Walmart made a few changes to their policies this week that we need to take a look at. First of all, all of their most important policies are now on one page and can be found here.
Next, the Walmart coupon policy appears to by untouched since the last time they changed it.
It’s the Walmart price match policy that has been overhauled this time.
The biggest change is that there is no longer separate policies for ad matching an offline competitor’s ad and price matching an online price, it’s all rolled in together. In fact, it’s mostly just the old online price matching policy with a few lines about matching offline prices also.
All the old language that clarified exactly what we could and couldn’t match is gone. For example, here’s what the old policy said:
We gladly match the price in the following types of ads:*
- Buy one, get one free ads with a specified price
- Example: Buy one for $2.49, get one FREE (BOGO)
- Competitors’ ads that feature a specific item for a specified price
- Preferred shopping card prices for specific items that are in a printed ad
- For fresh produce and meat items when the price is offered in the same unit type (lb. for lb.; each for each)
*The following are guidelines and limitations:
- We will match any local competitor’s advertised price.
- We do not require customers to have the ad with them to honor a competitor’s ad.
- Items purchased must be identical to the ad (size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, etc.). No substitutions
- In all situations Walmart reserves the right to limit BOGO quantities to one per customer or household
We do not match the price in the following types of competitor ads:
- Items that require a separate purchase to get the ad price
- example: “Buy [item A] to get [item B] for $C”
- Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get free product
- example: “Buy both [items A & B] to get [item C] for free”
- Items that require a purchase to get a competitors’ gift card
- example: “Buy [item A] to get a $B gift card
- Buy one, get one free (BOGO) ads with no actual price given
- Going out of business or closeout prices
- Percentage off
- example: “All mascara, 40% off”
- Competitors’ private label price promotions
- A specific price that omits a specific characteristic of an item (Example: $9.50 on “all sizes or quantities” of an assortment)
The new policy replaces all of that with this:
Walmart will Price Match local competitors and select online retailers* for an identical, in-stock item.
Price Match at a Walmart store:
- It is the store’s responsibility to obtain the local competitor ads
- Our customers must inform the associate of the price and retailer (local and online)
- We reserve the right to verify the price and the availability of the identical item (i.e. size, model, quantity, brand, color)
That’s pretty much the extent of the guidelines the new policy gives us. If it’s an exact match and in stock, Walmart will match the price. The end.
One other thing to note is there is a limitation that used to only apply to online matching but now that the policies are combined, Walmart “reserve[s] the right to limit quantities to one-per-customer, per item, per day” I can’t imagine they will ever enforce this on offline ad matching, but it’s there if they need it.
Another change to note is “Walmart.com will not Price Match from Thanksgiving Day through the Monday after Thanksgiving”. This doesn’t affect anything at the store level, just if you are trying to match something at Walmart.com.
So that’s the new policy we are working under. Hopefully this will only serve to make price matching at the register an easier experience for us all.