How I Saved $145 At Sears By Checking In-Store Computer Kiosk

Leigh made the most of her idle time while waiting in line to buy a dishwasher at Sears. On a lark, she pulled up the product she was going to buy at a nearby kiosk and found it was listed $145 cheaper online than she was about to pay. She confronted the salesman, who was stunned by the price difference but gave her the lower price.

She writes:

My five-year-old dishwasher died the weekend before Thanksgiving, and was going to cost about $500 to repair (needed a new motor AND a new heating element). Although it was less than fun to prepare dinner for twelve with no working dishwasher, I decided to wait until Black Friday to replace it.

Having had good service at Sears in the past and knowing they had all appliances 15% off that day, I went straight there on Friday morning to make my purchase. The salesman was really helpful, and I ended up choosing a Frigidaire model priced at $424.99, down from a regular price of $499.99.

After paying for it, my husband and I went upstairs to look at some other things. While waiting for him I idly clicked around on one of their computer kiosks and found the dishwasher I’d just bought. I was shocked to see that the online price was $279.99–$145 less than I’d just paid! I headed back downstairs, found my sales guy, and asked him to check the online price. He seemed as surprised as I was, but gladly gave me my refund. His suggestion was that it was a doorbuster special that had not been changed online yet, but I just looked at it (two days later) and the price is the same.

So, lesson learned: always double-check large purchases online and in the store to make sure you’re paying the lowest price.

Way to go, Leigh!

Comments

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  1. Eyeheartpie says:

    Except at stores like Walmart, who expressly state that they will not match their online prices in the store.

    • Rachacha says:

      In which case you ask them to refund your money and then order the item online. You will get it in the same timeframe, and even if it takes an extra day to arrive, sure, I’ll wash dishes by hand for a day or two to save +$100.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        For extra fun, do it with in-store pickup as the delivery option for items you can walk out the store with. Do it from your smart phone at the register.

    • pot_roast says:

      Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart.com are actually separate business entities. It’s a subsidiary company and is based in South San Francisco, CA. They’re in the old Good Guys building.

  2. Hoss says:

    There wasn’t any hesitation to refund the difference, so the salesman wasn’t ‘confronted”.

    • axhandler1 says:

      To confront someone merely means to come to them with a problem or argument. Her problem was the online price was higher, and he resolved it. Just because a resolution was reached immediately doesn’t make it any less of a confrontation.

    • coren says:

      She also wasn’t waiting in line to buy the dishwasher, so accuracy isn’t doing so hot this time.

  3. Larraque eats babies says:

    Best Buy is horrible for doing this. Last night I bought DJ Hero from them. It was $39.99 online and $51.99 in store. Not the first time I’ve encountered this either. They had a TV online for $499.99 and in store it was $599.99.

    Both times it took them 5-10 minutes to do the price match. Not horrible but 5-10 minutes I’d rather not be spending in the company of best buy employees.

    • lotussix says:

      i’ve had to do a price match at best buy before and all they did was verify the sku on the product compared to the website.

    • Halliday says:

      That’s really weird. I bought DJ Hero from Best Buy on 11/29. Online price was $40, In-Store price was $30 on one shelf and $75 on another. If it was not $30 I would not have bought it.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      I fail to see the problem with this. If you’re a savvy consumer, you save a few bucks. If not, you pay a few more. It’s kind of like “you reap what you sow.”

    • regis-s says:

      What do you expect them to do? Run around checking to make sure it isn’t sold cheaper somewhere else for you?

      Also, if you find being around them so uncomfortable you’re free to shop elsewhere.

  4. bwcbwc says:

    Most likely the local store was jacking up the regular price to counteract the 15% discount. $500 for a Frigidaire sounds pretty high.

    • Rachacha says:

      $500 isn’t so bad, it really depends on the features that the OP purchased. Sure you can get an el cheapo DW that is loud as all heck with only one setting for $200, but when you add sound dampening, and different wash cycle features, and stainless steel interiors etc. etc you can approach $800 or more for an average brand like Frigidaire

    • Geekybiker says:

      Priced dishwashers recently? $220ish buys you the bottom of the barrel models. $300 will get you a loud model with more cycles.$350-400 seems to be where the quality models start.

      • mbz32190 says:

        I don’t know…the el-cheapo builders grade GE in my home is 15 years old and working fine. Never a single repair. If I have to replace it, I’ll probably buy another one. i don’t need any fancy options or keypads that will burn out right after the warranty expires.

  5. marc6065 says:

    Never hurts to ask, I know when i was in retail we would not match internet prices, but now stores are hurting for every sale so it never hurts to ask.

  6. Jefeweizen says:

    I love stuff like this. Best Buy had my fridge for cheaper online, which I found after surfing on one of their demo laptops. The next time I was in there, they ended the ability to surf online from their store. But we all know that Best Buy sucks big time like this…

    • Bativac says:

      This is one of the things my newfangled phone has been really good for. If my wife sees something she wants while we’re out shopping, I’ll look online and show here where we can get it for five or ten bucks cheaper. The best part is that it kills the shopping impulse and she forgets about it by the time we get home.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      my sister was just showing me on her android phone with the barcode scanner app that she uses to price check in stores versus anywhere online. it’s pretty handy.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Apple price matched the case I bought for my phone. I always check the website, especially if I know the store will match the online price of its own website.

  8. blinky says:

    I hope Leigh didn’t buy the same brand of dishwasher that died after five years.

    • Rachacha says:

      Meh, it doesn’t really matter because even though there are dozens of brand names for appliances, they are all made by GE, Whirlpool or some subsidiary of Monster Cable (you know the REALLY expensive brands that like to charge you $3000 for a dishwasher because the dishes are washed by hand by little elves that live inside the machine using recycled unicorn tears).

      • TooManyHobbies says:

        I don’t think our Bosch was made by Whirlpool.

        Bosch dishwashers are great. A little pricey but not moreso than comparable brands. We paid about $650 for ours, but it’s super quiet, does a great job and I expect it to last a long time.

  9. Jnetty says:

    I tried that once at Sears and was denied the online price.

    • squirrel says:

      We bought a washer dryer set from them and Sears went online without being asked to see what the lowest price was. They knocked $175 off of the price. Add in the generous $300 utility rebate (that expired a week later) and then Sears put the appliances on a 30% off sale. Matched that too.

      By the time I was done, I had a $1200 washer-dryer pair for $540.

  10. econobiker says:

    About 2 years ago I was at Sears cooling my jets playing on their in store kiosk while wife talked to Photo studio people about some previously taken portraits. Wife says “Look up a 4 slice toaster.” Find one on-line listed as on sale for $39 (versus $49). Find it in store not with a sale sign- showing $49. Check price via store scanner @ $39. Consult wife on price, told to buy toaster, made wife happy. But she would not have bought it at $49 listed on the display.

    Couldn’t understand why the store wouldn’t have changed to the advertised sale price…

  11. redd77 says:

    Something similar happened to me last year when I bought my snow-blower from Sears. On-line they offered 1 year no interest if you used a Sears card to pay. In store though they only offered 6 months. The sales guy was helpful and gave me the no interest for a year deal.

  12. clarkins says:

    Ran into something like this today.
    TV at Target.com was $799.00, Wal-Mart.com was $804
    Buying through Amazon and it tells you it’s coming from target.com was $699.00

    Brick and Mortar Target store says they don’t match their own website so they wouldn’t match Amazon.
    Clicked on a few other sites that had the same TV and they all went back to the same page on Amazon but were all higher than the $699.00

    • Geekybiker says:

      Its almost like they *want* to drive away business sometimes. It’s always more fun if they have a pickup in store option though.

      • coren says:

        In some sort of twisted way it does make a kind of stupid sense – there are a lot more costs involved in running the brick and mortar store than online, so online can offer cheaper prices that the store would be hesitant to match.

        • XTC46 says:

          How is that in any way stupid? Stores cost more to run than an online shop, so they charge more. Most stores dont even run their own online store.

          • FaustianSlip says:

            Then what’s the point of the online stores in the first place? To give credit where due, at least Best Buy will take responsibility for what they publish on their own site. If it’s got your brand name on it, most people aren’t going to care whether you actually run it or not- they see “Target” on the storefront and “Target” on the website, and that’s it. The more people you frustrate by saying, “Well, yes, I know it’s our own company’s website, but we don’t actually match that price,” the more customers you drive away. That doesn’t seem terribly productive to me.

            And while I know it costs more to run a B&M operation than it does, say, Amazon, I don’t think that justifies almost every blu-ray at Best Buy being a minimum of $5 more than the identical blu-ray on Amazon.

          • coren says:

            It’s stupid because they know it’s separate but the average consumer doesn’t, and would have no expectation of such because most stores make no effort to have a separate image

  13. wbeem says:

    That’s why I like having a smart phone with me. My fridge died on Saturday and the repair didn’t work that night. I went to HH Gregg and found a new fridge, but the price was higher than the special for Black Friday. Sales guy told me it was over. I pulled out my iPhone and checked to see that Best Buy’s sale was still going. I showed it to him and they accepted it. Knocked the price down from $2499.99 to $1889.00.

  14. thedarkerside.to says:

    A while ago I needed a new tool set as I decided to buy an old car and do most of the work myself.

    Checking online Sears had them on sale for 100+. Off I went to the local sears in downtown Vancouver only to find that the in store price was still the normal one of almost $400. They had the item in stock but the sales guy told me they are not honoring their own website prices.

    So I went downstairs where they have the “catalog ordering department”. The guy there had no problem to order me a set in from the warehouse for the advertised price, plus they had another 10% off this week for “catalog orders”.

    end result? I paid less than 1/4 but had to wait two days to have it come in from the warehouse (they also offered free shipping but the Sears is on my daily commute anyway).

  15. tdatl says:

    I think a lot of stores do this nowadays… keeping the prices lower online helps with the price-conscious shoppers & the shopping sites that cull prices from a number of websites. Fry’s does this with almost everything they sell online, even with the lower-priced items.

    • gman863 says:

      If shopping at Fry’s retail store you should ALWAYS check their Frys.com price (no smart phone needed – any employee can pull up the Frys.com site upon request for a customer from any terminal in the store).

      Customers taught me this when I worked there. On some items (especially computer memory), the Frys.com price was up to 40% under the store’s posted price. Fry’s retail locations will match Frys.com so long as the item is available at the store location you’re at. If they give you any crap, place the order online using Fry’s in-store terminal and choose the “pick up at store” location you’re at. Write down the order #, go to the front checkout, present your ID: done.

  16. daemonaquila says:

    Works a charm practically anywhere. I saved about $2000 on my used Jeep this way, and most recently got a hotel room for $24/night less because the front desk “didn’t know” about the advertised price on their own website. Smartphones are your friend – it’s hard for a manager to argue with evidence.

  17. coren says:

    I wouldn’t use the word confront to describe what happened there, nor would I describe it as her being in line to buy the appliance (since she, yknow, was not in line at all). It’s one thing to not have all the information and have to figure it out, but when you’re just straight up retelling what someone’s letter says, there shouldn’t be errors.

  18. pot_roast says:

    What I’ve found is that most store retailers will price match other “reputable retailers” like Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, etc but they will cut it back a little bit knowing that you might have to pay shipping.

  19. AllanG54 says:

    I had that at PC Richard on Sunday. Bought a 50″ plasma that was marked $1199. Asked the salesman if he could do better, he checked the online price and it was $999 and that’s what I got the set for. And we had 15 people for Thanksgiving and have no dishwasher and it’s not a big deal. I’M the dishwasher. And when when I did have one in the past I never used it….maybe 6 times in 16 years because it was always easier to just wash and dry than to pre-wash and load and unload.