Last week, I plugged in my laptop, sat down to write a blog post for you fabulous people, and the damn thing died. With my limited technical knowledge, I diagnosed a problem with the AC adapter. (Since I already tried removing the battery, blowing into it like an old Nintendo game and that didn’t work.)
I went to Best Buy for a replacement. Found one. $59.99. For a cord. I was like
I pulled up the Amazon app on my phone, scanned the barcode and there it was– the same adapter, for $18.73. I went to the checkout, told the friendly BB cashier I’d like to price match Amazon on this item. No problem. Originally $59.99, paid $18.73, no shipping, no waiting, no hassle.
I love price matching because I’m cheap and impatient. With the Best Buy example, I want the laptop fixed as soon as possible, so I don’t really want to wait for Amazon to ship and I don’t want to pay a lot more. So, wherever and whenever I can, I price match. Some stores are fantastic and some are a complete pain in the ass. But it’s almost always worth the hassle.
Here are the stories I commonly price match in order from best to biggest pain in the ass along with some price matching scenarios…
- Bed, Bath and Beyond I recently fell in love with BBB. For a long time, I was under the impression that their prices were super inflated and they drag people in with their constant 20% off coupons. This is only partly true. Some prices seem a bit high to me, but most items are very fairly priced. Plus the 20% coupons sweeten the deal. What made me fall in love with BBB is their customer service. Their cashiers are super friendly, their return policies are very relaxed and their price matching policy is fantastic. However, I do think much discretion is left to the manager or BBB associate, so your mileage may vary.Right before I went to Best Buy for the adapter, I went to BBB for this Ninja Mega Kitchen System I’d been lusting over. (Don’t judge my lust for kitchen appliances) Bed, Bath and Beyond had the system for $219.99, but Sam’s Club has it on sale for $129.99 with an instant savings promotion. Due to their awesome return policy, I had returned a juicer I wasn’t loving and paid nothing more out of pocket for my new Ninja system. I prefer buying things (especially pricey things) from BBB because I know they’ll return it if there’s an issue without any hassle.
- Best Buy As soon as I walk through the doors of Best Buy, I pull up the Amazon app on my phone because I know I won’t pay Best Buy prices for anything in that store. On anything I’ve purchased there, the prices have been much lower on Amazon. But the cashiers have always been very friendly, prompt and understanding. So it’s always been worth it to price match. Best Buy is basically my Amazon.com showroom.
- Babies R Us/Toys R Us Both stores have been really great about price matching. This walker was temporarily a great deal on Amazon last Fall. It was at Toys R Us for $29.99, but Amazon had it for only $13. I price matched and then used a 20% off coupon I got in the mail so I got it out the door for just over 10 bucks! The cashiers have always been really easy-going in my experience and I just needed to show the link on my phone. Super easy. As much as I love Buy Buy Baby, they don’t allow price matching plus the use of their 20% off coupons so Babies R Us/Toys R Us is a better deal.
- Lowe’s Both Lowe’s and Home Depot match competitor pricing and beat the price by an extra 10%, which is a GREAT promotion, especially on huge purchases. Lowe’s wins over Home Depot because Lowe’s also matches and beats Amazon pricing.Take this refrigerator . Lowe’s has it for $2,249.10. Amazon has the same one for $50 cheaper. Saving $50 and buying from Lowe’s with their delivery and haul away is a better deal in my eyes. But they also beat the Amazon price by 10%, so the original price (on sale, by the way) was $2,249.10, but after price matching it would be $1,978.20. We also always take advantage of Lowe’s 10% off military discount.
- Buy Buy Baby Bed, Bath and Beyond owns the Buy Buy Baby chain, so their price match and customer service is luckily very similar. Buy Buy Baby sells a ton of great stuff, everything from diapers to boutique baby items. So it’s really great to price match items and still use one of their 20% coupons for anything you’re not price matching. Plus you can return anything to a Bed, Bath and Beyond, which is great for me because I don’t live near a Buy Buy Baby. So sad.
- Target The customer service at my local store is almost always AWFUL. I love my Target, but between data breeches and snarky cashiers, it does not appear Target loves me back. Although they were the first retailer to price match Amazon, they make it as much of a pain as possible. If you’re planning to price match, you need to go to the customer service desk, tell them the price of the item and where you found that price. I always look up the item on my phone and show the cashier to make the process as easy and quick as possible. But at Target, the cashier will look up the item on the store’s iPad themselves because they don’t believe you or don’t want you to save money. You may get a nice cashier, but the evil overlords of Target will still make them look up the item online themselves. Also, the iPad will never be working correctly or you will get an elderly cashier who has never seen an iPad before. Murphy’s Law of Target.
- Walmart For most items and most cashiers, the price matching process is very fast and easy. Around the holidays, Walmart matched Amazon pricing, but then stopped matching Internet pricing at all. Price matching is generally very easy, you can just tell the cashier what price the item was elsewhere and the cashier will adjust. The catch is… you have to go to Walmart. It’s just not worth it to me.
I hate walking away after a purchase wondering if I got the best deal. But after a price match, I really feel like I got the best deal I could. I usually price match at the same places, but if I’m not sure about a store’s policy or don’t shop there often, I always just ask. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.
While I love to save money, I just frankly don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into it. Price matching is minimal time and effort. Amazon generally has the best prices, so I usually check there first. I just pull up the app, search by item name or scan the barcode of the item I want. Nine times out of 10, the item pops up and it’s cheaper than whatever store I’m in. With the rising cost of an Amazon Prime membership, shipping costs, and just pure impatience on my part, buying the item in store is usually my best bet.
In you’re in a store that doesn’t openly advertise their price matching policy (like Lowe’s for example) or it’s a big purchase, you can always print out the Amazon listing ahead of time and bring it with you when you’re shopping. This usually makes the process a little less painful for the associate you’re working with and since they’re putting forth some extra effort in getting you a deal, you definitely want to be courteous and considerate to them.