Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How One Man Uses Price Guarantees for Big Savings

A reader named Barry sent me this piece about how he saves at different stores. Basically, he uses a combination of Back-to-School sales and price guarantees to save a lot. Here's what he wrote.

Staples, OfficeMax and Office Depot are battling each other with huge back-to-school savings. As a result, the consumer saves!

1. Each has a promotion when you return selected ink cartridges for credit. Staples gives you a $3 coupon, good off your next purchase within 90 days, Office Depot gives you a $3 coupon with no expiration date, and OfficeMax gives you an immediate $3 off your purchase!

2. The good news is that these coupons, plus those that may be published in newspapers or received in the mail, are accepted at all three retailers. Each of the three is accepting the others' coupons!

3. And, each of the three will price match the others' advertised prices when you present the printed advertisement, such as the circulars distributed with the Sunday newspapers! So, if you see Staples in [a distant neighborhood]has advertised a deal that you cannot resist, just drive down to Office Depot [closer to home], and they will honor the Staples advertised price on the identical item!

4. Staples' price match policy is slightly more attractive! Not only will they price match, they will also pay you 10% of the price difference in appreciation of your business. And with a deal like this, you'll save on gas and most importantly, your time."

Barry is right. I recently interviewed executives from Office Depot and Staples. Both individuals confirmed those details.

And when it comes to price-match guarantees, Andrew Schneider, an executive from Staples, told me: "We will look at the difference and give you 110 percent." Schneider also said that his company sells back-to-school items (normally priced $1- $2 and higher) for as low as 1 cent to 19 cents.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Price guarantees go beyond office supply stores. Lowes and Home Depot have them as well. The way theirs work is that if they have a lower price on something within 30 days, just take the receipt (not the item) back and they'll refund the difference. This works out really well if you know the timing of when they start clearing stuff out (e.g. patio furntiture right after July 4th, lawn equipment right after Labor day). That way you can buy it beforehand at regular price, before they start running out of it, and then go in and get the adjustment.