How you can save $$ just by shopping around.
The shopping market is literally flooded with similar products, and so the competition for your hard earned dollars is understandably high. Don’t settle for ‘cheap enough’, play your cards right and you can get your purchase so bang-on cheap, you’ll feel sorry for the retailer. Well, almost.
Tips and tricks of the game:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: Sometimes the time spent comparing is not worth it. A lot of retailers offer price match guarantees because they know they’ll only loose pocket-change out of it. What you want to do is research the big things, like flights and appliances. But if you’re really into saving all the pennies to make the pounds, then go ahead and match all your purchases.
- Match when the conversion rate is right: Sometimes your price matches will allow you to compare overseas merchants, like Amazon (see below). When the conversion rate is in your favour, start comparing to find the differences.
- Don’t be afraid to request: Many people ‘can’t be bothered’ asking, or, if they don’t see a price match guarantee, don’t believe that they’ll be offered a competitive price. You’ll never save money with that attitude. Ask! The worst thing they can say is no dice.
- Read the terms and conditions: All retailers will have specific terms and conditions that could render your claim invalid. These can include: making sure the item is in stock, same day pricing, the exclusion of non-public discounts and mispriced stock, and the location of the competitor. Know their exclusions and conditions.
Finally, one important thing you should know before getting into the Price Match Guarantee game is that a lot of retailers offer it, but they don’t advertise it greatly. You might find it on their homepage, OR you may have to dig. That’s okay – we’ve done the digging for you. Here are some of the gems we’ve found that’ll teach you the importance of never settling for ‘cheap enough.’
Jetstar: Find a lower comparable fair online and Jetstar will beat it by 10%.
Qantas’ low cost carrier has a ‘Beat Price Guarantee’. You can find it at the very bottom of their site under the heading ‘Guarantees’. The catch: You have to chat to a customer service representative via online chat when you find your deal and you have to purchase the flight/holiday package you’re challenging there on the spot. At the discounted price, naturally. How to use it: Being a low-cost carrier already, you might think it’s difficult to find a lower comparable fair, but you can. Think: Tiger Airways. Compare the dates and destinations, and if Tiger is lower contact Jetstar immediately with Tiger’s web details. How much could you save? $$
Found a lower price? Let Hotels.com or Expedia know and they’ll match it. The catch: It’s only a price match, not a ‘we’ll beat it’. So while you’ll still be paying the lowest price on the market for your travel needs, you won’t be laughing all the way to the bank. How to use it: Make it easier on yourself and use price comparison websites for hotels and packages to determine what you could be paying. Book it, then call the online travel agent up about it to get them to match the price, and refund you the difference. For Hotels.com: If you’ve already booked a hotel with Hotels.com, keep an eye out in case any other sites drop their prices. If they do, call them up again. They’ll match prices up until the day you check in. Note: price match doesn’t include loyalty program and blind booking prices. For Expedia: Their grace period isn’t as generous, giving you only 24 hours from the time you book with them to find something cheaper to claim money back. If your claim is accepted, you’ll also earn yourself a $50 voucher to spend with Expedia in the future. How much could you save? $$
Emirates: Emirates Best Price (Match)
Book through Emirates, and you can’t go wrong. Because if you find the same flight for less, Emirates will refund you the difference. The catch: The difference has to be equal or greater to US20. Other conditions include: it’s only valid for economy flights, you must have paid for your flight already in full, and the flight you purchased must be operated solely by Emirates. How do I use it? Once you’ve found the competitor’s lower price, log onto the Emirates site and fill out the online claim form. How much could you save? $$
Dan Murphy’s: Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee
Hidden in plain sight, Dan Murphy’s guarantees you’re getting the best booze for your buck. The catch: Competitors must have stock available, and the stock must be within 10km of the Dan Murphy’s store. This doesn’t mean you have to be in-store to buy it, as you can set your nearest store on the Dan Murphy’s website and research from there. Note: the online store’s prices are (for the most part) regulated to reflect nationwide prices, unless you’re in South Australia where the legislation differs. How to use it: Show Dan Murphy’s a competitor’s price and they’ll beat it. How much could you save? $
Staples regularly review their products and pricing, always trying to offer the best rate on the market. If you do find a product that Staples sell for less than them, they will price match and take a further 10% off. The catch: Products must be identical and in-stock at both retailers. An identical product means an identical model number, pack size, components and warranty. How to use it: Simply fill in the online form, Staples will verify your form. Once approved the price will be matched and a further 10% will be taken off the total cost. How much could you save? $$
Appliances and homewares stores are notorious for matching prices, and Dick Smith Electronics is no different. Some of them advertise this loudly and proudly, others are just better at hiding it, that's all. One of those is Dick Smith Electronics. You can find its price match guarantee hidden at the bottom of its page. The catch: Products must be identical and in-stock at both retailers, which must both be in the same metro / town area. Exclusions include clearance or other specially marked down prices. There’s also a restriction on selling items below cost price. How to use it: Compare against major appliance and electronics retailers like Harvey Norman and Kogan. How much could you save? $$
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David Jones: Should you find a lower price for the same product elsewhere, David Jones will happily match it
The large department store is promising a handful of financial help, including price matching and lowering its everyday prices. The catch: David Jones will beat the price of most identically stocked items – with quite fair exclusions. It won’t compete against a stand-alone online retailer, any clearance/liquidation/outlet/auction or likewise stock, and any special orders that aren’t part of the David Jones standard range. How to use it: There are no online forms, so you can either visit the store armed with your proof of competitor’s pricing, or you can contact them online. How much could you save? $
Masters vs Bunnings: Both Masters and Bunnings promise to beat any price by 10%
This is a very tempting one. You’ve got two of the biggest names in home improvement both offering to beat their competitor’s price by 10%. The catch: How far do you go? If you’re really insistent you can try to play them against one another (no guarantees that will work), but the most logical answer is: get the discount from the most expensive store. Each has its own set of ts&cs so look out for them. They can include exclusions for trade quotes and stock liquidations. What we like about Masters is that they give you a 30 day grace period, so if you find something cheaper 30 days after your purchase, you can still receive the difference discount. How to use it: Shop online and shop the catalogues and query as soon as you see the same item for less. Both retailers will beat any Australian retailer either in-store or online, so don’t feel limited to these bigwigs. How much could you save? $$
The Good Guys: If you find a lower price online or advertised within 30 days of your purchase, and The Good Guys will refund 120% of the difference
This deal is pretty sweet, we’ve got to admit. Because it involves getting all of the difference back. And then some. The catch: You have to buy the item from The Good Guys first. Then spend up to 30 days on the ball scouting the catalogues for the same item to query them up on. The Good Guys will only accept a competitor's price if they are an authorised dealer in Australia for the relevant manufacturer and the item is available for immediate shipment. Price match excludes online marketplaces like eBay. How to use it: Keep an eye out on the market. Because you’ve got a 30 day grace period, you might be able to anticipate price drops with competitors to make the most of it. You can organise your price back refund online. Once they’ve verified the price and availability of the competing item, they’ll organise to refund you 120% of the difference in prices. How much could you save? $$
Who else is doing price match guarantees?
Keep these names in mind next time you go browsing the racks:
- oo.com.au: Lowest Price Guarantee. Find a lower price on a stocked item and oo.com.au will beat it. Valid for 7 days after your purchase.
- 1st Choice Liquor: Lowest Price Promise. The competitor’s price must be valid on the same day and be located in the same state.
- Best Buy: Price Match Guarantee. While this is a price match ONLY, the nice thing about it is that you don’t have to go through the gruelling process of waiting for your difference to be returned or refunded to you. Simple find the competing retailer, and call up Best Buy to discuss. Or, print out the competitor’s product page and bring it in store.
- Appliances Online: Best Price Guarantee. Prices matched for identical items. And the best bit? Appliances Online delivers for free to metro areas and removes your old appliances.
- Kmart: Price Promise. If you find a better price, Kmart will match it. Sadly, this doesn’t include online prices, clearance or warehouse outlets.
- Flight Centre: Lowest Airfare Guarantee. Found a price that’s less than what your Flight Centre rep quoted you? Then they’ll beat it by $1. If they’re unable to do that, then you’ll fly free.
- Officeworks: Lowest Price Guarantee. Or they’ll beat any competitor’s price by 5%. Prices online can only be matched by other prices online. Compared price must include all delivery charges.
- Chemist Warehouse: We Beat Any Prices. Compare them against bigwigs like Priceline and if a competitor is lower, they’ll beat the price by 10%. Excludes ‘online only’ prices.
- Harvey Norman: Best Price Guarantee. Harvey Norman will price match any genuine competitor's advertised price. This guarantee is valid for identical items advertised 7 days prior and 7 days after your purchase with them and must include all delivery and installation costs to be eligible for the price match. The item must also be in stock with the competitor and ready for immediate delivery. Other exclusions include competitors that don't operate multi-store omni-channel retail operations (i.e. valid competitors must operate more than one physical retail store), conditional offers, offers by resellers, clearance seconds or refurbished lines and offers that require delivery from overseas.
- Luxury Escapes: Lowest Priced Airfares. If you find a price they can’t beat, they’ll price match it AND give you a $250 voucher towards your next Luxury Escape. Sadly, this excludes prices provided by low-cost carriers like Jetstar and Tiger.