How does Price Matching Work?

It’s obviously easier and faster to browse hundreds of stores on line using your computer than it is to use your feet.  However, there are some times when you can’t substitute an image on your screen for actually going to the store and feeling the item you want to buy.  In this section, I’ll provide a couple of methods that will help you get great tool deals both online and offline.

Learn about “price matching” from various stores

In the spirit of competition, stores have gradually realized that instead of trying to beat the other guy’s price, an easier alternative is to simply match it.  Thus “price matching” was born and it is probably one of a consumer’s biggest tools to finding a great deal in the real (non-Internet) world.

Here’s how it works:  Let’s say you find a DeWalt Heavy Duty Belt Sander for $139.00 at store A.  What a deal, you think (since it retails for about $180) and grab it fast.  Later, while flipping through the Sunday paper, you spot an ad for store B.  There, right on the front page is your drill, except store B has a sale price of $119.00.  It figures, you mutter while trying to decide if the $20 difference is worth the back and forth between the two stores.  This is where price matching comes into play.  Simply take your receipt back to store A, along with the ad from store B.  Provided it’s the same model and condition (i.e., new, refurbished or used) and comes with identical accessories, store A will give you your 20 bucks, thereby matching the price.

To avoid confusion and hassle, you should always know what the price matching policy is before you buy. Many stores offer this service beyond the time of sale, some for up to 30 days after your purchase and a few establishments even include an extra 10% off simply for your trouble.  However, they also enforce various exclusions, so you should be aware of these before making your purchase.

Lowe’s, for example, will match prices on new merchandise in the factory packaging with any established online retailer.  That does not include wholesalers, auction sites or refurbished and pre-owned items.

Home Depot will match the price plus 10% for local and established retail storefronts.  If the competition is an online merchant, they don’t give the extra 10%.  Closeouts, liquidations and auction sites are also excluded.

Some of the smaller retailers don’t offer price matching and may have limitations on returns, so be sure your “deal” really is a deal, before you buy.

Don’t have the ad with you?  Ask a manager to call the store to verify the sale.  If they can confirm the price and that the item is in stock, they’ll usually honor the price match guarantee.  However, you’re not going to endear yourself to the store staff by making them jump through hoops to give you a lower price.   For the most hassle-free price match, have a valid competitor’s advertisement in your hand.  You can use the links below to find and print the most recent printed circular sales for some popular brick-and-mortar retailers:

www.AceHardware.com – click the “Shop our Circular” link in the left column

www.Grainger.com – click “Inventory Blowout” for retail bargains

www.HomeDepot.com – click the “Promotions” link in the top menu

www.Lowes.com – click the “Weekly Ads” link in the top menu

www.Sears.com – click the “Weekly Ad” button in the horizontal menu

Leave a comment