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Since Amazon sold its first product online, there have been questions about refunds, price adjustments, and of course, price matching. I ordered a few things a few months back and only realized after I had the items for a week I saw the same things at a lower price on another online store. It made me wonder if Amazon’s price matches their products?
According to Amazon, it doesn’t price match. Amazon amended its 7-day price match policy in 2018. The only items that are still in play regarding price matching are televisions and cellphones. Amazon does offer a pre-order price guarantee that allows you to get the best price possible for an item.
After a lot of research, and some confusing changes over the years in Amazon’s policies, we have compiled a lot of information on Amazon’s price matching policy. We will discuss when, why, and how to get price matching on the items that Amazon does allow and the other ways to get the best deal on Amazon.
- Does Amazon Price Match?
- The History Of Amazon’s Price Matching Policy
- How Does The Revised Price Matching Policy Work?
- How Does Amazon’s Algorithm Work?
- What About Third-Party Sellers?
- What Websites Qualify For Price Matching?
- What About The Retailers That Aren’t Online?
- How Do I Ask For A Price Adjustment On Amazon?
- How Long Does Amazon Price Match Items After Buying?
- Refunds/Price Matching If The Price Drops After Buying An Item
- Amazon Does Not Offer A Lower Price Guarantee
- Does Amazon Offer a Pre-Order Price Guarantee?
- How Can I Save More On Amazon?
- To Wrap Things Up
Does Amazon Price Match?
The official stance from Amazon is that they do not offer price matching as of 2018. There are a few ways you might still get a price match on items such as a television and cellphone. Amazon has an interesting history regarding refunds and price matching. This post explains how Amazon’s price matching policies have changed over the years and where they stand today.
The History Of Amazon’s Price Matching Policy
When Amazon first launched in 1994, they did have a 30-day return policy, so if you didn’t like the item you bought or that someone else bought for you, the product was broken or defective, or you bought the wrong item, they would accept the returned item and refund your money.
After a while, the 30-day return policy changed to a 7-day return policy, but that policy also fell away. So you couldn’t get a refund or price modification. The number of items you had to choose from dropped a bit, but it wasn’t all bad.
Many buyers reported that when they found the item, they bought it through Amazon at another store for cheaper, and they called the Amazon Customer Careline. They would then be reimbursed for the difference between the price they paid and the price of the same item at another store.
In 2016 Amazon announced that it had updated its policy so that price matching would apply to those individuals that bought a television on Amazon. Later on, they adjusted this policy to include cellphones. In 2018 Amazon released a statement that said they would no longer offer price matching or post-price adjustment refunds.
But is this true in all cases? Recently many people have said that you can still get price matches on televisions and cellphones.
How Does The Revised Price Matching Policy Work?
In 2016 the Amazon Customer Care Service stated that price matching and post-purchase price matching would only be applicable on televisions from that day on but was later adjusted to include cellphones. So how does the policy work exactly?
The revised policy states that if you buy a television or cellphone on Amazon and then find the same tv or cellphone for a lower price elsewhere within 7-days of buying it, Amazon would refund the difference in cost.
A short while later, in a public announcement, Amazon stated that if you were to buy a television or cellphone from a retailer and the purchase is fulfilled by Amazon, then that item would not qualify for price matching.
Because Amazon is an online store, the price matching policy only works with online offers from other stores. So, for example, if you find the television or cellphone, you bought at a lower price while walking in a store, but that price is not listed on the store’s website, it won’t qualify for the post-purchase price matching.
However, if it is one of the approved stores and the television or cellphone is offered at a lower price on its online store, it qualifies for the post-purchase price match.
How Does Amazon’s Algorithm Work?
While Amazon doesn’t outright price match any other item except for televisions and cellphones, it does strive to give its customers the best deal possible. It has become a big concern for other retailers like Costco and Walmart. Amazon uses an algorithm that scans competitors’ prices online and matches them so that customers get the best deal possible.
So, for example, if the algorithm sees that a competitor is selling a pack of 6 sodas for $1 each (if you take all 6), then it will slash the price on Amazon for that soda to $1, but individually, so you can buy 1 at that price, and you don’t need to buy the whole pack to get the soda at a better price.
The problem with this is that Amazon is now selling items at a wholesale price, but they aren’t getting those items at a wholesale price, so they won’t mind losing a little money to stay competitive and give their customers the best value for money. Other retailers are battling to compete with this strategy meaning Amazon will remain the top dog when it comes to the best deal on most goods.
What About Third-Party Sellers?
Amazon’s website stipulates that third-party sellers are independent dealers. They offer a variety of goods, including new, used, refurbished, and antique goods. Amazon uses third-party sellers to get its customers the best price on merchandise possible without the need to price match those items.
Amazon isn’t involved in the completion of these transactions and only acts as a conduit between the third-party sellers and the buyer. So they only provide the payments and are otherwise not directly involved, although if a dispute does arise, they will help mediate it.
What Websites Qualify For Price Matching?
Amazon is an online store, so it won’t match the price of just any store out there. Their post-purchase price matching policy stipulates that the price you are trying to price match should come from certain retailers, and it’s only applicable to prices that have been posted online. No in-store prices will qualify for the price matching.
Some of the retailers that qualify for post-purchase price matching on online deals include Target, Walmart, Sears, Costco, and Best Buy. So before you buy a television or cellphone, check these stores’ online deals to see if you might get a price match on Amazon.
What About The Retailers That Aren’t Online?
Some stores have had issues with ‘show-rooming,’ this is where a buyer goes into a store and gets all the information on an item they like by engaging an employee and even asking for demonstrations of the product, but then they turn around and buy the item for a lower price on Amazon.
So to curb ‘show-rooming’ and remain competitive, retailers with a physical address have started to price match Amazon. This strategy is to help them get back some of the sales that would have gone to Amazon by adding that their customers can get the item immediately and won’t have to pay for shipping.
Amazon has tried to fight back against this strategy by offering same-day delivery deals at a reduced delivery fee. While price matching is as old as buying and selling, the competition to get customers the best price, delivery, and service out there has only turned fiercer with the rise of the digital age.
How Do I Ask For A Price Adjustment On Amazon?
If you have bought a television or cellphone and found it at a lower price on another online site, how do you go about asking for a post-purchase price adjustment on Amazon? Remember you need to ask for the price adjustment within 7-days of buying it and that the cheaper item you received is the same or similar to the one you purchased.
Here is how you can ask for a refund by following this guide:
- You need to log into your Amazon account and go to “Your Account” at the beginning of the page.
- Click on the “Your Orders” tab from the drop-down menu to view all the orders you have placed in the past few days.
- Select the item you want price matched and click on the “Order Details” tab.
- Look for the “Found a lower cost or better price” link, copy it, and put it into the less expensive item tab and then the item’s price. (The link is embedded in the words “Found a lower cost or better price”)
- Then click on the “Confirm” tab to send in the price match application.
After your application has been reviewed, the Amazon employee will then let you know if your application has been accepted and approved for a price match refund, and they will inform you of what happens next.
How Long Does Amazon Price Match Items After Buying?
With Amazon’s post-purchase price matching policy, you have up to 7-days after purchasing a television or a cellphone to apply for a price match refund. Any application submitted after the 7-days have passed won’t be accepted.
There are customers who have stated that they have received price match refunds on other items not related to televisions or cellphones, but this could not be verified.
So if you want to try it, keep in mind that Amazon has blocked people from using the online store entirely because they were too generous with their refund requests.
Refunds/Price Matching If The Price Drops After Buying An Item
In the past, if you have bought an item or product from Amazon and the price on that item drops within a week (7-days) of your purchase, then you could have requested a refund for the difference.
That is no longer the case, as Amazon doesn’t offer a price match if the price drops anymore. They revoked this policy in 2016 when they changed their general price matching policy.
Amazon Does Not Offer A Lower Price Guarantee
Amazon does not offer a guarantee for lower prices. However, the company is always on the hunt for the best deals for their customers, so they change their pricing over 2.5 million times a day to give everyone the chance to get a great deal on the products they have.
So if you keep an eye on the item you want to buy during the day, chances are you might see a drop in price within a few minutes.
Does Amazon Offer a Pre-Order Price Guarantee?
While Amazon may not offer an outright price matching or price adjustment like they used to, they recently introduced a pre-order price guarantee. That means that if you pre-order a physical item or digital and media content, and the item’s price drops before receiving it, you won’t need to pay the price you ordered it for.
You can apply to get it at a reduced or special price. For example, if you pre-ordered a new iPhone at a certain price and the price drops before it’s released, you don’t have to pay the price that you full price. The same goes if you have pre-ordered an item and the price increases before it’s released, you don’t have to pay the new price; you only pay the price that you ordered it for.
How Can I Save More On Amazon?
If you want to get the best deals possible on Amazon products, there are a few tricks you can use to get discounted prices.
- As we said, keep an eye on the item you want to buy, and you might get a better price when it drops during the day.
- You can join Amazon Prime as members get early access to deals, promotions, free shipping deals, and special pricing for subscriptions.
- You can add a coupon extension to your browser that will scan the internet for coupons so you don’t miss any Amazon deals or special offers.
To Wrap Things Up
Amazon’s official stance on price matching is that they don’t price match. They say they strive to offer the best prices and have promotions and special deals. Although they don’t outright price match, Amazon does offer price matching or post-purchase refunds on televisions and cellphones.
Amazon uses an algorithm that scans online competitor prices and promotions, then lowers its prices to match to give its customers the best possible deals on products. You can save a lot of money when you keep an eye on the prices throughout the day.