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PriceMatching FAQ


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#1
Frank

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I was thinking of writing this way back when a lot of newbs were asking how to PM, etc. or were having problems PMing, but never got around to it. Well, I guess I'm doing it now because.... I don't know... because Staples might be stopping internet PMing in may be a week, and we all need to get in on the internet PMs while we can :D.

What's a PM?

Pricematching (PM) involves convincing a retailer to match another retailer's lower price. This can occur while you're purchasing a product or for a certain amount of days after you purchase a product. A Price Matching Policy (or Low Price Guarantee) is one of the perks that many large retailers offer to induce consumers to purchase products at their store. It, along with coupons and rebates, is also a key component of many hot deals you find on this forum.

What deal stores PM and what are their rules?

Staples has 110% PM and will PM B&M stores within 14 days of purchase (Staples.com will PM B&M AND authorized internet stores - not sure what the list is). More info

OfficeMax has 115% PM (up to $55, not sure if that's 115% on $55 or the extra 15%) and will PM B&M AND internet stores (internet stores must have "a physical store location in the U.S., who is authorized by the manufacturer to sell the product") within 14 days of purchase (The 115% applies only to office superstore competitors. All other PMs will be 100%.) More info

Circuit City has 110% PM and will PM local B&M stores ONLY (though Amazon.com is big enough now that they will PM them now) within 30 days of purchase. More info (thx garsh). Circuit City is also one of the few retailers which WILL PM price AFTER rebates from other stores (YMMV on this, though).

Office Depot has 100% PM and will PM local B&M stores ONLY (though they now say any other office product or consumer electronic supplier, too) within 14 days of purchase. More info

Best Buy B&M has 110% PM and will PM local B&M stores ONLY within 30 days of purchase (14 days for computers, monitors, printers and notebooks, camcorders, digital cameras and radar detectors). BestBuy.com does NOT have a PMing policy. More info

Sears has 110% PM and will PM local B&M stores ONLY within 30 days of purchase. For more info, go to the Sears website, click on Customer Service, Price Matching Policy (under Policies).

CompUSA has 100% PM and will PM local B&M stores ONLY within 14 days of purchase.
CompUSA.com has 100% + $1 :rolleyes: PM vs. BestBuy.com, CircuitCity.com, OfficeMax.com, OfficeDepot.com, and Staples.com. More info
Unconfirmed info: CompUSA has a new "unmatched" policy to PM other stores. They're supposed to beat advertised prices by at least $1. Furthermore, they apparently PM MIR offers available at other stores by providing equivalent "unmatched" MIRs. (thx TheDiggler)

Buy.com has 100% PM (limited to $100) vs. internet etailers ONLY (Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Bluelight.com, bn.com, CDNow.com, Cdw.com, CircuitCity.com, Compusa.com, EBGames.com, OfficeDepot.com, Outpost.com, Wal-Mart.com) within 3 (THREE) days of purchase. Does NOT apply with coupons, rebates, promos, bundles and limited to 3 of the same item. More info

Here are stores which do NOT have a PM policy:
Amazon, Dell, Fry's/Outpost, Target

If the store is not listed above, I don't know if it has a PM policy (most likely not).

Hmmm, looking at all the restrictions of the policy, it seems like a pain and generally not worth it to go to another store to PM. Why should I bother PMing?

Well, if all the restrictions of the policy WERE followed, it probably would NOT be worthwhile to PM. However, a lot of the restrictions can be bypassed because various employees apply the policy differently. For instance, Staples cashiers have been known to allow you to apply a coupon AFTER the PM occurs AND not include shipping on internet PMs. Office Depot employees HAVE PMed non-office supply stores like Best Buy and CompUSA. It all depends upon the person who you get to PM the product.

So, how do I go about PMing a product?

See the next 2 posts for how to PM.

Thanks to HomeSlice and AdultMovieStar for posting a lot of the initial information.

ED: Updated info.

F

Edited by Frank, 24 October 2004 - 05:05 AM.




#2
Frank

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Here are the steps you need to take when pricematching a product for B&M. (Store-specific or optional PMing steps are in red.)

1) Get in a polite and professional frame of mind - Whatever you do, DO NOT BREAK THIS RULE.

2) Get the needed items available:
- The retailer's price match policy off their web page (not always necessary but good to have just in case)
- The lower priced item's print ad, web page printout, store tag, or a receipt showing the purchase price of the item.
- Your receipt if you already purchased
- Nice clothes, good attitude (don't look like a bum)

3) If you're buying an item that might not be in stock in local stores and you know that the store you are trying to PM at is anal about checking stock, try to find a store that does have one in stock by calling local stores and checking the stock with them. Write down the number of that store and take that with you.

4) If you're buying a product with a rebate involved (usually deals involving Best Buy or Circuit City) , purchase the item FIRST; get the rebate data (including rebate receipt); go out to the car; put the rebate info and rebate receipt in the car; and go back into the store with your receipt. Do this, because usually it is
much harder to convince employees to give you the PM if they know that their store has a rebate on it.


5) Walk into the higher priced store with your documentation and ask for a pricematch. If you want to take advantage of some stores 110% policy, they may require you purchase the item first (eg: Best Buy is known for this). In this case, do step 4 first. Always be polite and professional - copping an attitude will get you shot down fast, and ruins all future pricematching opportunities.

6) If you're PMing to a product for the after rebate price, people say it's possible to get a store to PM to another store's AFTER-rebate price. I don't know, I've never done it. An example follows of how to do (NOTE: this is only what I've seen in a post, not what I've done, so this is YMMV):

Scenario: You're trying to PM a product with a BestBuy-exclusive rebate at BestBuy at Circuit City. Go to Circuit City and tell them that you need to PM against BestBuy. You explain to the CSR that BestBuy has MIRs that are exclusive to it, and that you'd rather give Circuit City your business. But it's cheaper to buy from BestBuy, so you need Circuit City to PM the rebates. They will do this for you, although it may take more than one try. I have never had a problem getting them to do this.


8) If the employee wants to check stock, give them the number of the store that has the item in stock.

9a) If you are doing a legitimate pricematch and are rejected, politely, yet firmly direct the PMing employee's attention to the copy of the PM policy and show them where their argument against your PM is wrong. If they still persist in denying the PM, ask politely to get the name and number of the regional director and threaten NICELY to call the regional director asking why the store is not following their own written policies. If s/he doesn't cave in by then, thank him/her for the numbers, and call up the director. Almost every time, you will get your dispute settled in your favor and may be even a bonus (coupon off for your troubles).

9b) If you're doing a questionable pricematch (such as use of PM and coupon at Staples or PMing with Best Buy at Office Depot) and are rejected, politely accept the rejection and move on. You can always try another store (or perhaps the same store at a different time with a different manager).

10) If you're at Staples doing a PM and you want to use a coupon, do all the previous stuff FIRST, before applying the coupon. Usually employees understand how to apply a coupon to a purchase without manager approval. However, almost all Pricematches need to manager approval/help before you can get the PM. So, do the PM FIRST, THEN ask the employee to apply the coupon (preferably AFTER the manager has left). This will greatly increase your chances of a successful PM and coupon use.

Edited by Frank, 31 March 2004 - 03:54 PM.


#3
Frank

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Here are the steps you need to take when pricematching a product over the phone (for an internet store). (Store-specific or optional PMing steps are in red.)

1) Get in a polite and professional frame of mind - Whatever you do, DO NOT BREAK THIS RULE.

2) Get the needed items available:
- Access to the retailer's price match policy off their web page
- The URL for the lower priced item's or a print ad and fax.
- Your customer number (if applicable) and your order number if you already purchased
- Good attitude

3) If you're PMing to a local store and it might not be in stock, try to find a store that does have one in stock by calling local stores and checking the stock with them. Write down the number of that store.

4) Call up the store's customer service number and ask for a pricematch on the item. Give whatever information they ask for (i.e., URL or print ad, and customer and order number if you already purchased).

5) If you're PMing to a product for the after rebate price, people say it's possible to get a store to PM to another store's AFTER-rebate price. I don't know, I've never done it. An example follows of how to do (NOTE: this is only what I've seen in a post, not what I've done, so this is YMMV):

Scenario: You're trying to PM a product with a BestBuy-exclusive rebate at BestBuy at Circuit City. You call up Circuit City and tell them that you need to PM against BestBuy. You explain to the CSR that BestBuy has MIRs that are exclusive to it, and that you'd rather give Circuit City your business. But it's cheaper to buy from BestBuy, so you need Circuit City to PM the rebates. They will do this for you, although it may take more than one try. I have never had a problem getting them to do this.


6) If the CSR wants to check stock, give them the number of the store that has the item in stock.

7a) If you are doing a legitimate pricematch and are rejected, politely, yet firmly direct the PMing employee's attention to the PM policy and show them where their argument against your PM is wrong. If they still persist in denying the PM, ask politely to speak to their supervisor. If s/he doesn't allow you to talk with their supervisor, remember their name, hang up, and call again. You are almost certain to get a different CSR. Complain NICELY with them about the other CSR who was denying a LEGITIMATE PM and ask if you can do the PM with them. Also, ask to speak with a supervisor so that you can tell the supervisor what a great job the CSR is doing and what a crappy job the other CSR is doing (don't let them get away with it)!

7b) If you're doing a questionable pricematch (such as use of PM and coupon at Staples or PMing with Best Buy at Office Depot) and are rejected, politely accept the rejection and move on. You can always call back and try a different CSR (lots of CSRs apply PMs differently especially at Staples.com).

8) Sometimes when you're doing a PM at Staples.com, they want to charge overnight shipping from the competitor's site. If YOUR shipment from Staples is not going to arrive overnight, point out that since STAPLES isn't delivering overnight, they should NOT charge overnight shipping but whatever the equivalent is for the other site. (This is actually in their PMing rules, but people don't seem to know much about this.) If your shipment DOES state that it's going to be overnight, you might want to wait until they actually ship it to see if it does get to you overnight before trying the PM again (either, that or just thank the CSR nicely and call again later).

9) If you're PMing at Staples.com and want to use a coupon, finish the PM; hang up; and call again to apply the coupon.

Edited by Frank, 31 March 2004 - 04:03 PM.


#4
Frank

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Other issues, tips, and tricks

NOTE:

Circuit City and BestBuy have updated most of their rebates to state that the rebates will be invalid if a price match is done on an item. This new change in policy only affects retailer rebates, not manufacturer rebates.

Thanks, garsh!

Edited by Frank, 12 February 2004 - 11:57 AM.


#5
notblake

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hi Frank. just wanted to take the time to thank you for your posts. it's all good advice and follows what i have foud to be succesful too. the part about keeping a good frame of mind is key. nobody wants to do a favour for an *****. i have been in a store and overheard someone ranting and raving to get their way. thing is, even if the ranting works, you've kinda burned a bridge in that store- not good. nice of you to take the time...

#6
mackerdack

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Bump -- to help newcomers :)

#7
Frank

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Heh, even we old PMers sometimes need a refresher... I lost my cool a couple of weeks back with a couple Staples representatives trying to get a LEGITIMATE PM done, but was getting frustrated because 1) their incompetence was making the PM undoable, 2) I had already gotten it authorized, but the original person didn't write down how much the PM was for so, 3) I had to go through the process again and the next Staples CSR was a b!tch who basically lied to me about there policies and I made the mistake of taking the easier route and letting her lead me, hanging up, and calling again for a PM, 4) she made a note in my account that my PM was denied (she basically made up a reason) and so I had to argue it out with 2 other CSRs before I contacted a manager who STILL refused the PM on the grounds that they don't PM AT ALL to Fry's because Fry's sometimes sells OEM crap :rolleyes:.

After all this, I called up corporate asking about their policies, especially concerning Fry's. Even THEY had problems PMing it, but once I finally told them what to look for they finally did it for me. But basically, I had gotten to the point where I was so fed up, I basically b!tched out a poor CSR (last one) who took all the brunt of my frustrations with the previous 2 CSRs who made up bogus reasons to deny my PM.

I'm not sure, but it's quite possible I got my account blacklisted in the process (we shall see when the next Staples deal hits).

Unfortunately, I did not follow my advice and STAY polite and professional, but sometimes, you just don't have a good day -mad-.

Anyways, I finally got the PM (I got paid for the item BEFORE rebate :)), but I did not get any sort of coupon code for my troubles (do they still do that?) even though I asked them about it.

Just a rant and warning, I guess :rolleyes:.

If any of you other PMers have any other advice to add to this FAQ, feel free to post them, and I'll add them to the FAQ.

F

#8
dejavu

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Thanks! This is an excellent thread. :)

#9
Monga

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My $.02 worth: I just tried to do a PM on the phone with Staples to Dartek.com. They do PM but only up to 3 of the same item. I needed to buy 10 backup tapes. Stapkes would sell me 3 at the PMd price and the rest at the regular Staples price. (which was more than double the other store's price). I bought the tapes from Dartek!
You'll be missed, HarleyD.

#10
Coconut

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Does anyone here feel that Staples (phone) has become very particular about doing PMs these days? Or have I just run into rude CSRs?
Life is hard by the yard, but by the inch, it's a cinch - Gean Gordon

#11
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Thanks for the guidelines, and sharing your experiences. Have to try a PM in the next 2 days, and I'm doing homework.

#12
garsh

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Here's a link to Circuit City's Price Match Plus Guarantee.

Also, both Circuit City and BestBuy have updated most of their rebates to state that the rebates will be invalid if a price match is done on an item. This new change in policy only affects retailer rebates, not manufacturer rebates.
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone." - Bjarne Stroustrup

#13
TheDiggler

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A few updates which should be propogated to the OP:

1) Staples:
[*] no longer PM's the "after MIR" price of competitors, PERIOD.
[*] on PM's (some) web-sites for orders placed over the phone or on-line (i.e. Staples B&M's no longer officially PM web-sites)

2) CompUSSR
[*] has a new "unmatched" policy to PM other stores. They're supposed to beat advertised prices by at least $1. Furthermore, they apparently PM MIR offers available at other stores by providing equivalent "unmatched" MIRs.

Diggler

#14
arbntmare

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A few updates which should be propogated to the OP:

1) Staples:
[*] no longer PM's the "after MIR" price of competitors, PERIOD.
[*] on PM's (some) web-sites for orders placed over the phone or on-line (i.e. Staples B&M's no longer officially PM web-sites)

2) CompUSSR
[*] has a new "unmatched" policy to PM other stores. They're supposed to beat advertised prices by at least $1. Furthermore, they apparently PM MIR offers available at other stores by providing equivalent "unmatched" MIRs.

Diggler

hrm.. when did that policy change happen diggler?? i see some poeple still do it..

#15
garsh

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hrm.. when did that policy change happen diggler?? i see some poeple still do it..

To which part do you refer?
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone." - Bjarne Stroustrup

#16
carloscai

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I want to add that CDW.com also do PM. But I have read some pretty negative reviews. Among 32 reviews, the scores are either 1 or 5. -blink-
I will miss you, HarleyD.

#17
Frank

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I want to add that CDW.com also do PM. But I have read some pretty negative reviews. Among 32 reviews, the scores are either 1 or 5. -blink-

If you can get more info on CDW's PM, I'll add it to the list.

Thx, carloscai!

F

#18
carloscai

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Frank. I am sorry that I was not able to read your reply on time. I was looking for a new TV/DVd combo a month ago and the best price I found was from CDW. I did some research then and found that they pricematch. I gave it a try tonight but was not able to find the policy page again. Some of the pages that I was led to said something about "the site is being updated" blah, blah, blah. My major concern about CDW is that they always ask you information about your "company" while you are shopping. They seem to care about big time shoppers more than indivigual shoppers like me.
I will miss you, HarleyD.

#19
Frank

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Just added information on buy.com's PM policy.... It's not much, but hey, it's a policy! -eyehide- F

#20
garsh

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Efunctional.com

Efunctional.com Price Guarantee
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone." - Bjarne Stroustrup

#21
garsh

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It appears that OfficeMax no longer offers a 115% PM. It's now a simple 100% PM.

OfficeMax has 115% PM (up to $55, not sure if that's 115% on $55 or the extra 15%) and will PM B&M AND internet stores (internet stores must have "a physical store location in the U.S., who is authorized by the manufacturer to sell the product") within 14 days of purchase (The 115% applies only to office superstore competitors. All other PMs will be 100%.) More info


"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone." - Bjarne Stroustrup

#22
carloscai

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Since Franks has not been seen around for a long time, anyone want to take over the thread and keep it updated? Reading the "old" posts brings my momories back about the good-ol times. PS, does anyone know if amazon still PM their own price within a month?
I will miss you, HarleyD.

#23
amy66

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Thanks for faq.

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