(Updated 6/28/18) Have you ever been shopping and stumbled upon an expensive item that’s stocked incorrectly with something much cheaper? If so, you’ve probably also wondered if the retailer would, or should, honor the cheaper price. It turns out some big-box stores absolutely will honor the cheaper price in certain circumstances. Here are the retailers that have been known to do it, and the details you need to know for each.
Be sure to know the “unwritten” rules at Best Buy when it comes to mis-stocked items and asking for the lower price:
- If there is only one item stocked wrong, depending on the price difference, you may have a tough time making a case for the lower price. Always bring a sales associate to the shelf and show them the evidence and plead your case that way. Otherwise, it becomes your word vs. theirs at the checkout register and you’re probably gonna lose.
- As a general rule, if there’s more than one of any item in the wrong spot, with a lower price, then you stand a great chance of getting the lower price. In this case, it’s probably better to take the item to checkout and plead your case when it gets rung up. At that point, an employee can go back and see the stocking error and give you the lower price.
- Best Buy discounts that people have talked about in various online threads include a $180 speaker set for $79.99, $135 Logitech headset for $29.99, and a $95 Linksys router for $39.99.
When talking about the success rate of this working, I found this comment from a Best Buy employee interesting, “Depends on what store you are at, and how management is feeling that day, it also depends on how you act and how you treat the employees.”
Bottom-line is to be polite and courteous and your chances of success rise significantly.
Having worked at a Home Depot store for a couple years in the paint department, I have personal experience with how they handle items incorrectly stocked.
- I once had a customer come up to me and tell me he had a question about the paint brushes. So I follow him over to the brush section and he shows me that a single $30 Purdy paintbrush is incorrectly stocked with a cheaper $7.99 brush.
- He then tells me he wants the $7.99 price. I go get an assistant manager and he immediately does a manual price adjustment for the $30 brush and gives it to him for $7.99.
- I couldn’t believe it as my gut was telling me the guy planted the brush in order to get a screaming deal.
Will this work with any product you find incorrectly stocked at the Home Depot? I really doubt it. But if it’s a smaller item, and the price difference isn’t astronomical, Home Depot managers are given the green light to make these types of price adjustments.
Target is also known to do price adjustments if you find a mis-stocked item.
- On this Reddit thread, a commentor said this about Target, “My girlfriend found king sized bed sheets marked at $14 each. At the register that rang up as $45. She showed the manager where they were labeled “$14″ and Target had to sell them at the labeled price. She bought 2 then they pulled them from the shelf.”
I doubt you’ll always be able to buy more than one item that is incorrectly stocked.
Here’s what you need to know if you find something incorrectly stocked at Walmart.
- Here is an interesting comment from this thread on AFullCup.com, “A while back I was at Walmart and I noticed Pillow Pets in a large bin with a Price above of $7.00. I bought one and at checkout they told me it was $19.99 and I told them where I found it and a manager went to look and they gave me the $7.00 price. Went back later and they were gone.”
- The key for this working at Walmart is to look for bins with a generic price tag on them. These bins can get neglected by employees and not have their price adjusted when they’re due, providing an opportunity for shoppers. In these situations, Walmart will almost always give you the lower price if it rings up for a higher price at checkout. Most of these bins are found toward the front of the store as well as on end-caps and in the center of the large, main aisles.
- If you only find a single item incorrectly stocked on a shelf, it might be a tough argument as most Walmart stores have items strewn all over the place by the end of the day.
- But if you find that the shelf has multiple items incorrectly stocked, often mixed with correctly stocked merchandise, you have an excellent chance of getting the lower price (if applicable) as it’s an obvious stocking error.
Have you ever been able to get a lower price at a store because they had something stocked in the wrong spot? If so, what store was it and how did the dealio go down? Thanks in advance for passing along your experience.
IMPORTANT: Before you start walking around stores putting items in the wrong spot in an attempt to get a killer discount, you should know that it’s considered a felony in most states and you’ll be charged with defrauding a retailer.
By Kyle James