Black Friday Price Match
Where to Take Advantage of Price Matching on Black Friday
As shoppers line up and count down the hours before stores open on Black Friday, some will come prepared with ads -- but not from the stores where they're waiting. Why, you ask? This year on Black Friday, price-match policies at some retailers promise to honor deals advertised by competing stores -- and occasionally online competitors as well. This is great news, as consumers can visit only one store at a time, and it's often hard to get to all the stores with desirable deals before their shelves have been cleared. But do your research: Every store has its own policy, often with a long list of fine-print exclusions, and sometimes price matching applies only to specific items. Some retailers also suspend their regular price-matching policies for the occasion.
Photo by sxc.hu/elvinstar
Here are the Black Friday price-match policies for some of the most popular retail stores.
Kohl's. Price matching is available when you bring in a current, local ad.
Walmart. Black Friday price-match policy applies to ads from other retail stores (but not online retailers) in which a specific price for an item is listed. This includes buy-one-get-one-free offers, as long as a price for the first item is printed.
Target. Although Target has decided to match prices from some online retailers this holiday season, its policy excludes online prices from Nov. 22 to 26. Target will, however, match local print ad prices from retail stores.
Best Buy. Offers the same deal as Target, except it excludes online prices from Nov. 17 to 27.
OfficeMax and Staples. Will price match local ads within 14 days of purchase. Staples will match prices from many competitors' websites; click through to see a list. At OfficeMax you can fill out a form and the retailer may match an online competitor's price.
Home Depot and Lowe's. These two retailers go beyond price matching. If you bring in a current ad for an identical item from a local competitor, both Home Depot and Lowe's will beat the price by 10 percent.
Keep in mind that most retailers have a long list of exceptions to their policies, and at least a few exclude Black Friday price matching. Check the small print and consider calling a local store to confirm the policy before you make any big plans. Even if a store continues price matching during the upcoming weekend, don't expect all retailers to honor doorbuster deals or other limited-time offers.
One other possible option: You may be able to take advantage of any price protection offered by the credit card you use to make your purchase. Set up a price alert on the items you buy using one of the services we've mentioned on the blog in the past. Double-check that your credit card offers price protection (many do) and the circumstances that need to be met to get a refund. Citi's Price Rewind program, for example, applies only when there is at least a $25 difference in price.