Have you ever used a price match offer before? It’s surprisingly straightforward and gives you a chance to avoid missing out on potential savings. It’s simple: companies want you to shop at their stores. Instead of risking losing your business over a sale at a different retailer, the chain agrees to price match items that are on sale at a different store.
It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, as you win by getting the lowest price possible for your goods, and the store wins by getting your business. And chances are, you won’t just shop for the on-sale item— you’re going to leave with at least a few other purchases. As a result, it is a sustainable system that, when used properly, can result in some serious savings.
Of course, not all stores will price match. Getting to know the companies that do can help you focus your shopping dollars where they work for you the most.
How Does Price Matching Work?
Price matching is when a major retailer advertises a lower price than its competitors. Provided the item is identical and the store at which you’re shopping participates, you can claim the difference within a certain amount of time. An example is if you bought a table at Store A for $20 and you see that Store B is advertising that exact table for $15. You can take proof of the sale, along with your receipt, to Store A and they will match the price by refunding you the difference.
Price Matching Exceptions
For the price-match agreement to work over the long term, for both retailers and individuals, it needs a set of rules. These are meant to prevent the system from being abused financially and avoid logistical issues with the shipping of the products. As a result, there are a set of guidelines that ensure everyone can benefit from price matching.
Each retailer has a different approach to price matching, and one common regulation is restricting the retailers against which they price match. If matching the price of a discount store is not feasible, the store will likely not include them in price match agreements. Most retailers won’t price match stores with memberships (think Costco) or match the price of items sold online (think Amazon).
Another caveat to the price matching system is when there are special pricing events, particularly things like Black Friday or Boxing Week sales. Each store bases its sales on unique criteria, including supply chain, demand, and overstock. Because this is retailer and location-based, the price match feature isn’t sensible for the store.
Every product being price matched must meet the specifications of the other product to a tee. The items must be identical, meaning the model number, quantity, and even the colour must be exact. Before you proceed with price matching, ensure that the item meets these demands.
Price matching is best when you go to another retailer and save on the same, new item. That means that any returns must be still in the box. In order for the price match to work, it must be in stock at the chosen retailer and in mint condition.
Finally, logistics must be taken into account. Many price matching policies include a distance radius (most often 200 kilometres) and will only accept the exchange if it is in that zone. This is to accommodate the supply chain costs associated with the trade. Consider any additional fees that will add to your total cost. If the amount exceeds the savings for the price match, it isn’t a practical solution. As a result, price matching benefits are at their highest when they deal with more expensive products like appliances, furniture, or costlier household items.
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Which Stores Allow Price Match In Canada?
There are a plethora of stores that have price matching policies in Canada, just keep in mind that most of the policies are unique to a specific store. Understanding the specifics of each can save you a whole lot of time when price-matching.
Several Canadian electronics stores offer price-matching; though, while the stores retail similar items, the price matching policies are not identical. Each retailer has specific price-matching regulations.
- The Source: This electronic retailer offers a Best Price Guarantee. If you find a lower price on your item at an authorized Canadian dealer, it will refund the difference. The price match regulations follow the same rules as its return policy. It also applies should the price of the item drop in-store, after you have already made the purchase.
- Best Buy: This store offers a Low Price Guarantee, stating that customers who find a lower price (online, in print, or in-store), can match the price before purchase. It will also offer a grace period of 30 days, provided you come with an original receipt. Should a price decrease within the same store, you can get a refund for the difference within 30 days.
- Staples: This retailer requires the customer to show proof of a lower price advertised by an authorized Canadian retailer. The ad must be either at the time of the sale or within a period of 14 days. Staples also notes that, if the offer comes with a bonus feature or a gift card, it will match that in equivalent value.
- Newegg: For a period of 14 days, Newegg will refund the price difference through in-store credit. Navigate to the company’s website, since only specifically marked items are available for the price match program. Another caveat of this program is that the in-store credit expires after three months (90 days). It is the only option for a price match return, making it one of the less desirable selections.
- Memory Express: Offering a competitive price matching program, you can use the service either at the point of purchase or afterwards. It is one of the only electronics companies that not only price matches, but beats the price. If you buy something that gets discounted in-store within 15 days, you get a refund for the difference. If another Canadian retailer is offering the same item at a lower price, Memory Express will discount that price by ten percent.
As with other industries, grocery stores have established supply chains. Because of this, the policies for price matching differ from other companies. Even within the grocery sector, the merchants have different policies.
- FreshCo’s: To use the price match, you must bring a current advertisement of a lower price. The company will beat the discount by a full cent. You can also use a receipt from a competitor as proof. The offer stands for a period of 14 days. It stands out from other policies in that it will use a comparable item instead of an exact match. This extends to in-store brands at other grocery companies, meaning you can get a better price for the same thing, even if the brand differs.
- No Frills: One of the shorter periods for price matching, No Frills typically deals in discount grocery supplies. Due to the nature of perishability, the price match period is substantially lower. The advertised price must be current and the company states a limit of four items per price match. No Frills also follows the comparable price model.
- Maxi: This Quebec grocer offers a price match system that will price-match any major supermarket competitor, where the deal exists in Quebec. This retailer also follows a four-item limit policy.
- Real Canadian Superstore: Not including Atlantic Superstore (the sister company in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), the Real Canadian Superstore offers price match policies. You must supply an advertisement for an identical item and the store will match that price. There are caveats, where it doesn’t apply to multiple-purchase deals such as a buy-one-get-one. It also doesn’t extend to anything already discounted or on clearance. Outside of that, the price match is fairly straightforward and you can use either a print or digital ad for proof.
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Applying to major Canadian retailers that offer home supplies, these extend primarily to furniture and appliance stores. These price matching setups are much more nuanced, largely due to the higher price tag on the items retailed.
- Rona: Within a 25-kilometre radius, provided Rona has the item in stock, it’s still in original packaging, and you can prove a lower price, the store will match it. In fact, for major appliances, Rona will offer an extra ten percent discount. Be sure that the location where the deal is advertised is within the radius and that the item is identical.
- The Brick: A major furniture retailer in Canada, it offers a unique price match arrangement. For standard items such as couches or chairs, it offers a 30-day price match within the pick-up or delivery date. It stands out since the company will beat the price of an appliance by a full 20 percent (substantially more than competitors). For mattresses, you get a period of 90 days to get a ten-percent discount above the price matched amount. Be sure to keep your receipts out and your eyes peeled for deals.
- Home Depot: A competitive price-match of an additional ten-percent discount applies to local competitors. You can also find online deals, though Home Depot will simply match the price instead of beating it. The items must match the specifications exactly and the retailer must be classified as local relative to the Home Depot location. Since the supplies retailed here are on the costlier end, it’s well worth the research and extra effort.
- Lowe’s: Beating competitors by an impressive ten percent off the advertised offer, this company goes as far as offering this discount on the post-tax, net cost. The price match policy has the standard exemptions, and its setup is fairly straightforward. It extends for a period of 30 days from the point of purchase.
- Leons: This company has a 60-day price matching program referred to as Integrity Pricing. Basically, if you find the item locally at a lower price, it will match that amount. However, all the sales conditions must be identical. This extends to the item in question, the terms of any financing arrangements, and the location of the other retailer.
- Home Hardware: This retailer’s price match depends on the store’s stock at the time of the price match. If the store has the item, they are willing to match the price advertised by local competitors. There are extensive exceptions, simply because Home Hardware offers things like contracting services. Material packages and their quotes do not count towards these offers, nor do sales relating to tax exemptions. The underwriting is very comprehensive, so be sure your item applies to all of the conditions. Due to the subjective nature of its price match system, it is easier and more efficient to contact your local Home Hardware directly.
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Even More Stores That Offer Price Matching In Canada
While some industries have substantial overlap in terms of the products retailers, there are outliers. Though the individual retailers are typically geared towards a certain audience, products sold are often retailed at multiple locations. To draw business, many companies offer competitive price matching.
- Toys ’R’ Us: Offering price-matching on any identical item within a period of 14 days from point of sale, this applies to most situations. You can’t use this method for online retailers, membership-only stores, or rainchecks. However, if the price in-store drops within a period of 30 days, you are entitled to the difference.
- Costco: Due to the wholesale nature of this business, it doesn’t offer a price match for outside retailers. The logic behind it is that, per item, it purportedly offers the most competitive rates already. That said, Costco will price match itself within a period of 30 days. Within that time, you can get a refund for the price difference. You can only access this policy online, and it does have caveats that exclude things like final-sale items.
- Canadian Tire: This company allows price matching either at the time of the sale or within the grace period of 30 days. The policy extends to other Canadian Tire locations, though the time allotted drops to 14 days. Additionally, the other location must be within 200 kilometres of the store at which you are getting the price match.
- SportChek: This company offers a fairly basic price match, where you can get the difference refunded within 15 days of the purchase. It applies exclusively to in-store sales since the online retailer does not follow the price-match policy. For in-store items, the product must match the advertised specifications exactly.
- Sleep Country Canada: Exclusively in-store, the price match policy is relatively unique given the items retailed. If you find a lower price on an identical, or reasonably similar, item, the store will beat the price by five percent. The deal applies to all types of discounts, even if it’s a store clearance.
- Kitchen Stuff Plus: Another company that only offers price matching for in-store purchases, it does incentivize shoppers with an extra ten percent discount. The price match advertisement must be current at the time of sale. Additionally, the item must be in mint condition for this to apply. To get the price match, provide proof of a lower price advertised in the area. Provided it is in stock and actually available at that lower price, the store will issue a credit.
- London Drugs: Applying for a period of 30 days, London Drugs matches the price of competing retailers. You can either present proof of the lower price at the time of the sale or return with proof of purchase within the grace period. While it applies to most items in-store, it cannot be used for prescriptions, gift cards, tobacco products, or insurance.
- PetSmart: So long as the product is bought in-store, the company will match a lower price advertised by a competitor (as long as the item is in stock). The exceptions extend to promotional pricing (ex: buy two, get one free) or third-party online retailers like eBay or Amazon. However, if the online price was from a primary retailer (like a different pet supply company), it will match that rate.
Does Walmart offer price match?
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Does Amazon offer price match?
Final Thoughts On Canadian Price Matching
If used properly, using price matching can offer noteworthy savings. The key is to balance the sunk cost in pursuit of that savings. If it costs you five dollars in gas, plus an hour in time, to save seven dollars, it’s a sunk cost. Ensure that, when you do approach price matching, you take into account the real costs of the pursuit. Price matching on an appliance? Absolutely! Price matching on a ten-dollar flashlight? Not so much. Be sure to assess the gain and ensure that it is worth your efforts. So long as it is, go after that gold, since there is ample opportunity to find coupons, especially in the digital age.
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