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Have you ever completed an online purchase, thinking you got a great deal, only to find a few days later, said purchase is now on sale? So what do you do–complain about your bad luck and let it go? Dig out your receipt, drive to the store and wait in the return line to beg the rep to credit you the difference? Return your item and repurchase it at the lower cost? File a price protection claim with your credit card company and wait for a refund? Or what if the price dropped and you didn’t even know it?! Well, I’ve got five little words for you: there’s an app for that!
There are actually two price protection apps that I recommend and I’ll introduce you to one and give you an update on another that I’ve talked about before.
The first is Paribus. I’m relatively new to Paribus, having only installed it a couple of weeks ago. But so far, my experience has encouraged me to give it the coveted storage space on my 16GB iPhone.
Paribus requires access to your email, so you do have to be comfortable saving your login information in the app. You also need to link your Amazon account if you want those purchases monitored for price protection since they don’t send itemized receipts for purchases. Amazon is currently requiring secondary login verification when attempting to access an account outside of the primary IP address. Therefore, when Paribus tries to access your Amazon account, they can’t get in. Paribus staff are aware of the situation and are currently working to rectify the problem. I have been assured that your Amazon purchases can still be pulled in during this time, however.
Once your information is stored, Paribus will begin monitoring your email account for shipment notifications from their covered retailers including Overstock, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Home Depot and many more. Each store has a different policy on Paribus price protection adjustments. For example, Overstock will only adjust prices for three days post purchase while Walmart has a seven day policy.
One thing to note, that I found out by experience, is that online purchases made at Walmart, Target, etc and shipped to the store for in-store pick up will not be tracked by Paribus. The app only tracks purchases that are shipped commercially unfortunately.
So what does Paribus charge for all of these services? A big, fat ZERO! Yes, you read that right. As of September 2017, Paribus is completely free so what do you have to lose?! Give it a try and see if you can get some money back!
Related: Get Your Cash Back!
I’ve talked about this guy before, but Earny deserves a second mention. I’ve been using Earny since this summer and he is definitely worth his weight in megabytes! To date, he has recovered over $52 in price drops for me. Just check out this screenshot of my account!
Earny pretty much picks up where Paribus leaves off, covering many of the same stores. Their price protection is covered through your credit card so you must use an eligible card in order to earn any savings. The benefit is that your purchase is monitored for much longer, some as long as 90 days! The drawback is you have to input your credit card number in the app.
Earny only covers purchases from the following credit card issuers:
Bank of America
First Premier Bank
Fifth Third Bank
Granted that’s most of the popular banks, but it does leave Discover and American Express card holders out in the cold!
Earny monitors your email account as well so you do need to input your login information and also link your Amazon account for price protection coverage. Their Amazon linking is flawless, so no issues there! And they will also monitor your online purchases that you choose to pick up in store!
Because this app monitors your purchases for a longer length of time, it’s more likely to earn you the most money. The caveat here is that Earny charges a premium for his services–a whopping 25% of the recovered difference.
If you’ll look at the screenshot of my account, you’ll see we bought ridiculously expensive Bowflex dumbbells from Walmart. Earny caught the $19.99 price drop, which was refunded to my Visa card. Then at the end of the month, Earny calculated my 25% fee, sent me an invoice and charged my card $5.00.
While that might seem high, it’s essentially free money that might not otherwise be recovered–unless you have the time to monitor price changes for every single online purchase you make and then go through the hassle of all the price protection paperwork.
So what better time of year to download these two apps on your smartphone?! Don’t let free money pass you by. More and more consumers prefer online shopping to the brick and mortar experience. Make some space for Earny and Paribus and shop online with confidence this holiday season.
Do you use these apps, or any competitors? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!