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PayPal Will Price-Match Holiday Purchases and Comp Return Shipping Costs

By , dealnews Media Editor

For the 2012 holiday season, PayPal is itching for shoppers to use its digital payment service for all purchases, and the company has just announced an enticing promotion that may persuade deal-seekers: holiday price-matching.

Although price-matching is generally associated with the big vendors that actually sell things, PayPal is looking to get in on the game. Through the end of December, if you use PayPal to buy an item, and you then see it for less within 30 days, PayPal will credit you the difference.

The Limitations to PayPal Price-Matcing

There are of course some caveats. First of all, you can't just send PayPal a link to an item that's cheaper than what you paid; you'll need to find either a printed ad or a "screenshot of a Non-Auction online advertisement" that indicates the item's manufacturer, model number, the lower sale price, the store or dealer's name, and the sale date. There's also a limit to the amount of money you can get back per account. PayPal will only cover up to $1,000 in total claims, and each claim can't be more than $250 each. You thus might not recoup the entire difference on a large-ticket item, like a big-screen HDTV, that drops significantly in price after you buy it.

And lastly, if you're hoping to buy something now and price-match it to one of the deep discounts typically offered on Black Friday, don't hold your breath; according to the extensive list of restrictions, you cannot price-match to items found on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday. However, if the advertised price is available on more than just these dates, then it's eligible. You will need to prove it however with an explicit sales notice.

PayPal Will Cover Return Shipping Costs

Beyond the price-matching guarantee, PayPal will offer a perk for indecisive shoppers. If you buy something using PayPal, then have regrets about it and want to send it back, but the store you ordered from doesn't pay for return shipping, PayPal will cover the cost of sending it back. The company will either send you a mailing label to use or reimburse you for what you've paid out-of-pocket.

Again, there are many restrictions, notably that they won't refund handling, packing, or processing fees. Thus, try to avoid ordering from a merchant that line-items shipping and handling. Also, PayPal will only reimburse you up to $100 in total shipping claims during the holiday season, and each item returned is only covered up to $25 in postage.

Does this promotion make you want to use PayPal as your preferred holiday payment method? If not, how do you plan on protecting your purchases this year? Either way, let us know in the comments below!

Top photo credit: PGH Style Segment

Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews Media Editor. He writes words that, when read together, make sentences, paragraphs, and more. He also makes funny comments about other subjects on Google+, Twitter, or on his blog.

Follow @dealnews on Twitter for the latest roundups, price trend info, and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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Good luck getting the third party company PayPal contracted with to provide this service to honor the shipping label request. I'm on my sixth business day since filing, maximum is supposed to be five business days, after three calls to verify that all the correct materials had been received to qualify for the shipping label (I was assured they had in each phone conversation, but was told to simply wait longer), I received an email saying that the day I submitted the materials their system had problems, but is now fixed. I was to resubmit materials and wait another three business days for the label. Upon follow-up calls to the third party, nothing could be done to verify that the new submission would result in a shipping label, and there was no way to offer a direct refund of shipping costs. I contacted PayPal themselves to report the problems I had with their third party contractor, they followed up and reported to me that the label, in fact, should have been sent to me, but that I needed to add a UPS email address to my contacts in order to receive it. No email from UPS was found in my junk or spam folder. Furthermore, why would I have received notification asking me to resubmit (because of system problems) if the process should have worked? In the end, I can't wait another three business days to make my return, so I'm paying out of pocket.  I believe the third party is simply providing poor service and is lying and manipulating to cover up for it. I feel PayPal is trying to offer a benefit to their customers, but the implementation has failed.
I absolutly will use this new Holiday feature, as I have just recently purchased some items and now find them cheaper by 20 bucks, hey 20 bucks is 20 bucks! Allows me to save even more for the 55 " LCD smart TV I want in my stocking this year! Nice PayPal!