Price adjust - your big, fat shopping safety net.
My wife and I never worry about buying something with the fear that it may go on sale. And there's a good reason for that. It's called the "price adjust" and it's an almost ironclad guarantee that you'll never get burned by prices going down.
Price adjusting is something almost every store does. In fact, I've yet to find a store that hasn't adjusted a price for us but I'm sure they're out there, somewhere. The reason for price adjusting is simple. It's a fantastic way to build customer loyalty. Stores aren't dumb. They know that if you see something go on sale a few weeks after you buy it you'll feel like crap. And then you'll have several options open to you...
1: Just take the hit and forget about it.
2: Take the hit and feel bad about your purchase, and maybe the store.
3: Take the used item back and ask for a refund (for a made-up excuse), then repurchase the same item for the cheaper price.
4: Get a price adjust.
Now, if you're #1 the store doesn't really pay you any mind. You're not someone who cares all that much about the better deal anyway.
If you're #2, well that's different. Stores want you to feel good about your purchase and they want you to come back. If you keep missing the sale prices, you may be more inclined to wait. And stores just hate it when you don't spend.
People in the #3 category are the most annoying to a store. The store's refund policy probably works in your favor, as long as you've kept the receipt. If they take back a used item they have to resell it at a loss or send it back to the manufacturer. And you still get your cheap item anyway.
The answer lies with #4. For the store, they give you a few bucks back on a product already classified as a sale item. And you feel just terrific about your savings. That's a nice chunk of customer loyalty for a little bit of money. And it's why Target is one of my favorite stores...they price adjust everything for me.
Resources for price adjusters.
First, check the ads regularly. The Sunday ads are the ones that we usually watch out for. A few weeks ago the bedroom linens we bought for our daughter went on sale for 30% less than the price we had paid the day before. Target happily adjusted the price for us.
If that's a pain, you can go with technology and try a few websites that help you keep track of your purchases and get those refunds. One that I'm digging on right now is called PriceProtectr.
This one tracks around 50 stores including Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Sears and more. You just slap the url of the product into your profile and Price Protectr keeps tabs on it.
Price adjusting is something my wife and I just couldn't live without. It's basically free money and ensures you get the best deal even when the purchase has already been made. Call it a crystal ball, a magic eraser or a safety net, it's a budget shopper's best friend.