These promotions are around so often that we don't always notice them, and how often do we take them up on their promotion? We should, it can help us save cash, gas and time. This is how you become a pricing match maker, by taking them up on their offers to meet or beat an advertised item. It is really a win-win for all parties as they are looking for you to spend money in their store and you want to save money without the hassle of running around and you get exactly what you are looking for.
Price matching is commonly done with larger retail stores and some online stores, it is not too common to price match with a mom and pop store that has more set prices. However the biggest positive in that regard is that you are buying local to help a small business out, but I digress.
It is very rare that you will find stores that will price match with online websites as the websites have a lower overhead and can set a lower price. And this can include their own website - such as Best Buy not matching BestBuy.com online only offers. Though I have seen store/website matching done, sometimes it has involved a store manager to approve it.
All companies need proof that the competitor is at a lower price than them, and occasionally they will call to verify with the store to make sure it is.
Most stores have other rules on price matching that vary from store to store -
- Gift Cards or Rebates
- Time Limits on the Advertised Item
- In Person Price Matching
- Competitor's Item being in Stock or not
- Competitor's Distance from the store
- Model Type or Number
Groceries are the hardest to match because there are such a wide variety, and if you use coupons you are already familiar with the 'rules' to purchasing. It is best to have a copy of the ad with you when you shop for not only proof, but also to get the exact item you are price matching. Occasionally you can take a store coupon in and get that amount off the price - for instance taking a Kroger store coupon to a Safeway and getting 35¢ off even though they don't get money back on the coupon (and they will keep the coupon)
When you are price matching in a store make sure you let the cashier know ahead of time so they can have the item overridden with the lower price. Even better is to make certain the store will price match that specific item. For instance, it is depends on the store if Black Friday ads are price matched simply because they have a small number of them or they know they will sell out without difficulty and there is no need to reduce the price. So call ahead to the store to find out and bring proof.
Price matching is not done on clearance items or returned items. Though if you have bought a product from another store you could try to bring that receipt into the store to show as proof before you return the item to former store.
Some people find price matching a benefit, while others find it too much work. It usually does have exclusions, and you’ll have to jump through some hoops in most cases to get it. Many people find it worth a little effort when they’re trying to save.
Here are a few stores Price Matching FAQs:
- Best Buy Help
- Home Depot Guarantee*
- Office Depot Price Match
- Walmart Stores
- Sears Guarantee
- Target Pricing Policy
- Radio Shack Pricing
- Amazon.com Pricing
Photo courtesy of MNgilen via Flickr CC