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Problems with price matching online

Old 03-01-10, 05:04 PM
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Problems with price matching online

This is the second time this month a major retailer has refused to price match an online price.

A couple weeks ago I went to Best Buy and asked them to price match Music Man on the WalMart website. She refused saying it was an online price only and they don't pricematch online pricing. Wal Mart didn't have them in-store. I ended up buying at Amazon for the same price as Wal Mart.

Today I was in Wal Mart and asked them to PM Best Buys' $14.99 price on the BD double features just released. She said I have to bring in the ad. They don't price match everyday pricing apparently. Naturally I walked out without them.

Ten or twelve years ago websites routinely sold below cost for advertising revenue and to resell cusotmer information. They didn't look to make a profit on the merchandise. That was a long time ago. These days buying online is so common I can't believe these stores still treat it like the old gray market mail order crap from years ago.

Other than the wasted time it was no big deal in either case. I waited a few days and got my Music Man BD and I'm in no hurry for those double features. I woulkd like to upgrade to the BD's but I know those will be bargain priced
Old 03-01-10, 07:00 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

I think in both cases, the stores clearly spell out their pricematching policy when it comes to online pricematches... in fact, I don't think Walmart will even pricematch their own site. Who's to say that they wouldn't be losing money if they did pricematch for you?
Old 03-01-10, 07:51 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

In each case it was a couple bucks, not like the old days when online was $10 for $29 new releases. It can be rationalized a hundred ways but the original reasons for not matching online are long gone but the policies remain.
Old 03-01-10, 08:20 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

A store isn't going to price match just because you tell them that the price is different. They need a printed ad.. And why should they price match the online store prices?(bedsides their own) It costs them a lot more to put it into their stores than it does to sell from a warehouse somewhere.
Old 03-01-10, 10:43 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Wal-Mart sucks by the way, but, I say, no ad in hand, no deal. I think it is unreasonable to 1. Expect a retailer to call around town, and verify the price by phone. 2. Find a computer at the store that will get on the internet and so an employee can search a site to verify a sale. 3. Match some print out from the internet, that Joe Blow brings in off the street.
Old 03-01-10, 11:13 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by ericn101 View Post
Wal-Mart sucks by the way, but, I say, no ad in hand, no deal. I think it is unreasonable to 1. Expect a retailer to call around town, and verify the price by phone. 2. Find a computer at the store that will get on the internet and so an employee can search a site to verify a sale. 3. Match some print out from the internet, that Joe Blow brings in off the street.
how hard is it for a company to have the competitor's ads handy at customer service in order to expedite these sorts of transactions?
Old 03-01-10, 11:31 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Matching online ads is still too much of a wild weasel ... too easy to use Photoshop or create vv vv vv.pricematch_this_sucker.com to create phony ads. Additionally, there are still plenty of companies out there who either operate their website as an independent business segment or even contract a third party to run the website.

Expecting a brick-and-mortar retailer to match an online store is still not a feasible expectation. While the physical product is the same, the services being sold are not. Imagine this: your boss comes to you and says "I read online that people in Crapplasticstan do the same job that you do, only they work for 17 cents and a stein of ox-milk each day. You should voluntarily work for the same wages."

Number 3 -- a retail location is not a flea market! (I could be wrong about this, but I'm pretty certain that a business could find itself in legal hot-water if they began selling the same product at varying pricepoints to different customers.)
Old 03-01-10, 11:40 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
how hard is it for a company to have the competitor's ads handy at customer service in order to expedite these sorts of transactions?
I'm not disagreeing that it would be good customer service, but why? Should the store deduct $1 off of my dish soap too? "I have a coupon at home, I just forgot to bring it."

How hard is it for you to bring in the ad?

You know what, to hell with it ... it would just be easier for stores to give away all of their merchandise.

I just don't know tonight ... normally I am the ultimate customer service advocate, but damn! You guys are just completely unreasonable tonight ... or maybe it's me.
Old 03-02-10, 08:21 AM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Price matching is always at the discretion of the retailer, online or printed. They have the right to refuse and you have the right not to buy it there if they refuse.
Old 03-02-10, 09:53 AM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
I'm not disagreeing that it would be good customer service, but why? Should the store deduct $1 off of my dish soap too? "I have a coupon at home, I just forgot to bring it."

How hard is it for you to bring in the ad?

You know what, to hell with it ... it would just be easier for stores to give away all of their merchandise.

I just don't know tonight ... normally I am the ultimate customer service advocate, but damn! You guys are just completely unreasonable tonight ... or maybe it's me.
I fully agree with you!
Old 03-02-10, 05:12 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Best Buy will match online pricing as long as it's also available in the store. They just go online and check. Pretty simple.
Old 03-02-10, 05:28 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Best Buy will match online pricing as long as it's also available in the store. They just go online and check. Pretty simple.
Are you talking about from their own online store? I doubt they match amazon, for instance. And they got in trouble a few years ago because the prices were different if you accessed bestbuy.com from inside their own stores.

But I think BB is a little different than Walmart in that you can choose in-store pickup for any items that are available, so it makes sense for them to match.
Old 03-02-10, 06:50 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Are you talking about from their own online store? I doubt they match amazon, for instance. And they got in trouble a few years ago because the prices were different if you accessed bestbuy.com from inside their own stores.

But I think BB is a little different than Walmart in that you can choose in-store pickup for any items that are available, so it makes sense for them to match.
Last couple things I bought Wal MArt was a few dollars cheaper and I wanted the RZ points so I went to Customer service, asked for a price match, they checked the price online and in 2 minutes I was done with a better price.

For Music Man since the price was "online only" they wouldn't match, the item had to be in store. I didn't want to pay extra to get the RZ so I ordered on Amazon. Wal Mart won't match anything unless it's in a current advertisement. So I'll head back to BB and get them for $14.99 and get RZ points. It's not like I can't get it, I just prefer to reduce the second effort to get everything.
Old 03-02-10, 07:38 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

So the real question is, did you make a special trip to go get the cheaper item, and if so how much did you spend in gas to save a couple of bucks?
Old 03-02-10, 09:30 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

It was $10 and I'll grab them at some point while I'm out. I work in outside sales so I'll swing by BB sometime this week
Old 03-02-10, 09:37 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

We've tryed to price match at Wal-Mart from there online sale. We were told they cant because online is a different "store" then the actual store. I know best buy has priced matched there own prices on there site but I think it also depends on who you get. Ive also one time was told by my friend who works at walmart that they have to price match the other ads (I had an ad but the price wasnt printed in it) She said to tell the cashier the price and if they needed to double check it then they would call the other store to verify the price. But they wont price match other Wal-Marts. It gets confusing when you're told different things all the time.
Old 03-03-10, 05:17 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

The way it usually works:

Walmart will pricematch ads from other stores. They will not pricematch other ads, unpublished sales (unless you bring in a receipt, but then if you bought it somewhere else, why go back to Walmart?), online stores, or their own website. In fact, they won't pricematch stores that they don't consider a direct competitor to them (at first I thought this meant within a certain distance, but a few years ago they refused to pricematch a Fry's ad, even though Fry's was right down the street).

Best Buy will pricematch their online store, and will pricematch printed ads from other stores. Rather than go through the trouble of pricematching their online store, just order it online for in-store pickup and pray they pull the right item. They will not pricematch other online stores.

I think both also have clauses that they will not pricematch sale items from other stores with "limited" stock, so Black Friday sales, for instance, are exempt. There are also conflicting reports and varying policies about pricematching deals like B2G1F and gift card deals.

Target has begun to pricematch in some (all?) areas, but I haven't done one there yet.
Old 03-03-10, 07:36 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
I'm not disagreeing that it would be good customer service, but why? Should the store deduct $1 off of my dish soap too? "I have a coupon at home, I just forgot to bring it."

How hard is it for you to bring in the ad?

You know what, to hell with it ... it would just be easier for stores to give away all of their merchandise.

I just don't know tonight ... normally I am the ultimate customer service advocate, but damn! You guys are just completely unreasonable tonight ... or maybe it's me.
why not? why tie up a CSR agent for many minutes who has deal with a situation on price matching whey they have to look it up. they could solve that problem by doing as i said above.
Old 03-03-10, 08:05 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
why not? why tie up a CSR agent for many minutes who has deal with a situation on price matching whey they have to look it up. they could solve that problem by doing as i said above.
Actually it shouldn't tie up the CSR agent at all. The CSR agent will just state that you need the ad. CSR agent should not call or look up the competitor's price. I know it's YMMV and some will look it up anyway.


Basically, the OP want every retailer to have the same exact price so it can all be bought at whatever is the closest retailer at the time. Imagine if it was store's policy to price match online or "everyday" price. Every Joe Schmo would be holding up the lines asking the cashiers to call around or check competitor's websites to make sure he/she is getting the best price.
Old 03-04-10, 12:43 AM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
why not? why tie up a CSR agent for many minutes who has deal with a situation on price matching whey they have to look it up. they could solve that problem by doing as i said above.
Your scenario:

You: You should give me $17 off of that item because somebody has it cheaper in this week's ad.
Clerk: Which store? (whips out phone book sized binder)
You: I don't remember ... the store that carries that item. It's on page 7.
Clerk: (flipping through binder looking at the front of each ad) I don't see it.
You: No, page 7 ... it was next to the vacuums in the ad.
Clerk: (flipping through again) Was it an office store?
You: No, it may have been Amazon.
Clerk: I don't think I have their ad.
3rd Person in Line: What the hell? Is he writing a check? What's the holdup?
You: Maybe it was in a midweek ad ...
Clerk: (turns on blinking lane light, leaves lane to go to service desk)
You: Maybe it was only 75 cents off ...
5th Person in Line: (builds burn-barrel fire in battery displayer)
Clerk: (returns) The manager says this has a bonus digital copy.
You: And? I know they had the same picture.
4th Person in Line: (clubs passerby with can of Spam, begins eating the passerby)


My scenario:

You: You should give me $17 off of that item because somebody has it cheaper in this week's ad.
Clerk: Damn dude ... shut up and pay already.

Mine is much quicker.
Old 03-04-10, 10:49 AM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
Actually it shouldn't tie up the CSR agent at all. The CSR agent will just state that you need the ad. CSR agent should not call or look up the competitor's price. I know it's YMMV and some will look it up anyway.

you are right, they don't call to find out the price. but they do call to find out availability of the item (in stock or not) because their policy indicates that store needs to have it in stock. so, your scenario doesn't really fly here.
Old 03-04-10, 10:50 AM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Your scenario:

You: You should give me $17 off of that item because somebody has it cheaper in this week's ad.
Clerk: Which store? (whips out phone book sized binder)
You: I don't remember ... the store that carries that item. It's on page 7.
Clerk: (flipping through binder looking at the front of each ad) I don't see it.
You: No, page 7 ... it was next to the vacuums in the ad.
Clerk: (flipping through again) Was it an office store?
You: No, it may have been Amazon.
Clerk: I don't think I have their ad.
3rd Person in Line: What the hell? Is he writing a check? What's the holdup?
You: Maybe it was in a midweek ad ...
Clerk: (turns on blinking lane light, leaves lane to go to service desk)
You: Maybe it was only 75 cents off ...
5th Person in Line: (builds burn-barrel fire in battery displayer)
Clerk: (returns) The manager says this has a bonus digital copy.
You: And? I know they had the same picture.
4th Person in Line: (clubs passerby with can of Spam, begins eating the passerby)


My scenario:

You: You should give me $17 off of that item because somebody has it cheaper in this week's ad.
Clerk: Damn dude ... shut up and pay already.

Mine is much quicker.
way to take the complete extreme of a scenario and to use that as your argument against.
Old 03-04-10, 03:56 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Deftones View Post
you are right, they don't call to find out the price. but they do call to find out availability of the item (in stock or not) because their policy indicates that store needs to have it in stock. so, your scenario doesn't really fly here.
So the CSR agent will still be tied up calling to see if it's in stock so it doesn't fit your scenario either. Your point was that they should have the ad so it would not tie them up. If they have the ad, you are still stating that they will call anyway to check on availability.
Old 03-04-10, 04:15 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
So the CSR agent will still be tied up calling to see if it's in stock so it doesn't fit your scenario either. Your point was that they should have the ad so it would not tie them up. If they have the ad, you are still stating that they will call anyway to check on availability.
some places do. but i've been to other where if there is an ad and they see the product, they will match on the spot regardless if they have it it stock. probably varies by store, i would assume.
Old 03-04-10, 04:47 PM
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Re: Problems with price matching online

Did stores ever match online prices? In my experience, stores will only match local competitors instore prices. I dont reasonably expect my local best buy to price match an oldies.com price on something. The line has to be drawn somehwere, and it seems to be drawn with only local retailers being available for price matching.

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