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Extreme Couponing Tip: Understanding Target’s Price-Match Guarantee

Chereen.Langrill

Many of us took advantage of price matching at Target and Best Buy during the holiday season, but now we can do it year round! Target recently changed their price match policy to extend beyond the holiday season and still include online retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy.com, and WalMart.com.

Here’s how the guarantee works:

Exclusions

  • The item you find online must be identical (even the same color) as the one you bought in the Target store. If Target does not have the item in stock, they will NOT offer a rain check.
  • There is a limit of one competitor online price match per identical item, per guest. This will limit your stocking-up scenarios.
  • You can’t get a price-match discount on items you purchased at Target.com.
  • The competitor price must still be valid, and the item must still be in stock at the online competitor when you request the lower price. So if you go to show the Amazon or Best Buy Online price at Target Customer Service and it shows as out of stock, they will not match the price for you.
  • Sorry, couponers in Alaska and Hawaii, but the policy does not apply in your states.
  • It doesn’t apply to online third-party sellers, like those found on Amazon.com. This means that the price you are matching must be Amazon’s price, not Amazon Marketplace where numerous third parties are selling the same item.

Coupons

Now, as avid couponers, obviously your next question is: “Can I use a coupon on an item that I price matched?” The answer is: “Sometimes.” Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • If the item you are price matching has a Target coupon, that coupon will be applied BEFORE the price match. If the price is then the same or lower than the ad you brought in, no price match will occur. If it is still higher, then they will do a price match.
  • Manufacturer coupons will be applied after the price match.
  • You cannot price match if a competitor’s coupon, instant rebate, or a mail-in rebate is involved.

Comparing to policies at other stores

  • Best Buy only matched online retailer prices through January 31.
  • Wal-Mart states on its website that it does not match online retailer prices.
  • Toys R Us also prices matches, but one of their exclusions is “internet pricing for non-baby gear items,” which means toys.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find much of a price variance on smaller items, and the time it will cost to do the research may only make the effort worth it for bigger-ticket items. But, if you’re determined to save every penny you can, here are some ways to make the process easier:

  • Good timing: You will have to go to Customer Service to get the price match, so avoid busy days and times (weekends and weekday evenings).
  • If you have an Android or iPhone, download the Price Check App by Amazon. This allows you to scan the barcode of the item, and you will immediately be able to see Amazon’s price if it is something they carry. Then you will know whether or not to price match.

This policy will be in place indefinitely, so take advantage while you can.

This is a guest post by Erica from Austin, TX. Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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