Geotargeting: How Your IP Address Can Cost You Double The Price
As you may know, OzBargain has a sister site for New Zealand called ChoiceCheapies. As the site is still fairly young, I read the local newspapers to see if I can find any deals worth posting to the site. Last night I spotted this ad in The Dominion Post:
However, when I went to KiwiRail’s website, I couldn’t find any mention of the sale and after plugging in a few dates I continued to get the same result of $239:
However, when I asked our New Zealand staff to try it out, they came up with $99 as their cheapest fare. So what’s going? I switched on Hola (a VPN) and selected a New Zealand IP address. Low and behold, I get a $99 fare:
It looks like KiwiRail is using some kind of geotargeting on their website to only offer discounted fares to those residing in New Zealand. However, for non-local users, local users who are using a VPN, or those who have incorrectly identified IP addresses (e.g. multinational corporate offices), you may be paying more than double for the same train ride.
Next time you make a purchase from overseas, especially if it is travel related, try changing your country via Hola or a similar service, to that host’s country to see if you can score cheaper deals. Don’t be taken on a ride especially an expensive one!
Just a reminder that Hola has security risks and it is recommended not to use it.