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Amazon terminates post-order price guarantee

Post-order price guarantee is not an unusual thing for online retailers. According to PriceProterct 136 retailers have the clause in their policy and will honor competitor’s price even after you made the purchase.

It looks like Amazon will be dropping off of that list pretty soon. The company has already removed the related page from the website and is sending out notices like the one below to the customers who made a price match request in the past week

Thank you for contacting us to take advantage of our Post-Order Price Guarantee. I’ve confirmed that we now offer a greater discount on xxxxx than at the time you placed your order.

Since your purchase shipped within the past 30 days, I’ve requested a refund of $x.xx to the original payment method used for your order. This amount reflects the difference between the price you were originally charged for the item and the current price offered by Amazon.com. This refund should be processed in the next few days.

Only orders placed before September 1, 2008 are eligible for a price difference refund under the Post-Order Price Guarantee policy. As of September 1, 2008 we are no longer offering discounts if prices change on our website after you make a purchase.

I wrote about Amazon’s price matching policy in the past and used it myself several times. I can imagine however that with the ever falling prices on gadgets the policy was costing Amazon a lot of green.

Look at the price history for this 4GB flash drive for example. Over the past 70 days the price went down from $13.99 to $9.79 which that is almost 50% in lost revenue if Amazon were to offer price protection over this time period.

Source: Amazon Dropping Post-Order Price Guarantee Effective Sept 1st (at SlickDeals)

Remember the Amazon price guarantee

The holiday season is in full speed and with so many things to buy it is very easy to forget the essentials of online bargain hunting. When shopping with Amazon and other online merchants, make sure to remember the 30 days post-order price guarantee some of them offer.

How does guarantee work?

Many items sold by Amazon carry a 30 days price guarantee. This implies that if the price for the item you buy goes down or Amazon offers a promotions or a discount within 30 days, you are qualified for a refund on the difference. The guarantee doesn’t apply to items sold by Amazon partners or from Amazon Marketplace. You can find other exceptions at this Amazon page.

How to apply for a refund?

Sign in to your Amazon account, click on “Visit our Help Department” link at the bottom, and click on “Customer Service” button on the right side of the page that opens. Once you do this, you will see a form that lists your recent purchases. Select the items that qualify for a refund and click on the “Email” tab at the top. You will find another form. Use it to explain in a few words the issue and click the “Send e-mail” button.

What happens next?

After you submit the form, within a day or two you should receive an email similar to this:

Hello from Amazon.com.

The discounts we offer for items sold by Amazon.com can vary from time to time. I’ve checked your order and found that we now offer a greater discount on “XYZ” than at the time you placed your order.

Since your purchase shipped within the past 30 days, I’ve requested a refund of $XYZ to your credit card. This amount reflects the difference between the price you were charged for the item and the current discounted price. This refund should be processed in the next few days and will appear as a credit on your next billing statement.

Ways to make things easier

There are several websites that can help you remember about the guarantee. Among them are RefundPlease and the Price Drop Tracker from FlamingoWorld. You simply enter the product id, price you paid, date of purchase and your e-mail. The website will check Amazon for price changes on your items and will send you an email if the price does drop within 30 days.

Other merchants

Other merchants offer similar guarantee policies and if you make a pricey purchase I suggest you to check the merchant Terms of Service page to find more. Here are policies of some stores I often use:

  • TigerDirect offers a store credit if price drops within 30 days (details)
  • CircuitCity will refund 100% of the price drop within 30 days. You will have to come to the store with the receipt to claim your refund (details)
  • BestBuy offers a refund of 100% price difference over a period of 15 to 60 days depending on the type of product (details)



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