15 Seconds Saved Me Over $3.00

I was at Target over the weekend with my one-year-old picking up some household supplies.  While there, we also paid a visit to the children’s book section as she’s starting to really enjoy books.  I don’t normally buy books because I enjoy taking her to the library (and checking out books for FREE!), but I did see a board book on the shelf that I thought she’d like.  I handed it to her and she was mesmerized with the colors and pages–she’d almost convinced me to buy it for her.

Target’s on the shelf price?  $9.99.  “Ouch, a little steep for a book,” I thought.  I figured Amazon probably had a cheaper price, but it was already in the cart and would be easier to just buy in-store.  While I debated buying it, I remembered that Target price matches!  The price on Amazon?  $6.86!  I was sold.  All I had to do was mention a cheaper price at the register, show the cashier the page on my phone where Amazon had a lower price (and that it was “fulfilled by Amazon”–that’s a requirement for Target), and I was able to save over $3 on the book.  Not bad for an impromptu purchase.

As we were walking out of the store, the woman behind us in the checkout line caught up to me and said “I didn’t know that Target price-matched too!  Thanks for the information!”  I figured if she didn’t know, there were probably A LOT of people that didn’t know.  So, let’s talk price matching!

Who Does Price Matching?

Most big-name retailers price match.  This includes Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Best Buy.  A few other retailers with price matching policies: Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fry’s Electronics, The Home Depot, JCPenney, Lowe’s, Michael’s, Office Depot, Petco, Petsmart.  I’ve provided links to each store’s price matching policies here, so make sure to read the fine print, as each policy is slightly different  If you shop often at a particular retailer not mentioned above, take a moment to see if they have a price matching policy.

Are there Price Matching Apps?

Yes.  A few common ones include Shopular, ShopSavvy, and SoftShopper.  If you like apps and want help with price comparisons and matching, these have you covered.

How do you Price Match?

You can request a price match at the time of purchase (as I did), or you may, in some instances, have the option to show proof of a lower price after purchase and bring that proof in for a price adjustment (a refund back to you).  Typically, a retailer will ask to see the proof on your phone, or you can bring in printed proof (such as a sales ad).  If I’m eyeing an item (like the book I mentioned above), I typically do a quick search on my phone in the store to see if there’s a cheaper price available, which is usually quick and easy for me.  However, it does pay to do some online research before shopping–so if it’s a planned purchase (rather than an impulse buy like our book), take the time to make sure you get the best deal.

Who Doesn’t Price Match?

Among others, Amazon, which stinks, because a lot of people shop there.  However, there are still a few ways to save some money–one being Price Protection, which is offered by some credit cards.  If you find yourself with an item that you’ve found a cheaper price for and the retailer won’t match that price, try your credit card to see if they offer price protection.  I’ve done this in the past with some purchases I found on Amazon (then found a cheaper deal later).  Unfortunately, though, almost all major credit cards have done away with this perk.  However, there are a few holdouts–this article outlines a few.

But I Want to Save on My Amazon Purchases!!

Me too.  So I have a few other tricks up my sleeve to save:

  • A Chrome browser extension called Honey.  Honey checks to see if the same product is available on Amazon (by a different seller) for cheaper.  I’ve saved a ton with Honey, and it’s not just for Amazon–it works on thousands of other sites.
  • A website called camelcamelcamel.  This site is a free Amazon price tracker that can give you price history charts as well as price watches with alerts.  If you want to buy at the lowest price, this is a good place to start.
  • An app called Paribus.  This app tracks what you’ve already purchased and looks for price drops.  If it finds one, it will reach out to the retailer you purchased from and ask for the difference.  Since Amazon doesn’t price match, Paribus comes in handy by tracking your Amazon packages and requesting reimbursements when your purchases are late.  You do have to give the app access to your email account (where your online shopping receipts are sent), so keep this in mind.

Bottom Line

Getting a deal feels good; actually knowing exactly how much you saved yourself with 15 seconds of price matching feels great.  Knowing I saved $3 on a book made me feel pretty darn great this weekend.  And while it’s a small bit of change, it adds up!  If you save $3 just twice a month through price matching, that’s over $70 a year–which could be going into your emergency savings or padding your vacation fund.  Give price matching a try, and let us know how much cash you’re saving!