Why does Amazon.com lie to me?

OK, I need some help.. I think this boils down to math, and.. well.. grrr math, grrr!

Anyway, when I look up something on amazon.com, they are so nice to provide a “what did the other people who looked at this buy?” section on the page. Which is pretty useful.. or is it?

Take a look at this:

And then this:

See the loop? When I check out the Nokia N810, it says 66% people bought it and only 12% bought the Asus Eee PC.. but when I’m looking at the Asus Eee PC it says 96% bought THAT and only 1% bought the Nokia N810!!!How can this beeeeee? Someone please school me.

  • Obviously I don’t know how the algorithm actually works, but I have a feeling it has something to do with the starting point. Of the people who purchase an internet tablet, 66% of people who start off looking at the Nokia N810 buy it, 22% then look at the Nokia N800 and buy that, and the other 12% look at the ASUS and buy that. On the flip side of that coin, 96% of people who start off looking at the ASUS end up buying it and only 3% end up switching to either of the Nokias. These results seem to be skewed towards whichever one is listed first after you do a search for internet tablet, or whatever you searched for. Since the N810 is listed near the top it will get looked at first. If people are clicking on the first item listed they are probably using Amazon as a comparison tool, and so would be more likely to buy other things. If the ASUS gets clicked first it is probably what people are looking for so they are less likely to use Amazon as a comparison tool and more likely to use it as a means to making their purchase.