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Major retail stores offer price matching for holidays

December 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
These days, many savvy consumers price shop before they hit the stores. And, there's nothing more frustrating than buying something you thought was the lowest price in town one day, and then find out you could have gotten it much cheaper the very next day.

Most major retailers will match competitor's prices, but some stores have more liberal policies if you find a lower price after you've made a purchase.

Wal-Mart guarantees that if you find a lower advertised price, they'll give you the difference on a Wal-Mart gift card. The promotion is good until Dec. 25, and Wal-Mart promises to match competitor's prices right at the register. Wal-Mart will also match Internet prices now through Dec. 19.

Sears says if customers find an identical item at a local competitor's retail store, it will not only match that price, but give you 10 percent of the difference. You must bring in the original ad within 14 days of your purchase. Sears will also give you the same deal on online prices, but with a catch: a competitor's Internet price must be honored by that company's local retail store.

Office Depot and its two main office supply competitors, Staples and OfficeMax, all offer price matching. All three give you 14 days to return items. But only Office Depot matches online prices, but again, only if the Web business also has a physical storefront.

Like most other retailers, Target will not price match online prices, but the store will match prices if you bring in a competitor's printed ad. And if you've already purchased the item from Target, you have seven days to be reimbursed the difference.

Best Buy's price match extends from 14 days on computers to 30 days on most products. But if you buy a TV over $899 and appliances over $429, you have a full 60 days from when you bought the item to get a refund if you find a lower price elsewhere.

The two biggest home improvement stores, Home Depot and Lowe's, both offer to beat competitor's prices by 10 percent.

Stores will only price match on the exact same item. And most stores will not price match on close-out items for going-out-of-business sales and on misprinted ad prices.

List of price-match policies:

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