Price Matching

15 Jun

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Price Matching means that a store honors the sale prices of other stores.  Wal-mart and Target are the two main stores that price match, although your local stores may do the same.  However, most stores have policies that regulate what they will and will not honor. 

 

Price matching CAN save you time and money if you know how to appropriately use the ads.  The key to making it worthwhile is to simply be sure that you are getting the best price.  So if the store doesn’t double coupons, and their is a $0.50 coupon for the Kroger sale item, it is better to wait and get it at Kroger where the coupon will double to $1.  I personally like to get the majority of my shopping done in one trip, and then make several quick stops to get the remaining sales that I could not get at that store.  After you understand the store’s price matching policy (below), then you might find using competitors ads to be effective.

 

How I effectively use price matching:

  1. Using the weekly match-up lists, I begin by making a list of all of the sales items that I want to buy for the week.  (I copy and paste onto a word processing document, making one long list.)
  2. I make the rest of my shopping list that is not on the sale ads that week.  (milk, bread, produce…anything else I need immediately.)
  3. Next, I look through the list and cut any item that can be purchased for the same price at Wal-Mart/Target.  I copy it onto my Wal-Mart list.
  4. I analyze the list and decide which stores I still want/need to patronize that week. 
  5. Organize my coupons accordingly.
  6. Shop!
  7. Gather things on your list as you normally would.  Take out the coupons that cannot be used that day before approaching the check out line.
  8. When you are unloading, unload anything that does NOT need to be price matched first.  Place a “spacer bar” between all of the items that can be scanned regularly and the items that need to have price adjustments.  Let your cashier know as soon as possible that you will be using competitors ads on those items. 
  9. Have your ads ready!  Most cashiers take your word for it.  If the price is way off of the normal price, then the computer will beep and they will ask for your ad.  But technically, they should all ask for your ad.  Forget an ad?  I had a cashier tell me that they keep a stash of competitors ads at customer service if you ever need one.  YMMV. 
  10. Hand over your coupons!  That’s it!  Unless you pick a bad line (as I am notorious for doing), it will take no more time to check out than normal. 

Note:  I typically do this trip first and try to make it the only stop for the day since it takes longer.  The next few days, I will make my way out to the other stores to get the deals I missed.

Advantages:

  • Better supply.  Many times, if the sale is great, you have to skip church and get there right as the doors open Sunday morning to get the item.  I won’t make that sacrifice.  Wal-mart and/or Target may have an ample supply of that item.
  • Time saver. (1) While I will NOT agree that shopping at one location is economically your best bet, if you can get the ACTUAL lowest prices at one store, why wouldn’t you?  Just be advised that no matter what any store advertises, they do NOT have the lowest price on everything.  (2) There is a big difference in doing “grocery shopping” and running in for a few quick things.  I only have time for 1 “big” shopping trip per week.  If I didn’t price match, I would be making several “big” shopping trips as opposed to 1 big one and running in to make a few quick stops. 
  • Possible gas saver.  For me, Ingles and Target are clear across town.  They have to have some pretty good deals that can’t be price matched to make me drive that far! 
  • More convenient (especially if you have to shop with children).  The worst part (in my opinion) about couponing is having to make my baby coupon, too!  And I cannot complain!  I have a very good baby! He seems to love it!  He’s a charmer and loves to get people’s attention, so as long as I don’t take him to more than 1 or 2 stores at a time, we usually have no problem!  BUT, would he rather be playing at home?  certainly!!!  No child wants to go into store after store where they don’t even get to buy anything!

Disadvantages:

  • “Mom and Pop” Stores.  Many critics claim that Wal-Mart “destroys jobs, puts mom & pop operations out of business, is anti-union, pays low wages, exploits its workers, practices predatory pricing, destroys small towns, is too big, sells too much junk, doesn’t provide health insurance to all of its employees, and, when all else fails, buys too much from "Red" China, etc., etc.”  The only of these arguments that I personally buy and will entertain is about the “mom and pop stores”.  For that reason, I choose not to use price matching with the “local” store ads.  I’m sure that is not enough according to some people’s standards, but I assure you that me boycotting Wal-Mart will not solve any of the problems listed above. 
  • Quality.  You can’t find better produce than at your local farmer’s market and you have to consider the quality of meat at a store that doesn’t even have a butcher – that many additives and preservatives has to compromise the quality!
  • Check out lines/cashiers.  There is almost always a line at Wal-Mart and they never have enough cashiers.  In addition, their cashiers are typically not trained on the price matching policies/couponing policies and every trip is just hit or miss whether they will honor your ads without question or have to call in 3 levels of management for approval.  At Target, you have to price match at customer service, where I think it is the nature of the job to be moody.  (I would be too if I constantly had to hear everyone’s complaints all day!)
  • Impulse buys.  I have always loved Target apparel and in the last several years, Wal-Mart has stepped up to the plate on theirs, as well!  There are soooo many more temptations to buy something that is not on your list in these stores!  You must be strong willed to stick to your list!

 

 

 

 

Price Matching Policies:

 

Wal-Mart: 

  • Our goal is always to be the low price leader in every community where we operate. Our customers trust us to have every day low prices … there’s no need for "special sales."
  • Store managers make the final decision in always taking care of our customers, but we do have guidelines for matching our competition.
  • We do honor "Preferred Shopping Card" advertised prices. Must be like items, be advertised and require a competitor’s shopping card, for the discount to apply.
  • We do not honor advertisements that require a purchase in order to receive the advertised price or free product.
  • We do not honor "Buy One / Get One Free" advertisements.
  • We do not honor double or triple coupons or percent off advertisements.
  • We do not honor other retailers’ "Misprinted" advertised prices.
  • We do not honor Internet Pricing.
  • We do not honor competitor advertisements from outside of the store’s or Club’s local trade territory.

Target:

  • How does price matching work?  If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number. Target.com is excluded from our price matching policy. Competitor catalogs can also be ad matched as long as the catalog displays a valid date and meets all other qualifications.
  • What if I’ve already made the purchase at Target?  No problem. Within seven days of purchase, bring your Target receipt and the competitor ‘s current printed ad. We will reimburse the savings to you.
  • What qualifies as proof of a competitor’s advertisement? Please show us the entire printed advertisement. Photos, photocopies, or mobile phone versions of the ad cannot be accepted as verification of competitive pricing.
  • What does ‘identical store item’ mean? The program covers items with the identical brand name, size, weight, quantity and model number of the item at Target stores. We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the product.
  • Can I use coupons when price matching? A guest can use coupons when price matching per Target’s normal coupon policy. When the guests presents a coupon(s), these steps will be followed:
    • Manufacturer Coupons:
      Manufacturer coupons will be applied after the price match is made.
    • Target Coupons:
      Target coupons will be applied before the price match is made. If the competitor price is still lower than the price after the Target coupon has been deducted, the ad match can be adjusted to match the competitor’s price.
    • Combining both a Target and Manufacturer Coupons:
      The Target coupon will be applied before the price match is made. If the competitor price is still lower than the price after the Target coupon has been deducted, the ad match can be adjusted to match the competitor’s price. Once the price match is made the manufacturer coupon will be applied.
      Reminder: We accept one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item unless either coupon prohibits it.
      Target does not ad match a competitors coupon-required offers.
  • What do you mean by local retail competitors?  This refers to retail stores located within the same market area as a particular Target store. Examples of a market area can be a city, a metropolitan area or a specific rural region.
  • What about online price matching?  All online pricing, including Target.com, is excluded from our price matching policy, as well as online retail promotions or products advertised on another company’s web or mobile sites.
  • Other price matching exclusions include:
    • Online prices, including Target.com
    • Promotions or products advertised on another company’s web or mobile sites, even those advertising in-store prices.
    • Timed events (e.g., early bird, door busters)
    • Items advertised as limited time/limited supply/limited quantity
    • Membership club or loyalty programs (e.g. prices that require a club or loyalty card)
    • Coupon-required or giftcard offers
    • Prices advertised only as a percent off or $ off
    • Competitor’s free product, buy one, get one, bundled offers, or special purchases
    • Mobile coupons
    • Sales tax promotions
    • Damaged product or opened packaging
    • Clearance or closeout items
    • Mail in offers or instant rebates
    • Product services (warranties, assembly, etc.)
    • Going-out-of-business liquidations
    • Special financing
    • Used or previously owned items
    • Display merchandise
    • Pricing or typographical errors
    • Owned brands (i.e., Home, Merona, Circo, Market Pantry and Archer Farms)
    • Non-branded items (e.g. produce not marketed under a specific brand name)
    • Target Portrait Studio, Optical, and Clinic offers
    • Expired Ads

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