Pretty Regan writes:
Would it be possible for you to post a list of stores that offer price adjustments? I only know of one that does this: Gap. Keep your receipt and, if the prices drops in the next 14 days, they’ll refund the difference. But they can’t be the only ones that do this, right?
You’re absolutely right—Gap is not the only store that does this.
Unfortunately, no, I can’t post a list. And I can’t post a list because as soon as I did, it would be outdated five minutes later. The thing about retail establishments is that they can pretty much do whatever they want, provided that their policy is spelled out, somewhere. That also means they can change it as often as they like.
I know for a fact that you have 30 days at Amazon to ask for a price adjustment, and that their process is so simple that it’s the next best thing to total automation. That’s been the case for as long as Amazon has been around, and I’ve not seen it change, ever.
They’re the only store whose policy I feel comfortable touting, though. That’s not to say you can’t shop other places and get price adjustments, that’s simply to say that I don’t feel like I could possibly be up on the current details of every store, and each store is a bit different.
Target used to do adjustments on everything, but now they have a fairly convoluted policy which applies to some things and not others, and in general, if you got it on clearance, they won’t adjust it for you (but if you didn’t, they might). Clear as mud, right?
Some stores adjust, but only if the item wasn’t on sale to begin with. Others adjust no matter what. Still others only adjust under very specific circumstances. Here’s the rule when it comes to price adjustments:
Ask before, and then ask afterwards.
When you’re making a purchase in a store, ask the cashier to tell you what their price adjustment policy is. If you’re making the purchase online, check around—the policy is likely posted somewhere in tiny print (which is annoying, but put on your reading glasses and deal). That’s the proactive side, where you have an idea of what you’re facing.
Now, whether you’ve done that or not, you can always ask for a price adjustment afterwards, as well. Just so you know? This works a lot better in-person than it does with online ordering. By that I mean that you’re more likely to get what you want with a store that doesn’t have a firm policy if you’re standing there in front of them. Most online retailers have clearly posted policies, and bending them can be difficult.
I always ask. I am rarely turned down, in person. Even if they say no, you then have the option to return your original purchase and re-buy at the lower price, which is a hassle for all involved, and so they’re likely to relent. If they don’t, either return your item(s) or just make a mental note that you probably don’t want to shop there in the future.
I’ve called for price adjustments on online orders before, with mixed results. This has the added snag of the “well I’ll just return it then” threat actually costing you money in shipping (both ways), so it’s unlikely they’ll be swayed by that. Also, I do most of my online shopping on clearanced stuff, already, and most stores will not give you another price drop on those things. But they might, so you should always ask.
My favorite shopping mantra is a pretty good one for life in general, you know. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Chances are you’ll learn which stores work for you and they’ll be the ones you go back to. Or you’ll learn to buy stuff cheaply enough that you don’t care.