Saving money with price matching

July 7, 2008 6:28:13 PM PDT
Price matching could be the best kept secret in retail. It's when one store matches another store's lower price on an item.

Ima Moradi always checks the mail before grocery shopping and circling the best deals and prices from stores all around town. But Ima has no intention of driving around all day. Instead, she'll head to just one store, Wal-Mart, where they will honor the price on nearly every ad.

Here's how it works. A watermelon at Wal-Mart is $5.78. But at Fiesta, it's on sale for $2.99. Wal-Mart honors the ad, saving Ima almost $3.

While checking out, Ima shows the cashier the ads and the savings start adding up. She saves over $25 just by price matching, but it's not just grocery stores doing it.

"We are extremely competitive, we want to take competitors business, so if there is a customer that comes in, that wants to do a price match, we are going to do everything we can to make the customer happy," said Ray Tang.

At Best Buy if you bring in proof of another retailer's better deal, they'll give you that price. It could be an advertised deal in the paper even something your print off the Internet.

"I normally do my homework in shopping before I purchase anything," said price matcher Ruth Biggers.

But if you forget to do your research ahead of time it's not too late. In many cases, you still have time to price match once you get home.

For example Ruth Biggers bought a flat screen TV. Since Best Buy's policy says she has 30 days to find a better deal, she's still on the lookout for a sale. She'll just bring in the ad and her receipt and they'll refund the difference and an additional 10% off.

Home Depot's price matching policy is similar. It's an easy way to save hundreds of dollars, especially on big ticket items.

"And there is a great possibility that we can take a thousand dollar item and reduce it by a hundred dollars by ten percent," said Zion Greenfield with Home Depot.

So how many places offer price matching? We called around to several grocery stores in the Houston area and only Wal-Mart offers the deal.

But there are several big box and discount stores that do and we've compiled a list of those for you.

And remember, it never hurts to ask. It could save you big bucks.

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