Best Buy, Target and Walmart aren’t the only retailers so eager to snatch up your business that they’ll price match the competition. Other high profile retailers are getting in on the action too, in a clear effort to combat the negative effects of “showrooming.” But as you might imagine, not all operate the same way. Before you kick your Holiday shopping spree into high gear, read on. It could save you some unnecessary legwork.
Among the more flexible and comprehensive price matching policies is the Staples Price Match Guarantee, which covers “almost everything” they sell. The only exclusions are Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday sales, clearance items, gift cards, phone cards, postage, and Staples EasyTech services. Apps sold through the staples.com App Center are also excluded.
Other than that, Staples will match prices for products available through local competitors, as well as items sold and shipped through Amazon.com. You also get 14 days from the date of purchase to obtain a refund if you see the item available at a lower cost somewhere else. This applies to purchases made both in-store and at staples.com.
The Fry’s Electronics Price Match Promise honors competitor’s prices both instore and online at the point of purchase. Additionally, if you find a better price somewhere else within 30 days of your original purchase, Fry’s will pay you the difference – and then some.
According to its 30-day promise, Fry’s will “cheerfully refund 110% of the difference.” For cheaper prices found at a local Fry’s Electronics store, you’ll get 100 percent of the difference within the same 30-day timeframe. The catch is, they’ll only honor the price difference on unopened products. Items also have to be identical down to the warranty, and have to be in-stock or available to ship from the competitor. Backordered items won’t fly.
Also of note: when price matching online competitors, Fry’s includes the price of shipping in the total cost.
Here’s something you might not know. Amazon.com has a price matching policy, but it’s limited only to “eligible” TVs and cell phones available through select online retailers. Amazon’s TV Low Price Guarantee gives you 30 days after purchase to find a better price from a qualifying retailer. The Amazon Cell Phones with Service Low Price Guarantee gives you 14 days from shipment to get a credit for the difference, and will match nine online retailers: AT&T, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack Wireless, Sprint, Target, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Walmart. The cell phone price match applies for identical devices with the same service plan.
You can submit a price difference refund request through the Order Details page of your Amazon account by clicking “Found a lower price?”
In a clear effort to one-up competitors who typically only allow you to get one identical item at a lower price, the Toys “R” Us Price Match Guarantee lets you take two. The catch is, price matching is limited to in-store purchase only. Prices aren’t adjusted for merchandise sold at toysrus.com.
You can get an in-store price match either at the time of purchase, or you can bring your merchandise and receipt back within 7 days for a price adjustment if you find the item at a lower price somewhere else. This includes local retailers and online competitors like Walmart.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, Sears.com, Kmart.com, buybuyBaby.com, Meijer.com, FredMeyer.com, diapers.com, BabyDepot.com, LEGO.com and Amazon.com (excluding Amazon marketplace prices).
Kmart lays out a flat “nope” when it comes to price matching, but if you pore over the fine print you’ll find they will do price adjustments for in-store merchandise that goes on sale within 7 days of the time you made your purchase. Which is better than nothing, but not as good as you’ll get with most retailers.
The standard Kmart return policy is 30 days, which presumably should give you enough time to return an item if you find it elsewhere at a better price. The catch is, you’ll have to return it unopened. Kmart also offers an extended holiday return policy on “select sales” bought between November 8 and December 24, which gives you clear through January 24 to make your return.
Kmart’s parent company does better than its child with respect to matching prices found at local retail competitors and websites, but there are still some significant restrictions and limitations. For example, the official Sears Price Match Policy states that they’ll only match a competitor’s price on the day that you make a purchase. This means that if you find an item cheaper online or across town the next day, you’re out of luck. Sears will give you 7 days to receive a price adjustment, but only on merchandise found in Sears branded stores or websites (except for marketplace items).
You’re also given the opportunity to receive the difference if something you buy from Sears goes on sale within 7 days of purchase.
According to Costco’s mission statement, they’re in the business of offering their members the lowest possible prices on merchandise, including electronics. Officially, Costco doesn’t offer price matching – but they have a killer electronics return policy that lets you return a TV, computer, tablet, smartphone, camera, camcorder, or mp3 player within 90 days of purchase.
This means that if you find something cheaper elsewhere and you’re still within that 90-day window, you can buy the cheaper item and return your Costco purchase for a full refund. Just make sure you save your receipt!
Like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club offers no price matching policy, but when it comes to computers and electronics you’re given 90 days in which to return a product. In other words, plenty of time to seek out a better price somewhere else and bring your product back for a full refund. Major appliances can be returned for a full refund within 7 days. All returned CDs, DVDs, games and other software have to come back unopened.