Ask LH: Does JB Hi-Fi Price Match Online Deals?

Dear Lifehacker, I'm shopping around for a tablet and have noticed that the one I am after is available much more cheaply online ($100 or more). How likely is it that the local retailers (JB Hi Fi, Good Guys, Harvey Norman and so on) will be willing to match this? Thanks, Tablet It Be

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Dear TIB,

Australian retail stores used to be quite strict about only price matching with other brick-and-mortar outlets. This delighted online rivals such as Kogan, who frequently cited this tell-tale exclusion as proof that the traditional retail model was dead. In recent years, the industry has begun to reassess its stance on online price-matching, although policies still vary from store to store.

Most retailers now have separate price-match policies specifically relating to online products. Office Works provides a pretty good example of the terms and conditions you can expect to encounter on its website:

Our Price Beat Guarantee (PBG) includes products at competitor’s online stores but, as with any other kind of store, the item must be identical and in stock. When assessing the PBG from online stores we also take into account the added cost of delivery to your location (if any). If the identical, in stock product can be purchased and delivered to your location via an online store for a total price lower than the one we are offering, we will beat that total price by 5%.

The chief caveat here is delivery - any price matching has to include shipping costs, which can often wipe out the discount altogether. Most retailers will also veto overseas e-stores, especially if the "Australia tax" amounts to more than a hundred dollars. For example, JB Hi-Fi will only match online prices that come from "major" Australian-based retailers.

Even when a retailer does match online prices, there are still occasional loopholes to be aware of. As we have noted in the past, price match guarantees usually need to be taken with a huge grain of salt. There have been numerous reports of retailers refusing to price match due to all manner of weaselly excuses, ranging from "restocking policy" issues to claiming the rival store was charging below cost.

Naturally, you also need to make sure that the product in question has identical specifications across the board. Even something as inconsequential as the chassis colour can be used to quash your price matching request. In your case, this shouldn't be an issue: there's much less variation in tablet models than desktops or laptops, but it still pays to check.

With all that said, it never hurts to ask! Most brick-and-mortar retailers are willing to haggle to an extent, especially when it comes to large ticket items. At the very least, you can usually score a free accessory such as a cheap carry case or screen protector which we suppose is better than nothing.

We're also going to throw this one over to our readers. Which traditional retail outlet provides the best price matching policy in your personal experience? Have you ever had a bad customer experience in this area? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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This story has been updated since its original publication.


Comments

    I priced matched a computer monitor from PC case gear at Officeworks... They gave it to me for the price including a postage quote minus -5%.
    I got it for around $70 dollars cheaper than officeworks had it priced on display.

    Was really easy and pleasant , however I feel this would change store to store

      Officeworks are fairly well known for their great price match policy.

      I bought a router for my mum, and I all I did was google the product code, pick the cheapest Australian price, and take it to a team member. They happily price matched (after checking the delivery cost).

      You can go even cheaper than PCCG, too! Although I tend to pay the little bit extra purely because I know I can trust them & their return policies are excellent.

    I also got Officeworks to price match my tablet with a price I found online (they beat it by 5%). They beat online prices, with the caveat being that it has to be an Australian-based website.

    Last edited 20/08/14 2:11 pm

    I got storedj to price match a piece of music equipment that was out of stock everywhere else in Sydney. Allan's/Billy Hyde was offering it for a better price but I would've had to wait until they restocked (a week or two) so I called storedj, asked if they would match it and they did. I thought I might have an issue with them because of the stock problems, but they were fine with it.

    JB in particular seems to have stopped offering genuinely good prices off the bat and I've had countless experiences where they aren't willing to price match or negotiate.
    It kind of feels like their whole "JB is smashing prices" campaigns of old were just one big bait-and-switch.
    Having said that in recent times I've found stores like the Good Guys and even Harvey Norman far more flexible on price and willing to negotiate than JB.

    I have asked JB to match online deals and they have always done it so long as I can show proof. The most ridiculous thing is I asked DS if they would match their own online deal and they refused but they are happy to match the JB online store????

      In 2011 DS told me they'd price match an Acer Iconia tablet. Went to the counter, salesman called over his manager to enter his approval PIN, I paid. As I was walking out, the manager called me back, apologised, and said sorry we can't price match as the other store (WOW) was out of stock (I already knew that, but didn't tell them. Store approved it first, must have checked with other store just after). I would have bought from the original store if they had them in stock. So I had to go back and do the returns process. They gave me a $5 (yes FIVE dollar) gift card for my trouble.

        Why in the world did you go back in? You'd already paid for it, it was legally yours. If they made a mistake, then it sucks to be them.

      Well, think about it; why would they bother matching a price if you're going to buy it from them anyway? The threat of going elsewhere however will motivate them.

    I don't think JB Hi-Fi even have an official price match policy.. usually if I want something and "X Store has it at this price", they either beat it or give me the best price they can do. Most of the time it's acceptable, but if it is much higher than competitor, I buy from the competitor.
    But i do prefer JB because they're much more lax/less sterile than most retailers

    I worked in retail a couple of years ago. Matching online prices wasn't usually a problem except when:
    1) A customer wanted us to match the cost of a gray import. We were never expected to do this.
    2) Another retailer were having an online sale but they had sold their allocation. Say X company were selling iPods online for $99 and our store had them for $129, we wouldn't have to price match X if they didn't have any iPods left.

    I was constantly baffled by customer behavior however. More often than not, we'd be up against a customer demanding (rather than asking) that we price match, immediately jumping on the defensive and at times being downright aggressive about it all. I can guarantee if you're firm but polite, and try to strike up a good rapport with the salesperson, the odds of getting a good deal will increase tenfold.

      I can guarantee if you're firm but polite, and try to strike up a good rapport with the salesperson, the odds of getting a good deal will increase tenfold.
      I've seen people use two approaches when trying to get a deal from a sales person.

      The first approach is to be as aggressive (and possibly offensive) as possible on the assumption that the sales person will give you a better deal in order to get rid of you. The irritation felt by other customers is used as a bargaining tactic.

      The second is to be accommodating and reasonable on the assumption that the sales person will like you and so give you a better deal. That's what you're recommending.

      While I'm constitutionally incapable of taking the first approach the policies of most stores seem to follow a "customer is always right" approach which ensures that it actually works. I really wish that those policies gave the sales staff permission to occasionally boot out the worst offenders. I hate that people get *rewarded* for such behaviour.

    I've gotten JB to price match, the one time they didn't was when I was attempting to buy a brand new (to the market) laptop, where their website had it for $700 cheaper than in-store It was clearly an error on their website, we all knew it, so they refused to match it, but still gave me a decent deal.
    The Goodguys, in my experience, don't even question it. I went into one of their stores about a year ago to furnish my place with new appliances and gadgets, maybe about 10 items, I had all my online prices printed out, I spoke to one guy who went through the list and product codes, the price I had and matched or bettered it, he didn't care about if the item was in stock online or the delivery cost, he didn't even want to see the printout as evidence.

      There's a reason they call themselves The Goodguys ay

      Had a friend's mother who did most of her new ouse through the good guys in the end. She printed out what she wanted and went all around town getting stores to price match and discount until she finally took the list to the good guys and they matched and discounted everything. She saved thousands.

    DS are horrible at price matching. Went there the other day to price match BF4 as I had a DS voucher. Target had it a lot cheaper. Showed the guy Targets price on my phone and they said we don't price match because we're not woolworths anymore. I asked why that mattered and that I'd simply go buy it from the otherside of the mall if you don't match. And they bluntly refused will never shop there again after that.

    I had a weird experience with a store at my local mall. I found a school bag my son wanted on their website for $20 and told my wife to drop in whilst she was grocery shopping and pick it up. When she went there she found the bag was advertised in the shop for $35. She mentioned the online price and was told they couldn't match it. So I said don't bother, I'll order it online, which I did, as a click and collect.
    Guess where we collected the purchase from? The same shop, the same day.

    Just weird.

      Its starting to become someone of a norm that there is a difference between the online and inshop prices. Unsure on reasoning for it if you are picking up in shop. Doesn't seem particularly cost effective.

    Myer Megamart used to be the best - back in 2005 they would beat the price of all online retailers even eBay listings. Often they would not even call to check stock or advertisement validity (you could Photoshop your own ads and put on your mate's phone number anyway). Sadly they went under. These days Harvey Norman and Good Guys are the best at haggling and prices - usually I get a great price from the Good Guys or Billy Guyatts and then go to Harvey Norman and they will beat the price most times (e.g. 50% off split system air conditioners).

    I just tried this at JB and got a flat No from a staffer who looked better suited in a laneway cafe.
    Officeworks almost agreed until they found a point they could weasel out of - the warranty period. Then I pointed out they were not looking at the same product, after which they relented and did the price match.
    Moral of the story - don't bother with JB, line all your ducks up before going to Officeworks and then make sure they are looking at the right product...

    I've never had a problem with JB Hi Fi price matching including taking over $400.00 off a Panasonic TV I was interested in. Another big retailer had it on special but I also wanted a monitor that they didn't have but Jbs did. I asked the question at JBs. Told him the price and which store I had called to confirm both price and availability and the sales guy matched it and also gave me $30.00 off the monitor.

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