Coming across a great sale at your favorite store is one of life’s great, simple pleasures. But what happens when it’s out of stock or, perhaps, you don’t live near a brick and mortar location? Gamestop, who regularly offers great deals on games and game related things, doesn’t have locations in every town. So the question for many of us becomes: how do we get our hands on the great, exciting deals? Well, it turns out, if you head down to your local Walmart, you just might be in luck – they will often (though, as we’ll explain below, not always) match deals that are offered by their competitors.
So let’s say you find a Nintendo DS on sale at your favorite games store but you live two hours away from the nearest location.
Does Walmart price match in this situation? The answer isn’t clear based on their website, where they only list online retailers whose prices they match, which include major sites like Amazon. So it isn’t clear from this whether or not they’ll match Gamestop’s brick-and-mortar location.
But a quick call to a store confirms (at the moment of this writing, and with the representative we spoke with) that they’ll match any brick-and-mortar location’s prices. There are, of course, limitations to this. Firstly, the game has to be in stock at both locations in order for them to price match it. This often comes up and becomes a problem when a game is on a large sale and suddenly is completely out of stock.
The item must also be identical in order for them to match the price. If, for example, you’re trying to buy a Nintendo DS and have it price-matched, it has to be the identical color, model, and make. If the red one is out of stock and that’s the only one that’s on sale, you’re going to be out of luck.
Other exclusions include: they’ll only match one price per customer per day, they won’t offer rain-checks if the item is out of stock, and they won’t match if it’s advertised as a percentage or dollar-off sale. This means that the price at Gamestop would have to be listed as “Nintendo DS for $109” not “20% off all Nintendo DS,” which disqualifies a fairly large number of sales.
They also won’t price match bundle deals, used/damaged/refurbished items, and prices that can’t be determined without the existence of other items (free-shipping for orders larger than the cost of the single item.) They also exclude Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, so don’t even try with those.
Of course, all of the policies mentioned above are fallbacks. The deal with in store price matching is that it’s almost always at the whim and call of the manager on duty. If it isn’t a cut-and-dry case. For example, say your game is the PS4 version and the one offered for matching is the Xbox version. If you plead your case to the manager, they very well might help you out. Of course this isn’t to say that you can always skate by so easily. They very well might say no, and in doing so they’ll probably point to the policy that disqualifies you (often it’s the “out of stock” clause.)
The online price-matching is pretty cut and dry. They provide a laundry list of online retailers that they’ll match for, and in this case there’s no human manager who will likely hear your case. You just have to stick to the policy, and Gamestop is not on their whitelist.