If you’re planning on hitting the stores this Black Friday, you’re probably already checking the ads, circling your dream doorbusters and formulating your game plan for the big day. But there’s one more important part of the Black Friday shopping experience you need to be on the lookout for: price matching.
What Is Price Matching?
Price matching eliminates the need to buy that inexpensive TV you want at one store and the tablet with the huge price cut at a different retailer. If you shop at a store that offers price matching, you can practically guarantee that you’ll be receiving the best deal possible on every item you purchase.
When retailers offer such policies, they’ll match the price on any identical item that a competitor is offering for less. This means you’ll not only be saving yourself money, you’ll also be preventing any post-purchase regret.
Ever purchase a product for one price and then see it the next day at a different store for a better deal? This can be painful to you – and your checkbook – on any day of the year, but especially on Black Friday. To prevent this from happening to you on the most anticipated shopping day of the year, do your price-comparison homework beforehand and plan on shopping at a store that offers the policy.
You may have heard that a few big-name retailers will be offering price matching on Black Friday 2014. We’ve read through their policies and have a breakdown of who’s offering the money-saving feature and when.
Walmart isn’t considered a Black Friday powerhouse for nothing. The discount retailer is famed for its discounts and crazy crowds. It’s also acclaimed for its “Ad Match Guarantee.”
Find a local competitor offering a lower price on an identical product? Walmart will match that price. Plus, you don’t even have to bring the ad with you to get the lower price.
Note that this policy does not apply to going-out-of-business sales, closeout prices or percentage-off discounts across general categories of products.
Another retailer that offers price matching – on Black Friday and all-year-round – is department store Nordstrom. The retailer promises to meet the pricing of its competitors on any product that is the same – including in color and size – as the one sold at Nordstrom.
There are a few exceptions to Nordstrom’s price matching policy, though, as it excludes designer goods and cosmetics. Additionally, the retailer won’t match prices from auction and outlet stores or websites. And if you’re eyeing another store’s shipping or gift card offer, don’t expect Nordstrom to match that, either.
It’s important to carefully read the pricing guidelines of the store you’ll be patronizing on Black Friday.
If it’s office supplies you’ll be stocking up on, you may assume that you’ll be able to take advantage of the price matching policy from Staples. The policy covers items sold by competitors who sell products both in-store and online under the same brand. Additionally, Staples accepts price matches for items sold by online giant Amazon.
But read the fine print and you’ll see that Staples explicitly states that it won’t match the prices of competitors on special promotional days – including Black Friday.
Target is maintaining its seasonal superstar status this year with a far-reaching Holiday Price Match policy, but beware – it doesn’t include Black Friday.
“We’ll match the price if you buy a qualifying item at a Target store between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, and find the identical item for less in the Target circular, at Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com or BabiesRUs.com, or in a competitor’s local printed ad,” Target promises in its Holiday Price Match.
Take a glance at the policy’s details, however, and you’ll find that the price-matching feature excludes the period from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. (Black Friday is Nov. 28.) So while Target will guarantee you unbeatable prices nearly the entire Christmas season through, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to rely on this tool on Black Friday.
So can you price match on Black Friday? Sometimes. No matter where you plan on shopping this season, remember to check the stipulations of the price match guarantee from the store of your choice before you make a purchase.
Price match image via Shutterstock