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Paribus makes saving money so easy you can do it in your sleep. It keeps track of your online purchases, alerts you to any price drops, then requests price adjustments from retailers.
The process is so simple many people can’t help but wonder “Is Paribus legit?”
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.
I’m convinced Paribus is legit. But I get the concern, so let’s talk.
Since day one, the major concern with Paribus from all KCL users has simply been “Is it safe?”
I discussed it with Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show last year as part of a segment about outsmarting retailers. And I’ll expand even further here on what I know about Paribus’ safety, what I feel about the risk, and how I propose you work around any Paribus legitimacy concerns so you can save money — my ultimate goal.
Paribus will help get you price adjustments.
A lot has changed since Spring 2017 when I sat with Paribus founder, Eric Glyman in his modest Lower Manhattan office space, kitty-corner from NYU.
Then newly-acquired Paribus was working to rebound from Amazon’s price-adjustment-change curveball. The mega-retailer discontinued price adjustments on all merchandise except TVs in May 2016, drastically devaluing Paribus’ price-adjustment service.
But Paribus had another Amazon offering in the works, which they promised could be even more valuable for consumers. (And for me personally, it turned out to be exactly that.)
That May, Paribus launched late delivery monitoring. If your Amazon shipment showed up late, Paribus would file a claim, and Amazon would respond with some form of reimbursement.
Today, Paribus continues to offer shipping protection from Amazon. Plus, Paribus still price adjusts at several retailers including Target and Costco. But, they require some pretty significant permissions in order to do either.
Paribus doesn’t live in your inbox, but it feels like it.
Now, Paribus doesn’t employ a customer service team who sit and read trillions of personal emails each day. They don’t actually have any humans in your inbox at all.
Basically, Paribus watches for certain words like retailer names and phrases like “order confirmation.” Those words trigger the Paribus algorithm to scrape that email and input its data as a purchase in your Paribus account. From there, the price watching happens from Paribus, not from your inbox. You can check on your purchases at any time to see how many more days are left for Paribus to detect a price drop.
The real test would be if you sent an ordinary email to your kid’s teacher with a bogus subject line like “Target order confirmation.” It feels like, in that case, some confused robot may attempt to read your mail and find out Sammy forgot his lunch today.
They require permission to read+write+delete emails 😬.
One Quora user recently shared the following communication from Paribus in response to their question: Why does Paribus need permission to delete my emails?
“When you sign up for Paribus, you’ll notice a blanket of permissions that we ask for. Of those, you’ll see the ability to “Read, write and delete e-mails”. Please understand however that Paribus will not delete your personal e-mails. This ability is just a part of those blanketed permissions that your e-mail provider believes third party apps need in order to operate properly.
We ask for the ability to read e-mails due to Paribus identifying your recent purchases through the shipping confirmation e-mails you receive from the merchants we monitor. We have web hooks in place so that we only scrape for purchase related e-mails from those merchants we monitor.
We ask for the ability to send e-mails so that we can contact retailers on your behalf when we find a price adjustment for you. Unfortunately, we would not be able to get those price adjustments if we sent those requests from a Paribus e-mail, as we did not make the order.”
Listen, I don’t understand security in a way that you should take my word for it. I can tell you that I’ve verified that all information stored on Paribus is stored using 256 bit SSL (enterprise level encryption). What the actual heck that means? No clue. But. . .
They have more to lose with a security breach than I do, which is why they have bank-grade encryption, dedicated firewalls, VPN services, and intrusion prevention systems, and that’s good enough for me.
As one data point, I’m three years in with Paribus and not hacked yet.
If you can’t get over the privacy, create a new email for online shopping.
Here’s the best part:
You can’t get over the email permission thing? No big deal. Just create a new email and start using it to shop online. That’ll clean up your main inbox anyway. And then all Paribus will have access to is your shopping habits, the last four digits of your credit card number and your shipping address. Everybody and their grandma already knows that about you.
If you decide to go down the new email route, don’t be boring. IDon’tTrustYouParibus and SaveMoneyTrustNoOne are both available on gmail. Just sayin.
Paribus can help you get up to save money every year — how much depends.
I’ve saved over $300 in the last 12 months, and I try not to buy things that aren’t already on sale. But everybody’s spending habits are different and getting price adjustments through Paribus isn’t guaranteed.
Paribus claimed back in 2016 that they saved customers an average of 10% on all their purchases and they found and filed price claims on 25% of all purchases made. Those numbers are higher than what I’ve personally experienced, but there’s no question this is one of the easiest ways to save real money.
It’s totally free (and that didn’t use to be the case).
Back in the pre-CapOne days, Paribus’ business model relied on charging customers 25% of whatever money Paribus saved them. Because refunds from some retailers come straight back to you via original form of payment, Paribus used to require users to give a credit card so they could charge you $3 if you got a refund for $12.
Paribus price adjusts at 27 retailers and runs shipping protection at one.
See the full list of retailers Paribus monitors here.