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Source: Internet Retailer Internet Retailer

Wal-Mart tightens its price-matching policy in response to fraud

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:11 PST

The mass merchant will now match prices for items advertised at 30 online retailers, excluding those found on online marketplaces, auction sites or membership sites.

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week tightened its price-matching policy after shoppers allegedly created fake listings on such online marketplaces as Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. A Wal-Mart spokesman confirms the retail chain updated its policy after fraud attempts, but would not elaborate on specific examples of fraudulent listings.

Wal-Mart, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, released its new online price-matching policy Nov. 19. The retailer stipulates that the consumer have proof of the item’s price and that it’s in stock on the online retailer’s web site at the time the shopper is seeking a price match. The item has to be sold and fulfilled by a list of 30 online retailers (see the full list below) to be eligible. That removes the possibility of consumers creating fake listings at online marketplaces for the purpose of obtaining a price match from Wal-Mart.

When announcing its holiday plans earlier this month, Wal-Mart said store managers have the authority to match prices on a case-by-case basis. “We launched online price matching because it’s the right thing for our customers,” the Wal-Mart spokesman says. “It’s making a meaningful difference for people who want to feel confident they’re getting great prices, and we’re committed to matching online prices going forward.”

However, the spokesman notes, the updated policy is a direct response to individuals seeking to take advantage of the price-match policy by posting fraudulent listings on web marketplaces. “This kind of activity is unfair to the millions of customers who count on us every day for honest value,” he says. “With this in mind, we’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from Walmart.com and 30 major online retailers, but we won’t honor prices from marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites or sites requiring memberships.”

Wal-Mart will match the prices of the following online retailers, with their Top 500 or Second 500 ranking, if applicable:

  • Academy.com
  • Amazon.com, No. 1
  • Autozone.com
  • Babiesrus.com, No. 34 (Part of Toys ‘R’ Us Inc.)
  • Basspro.com, No. 98
  • Bedbathandbeyond.com, No. 221
  • Bestbuy.com, No. 15
  • Cabelas.com, No. 51
  • Dickssportinggoods.com, No. 72
  • Dollargeneral.com, No. 790
  • Familydollar.com
  • Homedepot.com, No. 16
  • Jcpenny.com, No. 37
  • Kmart.com, No. 6 (Owned and Operated by Sears Holding Corp.)
  • Kohls.com, No. 23
  • Lowes.com, No. 36
  • Michaels.com
  • Newegg.com, No. 17
  • Officedepot.com, No. 9
  • Oreillyauto.com, No. 188
  • Pepboys.com
  • Petco.com, No. 257
  • Petsmart.com, No. 362
  • Sears.com, No. 6
  • SportsAuthority.com, No. 262
  • Staples.com, No.3
  • Target.com, No. 18
  • Tigerdirect.com, No. 29 (Owned and operated by Systemax Inc.)
  • Toysrus.com, No. 34
  • Walgreens.com, No. 43

By Abby Callard Associate Editor
November 21, 2014, 3:31 PM

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