The internet is by far the biggest marketplace on the planet. Increasingly it is the place that individuals turn to buy all sorts of goods and services. It seems like one big, global market so you would think that everyone would get the same deals and the same access, unfortunately that isn’t quite true. Even for the many global brands which sell online, they offer a variety of goods for sale at different prices depending primarily on your physical location. It seems crazy yet in the digital world your location does matter.
The reasons are of course rooted in money, one of the particular ways in which companies maximise their profits is by selling at the highest possible margin. Yet this margin alters depending on your location because of a variety of reasons ranging from competition to living standards. You can sell something for more money in some markets than others which is why it’s important that firms build up these artificial boundaries in the digital world. Take for example the online games retailer – Steam, they sell games digitally, you pay and then download. It shouldn’t matter what location you are in, the product and delivery cost is identical. However they know that they can maximise their profits by selling at higher costs in some wealthier countries than others. You’ll pay more to download a game from the UK than you will from South America for example.
So how do the companies manage to charge different costs online? Well they do this by looking at your IP address when you connect to their web site. It will determine your location and then offer you a regionalised price list – it could even be a completely different website. Doesn’t sound fair? Digital Exploitation? Well perhaps but fortunately there is a way of bypassing this and treating the internet as the global marketplace it should be by simply switching the residential IP address that you are using.
It’s actually very easy to do and can be achieved without any technical knowledge using some sort of proxy or VPN service. This hides your real location and if you connect to a website you should receive the same offers and services as those in the country which the VPN server is based in. So you can buy your online games in South America and save money, or stream to region locked digital service.
BBC Block VPNs – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/2016/07/20/bbc-vpn-block-real/