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View Full Version : Online vs. store location pricing, my experience today


iNTeNSeBLue98
04-14-2006, 09:54 PM
I was researching prices for Gentle Leader or Halti brand training collars for our laborador retrievers. Petsmart.com has the Halti for $9.99 so I decide I will visit the new store in the area after work tonight.

I get to the store and I am floored that the price for each Halti is $18.99. :crazy: I was miffed by the pricing, but really needed to purchase them because we are taking the dogs to the state park for a walk tomorrow. (they are too strong to walk on just a collar)

I asked the clerk about the price, and all she could do is confirm that the prices in the store and online are sometimes different. She cites and example of someone who came in to buy an aquarium filter that was $40 cheaper online. :confused3 She said I could bring in a screen print of the page showing the lower price and they would honor it. I'm going to call the store manager to verify a price adjustment before going back over there.

The online purchase with shipping ($6.95 for purchases up to $25) equates to a difference of $11.72! I needed the products tonight to use tomorrow or I would have gone home and ordered from the website.

Why would they have such drastic price differences between the store and website? I could understand maybe a few dollars, but this was a $9.00 difference for each and I need two of them.

I just don't get it, and I have worked retail for 14 years. Stated on the website is: "Our prices are set independently of the PetSmart store locations. As as Internet company, PetSmart.com is committed to bringing you, our cutomer, the best overall prices online." True, they were priced lower at petsmart.com for the Gentle Leader brand than Petco.com was.

I'm going to work tomorrow and maybe I'll be able to ask if there are any rules/laws governing pricing. I know our company's website prices match the store, except when there are additional discount for online shopping or in-store shopping in addition to regular/sale prices, and I haven't seen otherwise until my experience today.

brivers222
04-14-2006, 10:04 PM
Unfortuantly, I don't beleive you will find any laws governing pricing. They are their own companies and allowed to sell items at whatever price the feel. If you look at some of the paper ads in the newspaper you will often see in tiny fine print the words, "Online prices may vary from store prices". Online usually offers items for less because people are not in need of it right away. In store people usually want it now and therefore prices are higher... Rip off, Correct... Illegal, nada.

For instince, a jersey at a hockey venue is $145 walk out of the arena to the local store and you can find the same jersey for $120. They have a captive (wanting now) crowd at the arean therefore they take advantage of it.

Usually stores will match the online price if you bring in the webpage of a competitor (even there own if that is the case).

Convinence stores raise the prices just the same as well as our beloved Disney World... where else would you pay $12.99 for 3 chicken stripes and some fries?

zumbergc
04-14-2006, 10:04 PM
I've noticed this is true for both pet products at pet stores, and merchandise at places like best buy, circuit city, etc

When best buy and circuit city have certain specials they are in-store and sometimes on-line only. Sometimes the products are the same price on sale.

Last summer, this past x-mas when looking for the auto scooping cat boxes and the pet shock collars it became apparent, pricing at pet stores were different on line and in store.
Petsmart, petco, etc.

Plus, make sure when returning it to the store if you purchased on line, that you have printed out the necessary forms. One of the pet stores requires it, not just the e-mailed info they send you with the summary price info, but something that helps them figure out tax and stuff.

Its always good to review the return policy of online brick and morter stores.
Connie

ziggystardust
04-14-2006, 10:27 PM
Sometimes the online stores, though they have the same name and same product are really different stores than the ones you have in your neighborhood. Different divisions of one larger company means different prices.

BTW, we have a gentle leader for our choc. lab. BEST THING EVER!!! I wish we had known about it sooner. She would basically strangle herself to no end, and now she walks in step with us. Amazing I say!

shades
04-14-2006, 11:06 PM
A bit O/T from you original post - but, I was going to buy 2 All-Clad pans online from Williams Sonoma online today because they didn't have them in the store. They wanted $55 shipping plus a bundle of sales tax and I just knew I'd find them some where else with free shipping and no tax. I did an amazon search and then checked out each seller. Amazon would have shipped for free but they only had one of the pans I wanted and it wasn't in stock at the moment. An Amazon seller - MetroKitchen - had both pans in stock, free shipping, and no tax. I ordered the pans this morning at about 9:30am mountain time and this evening when I checked my email I had an automated Fed Ex pre-ship notice that my package was picked up for delivery. AMAZING!! I saved about $80 by doing an extra 2-3min of shopping for free shipping and no sales tax!

indylaw99
04-14-2006, 11:06 PM
I've heard this about the pet stores in particular. My mom works for a vet and said that it has something to do with "warehouse"-like pricing. They ship everything out of one location for the website--less overhead, more identical inventory. So they can sell things cheaper. Sometimes I wonder if they wouldn't rather have you shopping online because of that and the price differences kind of force you to shop online more?

iNTeNSeBLue98
04-15-2006, 06:50 AM
I do understand that some online stores are owned/operated independently of the brick and mortar sites. My company is not, we're small enough that we pull web sale merchandise from about half of our store locations in the mid-Atlantic).

I think I would have been less ticked about the difference if there had been something on the webpage that said "online only price", like Walmart or Target where some items are only available online. Plus the fact that it was double priced in the store vs. online. I might have expected $2 or $3 more in the store, but $9?...because I chose to shop in a store rather than online.

I had to search through to the Customer Service page to learn that the price could vary between stores and online.

torinsmom
04-15-2006, 08:39 AM
If they would match it, why couldn't they just look it up AT the store? Seems kind of crazy to have you go print it out, KWIM?

Marsha

iNTeNSeBLue98
04-15-2006, 11:26 AM
If they would match it, why couldn't they just look it up AT the store? Seems kind of crazy to have you go print it out, KWIM?

Marsha

The cashier said they didn't have a computer at the store. :confused3

Anyway, I called the store manager before going over to the store for my refund. She all I needed was the print out showing it was the exact same item. I returned to the store and the gladly refunded $19 and change. They are aware of the discrepancy between the web and store, but all they can say is that online avoids the middle-man, in this case - the store. They were very nice and didn't show any negativity during the entire transaction.

You better believe I will be shopping online and printing out what I want before heading out to the store in the future.