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All the deals and sales this time of year are amazing. Well, other than for when they’re overwhelming to the point of paralysis. You know what I imply. It’s this track using repeat in my mind: ‘Wow, that’s a good price. I wonder if it’s the best price we’ll see this period. Should I buy it now or wait?’

Finally, an end to that unlimited spinning in my head. It’s called price matching. And, retailers’ rate matching policies are likely more generous than you might realize. Let’s initially comprehend how price matching works, then enter the more charitable part prior to identifying an easy means to money in this holiday season.

Price Matching 101

You want to buy an item from Store A. Then you notice that the precise same product, exact same design number and everything, is advertised for less at Seller B. At this point you’ve two selections:

  1. Load up the car with all the kids and drive across town to Sellers B so you can get the lower price. (Madness aspect rises for the sake of saving a few dollars),
  2. Go into Store A with evidence that Seller B has a lower cost. Seller A honors that lower price and sells you the product at the cost you would’ve paid Seller B. (This is called cost matching.)

“Alex, I’ll take # 2 for $200.’ Me, too. It maintains my peace of mind and ensures excellent costs both. Who doesn’t love a sanity and deals 2-for-1?

Now the More Generous Part

Price matching isn’t just pertinent at the point of purchase. Price matching can be done post-purchase.

By post-purchase I imply that if you buy something today, in the future you see it for less elsewhere, then you can still get the lower price. Program proof of your purchase and proof of the lower price and voila, you get the difference back. Outstanding, huh?

How Much Time Do You Have?

This alphabetical list of sellers is a cheat sheet for you on just how much time you’ve got to make a post-purchase rate matching claim. Plus, I’ve linked to each retailer’s policy for your light reading enjoyment.

  • Amazon (only on TVs): 14 days
  • Best Purchase: During return duration which varies by product, all acquisitions now with December 31, 2013 can be returned up until January 15, 2014 (see return policy for details).
  • Costco: Doesn’t price match
  • Kohls: 14 days
  • Home Depot: Point of purchase just (Policy)
  • JCPenney: Point of purchase only
  • : Point of purchase just Policy
  • Macy’s: Doesn’t price match
  • Office Depot: 14 days
  • OfficeMax: During return duration which varies by product from 14-30 days (see return policy for information).
  • Sam’s Club: Doesn’t price match
  • Sears: 14 days (Policy)
  • Staples: 14 days (Policy)
  • Target: 7 days (Policy)
  • Toys R Us: 7 days
  • Walmart: Post-purchase through 12/24 with Christmas Advertisement Match (excludes Thanksgiving and Black Friday)
  • Walmart: Point of acquisition only via regular Advertisement Match includes Thanksgiving and Black Friday

The Fine Print

As you browse each store’s policy you’ll notice a particular amount of ‘yes we provide cost matching however not on that item or on that day” type fine print.

The 2 most significant exclusions because small print are these timeframe exclusions and seller exemptions.

Timeframe Exclusions

Most stores don’t offer price matching on/around Thanksgiving holiday Day with Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving holiday Day weekend).

Retailer Exclusions

Many merchants specify which other retailers’ prices they’re willing to match

Specifics vary by sellers, so take a second to familiarize yourself with policies for the two shops you’re most likely to shop this season.

One Action to Making This a Reality

Whew, that was a lot of info, wasn’t it? Now, what on the planet are you supposed to do with it?

Do this right now: Pull out an envelope and compose ‘Rate Matching Receipts’ on it. That’s it. Now, when you purchase something this season that costs over $100, put the receipt because envelope. That’s majority the struggle right there.

Once you’ve done that, I know you’ll keep a loose eye on the sales leaflets and holler, ‘Offer me my cash! The other men have it more affordable,’ when the time’s right. I anticipate hearing just how much you conserve.

Editor’s keep in mind: Look into Carrie recently exploring Black Friday and holiday buying tips on a neighborhood CBS news station.

Be sure to subscribe to Carrie’s complimentary 40 Days of Holiday Savings e-mail course. You’ll get one, easy-to-do money-saving suggestion in your inbox daily. For year-round cost savings, look into Carrie’s blog, PocketYourDollars.com, and her book, Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay for Debt, Avoid Financial Anxiety, and Keep Even more of Exactly what You Make.