I am a member of a lot of different FaceBook groups where couponers get together to post deals and hauls and ask questions. Some of these groups are more helpful than others and I see several couponers doing deals that don’t follow Walmart’s written policies and they don’t always get the best advice from the other couponers in the room. So in addition to my regular FaceBook page, the group page where Dian and I both share deals and the group for people that have gone through our classes, we have decided to open a new room just for Walmart Couponing and Ad Matching.
Sometimes Walmart Ad Matching can be a little tricky just because it can be confusing as to what exactly you can match so I thought we could just take a beat here and run through a few common issues and how to handle them. Please note that everything in this post is according to the written policy. If the management at your particular store has decided to do things a little different and be a little more lenient in some cases, great! Just know that this is what the policies say and is all your Walmart is required to do.
The first thing you should do before Ad Matching is to read Walmart’s Official Ad Matching Policy. It’s always nice to know the basics. So first up is a deal like the one above where you’ve got a card price of $4.99 then a $1 coupon from online or in store subtracted for a final price of $3.99.
The first thing we need to know is that Walmart will gladly ad match “Preferred shopping card prices for specific items that are in a printed ad” so the $4.99 price can be matched but what about the coupon? Well, if you have the coupon (and it’s a manufacturers coupon, and not a store coupon. Here’s the difference) you can use it to get that $3.99 price but you can’t match the $3.99 price directly. You will need a coupon to get the price to $3.99 at this store so you will need a coupon to get it to that price at Walmart.
What about the final price after Register Rewards, ECB’s, Balance Reward Points or giftcards? The policy states that Walmart will not Ad Match “Items that require a purchase to get a competitors’ gift card” and that’s basically what each of those items listed are, just by different names. They don’t allow you to take money off your purchase but give you a kind of “store credit” to use on the next purchase and Walmart’s policy specifically forbids this type of match. So if you see something like this and you have visions of walking into your local Walmart and clearing the shelves and not paying anything, just think again.
BOGO (Buy 1 Get 1) deals are a little tricky if there is no final price listed. In 49 states in the Union, Walmart won’t match this deal because no final price is listed. The policy says they will not match “Buy one, get one free (BOGO) ads with no actual price given” but there is a loophole if you happen to live in Florida. And by “Loophole”, I mean you have an entirely different policy. I go into more detail here, but if you are in Florida and there is a BOGO deal without a price listed, Walmart will match it at the Walmart price. So in the example above, if the Purex is $2.99 on the Walmart shelf and you try to match this ad, you will get 2 Purexes for $2.99.
This is the kind of deal that following the Walmart policy is designed to prevent. I know that there are people that will see this deal, try to ad match the final price listed of $.99, then use a $1 coupon on top of that and get FREE Crest Rinse with a little overage to boot but you shouldn’t be able to do it. You can match the $4.49 price but the $2.50 RR can’t be matched, then you can use the $1.00 coupon on the $4.49 price making it $3.49. There is no way to make this free if you are following policies at either Walmart or the store the ad is from.
Now here is an example of a deal you CAN do. This is from a Kroger Mega Sale where when you buy 6 items, you get an additional $.50 off each item. Since we have to match the ad exactly, some Walmarts will require you to buy all 6 items to get the discount, however most won’t because that discount is basically a loyalty card discount that they will match. Just know that if for whatever reason your cashier asks you to buy all 6 items, that’s their prerogative.
The rule of thumb you always need to keep in mind is that if you can walk out the door of another store paying a certain amount for an item (not including other forms of payment like coupons, RR, etc) then you can usually match that price at Walmart. Now usually when something like this is written, I get push back of “Well MY Walmart will match anything on the ad” and all I can say is that if you asked your store manager and they said that they want to do that in their store, more power to ya. That’s awesome and stock up. However, if you are just telling them that a store has something on sale for a price after a discount or something, then your store’s management didn’t really OK it, you just got away with something.
I really believe we have an ethical responsibility to coupon within the boundaries given to us, whether those boundaries are found in the online policies for a store or in the fine print on a coupon. I know it feels like that mindset is in the minority in our couponing world at times but I’ve talked with enough of you to know that it really isn’t. It’s just that the couponers who do things right generally don’t make as much noise. So if you would like to hang out with other couponers that are looking for great deals done right, come join our brand new FaceBook group for sharing Walmart deals and ad matching scenarios. Hope to see you there!