6 Retail Stores That Offer Price Match Guarantees and Adjustment Policies

Major chain retailers offer price-matching policies to attract more shoppers. That allows their customers to save both money and time. Instead of running around town for the best deals, you can go to one store and get the best price on everything.

That’s the theory, at least. In real life, it isn’t always so simple. Each store has different rules about when it will match prices. Often, the lower price you found at some other store doesn’t qualify for a match because of some obscure gotcha rule.

To save money with price matching, you need to know the store’s rules, including the hidden traps and exceptions. Learning about each store’s policies can help you determine when it’s worth asking for a match and which stores are most likely to give it to you.

Retail Stores That Offer Price Match Guarantees

Comparison shopping used to mean going to different stores to check prices, potentially going back to the store where you found the best rate. That took a lot of time and didn’t make sense for something small, like a pound of ground beef.

Today, you can save hundreds of dollars with little effort. Some stores allow you to show the lower price offer at the register, and they’ll match it. But which ones offer the best price-matching policies? 

1. Walmart

Walmart Price Match Guarantees

Walmart’s price-matching policy is much less generous than it used to be. In a 2013 TV commercial, a Walmart clerk assured a shopper who had found a lower price the store would “match it right at the register.” 

But as of 2021, Walmart only promises to match its own website pricing.

How the Policy Works

Walmart’s official price-match policy states that if you find a product in a Walmart store that’s cheaper on Walmart.com (or Jet.com, which Walmart owns), the store will match the online price — probably. 

You can ask for a price match at the register, but the store may choose not to grant it. The policy specifies that “the manager on duty has the final decision” about whether a particular store allows price matching.

What to Watch Out For

As limiting as Walmart’s in-store price-matching policy is, it still has a long list of rules and exceptions. The policy specifically says you can’t get a price match for:

  • A Similar Product. The store will only match the price of a product if it’s identical in every way to the one you’re buying. It has to be the same brand, model, size, and color.
  • Two of the Same Product. Each customer can only get one price match per day on a given product. You can match prices on raisin bran and dog food in the same order, but not on two boxes of raisin bran. (Doesn’t apply in New Mexico as long as you’re not a reseller.)
  • Sold-Out Walmart.com Merchandise. If the site runs out of the product you’re trying to match, you’re out of luck. You can only get a price match on goods in stock on the site at the moment you present the price to the cashier. 
  • Certain Types of Sellers. Walmart doesn’t match prices on Walrmart.com goods sold by third-party sellers known as Walmart Marketplace Retailers. Those product listings say, “Sold and shipped by,” followed by the seller’s name.
  • Certain Types of Sale Prices. Walmart specifically excludes certain special offers from its price-matching policy, including instant or mail-in rebates, financing offers, ads that offer a gift card with a purchase, or bundle offers. It also excludes percentage-off or buy-one, get-one-free deals that don’t show a specific price.
  • Any Item in Certain States. You can’t use online price matching at all in any Walmart store in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico. Prices in these areas are higher overall, so stores there won’t match the lower prices offered in the rest of the country.

Bottom Line

The most important thing to know about price matching at Walmart is that the store manager is completely in charge. Some store managers try to work with customers as much as possible. Others simply refuse to allow price matching under any circumstances. To some extent, it’s the luck of the draw.

But it never hurts to ask. The worst the cashier can do is say no. And if that happens, you can always put the product back on the shelf.

2. Target

Target Price Match Guarantees

The price-matching policy at Target is considerably more generous than Walmart’s. It provides in-store price matches for 25 online competitors, including Amazon, Kohls.com, Sears.com, and Walmart.com. You can also match prices when shopping at Target.com, but you must call a toll-free number (800-591-3869) to do so.

Better still, Target’s price-match guarantee doesn’t just cover other chains’ websites. It also includes prices listed in print ads for their local stores. In this case, “local” means any store within 25 miles of the Target where you’re shopping.

How the Policy Works

To get a price match at Target, you must show the ad with the lower price at the checkout. 

If you found the lower price online, you can display the website on your phone. If the lower price is in a local store’s print ad, you must hand over the original ad. A photocopy or picture on your phone isn’t good enough.

Unlike Walmart, Target also matches prices on products you’ve already bought within the past two weeks. 

For example, say you buy a $30 pair of pants at Target on Wednesday. Then, on Friday, you see an ad showing the same pants on sale for $20 at another store. Just take that ad and your receipt to the checkout and ask for a price adjustment. Target will refund the extra $10.

Target also allows you to stack a matched price with a manufacturer coupon. Say you have a coupon for $1 off on two cans of beans, and a local store is selling those beans at two cans for $1. 

You can match the price and then apply your coupon on top of that, getting both cans for free. However, you can’t stack a matched price with a Target store coupon.

What to Watch Out For

Just like Walmart’s, Target’s price-match policy comes with a lot of fine print. Many of the rules for Target are the same ones found at Walmart.

For example, Target only gives price matches on merchandise that’s identical and in stock at both Target and the competing store. 

Most of the sale prices Walmart doesn’t match — including third-party offers, clearance sales, bundle deals, offers that include financing, and rebates — are off-limits at Target as well. It also doesn’t match any price that’s a misprint.  

Additionally, Target excludes price matches on competitors’ store brands and doesn’t match prices at all in Alaska or Hawaii. 

However, unlike Walmart, Target allows you to use the same price match on more than one item. The store only “reserves the right to limit quantities” for each item. 

So if you try to buy every bottle of detergent on the shelf for $1 each, you probably won’t get away with it. But you should have no problem buying two bottles at that price. That’s better than you could do at Walmart, which limits you to one price match per item.

Bottom Line

Target’s price-matching policy is the most generous. It matches competitors’ prices online and in local stores, and it allows you to use the same price match for more than one of the same product. 

Better still, it allows you to adjust prices up to two weeks after purchase. And best of all, price matching is available on all the products Target sells.

If you only have time to go to one store, Target’s probably your best choice when it comes to general retailers. 

3. Best Buy

Best Buy Price Match Guarantees

Unlike Target and Walmart, which sell nearly everything, Best Buy specializes in electronics. 

Because of that, nationwide, it only matches prices for online stores that sell electronics. So while Target matches prices for dozens of online retailers, Best Buy matches prices for only five: Amazon, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, and TigerDirect. 

However, Best Buy also matches prices for local brick-and-mortar retail stores. That includes all retailers within a 25-mile radius, not just those specializing in electronics. As long as the store is authorized to sell new, factory-sealed products with a warranties, it counts as a competitor.

For example, if you want to buy a tablet, and a nearby Walmart is selling it for less than your local Best Buy, Best Buy will match Walmart’s price. Best Buy also promises to match prices offered at warehouse clubs as long as they’re local.

How the Policy Works

Unlike Target and Walmart, you can’t get Best Buy price matching right at the register. You must either approach a salesperson or go to the customer service desk and quote the lower price. 

You can show either a printed ad or a website where you found the lower price. Best Buy employees may double-check the site or call the store to ensure the price is legit.

You can also request price matches for online purchases at BestBuy.com. To do so, either open a chat window or call 888-BEST-BUY (237-8289).

In one way, Best Buy’s price matching is better than either Target’s or Walmart’s. It works in every part of the country, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

Best Buy also offers price matching in Puerto Rico, but its policy there is somewhat different. The terms are posted in the chain’s Puerto Rico stores.

What to Watch Out For

Like Target and Walmart, Best Buy only matches prices for new merchandise, not used or refurbished goods. It also doesn’t match prices for any marketplace or third-party seller.

Like other stores, Best Buy requires the products be identical and in stock at both Best Buy and the competing store. That means the model numbers must match for things like appliances. 

However, it’s important to note that Best Buy often uses its own unique model numbers for appliances and other high-priced merchandise. So even if two products look the same, they can have different numbers, making them ineligible for a price match.

Most sale types that are off-limits for price matching at Target and Walmart are off-limits at Best Buy too. That includes all bundle deals, freebies, mail-in offers, clearance items, and products with the wrong price shown. 

It also includes all Black Friday deals. That means any sale price found during Thanksgiving week, from the Friday before Thanksgiving Day through the Monday after the holiday.

Also, like Walmart, Best Buy only allows you to match a price once for each product you buy. For example, if you find a fitness tracker on sale for $30, you can’t buy one for everybody on your holiday gift list. 

You also can’t stack that $30 matched price with a $10 coupon to get the total price down to $20. You can use the coupon or the price match, but not both for the same product.

Best Buy also has several specific rules you won’t find at other stores. For instance, it doesn’t match prices on anything marked as limited quantity, either at Best Buy or a competing store.

You also can’t get a price match at Best Buy on a cellphone that comes with a contract. Game discounts related to a membership program are also off-limits. Finally, you can’t match prices for services, such as delivery, installation, or computer repair.

Bottom Line

The primary reason to choose Best Buy over other big-box stores is its wide selection of electronics. Any gadget that’s for sale at your local Target or Walmart is likely to be in stock at Best Buy too, so you only have to visit one store to get the best price out of all three.

However, that only works if the model number on the product you’re buying is the same at both stores. Since Best Buy uses store-specific numbers for lots of big-ticket merchandise, you can’t always match prices. 

So if you’re buying something big, it’s probably best to check prices online before you go instead of counting on Best Buy to match the lowest price when you get there.

4. Home Depot

Home Depot Price Match Guarantees

Home Depot has one of the most straightforward price-matching policies around. Basically, if you find a lower price on anything Home Depot sells, it guarantees to match the lower price, period. 

If you’re shopping at HomeDepot.com, it promises to match the price on any competitor’s website, including the shipping cost. This deal applies as long as the product on the competitor’s site is available to ship to your location.

How the Policy Works

To get a price match at Home Depot, display the ad with the lower price when you check out. You can use a printed ad, photo, or printout from the Web. The clerk may contact the other store to ensure it has the product in stock at a price shown.

What to Watch Out For

Unlike most other stores, Home Depot promises to match prices for any other retailer, not those on a specific list. But the fine print shows there are quite a few exceptions. 

For instance, Home Depot doesn’t match prices for third-party sellers or discount sites because it doesn’t consider them competing retailers. It also doesn’t match prices for auction sites or wholesale clubs.

Home Depot limits its price-match policy in many of the same ways as other stores. For instance, it doesn’t offer price matching on any used, reconditioned, or open-box goods. It also excludes deals that include rebates, financing, freebies, bundles, and misprint prices.

On top of that, Home Depot has a few unique rules. It doesn’t offer price matching on any custom or special-order products, such as custom-fitted window blinds. It also doesn’t match other stores’ wholesale pricing or volume discounts.

Finally, like other stores, Home Depot only matches prices on products that are identical down to their model numbers. But like Best Buy, Home Depot has store-specific model numbers for many appliances and some tools. So in some cases, it isn’t possible to get a price match for these larger purchases.

Bottom Line

Home Depot’s policy is better than most as long as your purchase qualifies. For custom orders and big-ticket goods like appliances, price matching doesn’t work. But for everything else, price matching guarantees the lowest price possible in a single stop.

5. Lowe’s

Lowes Price Match Guarantees

Lowe’s price-match guarantee is similar to Home Depot’s. If you find a better price at another store, Lowe’s will match it. And if you’re shopping online, you can call to get a match on the full price of the purchase with shipping. 

How the Policy Works

Getting a price match at a Lowe’s store works pretty much the same as at Home Depot. All you have to do is go to the register and show your ad. 

The ad can be in any format, including a printout, local ad, photo, smartphone display, or app. The store associate will ensure the product meets all Lowe’s criteria before giving you the matching price. The ad you present must be current, and it must be from a local retailer. 

Lowe’s doesn’t define “local” on its website, but a Lowe’s associate I spoke with online says it means a retailer within a 10-mile radius of your store. That’s quite a bit narrower than the 25-mile radius for Target or Best Buy.

Lowe’s also matches prices from certain online sellers. These include: 

  • AceHardware.com
  • Amazon
  • BedBathandBeyond.com
  • BestBuy.com
  • HomeDepot.com
  • JCPenney.com
  • Macys.com
  • Target.com
  • TractorSupply.com
  • Walmart.com
  • Wayfair

However, it doesn’t match the prices of third-party sellers on sites like Amazon and Walmart.com.

What to Watch Out For

Lowe’s policy has similar exceptions to Home Depot’s. It excludes clearance and closeout prices. The store does not match prices for any damaged or discontinued merchandise, seasonal goods, or any special-order product. It also doesn’t match prices for labor.

Unlike Home Depot, Lowe’s says it will only match the price for “reasonable quantities” of a given item. It doesn’t specify what “reasonable” means, so it’s up to the manager to decide. Getting a price match for two of the same product shouldn’t be a problem, but trying to match 20 could be.

A final problem is that, like Home Depot, Lowe’s uses store-specific model numbers for many large items. Therefore, you probably can’t get a price match on a new refrigerator because its model number at Lowe’s won’t match the one at the competing store.

Bottom Line

Overall, Lowe’s price-matching policy isn’t as good as Home Depot’s. It only covers specific online competitors, and it only covers local competitors within a 10-mile radius. If you live in a rural area and Lowe’s is the only home center nearby, you’re likely to be out of luck when it comes to matching prices. 

Also, like many others, Lowe’s policy doesn’t work for many big-ticket items, such as appliances and tools. 

6. Staples

Staples Price Match Guarantees

Staples has a more generous price-matching policy than most. This retailer goes one step beyond matching prices. Its price-match guarantee promises that if you find a lower price, Staples will give you that price plus a discount equal to 10% of the difference.

For example, say a printer costs $150 at Staples, but you find it on sale for $120 at Office Depot. If you show that price at the register, Staples will match the $120 price and deduct 10% of the $30 difference between the two. That brings the final price down to $117.

Staples matches prices for any business that has both a retail store and an online store under the same brand name. 

It also matches prices from Amazon even though it doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores. However, that applies only to products both sold and shipped by Amazon. The store doesn’t match prices for Amazon Marketplace sellers.

How the Policy Works

Getting a price match at Staples is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Find a lower price.
  2. Bring in proof of the lower price, such as a print ad or a website.
  3. Show it to a store associate at the customer service desk.

Staples also offers a 14-day price guarantee on its prices. If you buy a product at Staples and see it available for less at either a Staples store or Staples.com within two weeks, you can go back to the store to get a refund for the difference. 

But that only works for prices at Staples itself. If you find a product you’ve already bought selling for a lower price at a different retailer, you can’t get a refund.

What to Watch Out For

Staples has far fewer rules and exclusions for its price matches than most other stores. The only things you cannot get a price match for are:

  • Services, such as computer repair, virus removal, or printing and marketing
  • Custom print and promotional products
  • Any products from third-party vendors
  • Gift cards
  • Phone cards
  • Postage
  • Apps sold on Staples.com
  • In-store pickup orders
  • Sale prices from special events, such as grand openings or clearance sales
  • Products with a misprinted price

That means everything else you can find in a Staples store is eligible for price matching. That includes nearly any office-supply product you can buy, from a ball-point pen to a new computer. However, you’re limited to one price match per item.

Bottom Line

The Staples price-match guarantee is quite possibly the best price-matching policy available from a large retailer. It means that for any office product, you can be sure you’re getting a price that’s as good as Amazon’s or better, all without having to pay for shipping or wait for delivery. That’s a deal you really can’t beat.

Final Word

Price matching can be a great way to get deals. However, it’s just one of many tools in your smart-shopping kit. Sometimes, it’s the best way to get rock-bottom prices, but not always.

For example, suppose you go to Target for groceries. You see your favorite brand of peanut butter is selling for $5 per jar. That seems high, so you check online and find Walmart is selling the same brand for only $4 per jar. So you figure that by asking for a price match, you can save $1.

But before you do it, check the other jars on the shelf. There may be another brand that’s on sale for only $3 per jar. If you pass up that jar because you assume price matching will give you the best deal, you end up spending $1 more than you need to instead of $1 less.

So before you jump at a price match, remember to keep your eye on the bottom line. Look at all the possible ways to save, such as buying store brands, stacking coupons, or shopping at cheaper stores that aren’t on the price-matching list. Then, you can figure out which one gives you the best deal.

Pro tip: Browser extensions and comparison-shopping apps like Capital One Shopping make buying online easier than ever. If you’re shopping on Amazon, Capital One Shopping searches other retailers to find a better price. 

Capital One Shopping also automatically adds any available coupon codes to your cart at hundreds of participating retailers. Add the free Capital One Shopping browser extension.

Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links we provided.

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