and home Improvement, sports and outdoors, office electronics and supplies, music/CDs, furniture, electronics, baby, appliances and pet supplies — at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com and Jet.com. The data was collected daily and averaged between June and August 2017 for comparison. Walmart (which also owns Jet) and Target have not yet responded to Moneyish’s request for comment.

“Amazon remains the online price leader versus Walmart, Target, and Jet across 12 out of 13 categories,” the study concluded. The only area it did not excel at was in beauty products, where Walmart was 1% less expensive. (Walmart’s prices also closely resemble Amazon’s in the sports and outdoors (0.4% higher) and baby (0.9% higher) categories.)

How much higher — or lower — retailers prices are than Amazon

Of course, there are many reasons to shop Walmart, Target and other retailers over Amazon, including that at these stores you can go in and touch and feel the products, get in-person help, and more. Plus, just because prices averaged out over a couple months were overall cheaper on Amazon than on Target or Walmart’s sites, doesn’t mean that on a given day Target and Walmart won’t be offering a better deal. Online shoppers may want to consider a browser plugin like Priceblink, which will alert them to lower prices while they’re shopping on Amazon.

And, Amazon shoppers need to beware of the so-called Prime effect. Amazon Prime members — who, for $99 per year, get free two-day shipping on thousands of products, as well as other perks — spend more than double ($1500 vs. $625) what other Amazon customers spend, according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. That may mean that they’re buying things they don’t need.