Holiday Price Wars

Holiday Price Wars

For all of you that are limbering up and getting ready for the holiday f*ck fest that is shopping, you might find the following information partly interesting.

It is not big secret that I have a deep seeded love for everything Amazon.com.  I personally love their business model, their pricing, and up until a few months ago the no sales tax thing was awesome too (thanks Jerry Brown).  Plus, buy enough stuff and you usually get a kick for free shipping.  The Amazon Prime program is sweet, even if I don’t participate. I’m a loyal subject and bow to you all great all mighty Amazon.

But in the effort to combat those of us (yours truly) that like to showroom at the big stores and go buy at home, Target and Best Buy are offering online price matching in their stores.  That’s right, find it cheaper online and you will get the price in store!

Target is running the promotion from November 1st to December 16th and it appears that Best Buy is not starting the deal until after Cyber Monday.  But if you are smart and in the market for stuff that either of these places carry you might be able to save some money.

A recent survey by brokerage house William Blair & Co. found that on average Target’s prices were about 14% higher than Amazon’s, Best Buy’s were 16% higher and Wal-Mart’s prices were 9% higher. The comparison included shipping costs for Amazon, but not sales taxes (Time.com)

So do I envision being able to save hundreds of dollars this year?  Probably not, but for things that I might be purchasing like electronics, music, and books I might be able to save 50-100 dollars.  I don’t know about you but that is some real money to this guy.  I can easily buy a couple of bottles of my favorite winter booze.  PayPal is also offering a similar service, and also includes price matching on plane tickets.  More on that here.

Personally, I think it is a good counter move.  However, it could be playing right into Amazon’s hands as it could weaken the financial position of two major competitors.

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