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Online vs Instore Pricing

Posted Thu January 20, 2011 7:16 am, by Amy R. written to Walmart

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Just after Christmas I wanted to purchase a new camera. I looked at Walmart.com and saw the Kodak Easyshare C183 for 59.00. I went into the store to buy one and it was 79.00. They would not honor their online price, and to order online and ship to store would take up to 2 weeks! When they had it in stock in the store. Nowhere on the page where it says the price for 59.00 and that it is AVAILABLE at my local store does it is say it is available for another price. I cannot believe that Walmart stores do not honor their own prices online. I called and left my information with customer service but of course never received a call back.

I think that if it says available online at your local store at an online price, that the local store should honor that online price! I have started shopping and HEB Plus and Target Superstore more and more lately just for little reasons like this. HEB Plus and Target BOTH honor their online prices.


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by MA Cunningham Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 4:21 PM

What many people don't get is that in MOST cases (and this being one
of them) the online branch and the brick and mortar (store) are 2
completely separate entities.

Target and Walmart both carry similar products, but they are still not
one and the same (believe me, I worked for Target and still had
trouble understanding this logic!). Thus, as others pointed out,
their purchasing practices are different and the online venues aren't
subject to local competitor pricing the physical stores are (not to
mention overhead and such!)

I know it sucks and it doesn't make much sense, but overall, you're
getting a lower price because that "store" has a different pricing
structure. That's like going to Best Buy and expecting them to match
pricing at Toys R Us.

Sadly, if you want the cheaper price, you either need to site to store
it or order it outright and pay the shipping charge - and wait for it
to arrive.

The old adage about "No such thing as a free lunch" is unfortunately
true. Great deals pretty much always come with strings attached.
Otherwise, they wouldnt be great deals!

by BigShot Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 4:21 PM

I can assure you, this is not at all uncommon in retail. Think about
it, they're shipping it right to you versus putting it on a truck,
having somebody drive the truck to the store, having somebody unload
the item from said truck, having somebody stock the item, and then
having somebody ring up the item when you check out. Those people all
have to be paid. Therefore, the pricing structure is completely
different. I think you'll pretty much find the same thing everywhere.
So you have a choice: either pay more and get it now or pay less and
wait a bit. That's reality.


by ST Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 3:26 PM

Walmart's website clearly states the price in store may vary.

I looked up that exact camera. Under "Order Online", it states $59.00
In Stock" The next column that lists "Store Availability" states
"Prices in store mary vary. Check Store for availability".


Adding link by ST Thu January 20, 2011 @ 3:28 PM

by PepperElf Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 2:32 PM


Price Matching at Target.com

Pricing for products on Target.com may vary from Target stores and
from the Target Weekly Ad. We do not match the price of our online
merchandise with the price offered by Target stores or another
company, and Target stores do not match the price of our online

And I know WHY most stores will not price match the online prices.
Although they are both the same company the online warehouse and the
physical store fall under different systems.

1) The warehouse has more storage - a LOT of it. Thus they have the
ability to overstock items and lower the price on them.

2) Physical stores do NOT have that much storage. The magical "back
room" is smaller than most people realize and thus they only stock
some of what they sell in the store. Overstock would be a waste of
money for them because they can only stock what they know will
actually sell.

Thus a warehouse can buy in bulk, knowing that even slower-selling
merchandise will eventually sell. But the regular store cannot do
that. And thus, of course, buying in bulk means they save money on
the purchase and can therefore lower the prices. PLUS in order to
encourage the sale, they knock the online price down even more so that
the shipping/handling doesn't make it more expensive than buying from
the store.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 1:29 PM

no the local store should not honor the online price. to expect them
to do so is just naive and indicative that you probably don't know
much about the retail business. It costs more money to have a brick
and mortar operation, so those prices are going to be higher.

I also don't believe Target stores honor the online price, but I could
be wrong.

by amyboone Posted Thu January 20, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

Oh, and here is their reply to me this morning, which is just fine,
because as I said I have been doing my shopping at Target Superstore
and HEB since this happened. I ended up paying more for a camera at
Target. A little customer service goes a long way in getting my


Thank you for your message.

Dear Amy,

Thank you for inquiry regarding the price difference between Walmart
Stores and Walmart Online. We strive to provide customers with the
lowest prices possible in our stores as well as on Walmart.com.
However, due to differences in distribution, regional competition, and
other factors, sometimes a price online does not match the price in

Please note: Prices shown on Walmart.com are online prices only.
Products that are available in your local Walmart store may have
different prices. Walmart Stores do not honor Walmart.com pricing or
match prices from other online sellers or from advertisements outside
of a store's local trade territory.

For more information on our pricing policy, you may contact your local
store management or visit our website at walmartstores.com and search
"Price Matching".

Walmart Customer Care


I already found Target's policy that states they don't price match. I haven't found ANY policy at HEB yet. by PepperElf Thu January 20, 2011 @ 2:38 PM

Shipping to Store by Richard S. Thu January 20, 2011 @ 3:53 PM

It appears that she does by MA Cunningham Mon January 24, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

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