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Price matching 101

You’ve probably heard about price matching when it comes to groceries. It’s not a new concept, what’s relatively new is price matching big price tag items like TVs or treadmills online. Whether you want to save a few bucks at places like Wal-Mart or a few hundred at Best Buy, here is an easy guideline to follow.

Do your research:

Not all retailers price match. Most of us have heard of price matching when it comes to food. Wal-Mart leads the way in ensuring you get the lowest price on an item if you find them cheaper elsewhere. I do this with groceries every week. I go through all the local grocery ads and find the lowest prices on anything from vegetables, fruits, poultry, canned items, etc. I then write those lower prices down and shop for those items at Wal-Mart. When it’s time to pay, I tell the cashier the lowest prices I found and they adjust them down at checkout. Sure it takes a little bit of planning and going through ads, but it surely saves. But not all price matching policies are the same. Be sure to check each store’s policies before heading out. They are listed online. For example, here are what
Walmart’s looks like.

Shop around to find the best option:

Maybe you’re a loyal Best Buy customer when it comes to electronics, and you might even have their credit cards. But sometimes shopping around can save you money. Say you’re looking for a new laptop. There are many retailers that sell the same products. You may find the same laptop will vary in prices at Best Buy, Amazon or Staples. If you want to take advantage of rewards or special offers from specific retailers you might want to see if the store will price match another retailers’ lower price. For example, we recently bought a treadmill at Best Buy, to take advantage of their financing and free shipping. The same treadmill was $300 cheaper at Amazon, so we price matched it, and got the treadmill at Best Buy for a lower price. Here’s Best Buy’s lowest price guarantee.

Maximize your savings:

If you’re shopping online, consider taking a few extra steps before you click checkout on your cart. You could navigate through websites like Ebates.com, ShopAtHome.com or Swagbucks to get cash back or rewards with your purchase. You just have to start at that website and search for your retailer, it will direct you to the store’s website and from there you can finish your purchase. The cash back website will then track your purchase and when your order gets processed and/or delivered, you’ll see your cash back amount in your account. You can earn anywhere from 1 to 10 percent, on average back on any purchase.

Look at special rewards and cash back options for using specific credit cards. Some bank or credit cards will pay you back for paying using their cards. Check the card’s provider for details on what kind of rewards you could get. Also, do general searches online for coupon codes you can apply at checkout for free shipping or a percentage off your total price.

If you’re price matching at brick and mortar stores like Toys R Us, Target, or even Walmart, look for coupons to use on your purchase. From coupons you clip on the newspapers or online, it’s a good way to shave off a few cents/dollars off your bill. Any little bit helps, right? And don’t forget, coupling a price matching deal with a loyalty card to get extra savings and/or points will help you earn prizes and even more rewards, faster.

Overall, price matching is about strategy. Researching the best deal can be time consuming, but if you already have an item in mind, why not find ways to save a few bucks? We’re sure happy we could get a great deal on our treadmill.