8 Price Match Policies You Should Be Wary Of

By Kyle James on 1 May 2015 1 comment

Price match policies can vary wildly from retailer to retailer. While most of them are fairly straight forward, there are some whose fine print will leave you scratching your head in confusion. And in the world of bargain shopping, few things are more frustrating than finding a cheaper price from a competing store, only to be denied a price match because you failed to read the fine print.

By knowing which price match policies have strange exclusions, or won't price match online pricing, you'll save yourself from some potential headaches and disappointments. Here are eight price match policies to watch out for.

1. Amazon

For a company that claims to strive for the lowest price, the Amazon price match policy leaves a lot to be desired. As a matter of fact, the only thing they'll actually price match are select TVs and cell phones. A few of the online retailers they will price match include Crutchfield.com, Costco.com, Walmart.com, and Dell.com. In order to get your price match, you need to login to your account and click on "Order Details" followed by "Found a lower price?" and follow the instructions.

2. Fry's Electronics

Fry's has a 110% price match policy guaranteeing they'll match the price of any local authorized retailer or authorized Internet competitor. Seems like a fairly straight-forward policy, right? But they've taken heat in recent years for making it very difficult to get an online price match when shopping in-store. Examples includes not price matching Amazon Prime prices or trying to tack on the shipping charges that online retailers would charge.

3. Home Depot

When shopping in-store, Home Depot will match the price of a local competitor plus beat their price by 10%. That sounds great, but the exclusions are pretty formidable and include special orders, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, and online purchases. This means that unfortunately they won't price match Amazon, Lowes.com, and the like.

4. JCPenney

The JCPenney price match policy has some fine print you'll want to be aware of. While they'll happily price match local competitors' current advertised price on identical items, they will not match any online prices. Also, they will not price match any competitor pricing that they consider clearance or sale prices, which is really unfortunate.

5. Kohl's

The Kohl's price match policy leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, they will not price match any online price. But more than that, they require you to bring in a copy of the competitor's ad with the current date printed on it. How many ads actually have the date stamped on them? Not too many. Also, what if you see a lower price in another physical store and not in an actual ad? Will they still match the price if you snap a picture of the item and show it to a Kohl's associate? Unfortunately, their policy does not stipulate, which makes things quite confusing.

6. NewEgg

NewEgg.com has a price match policy named the "Iron Egg Price Guarantee" that claims to match the price of any identical item sold by a major retailer. When shopping on their website, look for the Iron Egg badge next to all products that qualify for a price match, which according to NewEgg is close to 80% of their inventory. You file a price match claim, and if approved, get money back via a NewEgg gift card. Sounds okay, right? But then you look at the fine print of the offer and the things they won't price match. In particular, any "competitor's item that is advertised below NewEgg's actual cost." But here's the rub; they don't tell you their actual costs! So you make a purchase from them, file a claim, and pray the deal isn't so good that it's below their costs. Because if it is, you'll be denied and stuck paying full price with no recourse.

7. Sears

Sears will happily price match local competitors; just bring in evidence of the lower price and an associate will help you out. So far, so good. Now let's look at their online price match policy as this is where things get really confusing. From their website, "If you find a lower online price on an identical brand and model number currently available from a local competitor's retail store honoring its own online price and the item is currently available for sale and delivery in your area, Sears will match the price of the merchandise." Huh? So according to that rambling sentence, isn't this just a regular price match? Their policy is so darn confusing that it makes me want to take my business elsewhere.

8. Toys R' Us

Toys R' Us will price match local competitors as well as select online retailers. They'll also give you up to seven days after the date of your purchase to come back for your price match. But they make this list for a couple reasons. First, their policy is only good for in-store purchases. Secondly, from their website, "Competitor shipping charges will be calculated and factored in the cost of online prices." So if you're trying to get a price match via a lower price on Amazon, Toys R' Us is going to tack on the shipping costs Amazon would charge. But what if you're an Amazon Prime member and don't pay for shipping? It doesn't matter. Toys R' Us is still going to include shipping costs into your "price adjusted" price. Price matcher beware.

Any price match policies that seem okay (until you read the fine print) that I missed? Let me know!

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Guest's picture
Candice

Interesting stuff! Walmart just started recently honoring their OWN online pricing in-store, and it's worth a look at their site because pricing can vary wildly from store to store.

Also, regarding the Kohl's policy, many advertisements DO have the date printed. Often, it's in very small letters on the spine of the ad. Or, there is always a page with very fine print. You should find it in there. Still, it's a pain.

Guest's picture
Guest

ya cuz yur in the kingdom of capitalizing upon others. more cheats and scammers allowed there than any modern nation would allow. more than developing world now too! most corrupt wasteful biggest bankrupt govt in history setting the standard. no surprise