Shoppers want to find the best deals to reduce the impact of fluctuating and rising prices on their finances. Some stores offer price-matching policies to shoppers as a way to save money, despite fierce competition. Some stores will take consumer money early and promise to match the price of a competitor for many items.
However, every store has a different price-matching policy. Amazon is an example. Some retailers offer a list that excludes certain products, services, and sales periods such as the week before Thanksgiving.
This red tape makes it difficult to take advantage of these policies, especially during holidays when people are spending more. These are some helpful tips to help you sort through the chaos and determine if price matching is a good strategy for your holiday shopping.
What’s price matching?
Price matching was created to give early shoppers peace of mind. If the price falls, they can get the difference in their pocket.
Typically, price matching is done in one of two ways by shoppers: after purchase in-store or in-store. The first scenario is where a shopper finds lower prices and shows proof at the register. This lower price will be matched immediately. The second scenario is when a shopper purchases something and then finds a lower price within the next few days or weeks. To get a price adjustment, they must visit the store or go online. Priceva, an IT company offering a price monitoring service to retailers, says this post-purchase scenario is more common.
Who can price match?
Most major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy offer price-matching policies to shoppers. These policies are more rare for smaller businesses. You can search online for the store name and “price match policy span> to see if they have one.
How do I qualify for price matching
You will need to have your original receipt as well as proof that the price was lower, such an advertisement or a letter from that retailer.
These guidelines are also common in price-matching policies at major retailers.
The item must match exactly down to the model number, size and color. If you’re trying to price match the red tricycle that you purchased for your child this holiday season, and the green one is out of stock,
The product must be in stock at the time you request it. You must have your item ready for pickup or shipping to be eligible.
The item must have been purchased from an eligible competitor.
A price-matching request must made within a short time frame.
Limitations on price matching might apply. Some restrictions may include the maximum number of items that can price match at once.
Tips to make price matching easier
These are some strategies to help you price match success.
You can use apps to find out prices before you buy
To save money, don’t rely solely on price-matching strategies. Be proactive and research your options before you make a purchase, suggests Trae Bodge (Smart-Shopping Expert) who runs TrueTrae. TrueTrae is a website that helps consumers save money. She says that researching the “historical pricing” of an item can help you get a feel for its average price and whether you are getting a great deal.
Bodge recommends using browser extensions or apps to help you be proactive when shopping. PayPal Honey allows you to add items to your Droplist and track their price. You’ll be notified if they fall below a certain threshold. Greg Lisiewski (VP of PayPal Shopping), stated in an email that Droplist may detect a price drop after a customer has purchased. This could allow them to receive a price adjustment.
Get familiar with the policies of a few stores before you shop
People who shop at a few stores are more likely to benefit from price-matching policies. It is easier to learn the details of a few stores policies than it is to keep track of many.
The way you shop in those stores will depend on whether or not you have a rewards or store credit card. Bodge recommends getting familiar with the policy of each store so that you have “some recourse” and can know how it works if you discover a lower price.
Also, price-matching requests will be more likely to succeed at the original location. As long as the time period is within their reach, retailers will generally honor store prices. While they will likely match their online prices, most won’t match prices in their stores.
Keep receipts organized
Although it may seem obvious, you need to find a safe place where all receipts can be stored so that you can locate them later. Every retailer requires a receipt. If you don’t have one, it’s a problem.
Prices match only for high-ticket items
Bodge suggests that you skip price matching if the item is less than $25. Higher-end items can lead to greater savings.
Price match with your credit card
Sometimes, you can get price matching through your credit card and avoid shopping at retailers. Price protection is becoming less common on major credit cards. However, you should check with your issuer to confirm if your card offers it.