Price Matching Policies Change for Black Friday 2010

By Ashley Watson, dealnews writer

Good shoppers know how to find the best deals, but expert ones know how to get the best deal no matter where they are shopping thanks to price matching. Put a little legwork into research, and you can go to a convenient store and get the best deal possible, even if it's not what they've advertised. The trick is to know the store policies on price-matching, and that's where we come in. We also did a little investigating to find out if there are any restrictions regarding price matching on Black Friday. Here's what we learned:

Throughout conversations with customer service representatives, we were consistently advised to bring in a current printed ad from the local competitor, even if the store's price match policy doesn't require proof of a lower price. For instance, despite its "Low Price Promise," Target does not offer price matching on the day after Thanksgiving, and neither does Sears. Radio Shack does not offer price matching on any day of the year.

Overall, the best deals can be found at Home Depot and Lowe's, where they will take an additional 10% off the competitor's lower price. Office Depot will honor the price match after the original sale, as long as the customer presents the ad within 14 days of purchase. Walmart honors the new slogan, "Save money. Live better," by requiring store managers to check the competitor's ads weekly so that they can help customers find the lowest prices; however, it is still a good idea to bring in the ad, just in case the manager is unaware of certain offers.

For more details, check out the chart below:

Retailer Contact Price Matching Policy via email on account help pages Yes Amazon only price-matches TV purchases, and none others. For TVs, you must email via a link on your order page for "found a lower price."
Best Buy 888-237-8289 Varies by store Must show a printed ad from a local competitor.
Home Depot 800-466-3337 Yes If the customer finds a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any retailer, Home Depot will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases.
J&R 800-426-6027 Yes If shopping online, the customer must provide the information for the competitor's website. For in-store shopping, the customer must show the printed ad from the competitor. Competitor must be an authorized reseller.
Lowe's 800-445-6937 Yes Lowe's will beat the price by 10% for an identical stock item at any local retail competitor that has the item in stock. Must bring the competitor's current ad or Lowe's will call to verify the item's price. Price guarantee honored at all Lowe's retail locations. Some restrictions apply. Call local store for more details.
Meijer 877-363-4537 Yes Must bring in ad from a local competitor. Price matching only applies to general merchandise. Meijer's does not offer additional percentages.
Office Depot 800-463-3768 Yes Must show ad for lower price at another store on a new, identical item. Office Depot will match the price at the time of purchase, or if the customer presents the ad within 14 days of the purchase, Office Depot will pay the difference. Office Depot price is the final price after any discounts, coupons, instant savings and mail-in savings are applied. Office Depot will match the other store's point-of-sale price after deducting their instant rebates and coupons but will not match the other store's mail-in rebates nor will deduct the value of any gift with purchase.
OfficeMax 800-283-7674 Yes Must complete the OfficeMax Price Match Request. Some exclusions apply.
Radio Shack 800-843-7422 No N/A
Sears 800-697-3277 No Sears does not offer price matching during special events. At other times, Sears will price match within 14 days of purchase, and beat the price by 10%.
Staples 800-782-7537 Varies by store Staples price match guarantee only applies to participating individual stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Must show the lower price on a new identical item, or within 14 days of the purchase and Staples will pay the difference.
Target 800-591-3869 No Target does not offer its Low Price Promise on Black Friday. At other times, Target will match prices within one week of purchase.
Walmart 800-925-6278 Yes While Walmart does not post its price matching policy online, store managers are required to check competitor's ads weekly so that customers are not required to show the ad for a lower price; however, a Walmart Customer Service representative recommended that the customer bring in the ad since Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Ashley Watson is a dealnews writer.

Photo credit: Vectorportal via Flickr

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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