As the internet permeates every facet of our daily life it has become common to expect some form of geo-targeting. This can appear in our general day to day browsing activity, from the cheeky adverts which adorn the corners of our favourite websites offering the chance to meet “hot babes” in our area, an area which is conveniently rather close to our physical location to the too good to be true adverts that offer exclusive deals to you based on your location.
So while we regularly receive area specific geo-targeting firstly we must understand how companies are able to understand where we are located. Every internet connected device is assigned an IP Address that allows communication to function, it basically allows requests to know where to be sent, you request to access a certain website and it enables it to be served to you rather than your neighbour, or someone down the street. With home internet connections it is extremely easy for adverts to understand your location.
There are further methods such as location tracking, GPS and a whole host more that can be used further to understand your physical location. Advertisers want to target you as directly as possible, it is no good showing adverts in Barbados for wind and rain proof jackets, on the other hand advertising these in Iceland or Switzerland will no doubt yield better results.
So while we may understand we are geo-targeted for advertising purposes, it is less known that we are geo-targeted for pricing, yes, that’s right, where you are located can dictate the price of products and services.
VyprVPN, one of the leading VPN providers have recently released a new infographic showing a somewhat alarming phenomenon that takes geo-targeting to the next level.
In the infographic VyprVPN explain that different regions or countries have different prices for such things like Flights and Car Rental. What is surprising is that the difference in price is for exactly the same flight or car rental package. In the example VyprVPN discovered, booking a flight from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, United States on the booking site, Kayak, would cost US$2929.54 for customers in New Zealand, the EXACT same flight for users booking in Lithuania would set them back US$5424.80.
That’s a whopping US$2495.26 difference, nearly DOUBLE the price! Remember, this is for exactly the same flight, the only difference being the location it was booked in and making use of the most localised version of the Kayak site. The price differences didn’t just stop there, nearly every country tested produced a different price and while a lot of the closer prices can be down to exchange rate fluctuations, the difference between some countries is a huge amount and even the most bizarre interest rates couldn’t cause such fluctuations.
VyprVPN repeated the process with car rental site, Rentalcars.com and found differences in prices similar to those of the airline results. A specific car rental from a set airport and the same rental company cost US$310.08 in Germany with the exact the same deal costing US$747.48 for those in Brazil.
So how was it possible to secure such deals? VyprVPN used their VPN service to connect to various locations around the world giving them access to localised versions of the sites they tested. While the test conducted took in Kayak and Rentalcars, it goes without saying that similar savings are likely to be found across other such sites. I suspect these types of price differences may be seen outside of the flight and rental markets too so using a good VPN provider to alter your location could definitely bring in some amazing savings.
So if you’re interested in putting this to the test yourself and seeing if you can pick up some great savings, all you need to do is firstly sign up to VyprVPN or any other good VPN provider with many locations. Clear your history and cookies or open an InPrivate or Incognito browser, connect to another countries location via the VPN software then Google the site you’re after. Based on your VPN connection you will be served a localised version of the site if one is available allowing you to compare the prices against your home country.
For full details of the findings, take a look at the original infographic published by VyprVPN which explains their findings in greater details. Good luck saving!