Experienced online consumers understand that sites that match prices aren’t a surefire bet for the best deal.
But checking how much something costs at different locations to price match is still worth doing. So says Nanda Kumar, professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Dallas. After all, you won’t save any money by shopping at a store with such a policy if you don’t actually verify that the price they are offering is, indeed, the best price.
Here are some ways that online consumers can save money by price matching:
• Check various websites for price matching policies. For example, Amazon honors TV prices from select stores, but won’t price match anything else. Best Buy matches Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com,Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com in addition to local competitors. Knowing an individual company’s policy will help you save the most amount of money.
Kumar says price matching policies often exclude businesses who might not sell genuine products. If it is a company from China, you might get a better price, but it might not be the exact product you were looking for, which leads us to our next bullet point.
• Match comparable products. It can be more difficult to price match items such as electronics because retailers might sell different model numbers, Mulpuru says. Check reviews from third-party groups to find out which product is rated highest. Just because it is a recognized brand, doesn’t mean that it is the best product on the market.
• Download a price comparison app such as ShopSavvy or Scan for brick-and-mortar stores. Then scan the barcode of the item you want and see what it’s selling for elsewhere. Some apps will tell you if the store you’re at offers price matching so that you will know whether or not you should request it.
• Some retailers, including Target, will match their online prices in store, so check both before buying from one or the other.
• If you find your item for less post-purchase, ask for a price adjustment. Many credit cards offer a price protection perk if an item drops in price after you buy.
• Review the website for a Price Match guarantee image/seal. For example, 4x Buyer Protection offers business owners the opportunity to offer price matching to their customers through their unique services. If consumers find the item they purchased at a lower cost, they can ask for a refund of the difference up to $500. The best news is that the business doesn’t have to pay the difference, 4x does! And the business owners are guaranteed to make more sales when their online visitors see a “Price Match” guarantee sticker.
Online consumers should do their homework in an effort to get the best prices possible – online or off. Fifteen minutes could save you $50 or more depending on the total price of the item.