I’m not sure if other individuals who work in eCommerce dread this type of phone call as much as I do, but the toughest questions to answer are regarding Price Matching.
Most shops and retail stores will offer to price match, but with many many caveats.
- It must be the same product, size and color. Why? Because lets say I’m trying to buy a black medium jacket that just came out for 2018. It’s made by The North Face and costs $300. I find the same jacket online for $125 in XXL, except it’s a color from 2 seasons ago that ended up not being very popular. It’s obvious in this scenario that one product is on clearance and one is brand new. However, some people view them as being identical. Even though we wouldn’t consider a 2016 Ford as being identical to a 2018 Ford.
- The price match must be from another reputable shop online. Why? Because anyone could own a website like, “JinsDiscounts.com” and create a product that’s identical and shows a lower price.
- The price must be advertised online. Because what if I walked into a store in Seattle, noticed they’re going out of business and everything is 70% off (in-store only). The problem is they’re out of my sizes. So I call up a store in Colorado and ask, “Hey, I’m at a store that is selling everything at 70% off, will you price match?” You can guess they’ll probably say no.
- The comparable product must be in-stock. Going back to #2, what if I owned a website, and I just created bogus listings that showed low prices but didn’t actually have anything in-stock? Or what if a major website decided to show low prices after everything has sold out? Some websites keep their listings active even after a product is sold out. Sometimes those products never even sold at those prices, but customers think they did.
So usually, by the time someone calls us, asking us to price match, it’s because we’re the last shop in the nation to have a specific item, color and size in stock, or because they saw a “similar” but not exact product for less somewhere else.
I hate to be the guy that says “Sorry, but we can’t,” but in these scenarios, we really can’t price match. For one, people rarely ask us to price match identical products and two, we can’t trust every website out there that claims to be selling a product at a low price.