Paribus Purchase Price Adjustment App
This blog post focuses on how getting a purchase price adjustment can help you be smart with your money. It’s part of my approach of getting the most value for my time and money.
For starters, when it comes to spending money, I don’t mind spending more for better quality. I believe that you get what you pay for, and when you pay for crap, you get crap.
Even so, I’ll still shop around and make sure I’m getting the best price possible for anything that I buy. So even with higher-quality products, I want to ensure I can pay as little as I can.
There are plenty of comparison-shopping apps that can help you do this. Also, shopping at stores that offer price matching can help.
But what about after the purchase? How do you ensure that even after the fact, you got the best price? Well, there are two ways to do that.
You can buy items from companies with lifetime warranties or guarantees. These are companies that stand behind their products, should something go wrong. If it does, they’ll fix or replace their product for free.
Or you can shop at stores that offer a purchase price adjustment.
Getting a Purchase Price Adjustment
I remember when my daughters were little and I was shopping a lot at BabyGap or GapKids. I knew that Gap offered a purchase price adjustment policy. It still does today. Basically, Gap would refund part of my purchase if the price dropped within 14 days of my shopping there. Because I was in Gap frequently, I kept my Gap receipts right in my car, just in case I needed to get a price adjustment.
I tried to take this price adjustment approach with other stores, too. But at some point it got so overwhelming that the few bucks I might save wasn’t worth the time it took me to figure out which stores might be having sales and when I was going to visit them, sales receipts in hand, to get my price adjustments.
Thankfully, in today’s digital age, you don’t have to keep your receipts in your car or race back and forth to the stores to get price adjustments. And you don’t have to commit to memory the Old Navy price adjustment or the Costco price adjustment policy. One tool will do all of that for you.
This past fall I learned about a service called Paribus. Basically, Paribus does the sale price adjustment research for you. Now is a good time to sign up for this free tool. With all of the spending you might have done at the holidays, wouldn’t you like to get money back if a price drops?
How Paribus Purchase Price Adjustment Works
Paribus is an app that gives you money back. So how does Paribus work? You give the company access to your email account–the one you use for online shopping. Yeah, that sounds a bit creepy, but I’m probably the most skeptical person you’ll ever meet, and I did it. And it’s been fine.
The biggest challenge has been this: I have had a number of email accounts over the years, and you can only have one affiliated with your account. So make sure you combine your email addresses into one or stop using a bunch of different ones for shopping. Otherwise the service won’t work.
Here’s more about how Paribus describes how it works:
“Paribus works tirelessly for you, the consumer, to make sure that cash ends up in your wallet. Our algorithms work by first identifying recent (past 30 days) purchases based on shipping and order confirmation emails found in your mailbox. Paribus then continuously monitors and compares price changes for these items in real time. Once an eligible claim is detected, Paribus engages with the retailer on your behalf and files a claim requesting a refund. Keep in mind that different retailers have different refund policies and some retailers may require additional action from you to complete your refund. When Paribus succeeds and a retailer issues a price adjustment, you are credited funds directly onto the original form of payment or provided the equivalent amount in store credit. Paribus does not charge any fees for its services.”
The Stores Paribus Monitors for Price Adjustments
Right now Paribus works with a few dozen stores only. Lucky for me, they’re some of the stores where I do most of my shopping, including Staples and Nordstrom.
Here is an example of how Paribus tracked sale prices on my recent shopping at these two stores.
- Banana Republic
- Bed, Bath and Beyond
- Crate and Barrel
- Home Depot
- LL Bean
- Neiman Marcus
- Old Navy
- Office Depot
- Saks Fifth Avenue
How Store Policies Affect How Paribus Works
Keep in mind that you can only get a purchase price adjustment within the store’s own policies. So, for example, when it comes to purchases at Staples, Paribus mimics Staples’ own price adjustment policy, which is this: “Staples will price adjust for price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order.”
Paribus is always adding and dropping retailers. So if you don’t see one of your favorite retailers above, there is a chance it could be added at a later date. At the same time you can use Paribus’ suggestion form to, well, suggest other retailers you would like to see them add to the site.
Paribus Works With Travel Reservations, Too
In addition to getting you price adjustments at the store, Paribus can help you get the best price on travel reservations, too. I recently received a notification about a Hotels.com reservation I’d made. Paribus was emailing to let me know that the room I’d booked was now available at a lower price.
This “adjustment” in the form of a lower price for a hotel stay I hadn’t even used yet was a pleasant surprise. And, frankly, surprising, because when I signed up for Paribus, I never anticipated Paribus could get me “money back” on a travel reservation as well.
Here’s the notification I had received about this price adjustment for my hotel room. Paribus wanted to save me $45!
Paribus Purchase Price Adjustment App Pros
The pros are pretty obvious–Paribus does the legwork for you to get your money back. It monitors store policies and prices based on what you bought when shopping online. In some instances if the store offers a coupon that would have applied to your purchase, Paribus gets it for you retroactively.
If prices drop within the store’s own price adjustment policy, you’ll get the difference refunded to your original payment method. No running around from store to store, with receipts in hand like I used to do so many years ago.
You can monitor your Paribus account from its website. Or you can download the Paribus app (iPhone only).
Paribus is free to use. You may be wondering, how does Paribus make money, then? And what’s the catch? Guess what? There is no catch. Capitol One recently acquired Paribus so now the site/service has the financial backing to allow consumers like you and me to use it for free. No strings attached.
Paribus Purchase Price Adjustment Cons
When I first signed up for Paribus, I thought it would continue to monitor my purchases forever for price drops. I was wrong.
As you know Paribus only looks for those price adjustments within a store’s own price adjustment period. So once Nordstrom’s 14-day price adjustment period or Staples’ 10-day price adjustment period ends, that’s it. The ability to get your money back based on a price adjustment is over.
The reality is you wouldn’t be able to get a price adjustment after these periods expire anyway. So with Paribus, I guess I shouldn’t be so disappointed. But in a way I am.
Since signing up with Paribus a few months ago, I’ve gotten zero dollars back. But that’s not Paribus’ fault.
I’ve learned that I’m a really good shopper and know when to buy when prices are low. In fact, in many instances, when I check my Paribus account, it shows that prices have gone up on the items I’d previously purchased. So I guess in a way I do have the extra money in my account, because I didn’t spend too much upfront.
Finally, even though many stores now offer you the convenience of shopping online and picking up in store, those purchases won’t count with Paribus.
Here’s what the site says about these instances:
“Paribus cannot support in-store pickups, even if they are purchased online. Retailers treat in store pickups as in store purchases. Price adjustments for in-store pickups must be made over the phone or in store.”
So to get Paribus to hunt for money back on price adjustments, your online shopping must be fully online. You buy online and it is delivered to your home. Anything else disqualifies the price adjustment service.
Final Thoughts on the Paribus Price Adjustment App
Since the only way Paribus works is to monitor your email, that may freak you out and feel a little too big brother for you. So I would recommend setting up a separate Gmail account for all of your online shopping, and then let Paribus scan that. That way it’s not comingling with your personal or work email.
I realize that right now the list of stores that Paribus monitors is pretty limited. However, since signing up just a few months ago, the list has grown. So even if you don’t see the stores where you like to shop online now, I would sign up for Paribus today. You never know when those stores will be added. If they do after you’ve signed up and you’re still within the price adjustment period. Paribus will start working for you for free right away to get your money back.