Taking Advantage of Price Match and Price Adjustment Policies

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

It can be frustrating to think you’ve got a good deal on something, only to notice a lower price on that same item at another store. Or to go back to the store a week later to find the price has been dropped on what you just bought! All of a sudden, you are confronted with the fact that maybe your “great deal” could have been better. In such situations, it is a good idea to know what the retailer’s policies are on price matching and price adjustment. If you play your cards right, you might be able to get a refund for the difference.

Price Match and Price Adjustment

Many stores say that they will match a competitor’s lowest price. If you can bring in proof that a competitor is offering a lower price on the same (non-clearance) item, some stores will match the price. There are even some stores that will beat the competitor’s price by 10%, saving you money. This is especially effective if you don’t want to have to drive across town to get the lower price. Simply show the advertisement, and get your deal.

With a price adjustment, the store refunds you the difference if they lower prices after you have bought the item. Some stores will only do a price adjustment if the change takes place within seven days, while others will refund you the difference if prices are dropped with 90 days of your purchase. Know the store policy, and then check back on your next shopping trip to see if anything has changed. Make sure you keep your receipt so that you can prove your case.

Read the Fine Print

As you might expect, there are some hoops you have to jump through in order to claim your price match or price adjustment. And there is always fine print. Here are some of the common caveats to watch out for as you make an effort to get the best deal:

  • Combining offers and using coupons: Some stores won’t allow you to combine offers, or get a price match, if the competitor’s lower price comes from an in-store coupon. (Although some retailers will honor the competitor’s coupon.)
  • Merchant exceptions: You can ask, but don’t expect a brick-and-mortar store to price match a competitor’s online price. However, in many cases you can get the local store to match what’s on the corporate web site. We saved money on a new phone system at Best Buy and on Rock Band 2 at Sam’s Club, just by calling up the store managers and asking them to honor the price on the corporate site. The main advantage is that we got the lower online price without having to pay for shipping.
  • Have it in writing: It’s not just about bringing in an image. Some stores won’t accept anything less than an original ad. Photocopies, pictures, mobile phone versions and online printouts may not be allowed. If you want a price match, you will need the receipt, showing the date you bought the item. Also, read the fine print on the ad or the store price tag. Often the item you buy has to be an exact match.
  • Is it in stock?: If the competitor doesn’t currently have the item in stock, you may not get a price match. Some stores will actually call the competitor to see whether the item is currently available. As far as price adjustment goes, the best you can do on an out of stock sale item is hope the store is willing to issue a rain check.
  • Some items aren’t included: Many stores won’t include damaged items, discontinued lines, or certain brands in price matching and price adjustment policies. You should also be aware that sometimes the policies differ according to whether you are asking for a price match with another location of the same store, or whether you are actually bringing information from a competitor. Also, in some cases special sales (grand opening, liquidation, anniversary, clearance and holidays) are not included in price match and price adjustment policies.

If you are vigilant, and careful about what you buy and where you buy it, it is possible to save money on many of your purchases, and ensure that you get the best deal. You can visit Price Protectr for a list of stores and their price match and price adjustment policies.

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