MIAMI (CBS4) – With less than six weeks until Christmas, we’re in the start of a major retail battle for every shopper dollar.
CBS4’s chief consumer reporter Al Sunshine said shoppers need to be prepared to get the best deals.
First up – watch those price-match guarantees. Many have been temporarily expanded because of something called “showrooming”.
“That’s when a consumer comes into a store, looks at the merchandise, tries it out, picks the brain of the sales person, but then leaves the store empty-handed and goes and buys it online for less money,” explain Edgar Dworsky of ConsumerWorld.org.
That’s why Best Buy is now matching prices offered by 20 online sites. CBS4 checked out a Best Buy in Doral and got a price match on an APC battery back-up power supply. It was $69.99 in the store, but $44.59 online at Amazon; a savings of more than $25. But the only question was Amazons’ new or used?
While Best Buy will match store prices too, there are some limitations. The price matches are only good on appliances and electronics’ hardware.
At Target, managers will match the prices of five online competitors through December 16th and store prices until Christmas Eve.
Walmart will match store prices, but not those on the internet.
So, how can you track prices when you’re in a store?
Turns out there are apps for that.
The “Price Check” app by Amazon allows shoppers to scan the bar code of an item to see if it’s being sold elsewhere for a cheaper price.
For procrastinators, some online retailers are offering special same-day delivery and free shipping.
But trying to find eligible items for same day delivery was a challenge on some websites. Maria Schiff said the selection was very limited when she tried one vendor’s “same day” offer.
“I think it pulled up about 6 to 10 toys for my son and that was it and really I was looking for newborn things,” said Schiff.
Maria ordered some toys and they arrived later that day.
“I would recommend it to the people I know who wait till the very last-minute,” said Schiff.
Some price watchers warn that the best deals will come later in December. That’s when retailers really start slashing prices.