- Unlike some major brick-and-mortar retailers, Amazon does not “price match” on the items it sells.
- Amazon formerly offered price-protection guarantees, refunding the difference between the price paid and a new, lower rate if the price dropped, but it ended this service in 2016.
- Amazon’s free shipping with a Prime membership and constantly fluctuating prices still make many products cheaper than those bought in stores or from other online retailers, even if Amazon’s pricing can’t be guaranteed as the cheapest.
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If you’re looking to have a product “price matched” to ensure you get the lowest possible rate offered by any retailer, you’ll have to look somewhere other than Amazon, though the site can often have the lowest price on items.
Soon enough, you’ll have to look somewhere other than Walmart, too, for price matching: while Amazon has never offered a price matching policy, Walmart has done so for years, but announced the coming end of the program earlier this year.
Why Amazon doesn’t offer a ‘price match’ policy
Amazon often has the lowest prices on products, but they don’t offer a low-price guarantee. The notable thing about Amazon is that their prices are constantly changing for several reasons, and often for a consumer’s benefit.
“Customers expect to find low prices in our store and our dedicated teams work hard to find and offer them the best prices, every day. Our prices change so that we can meet or beat the lowest competitive price from other retailers for our customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider.
As the company constantly crunches data to determine the ideal price point of a product, in relation to competitive retail prices and the stock of items, the price of a given item may change as often as every ten minutes. There’s also the factor that selling partners on Amazon set their own prices. All of this can result in the often odd pricing you’ll see on the site, like $US19.81 or $US195.43.
Despite its lack of a direct price-matching policy, Amazon’s fluctuating prices continue to make it a price leader for customers, especially among online retailers. A 2018 report from Profitero, an eCommerce analytics company, showed that Amazon’s prices were on average “13% less expensive than other major online retailers in the US.”
Even if you take the time to cross-reference product pricing at Amazon against, say, Target, Walmart, and Home Depot, Amazon may well drop the price of that baby monitor or camping stove you bought just ten minutes ago.
In the past, Amazon did offer a “price-protection” guarantee refunding you the difference between the price you paid for a product and a new lower rate, but it ended that policy in 2016. Today, you just have to roll the dice on an Amazon purchase, hoping you’re getting the best price.
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