Staples dramatically changes price match policy

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Staples has made some dramatic changes to their price match policy recently that I've just learned of.

- Tremendously limited WHO they match

- Taking up to 24 hours to review the potential match and creating a draft order to do so (possibly eliminating any Cashback)

This summer I bought a portable AC unit from Staples.  They price matched within minutes and took a $25 coupon and gave me free shipping (lost their shirts on it).  I earned $10 Rewards and am now trying to spend them before they expire on Friday.  Yesterday I found an item, but they refused to match it "because the competitor does not offer that same item at both retail and internet locations"...

Today I found an item at Best Buy, clearly identical, and Staples has submitted for review within 24 hours and had to create a draft order to do so (thereby eliminating my Cashback from Ebates, which is very small as item is $12.99).  

I have said before that Staples is becoming less competitive and more disorganized every day, which is why I sold my stock.  But this new policy is really going to hurt their volume.

Here is what I found on their website today, 9/28/16:

Staples will price match items sold by any retailer who sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand; we will also match those that are sold and shipped by and Marketplace products sold through any eligible competitor (e.g., products sold or shipped by a third party) are excluded.

I am waiting to see if they match, and beat by 10%, and provide 2 day free shipping, all of which is on the Best Buy site.

I found nothing on the Staples site about 24 hours to review or draft orders being created.

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In addition to the changes you mentioned they are also have an additional policy some may not have experienced.
I bought an item from Staples and used some Staples Rewards coupons in purchasing it.  They wouldn't allow a price match because their price minus my rewards was less than Amazon.  They had previously allowed this.

Has anyone else had the same issue?

I am not a big Staples customer, but it seems to me that for the last couple of years they've had the notation that they'd only match something by a B&M retailer who sold products in retail stores and online under the same brand,

and I know for sure that for the last year or two, at least, their rules required me to deduct any Staples Rewards that I would want to apply to that purchase from the Staples price that I would want to price-match to, before they would arrive at the Staples "final price" that they would compare against the other retailer's price that I was hoping to get them to come down to and match. In other words, it's best not to ask to apply your Staples Rewards to items that you are price-matching to external retailers.

What is surprising to me is that they'd require 24 hours to investigate a price match -- I've always had them price match on the spot, whether I was on the phone with them or at the store. Perhaps that is an exceptional situation and not their normal policy?

I've seen a few posts about the 24 hour draft process coming into place in the last couple of months. The online & B&M req has been there for quite awhile. Staples seems to be putting into place many small changes to increase their profits however they can. Consider it a reaction to the non-approval of their merger with OD/OD.

Numerous other retailers have dropped doing Price Matches and it looks like Staples is following the pack. Staples has learned PM's have not really gained them more customers by probably tracking rewards numbers.

This isn't "dramatic." The list of exclusions has been what it is for some time. They added Amazon a few years ago. They have considered rewards a coupon for some time. In-store they are basically equivalent to cash. For now, anyway.

I have never encountered the 24 hr policy but I would imagine they would do it for some kind of large pricematch exceeding a certain amount. I last PMed Staples about 3 months ago.

I have had very good luck with price matches IN the store.
A rewards is a payment, so it has never been a factor in what price they match. I give a print out of the item with price, they match it, and then I pay with whatever means I choose to, usually rewards.
I have also used price match, during a 25% bonus rewards period, and did get both.

LORENW said:   A rewards is a payment, so it has never been a factor in what price they match.
As the poster above you said, in his/her experience, Staples treats Rewards as a coupon, and they always have with me, too. 

I am pretty sure that has been stated in the rules for a few years.  Folks who are interested should have a look at the pricematching rules on their site - it'll be a prominent piece of information.

I think I even posted a comment about that policy a couple of years ago on a Staples thread here. 
But I don't order often with them, so my memory is hazy on this.

I normally order online from Staples, and when I do price match, it's by telephone, and they are often sticklers and need to be walked through why what I am proposing fits the set criteria, in my experience.  (Not to say they are consistent or competent - I have received different offers on the same pricematching situation from different phone reps.)  Maybe in the store they are more likely to bend the pricematching rules for you.

I needed toner as my 6-mos just ran out so I went by Staples last week and noticed they were out of TN-450. They have several boxes of TN-420 but I usually get the 450 bc it is a better value.

Anyway, they have signs up now that say they guarantee common/popular ink & toner will be in stock or else they will discount the price $10 and give free shipping. So I got $10 off and didn't even have to mention that Amazon was $2-3 less - it seemed a bit much to expect a $2-3 discount PM plus the $10 off!

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