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Black Friday price-matching: Stores that have it, stores that don't

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Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/File

(Read caption) Customers load items in the parking lot of The Home Depot store in Monrovia, California in this August 2012 file photograph. Home Depot will beat local competitors' prices by 10 percent on Black Friday, but with a lot of caveats.

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One of the most underutilized ways consumers can save money is by taking advantage of stores' price matching policies, and in an age when every penny counts there's no excuse for ignoring this valuable tool. It's important to know exactly which retailers offers what and equally important to know which merchants don't offer anything at all. Some retailers offer to match, some offer to beat, and many even offer to refund the difference of items within two weeks if they're available cheaper elsewhere.

This year, in an effort to curb showrooming, Best Buy, Target, Fry's Electronics, and Staples have all made the decision to match the prices of goods from some major online retailers. Customer are eligible to price match their purchases against the offerings from Amazon, Walmart, TigerDirect, Buy.com, and several others online retailers, provided that the item is new (OEM-packaging and open-box items are excluded in most case) and identical to the item being offered in-store. Surprisingly, Walmart has not made a stance as to whether or not it will match its online competitors' prices this holiday season.

As in 2011, we again tip our hats to Home Depot and Lowe's, both of which offer to undercut any cheaper offer by 10%, although not during the blackout dates from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. For more details about Black Friday price matching, check out our chart below:

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Retailer Price Matching
for Black Friday?
Policy
Amazon No Amazon will only match prices of TVs within 14 days of purchase, but prices are not matched on Black Friday. Early bird and doorbuster offers are excluded.
Best Buy No Best Buy will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer and select major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, but prices are not matched on sales from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Best Buy's price matching promotion runs until November 17, and from November 27 to December 24. Special offers, bundled offers, rebates, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Fry's Electronics Yes Fry's Electronics will match prices on identical, in-stock items from authorized local or online competitors, though some items are excluded. Fry's is also honoring price-matching on select items within 15 to 30 days of purchase, and will issue customers a 10% refund of the item's purchase price.
Home Depot Yes Home Depot offers to go 10% lower than the price customers find on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer, but online offers, special orders, rebates, free offers, and more are excluded.
J&R Yes J&R will match prices from authorized resellers, but CDs and DVDs are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
JCPenney Yes JCPenney will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer. Online offers, free, special, or bundled offers and rebates are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Kohl's Yes Kohl's will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer, but online offers, clearance, Buy One, Get One offers, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Lowe's Yes Lowe's offers to go 10% lower than the price customers find on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer, but online offers, closeout, special order, discontinued, clearance, liquidation items, and more are excluded. Customers and customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Meijer Yes Meijer will only match prices of general merchandise, and online offers, grocery, health & beauty items, discount, special promotions, gift card promotions, limited quantity items, mail-in rebates, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Office Depot Yes Office Depot will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer and select online retailers, but free product offers, special orders, mail-in rebates, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad. Office Depot is also honoring price-matching within 14 days of purchase and will reimburse customers the difference.
OfficeMax Yes OfficeMax will match prices on identical items from any local retailer, but mail-in rebates, gifts with purchase, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Sears No Sears will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer within 14 days of purchase, but prices are not matched on sales from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Online-only offers, bonus offers, free offers, special offers, bundled offers, rebates, and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad.
Staples Yes Staples will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer and select major online retailers. Gift cards and more are excluded. Customers must present proof of a cheaper price via competitor's print ad. Staples is also honoring price-matching within 14 days of purchase and will reimburse customers the difference.
Target No Target will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer and from major online retailers, but prices are not matched on sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Early bird and doorbuster offers, timed deals, special offers, bundled offers, rebates, Buy One, Get One offers, and more are excluded. Target's price matching promotion runs November 1 to December 16, and November 27 to December 24. Customers must present proof of a cheaper online price via mobile device, printout, or competitor's print ad.
Walmart Yes Walmart will match prices on identical, in-stock items from any local retailer, but prices are not matched on sales seven days before Thanksgiving Day and through Cyber Monday. Online offers, some Buy One, Get one offers, special offers, bundled offers, rebates, and more are excluded. Unlike most other merchants, Walmart will match prices on select Buy One, Get One Free ads.

Paula Kerrigan is the assistant editor of dealnews.coma website devoted to finding the best deals on consumer goods. The site pledges to list the best deal, whether or not it's from an advertiser, although it does work with advertisers to craft deals for readers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click hereThis feature first appeared in dealnews.com. 


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