We learned from Kotaku about this evil scheme that will ruin price-matching for everyone earlier today. It appears to have started when Sears accidentally listed some Nintendo bundles featuring the handheld 3DS and the Wii U console for only $60.
Instead of ordering the $60 bundles online and waiting to find out whether Sears would cancel the orders, people simply went to stores with the console in stock and asked for a price match. This worked for some Reddit posters at retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Walmart. It didn’t work at the brick-and-mortar Sears store where one Kotaku reader works, since a manager refused to make the sale.
This bit of price-matching abuse turned evil as someone figured out that the meaning of “for sale on Amazon.com” can be very flexible, since anyone with a registered selling account can list an item for sale. Sure, Amazon will take the listing down if you try to list a PlayStation 4, which normally sells for $400, for less than a quarter of that amount. Yet just putting it online will create a 100% authentic-looking Amazon page, which you can then take a screen cap of or show to a store employee on your phone. Instant price-match…if the store employee is not very savvy.
Apparently, there are a lot of Walmart managers out there who are not Amazon-savvy, or Walmart didn’t figure out what was going on and stop this nonsense. That’s how some people managed to get $90 PS4s.
There’s taking advantage of deals, and there’s scamming. Using a false Amazon listing to get a price match under false pretenses is a scam, no matter how proudly you post to Twitter about it.