Why you should be price-matching your purchases
It’s 4th of July weekend (Happy Birthday, Murica!) and chances are you’re seeing sales everywhere.
Whether you’re buying something this weekend or not, price matching can save you quite a bit of money. It’s is an exercise I’ve engaged in for quite some time. I’ve price matched all kinds of items: from electronics like iPads and smart light bulbs to cleaning products and even food. It’s become a habit every time I step foot into a store.
So, this post is all about price matching! What is it? Where can I use it? What should I know so I don’t look like a noob in public? I got you.
What is price matching?
The concept of price matching is simple. You’re at one store, you want to buy something that you know is cheaper at another store. Price matching is the simple act of going to the checkout line (or customer service), telling the cashier you’d like to price match, show them the competitors price and rejoice in your savings.
What can you price match?
Basically anything, as long the item is available (and in stock, in most cases) at both retailers. The item has to be the same make/model in order to price match. This includes the color of the item as well.
For obvious reasons, you won’t be able to price match store labels since you can’t find them anywhere else. Target won’t be selling Great Value products, for instance.
Since I’m mostly buying technology/electronics, that’s what I price match, but I have price matched office supplies, cleaning products, health/beauty products and food!
Where can you price match?
Lots of retailers, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Micro Center and Fry’s Electronics, Office Depot, Kohl’s, Bed Bath and Beyond and more. Just google the retailer + “price match” and you should get their policy. Here’s a list of some of the major retailers.
Why would you price match?
Shop confidently knowing you’re getting the best price. I don’t know about you, but whenever I make a big purchase ($100+), I immediately get a hint of buyer’s remorse because I feel like I paid too much for something. With price matching, I know that I did my research and found the lowest price that I could so that feeling goes away.
Why not pay a lower price, especially if you were going to buy something anyway.
Buy all your things from one store. If I need to buy multiple items that are available in one store but are cheaper in multiple different stores, being able to price match and buy everything at one location is pretty convenient. If you’re a part of a loyalty program (like Best Buy Rewards for me), it doesn’t hurt to rack up those points and benefit from the extended return policies, reward certificates and free shipping.
How should I go about price matching?
Research. If there’s a big purchase you’re going to make, take some time and do some research to see where it’s cheapest. Check competitor websites and take screenshots and have them available when you go make your purchase. Savvy consumers are typically doing research on products before they buy anyway to ensure it’s of good quality, so different prices should be included in the research as well.
There’s an app for that. This is what I typically do if I haven’t done research before hand. Apps like ShopSavvy allow you to scan a products barcode and provides the price at different stores. Find the lowest price your store will match, show it to them at checkout and enjoy your savings!
Use the retailer’s apps. If you’re a shopper, there’s a chance you might have some retailer apps on your phone. Amazon, Target, Walmart and many other retailer apps have a barcode scanner feature as well. So sometimes, if I’m at Best Buy looking to buy an iPad case, I might go right to the Amazon app and scan that barcode and see what the price is there.
Not all stores have the same price match process. Some are more straight forward than others, so I wanted to share some of the experiences I’ve had at some stores.
Best Buy is typically my go-to electronics store because they have one of the more lax price matching policies. Plus, they usually have the products I want in stock.
Price matching here is as easy as getting your product, having the site up on your phone that you want to price match and heading to the register. Depending on the price difference (I’ve price matched from $28 up to $100) the cashier might need manager approval. Otherwise, you’re good to go!
The price matching process is straightforward here as well. Show the cashier the competitor’s site you want to price match, they’ll press some buttons on their keyboard and you’ll save some $$$. I just bought a micro SD card for my drone and saved about $10.
Target has a different price matching process. To start, you have to go to the customer service department and not the cashier. When it’s your turn (there’s usually a line), you tell the customer service individual that you’d like to price match and specify what retailer. They have their own devices/apps they use to look up prices. I still have the competitor’s site that I’m trying to price match in case they run into any issues. I’ve even price matched to Target.com prices in situations where in-store prices were higher.
Bed Bath and Beyond
I think I was trying to price match some bed sheets? I don’t quite remember, but I do remember the process being straightforward. The only thing to note with Bed Bath and Beyond is that they don’t allow you to apply coupons to items that you’ve price matched.
Some things to keep in mind when price matching
- Items need to be shipped/sold by the retailer you are price matching. For example, an item needs shipped and sold by Amazon and not by a third party seller.
- If you use an app like ShopSavvy you might get some results for retailers/sites that aren’t as well known. You probably won’t be able to price match them, so stick to the well-known retailers.
- Enjoy your savings! Doesn’t it feel awesome not paying full price?