Stores decide which retailers they will match. Many retailers match only the prices of local merchants, while many walk-in retailers won't match online or online-only prices. Some stores list retailers whose prices they won't match.
Be aware that some retailers have different policies for their websites. If a retailer has walk-in and online stores, there's a good chance that only the walk-in store will match competitors' prices.
Also, special sales might be excluded such as right after Thanksgiving. Many exclude special sales prices from grand openings, liquidations, store anniversaries and clearance sales. Some retailers won't match such perks as store or manufacturer coupons, mail-in or instant rebates, club member discounts, buy-one-get-one free offers, or percent-off deals.
Keep in mind some stores require prices to be in writing such as presenting the actual ad or other document, often in its entirety. If you present a photocopy or a clipping of the offer you tore out of a circular, you might be out of luck.
Everything may not be covered in many stores. Stores won't often price-match services including labor and installation, discounted and damaged items, and sometimes certain brands.
In most stores items must be in stock at the competing store to match their price. Items available in limited quantities usually don't count. Store price guarantees can save a lot of money, but there are often many restrictions so don't forget to read the fine print.
For more information on price guarantees and other consumer topics, click here.
Sue Perry & Erika Wortham