Matt Brownell at Daily Finance shared an interesting story about how he saved money on at item by showrooming at Kmart.
Where did he buy the product from after seeing it in the Kmart store?
It was a whopping 50 percent cheaper.
Take it away, Matt:
Last weekend, I decided to head down to my local Kmart to buy a new slow cooker so that I could make some chili. I found a Hamilton Beach model that looked good, but it was a bit on the pricey side (relatively speaking), with a sticker price of $34.49. So like any savvy shopper, I used one of the barcode-scanning apps on my smartphone (in this case, eBay's RedLaser) to see if I could find a lower price on, say, Walmart.com or Amazon .
But the lowest price wasn't to be found on either site. Instead, I found it for just $17.99 — nearly 50 percent lower than the price I was looking at in the store — on Kmart's own website .
I wasn't sure if Kmart had a policy of price-matching its own website, and I wasn't about to hold up a line of shoppers while I debated the point with a cashier. So I sat down at a nearby dining room display and bought the slow cooker from Kmart's mobile site, selecting the store-pickup option. An hour later, while running other errands in the neighborhood, I received an email alerting me that my order was ready, and returned to the store to retrieve it from the layaway counter.
How does that even happen?
Well, prices can be different online for various reasons, such as regional price differences, online-only sales, and inventory levels.
Walmart, for instance, states on its website: " Due to differences in distribution, regional competition and other factors, online prices do not always match store prices, and prices may also vary between stores."
Kmart actually does price-match its own website, along with Sears Holdings' other sites, so Brownell could have showed the cashier the listing on his phone and he would have gotten that lower price. That's something Walmart doesn't do.
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