This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Shoppers are looking for ways to score the best deal to fight the impact of rising and fluctuating prices on their budgets. With fierce competition among retailers, some stores promote their price-matching policies as a method to help shoppers save. Stores grab consumer dollars early, and, in return, promise to match their own prices — or sometimes a competitor’s price — for many items.
But every store’s price-matching policy is different, and not all offer one (Amazon
is a prime example). Some retailers have a list of exclusions, including certain products, services and sale periods, such as the week of Thanksgiving. All this red tape makes taking advantage of these policies extra challenging, especially during the holidays when shoppers are buying more than usual. Here are some tips to help cut through the confusion and decide if price matching is a good shopping strategy for you this holiday season.What is price matching? The premise of price matching is to provide peace of mind to early shoppers: If the price drops, they can get the difference back into their pockets. Shoppers typically use price matching in two ways: in-store during purchase or after the fact either in-store or online. In the first scenario, a shopper finds a lower price and provides proof at the register, where the lower price is matched on the spot. In the second, a shopper makes a purchase but finds a lower price in the following days or weeks and must go to the store or online to seek a price adjustment. This post-purchase scenario happens more frequently, according to Priceva, an IT company that offers a price monitoring service for retailers. Also see: Black Friday suffers the ill wind of high prices and economic worries — online sales seen rising by just 1%Who has price-matching policies? …