Tool bundles at Amazon aren’t anything new, but it seems that the pairings have been getting stranger.
A couple of years ago, they had some very poorly-priced Bosch 12V bundles. I once caught a pricing glitch on a Bosch 18V battery bundle.
Some bundles are helpful – garbage pails paired with the same-size lids. But other times, I’m left to wonder who or what is programming these bundles into Amazon’s system.
Above, there’s a new Dewalt mechanics tools et and Gearwrench socket set bundle.
Now, is this an “artificial intelligence” pairing based on observed customer shopping patterns? Advertising Dewalt and Gearwrench tools together seems like it could fit customer buying behaviors.
And then there’s a Craftsman woodworking planer, bundled with a Porter Cable benchtop jointer.
But… why wouldn’t the algorithm pair the Craftsman planer with a Craftsman jointer that’s identical – or close to it – and priced $7 lower?
What’s also curious is that the bundle page doesn’t show pricing for the individual tools here, it simply shows the bundle price.
If you’re shopping for a Makita corded sheet metal nibbler, perhaps you’re also in the market for some new left and right-cutting hand shears from MidWest?
Or, do you know what else would be a logical pairing? A Makita nibbler with entry-priced Genesis metal shear.
Oh, here’s Skil circular saw and Black & Decker jig saw bundle. Two entry-priced power tools make sense being bundled together, but why don’t they feature the same brand?
Here, while the “bundle price” says you “save $31.83,” you don’t actually save anything compared to buying the two tools separately.
Here’s another Skil and Black & Decker power tool bundle.
Is this what customers are looking for?
Is this some kind of search engine optimization strategy?
It can’t be something that tool brands are doing. For instance, I know that Dewalt would much rather feature a Dewalt mechanics tool set with a Dewalt wrench set, rather than have it paired in a listing with a competing brand.
Is Amazon’s algorithm simply running on auto-pilot?
Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all happening unintentionally and on its own. Amazon’s algorithm has been producing less predictable and less useful results over time.
Their “new arrivals in tools & home improvement” filter, for example, doesn’t actually work anymore. The first page of results, rather than a 1-100 listing like there used to be, has older products, most with hundreds of user reviews. Nothing seems to be curated or monitored by actual humans anymore.
But that doesn’t seem to be happening here, as Amazon is the direct seller for the tool bundles mentioned above.
Bundles do have the potential to be useful.
What’s the model number for Bosch’s miter saw crown molding stops? Here, this bundle automatically pairs the appropriate crown molding stops with Bosch’s 10″ miter saw.
Some accessories are notoriously difficult to pin down. What’s the model number for the Type 1 guard that fit a new angle grinder that only ship with a Type 27 guard? That’s where bundles can help.
I suppose the bundles featured above could also help, they just seem like unconventional pairings.
Here are some more that I found recently:
Dremel Lite + Sanding Bands
Skil Tile Saw + M-D Building Products Grout Float
Metabo HPT Brad Nailer with Pancake Air Compressor
Makita 10-1/4″ and 8-1/4″ Circular Saws
Makita Air Compressor with ColorConnext Fittings
Makita HEPA Vac with Cyclonic Attachment
There were two others I wanted to mention that have since been removed – two different Dewalt mechanics tool set and drill bit bundles.
It seems that these might all be suggested pairings based on customer behaviors, but based on what criteria?
What one should always remember is that the bundles rarely save customers money – they’re usually just two or more tools combined together for the sum of their parts – and that the pairings might not be ideal.
Why buy a Craftsman planer with the Porter Cable jointer, for instance, when the Craftsman jointer costs a little less? With Craftsman and Porter Cable being sibling companies now, the tools are either identical, or practically the same with the newer Craftsman tools perhaps sporting small upgrades.
What worries me is that increasingly congested search results don’t help anyone, they simply extend the time it takes to find what one is looking for.
Do you know what happens when search results run amuck to the point where it hampers shopping and pushes customers away? Sears can tell you all about that.
I guess it could be worse – at least the connection between these tool bundle choices seem reasonable, they just seem very artificial.