Price-Match Policies: Which 14 Retailers Make the Grade?
Do you ever ask for a price match when you find a competitor’s lower price? If you’re not doing your homework and looking for the best price, then you’re losing out big time as many large retailers will not only price match, but some will even beat a competitor’s price by 5-10%. Here’s what you need to know.
Best Advice: As I mentioned before, I think the ShopSaavy smartphone app is the best way to find the lowest price. Once you know what the best price is then refer to this article to determine what store will match or hopefully beat that price.
The main reason to price match is of course to save money, but also convenience. If you’re already in the store you’re not going to want to drive all over town to save a few bucks.
So by knowing and using the stores price match policy, you can hopefully get the best prices in one spot.
Also, stores like it because it keeps you in their store in the hopes you’re going to buy other items that may not be the best value.
But since you’re on my blog you ain’t going to let that happen, right?
Bed Bath & Beyond (Grade: A)
The Bed Bath & Beyond price match policy is great as they make it very easy. Here are the details.
– You can request a price match either in-store, via live chat, or by phone (1-800-462-3966).
– Just show evidence of the lower price and an associate will hook you up with some savings.
– They will match both local competitors as well as major retailers.
– Items must be identical and in-stock and CANNOT be on clearance or a closeout special.
– When shopping with a BB&B coupon and trying to price match, they will give you whichever provides the best price for you.
Best Buy (Grade: A)
The Best Buy price matching guarantee is one of the better ones around these days.
Here’s exactly how it breaks down:
– Best Buy will match the lower price of both a local competitor or a major online retailer. Doesn’t matter how small the local competitor is, they will match the price.
– Have either the ad of the competitor with you or know their website url. Just go to the customer service desk at Best Buy and they will either look up the site or call the store in question to verify the lower price. The retailer must be within a 25 mile radius of the Best Buy store.
– Their online price matching policy is what sets them apart. They will match the online price of the following retailers: Amazon.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, and TigerDirect.com. Do your homework first, then go get the best price.
– What about Costco? If you have a Costco (or Sam’s Club) within a 25 mile radius of your local Best Buy they will also match their price.
– What about price matching after your purchase? Yes, Best Buy will also match prices post purchase if they lower their price within the return and exchange period.
Costco (Grade: Incomplete)
While Costco does not have a price match policy per-say, I do have a couple tricks you should know about:
– Costco 30-day price adjustment policy. Let’s say you buy a 50 inch HDTV from Costco and within the next 30 days you notice they have dropped the price by $150. Just bring your receipt back in and they’ll show you the money. This happens quite often so keep checking the price when you go in for toilet paper and dog food.
– Workaround after 30 days: Costco won’t like me saying this, but if the price of your HDTV drops after the 30 days, you can always return the item and re-buy it at the lower price. Remember you have a 90 days return policy on electronics at Costco.
See Also: No Membership Required: All The Stores That’ll Price Match Costco
Dick’s Sporting Goods (Grade: B+)
The Dick’s Sporting Goods Best Price Guarantee is pretty darn solid. Here’s how it works.
– Find an identical, in-stock item from a competitor and Dick’s will match it both in-store and over the phone at 1 (877) 846-9997.
– Here are the stores that they’ll price match: Amazon (NO 3rd party resellers/marketplace), Walmart, Cabela’s, Nike, Kohl’s, Academy Sports, Under Armour, Adidas, Foot Locker, Macy’s, Fanatics, Target, Sportsman Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops, Edwin Watts, Finish Line, Dunham’s, Champs, Nordstrom, Hibbett, Scheels, Big 5, PGA Superstores, Eastbay, and even local retailers.
Home Depot (Grade: B)
Home Depot use to have a 10% price match guarantee where they would be the competitor’s price by 10%, but that is now gone unfortunately.
But they will still match competitor’s pricing, both online and in-store.
– If you find a local competitor that beats the Home Depot price, you are eligible for a price match.
– Bring in the ad, printout, or photo showing the lower price to any register and they’ll check it out.
– Exclusions: Special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, and typographical errors.
– Store associates are able to discount an item by up to $50 without contacting a store manager. He also says that he’ll drop the price if the customer says he has seen it lower elsewhere, even without any visual proof.
– Does Home Depot price match online pricing? Yes, just shop the Home Depot website and call them at 1-800-466-3337 and tell them you want to place an online order and have it price matched.
JCPenney (Grade: A-)
The price match policy at JCPenney is worth mentioning as well.
– If you find a better price on an identical item from a retailer in your local area within 14 days just bring in their ad and they’ll beat the price by 5%.
– The list of exclusions is short and sweet: Sephora, Salon, Optical, Portrait, Window Treatments, or Custom Decorating. Also, it’s worth noting that you can price match fitness equipment and electronics you just won’t get the extra 5%.
– Do they match online pricing as well? – Yes they do. Just call them at 1-800-322-1189 and they’ll get you your savings.
Kohl’s (Grade: B)
Kohl’s also has a fairly decent price match policy that they have revamped in recent years. Here’s how it works:
– Bring in a copy of the competitor’s ad to your nearest Kohl’s store and they’ll give you the lower price.
– Also, if you find a lower price on Kohl’s.com, compared to the in-store price, they’ll match the lower price. Just show any store associate proof on your phone and they’ll help you out.
– Does Kohl’s match online competitor pricing as well? Nope, hence the B grade.
Lowe’s (Grade: B+)
Similar to the folks who wear orange aprons, Lowe’s also has a solid low-price guarantee.
Here are the nuts and bolts:
– Just find a better price at a local competitor and they’ll match it…they will no longer beat it by 10%.
– If a local store is offering a particular product at a clearance price, Lowe’s will match that price immediately.
– Exclusions include: installation labor, special order, discontinued, clearance, senior discounts, military discounts, liquidation or damaged items. Limited to reasonable quantities so you can’t price match 24 cordless drills apparently.
– Online Price Match. Lowe’s will price match online retailers like Amazon, just not 3rd party sellers. They also will not price match eBay or discount sites.
– They also have something called ‘Price Protection’ which guarantees you the lowest price when shopping online and using the in-store pickup method. For instance, if your local Lowe’s store has an item cheaper than the Lowe’s website then that’s the price you’ll get.
Office Depot (Grade: A-)
Office Depot also has an excellent price matching policy which includes online pricing. Here are the details:
– Just show them the lower price from Staples, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, or Amazon, on the same exact product and you’re golden.
– Also, if you go home and then find a better price, just bring your receipt back within 14 days and cha-ching, they’ll show you the money.
– Online price match policy. They will happily price match Staples.com, OfficeMax.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com, or Amazon or their corresponding printed catalog.
– Exclusions are fairly standard and include print services, delivery costs, clearance and liquidation products, and special orders.
Sears (Grade: Re-do, To0 Messy)
Sears seems to have a price match policy that tries to confuse the heck out of you to the point where you just go shop somewhere else. Maybe this is why they are on the verge of disappearing.
– The policy starts out pretty straight forward. They’ll match any local competitor’s price either at time of purchase or within 14 days of purchase. Just bring in price evidence to any sales associate and you’ll be golden. OK, so far, so good.
– But now we get to the online pricing part and I am left scratching my head. From the Sears website: “If you find a lower online price on an identical brand and model number currently available from a local competitor’s retail store honoring its own online price and the item is currently available for sale and delivery in your area, Sears will match the price of the merchandise.” Huh? What the heck? This was clearly written to sound really good but can anyone actually understand it?
– So does this mean they’ll only honor an online price if the store in question has a brick & mortar store with the same price? So isn’t this just a regular price-match? I have a MBA with a specialization in e-Commerce and I don’t have a clue. How is the average consumer going to noodle it through?
– Until this is explained to me in regular English I can’t give Sears a grade. Any help would be much appreciated!
Staples (Grade: B+)
The Staples price match policy is also worth knowing about. Here’s the skinny:
– You have 14 days after the purchase date to request an in-store price match.
– Items must be new, identical, and in-stock.
– They’ll price match Amazon (not 3rd party sellers) and any other retailer who sells stuff in both brick & mortar stores as well as online.
– Exclusions: Tech services, clearance items, print & marketing services, postage, gift cards, phone cards, and stuff sold by 3rd party vendors.
– I’d give Staples an A grade except they DO NOT price match the stuff they sell on their website.
Target (Grade: A)
Target also has a kick-ass price matching policy with some little twists and turns. Here is what you need to know:
– They’ll match both local competitors prices as well as 30 online retailer’s pricing.
– It must be the same exact product, down to the color and weight.
– Online stores that Target will price match include the following websites: Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, BedBathBeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, BN.com, Buybuybaby.com, Costco.com, CVS.com, Diapers.com, DicksSportingGoods.com, Gamestop.com, JCPenney.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Macys.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Samsclub.com, Sears.com, SportsAuthority.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Toysrus.com, Ulta.com. Walgreens.com, Walmart.com and Wayfair.com. Also, if you find a better price at Target.com they’ll match that price too.
– Online price matching is good for up to 7 days after purchase. ALWAYS hold on to your receipt.
– Exclusions include: “Prices that only display on a website after guests log in. Clearance, closeout, damaged product, used, refurbished, open packages or liquidation sales.
Tractor Supply Co. (Grade: A-)
Tractor Supply recently instituted a price match policy and it ain’t to shabby. Here are the details:
– TSC will match ANY competitor’s price on identical items that are in-stock.
– Exclusions include special orders, refurb items, clearance items, TSC services, pricing errors, and purchases made over 30 days ago.
– You cannot use sites like eBay or Amazon Marketplace to request a price match but everything else is fair game.
Walmart (Grade: D+)
Being the largest retailer in the world, I was extremely disappointed in the price match policy at Walmart. Here are the details:
– They ONLY offer an in-store price match on the Jet.com and Walmart.com base price. WEAK!
– They DO NOT offer an in-store price match on any other competitor’s advertised price.
– Online Price Match. Yes, they will price match online purchases. Items must be identical and in-stock at both Walmart.com and competitor’s website to get a price match.
– As of May 2020, Walmart.com will price match these websites: Academy.com, Amazon.com, Autozone.com, Babiesrus.com, Basspro.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Bestbuy.com, Cabelas.com, Chewy.com, Dickssportinggoods.com, Dollargeneral.com, Familydollar.com, Homedepot.com, Jcpenny.com, Kmart.com, Kohls.com, Lowes.com, Michaels.com, Newegg.com, Officedepot.com, Oreillyauto.com, Pepboys.com, Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Sears.com, Staples.com, Target.com, Walgreens.com.
– Your best bet is to call Walmart at 1 (800) 925-6278 while making an online purchase and get your price match.
When it comes to the best price matching policies, the clear winners are Best Buy, Staples, Target and Office Depot as they all match online and in-store pricing from competitors and some will even beat competitor pricing.
Hopefully even more retailers will start doing this in the future as it really gives consumers more negotiating power.
Ask the Reader: Have you used any of these price matching policies to your benefit? Are there any other stores that have price matching policies that deserve to be added to this article? Please let me know and I’ll be sure to add them and give them a grade.
By Kyle James
Photo credit to m01229.
Note: I originally wrote this article back in 2013, but have revamped it with new and current information which I hope you find useful.