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Target: Price Match Policy Updated Again

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 22, 2009 · 83 comments

Target Grocery Coupons

I must say I'm pretty disappointed with Target at this point. Instead of taking the time to present a well thought out price matching policy, they seem to be in a reactionary mode and updating it on a whim.

After just presenting a new version of their Low Price Promise last weekend, Target has already updated it again. Going forward Target coupons will be deducted before price matching. If the price in the competitor ad is still lower, then that price will be applied and any manufacturer's coupons will be deducted. So basically Target store coupons can no longer be deducted after the price match is made.

It seems to me that if Target really wants to provide excellent customer service and give customers an incentive to shop their store over a competitor, they would offer us a true low price guarantee, including honoring store coupons. As far as I'm concerned, price matching at Target is already difficult enough. I'll just take my business elsewhere.

Thanks for the info, KC Penny Pinchin' Mama!

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy Workman November 23, 2009 at 9:35 am

Hello Everyone:
I have had great experiences at Target. I don't use coupons there, but had good results with returns. Bought a food processor at one location and when I got it home to use, it was broken in the bottom. Took to another location to return and get a replacement, no problem. The manager was there and listened to what I said was the reason for return.
However, I won' t walk back into a Walmart ever, The same problems you are experiencing with Target, I get at Walmart. Too much trouble to shop and try to guess what there policies are at this moment i.e., returns or coupons. In the paper today, they say they will match competitors coupons. I laughed because (1) how long will it take them to get this done, (2) there sales people will not have a clue how to do this or if the store is doing this, (3) I did write to corporate, talked to the store manager and corporate is going to talk to the store manager. I don't care, because I still won't go back there. I hope by reading these comments I find that Target has changed their policies. Yeah, Walmart changes for the worst. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.
I have't used coupons at Target, but I like there merchandise most of the time and they do have go0d sales on electronics.


2 hallie November 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

How much money can they really be losing? I think they should suck it up and allow for the Target couopn to be used after the matched price. I know that even on my BEST behavior, I end up buying more than just the lost leaders. Not to mention that I have hit up the 75% off clearance toy sales for the past two years. If they are still making money on those items, they can suck it up and lose a few bucks to keep customers happy. Target will make up the difference by having a happy year round customer.


3 Tara Kuczykowski November 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

I think some of my comments have been misinterpreted, and I just want to set the record straight. My issue lies in the fact that Target seems to be changing their policies on an almost weekly basis instead of sitting down and thinking through everything to put together a cohesive policy. This has to be incredibly confusing for their employees, as well as the customers. I don't expect a company to sit back and lose money, but as I said, at this point they're just reacting instead of looking at the overall policy.

When I said I'll take my business elsewhere, I was referring to any price matching business. The process is far from smooth as it is, and without the added incentive of being able to use Target store coupons to reduce the price further, I'd prefer to go to a store that offers a hassle-free price matching customer experience.

And finally, yes, I am one of Walmart's Elevenmoms, but at no time have I ever stated that I shop exclusively at Walmart. In fact, I've been quite open about the fact that I shop at Target FAR more frequently than Walmart. I am not a shill for Walmart, and the program does not preclude me from talking about its competitors.


4 Whitney November 23, 2009 at 10:58 am

Target shopping has become very frustrating for me as well. I will, as well, be shopping elsewhere for my holiday shopping this year. I have gotten hassled at Target too many times this year.


5 Paula November 23, 2009 at 11:01 am

I have done several price matching deals at Target in the last couple of weeks and even with a good attitude they have been painful and time consuming. Without the added bonus of using Target coupons I'm not sure I can see the value of waiting in line at the service desk. (My store does not price match at the registers.)

I am new to couponing but I think I am going to look for another store with price matching. Sounds like Walmart prices matches.. I would love for Meijers to price match. Any other suggestions? Kroger?


6 Wow November 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

"Target coupons will be applied before the price match is made. "

Thats Rediculous...


7 Kelly November 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

That leaves no incentive for me to price match there. The only reason (for me) that is was a good deal to price match there was because you could also use a Target q. Now, I'll just get the deals at the store that offers them. I avoided Target anyways before this price match thing came out since they are the WORST in my area with using coupons. I hate to waste my time planning trips if you never know how the cashier will respond to your coupons - it was always so variable. I'll just go back to not shopping there.


8 Jess November 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Yeah, it's a bummer, but it was coming. They were essentially beta-testing their store coupons and price match policy. Now we're in Store Coupons and Price Match Policy versions 1.0.

My only gripe is while we have 2 computers, our second computer is Windows 7 (came that way) and the Target coupon printer doesn't support that (but it supports Vista, blech. lol). So I can't get my 2 extra that I would be allowed. I'm gonna miss on the Nabisco, Pepperidge Farm, and Del Monte deals, and I could really use those. I gave all of those items I had already gotten to my grandparents who are on fixed incomes (one taking care of my 4 year-old cousin) and really, really need them. Guess I can't get any for myself. Oh well. C'est la vie.


9 Heather Dixey November 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

wow i hope you included a link to this blog so who ever gets your letter can read all the responces of their customers and former customers.


10 Shannon November 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Well said, Tara! I rarely shop at Target as it is because I get so frustrated when I shop there. First their strict return policy, then this. Are they TRYING to provide bad customer service?!?


11 Laura November 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm

I can see how Target would lose money if they deduct Target coupons after price matching, especially if they allow both in conjunction with a "buy x get a $x gift card" deal. However, the new coupon print limits should curb these losses. I'm actually a huge supporter of the new print limits. I've wasted so much paper printing out Target coupons only to find the items completely bought out of stock by customers with fistfuls of Target coupons. Maybe now I can snag a deal or two!


12 norma November 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Your lowest price guarantee sucks! Eff you target!


13 KJ November 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Go, Amanda Stribling (#48)!


14 Brittany November 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Beyond price matching & coupon issues Target has poor customer service all around. I had to beg them to sell a game because they were arguing with me about its release date. I finally called another target who said it was already on their shelves. So the manager went in looked in the back for the 57 copies they had in inventory. When he couldn't find them he changed his story from them not yet been released to being sold out. They change their story to fit the circumstances instead of just telling the truth.


15 jamie November 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

I couldn't agree with you more and I think the same thing about this as a I already did about Target. It STINKS, Target STINKS…first of all Target already charges more for a lot of items than what other retailers do, if not for that fact, then one wouldn’t need a Target coupon to offset their high mark up. For me personally this is just more of their usual MO, they are constantly finding excuses to not accept their own coupons or follow their own policies. I now see why they finally put their coupon and price matching policies online, it was so that they could change them every week to suit their own needs. The Target stores in my area give me a hard time every time I go there, I can never use coupons without having to call corporate and I never leave there in a good mood. I get awesome deals with and without coupons at other stores and finally decided that if Target couldn’t follow its own policy, and treat me well as they should any customer, then quite frankly they don’t deserve my business. I now refuse to shop at Target and wouldn’t shop there if they offered to pay me to do so. In today’s economy the focus should be on good customer service, because that is what sets on retailer apart from another, in my area Target has POOR at best customer service. I realize from reading some other comments that this is not the case for all of you and I’m happy to know that in some places Target follows its own policies, I just wish they did so consistently. As far as Target losing money on a $.49 cent toy, I really don’t feel for them there either, part of the lure of Target only coupons is to get you in the store where you will hopefully spend money on other products.


16 kim November 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I must say I haven't been happy with Target in the past several trips there. In fact, last week, they had canned vegetables for less than 50 cents a can. Of course they were sold out but had rain check vouchers. The add said limit 12 per vegetable. When I brought the rain check up at check out the cashier asked how many of each I wanted and I said 10, she couldn't type 10 in and she asked the "manager" what the problem was. When the manager asked how many I wanted I told her 10 and she said I was requesting too many. She said that the customer is only allowed what a typical family will eat and are not expected to take more than what your family will consume at a holiday meal...What the hell?! I pointed out that the add didn't say that and it says 12 cans of each vegetable and I was asking for even less than that. Again, she just gave me this look like was scamming and trying to be greedy and said I am not expected to clear their shelves but rather only use a rain check on what my family can eat in a sitting...WHATEVER!!! This is the Target in Florence, KY.


17 Nicole November 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm

EVERYONE needs to go back over their Target receipts. I had a Target receipt that had items separated for their promotions into a special paragraph by themselves like Target does & the manufacturer coupons were subtracted,(supposedly),on the receipt in that same paragraph. When I added it on a calculator, it hadn't subtracted the amount of the coupon even though they were listed on there!


18 kim November 23, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Ha! Let me just say that I honestly know how to spell "ad" and don't even remember typing the second "d" in my above comment.....Anyway, I felt I had to explain the above error and again state that Target hasn't been very customer friendly in recent months!


19 Val B November 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm

If Target reads this I would tell them I knew all along they did not want us to use coupons. The managers and cashiers I have had to explain their coupon policy to in the very beginning was mind boggling to say the least. If they are competing against Wal-Mart and Amazon they lost! Amazon and Wal-Mart did not need coupons to give all of us lower prices. Why can't Target just lower their prices? They are proving to me they are the snobby sob's I knew all along.


20 Rebecca F November 23, 2009 at 11:53 pm

I have had it with Target and all its reactionary policy making. I also can't stand that one store will have a different reaction to the exact same thing from the next store a few miles away. I went today to get in on the Glade candle deal and was met by such resistance from the very rude cashier, who in essence said I was stealing from Target. I politely but firmly said I was doing no such thing and did not appreciate being made to feel like I was doing something bad. The cashier continued to tell me how I was working the system negatively and that people have been returning the candles and refills to receive a full priced refund. I said she could write absolutely no return, no refund on the receipt and I would be happy with that. The Assistant Manager came over and continued to say that not only could I not buy the items with my coupons but that I would be limited to how much I could buy because they wouldn't allow me to empty their shelves! I was buying six tins and four refills!!! They then continued to tell me that I was doubling up coupons. I had five items per transaction (I was going to do two) and I had five coupons per transaction, so where was the doubling up?!??! It continued on until the store manager came over and just stood there like back up. I wasn't being loud or insolent but I was very, very frustrated! They said they just had a meeting about the candles and the manager had informed them that "couponers" were not going to be allowed to do this deal anymore and that it had come down from corporate. How absolutely sickening! I told them I did not appreciate being made to feel like I was stealing when I clearly wasn't and that they were going to get every penny of their money when they were reimbursed by the manufacturer. There's more but honestly, I am getting all riled up again and should stop. I can't see much reason to shop at Target unless they absolutely have the lowest price around without any coupon or price matching AND they somehow manage to have it on the shelf. I wish I could shop there without so many bad experiences but I just feel like there's always another one around the corner. Ughhh!


21 Janel November 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

Thanks for helping us keep these stores' policies straight. It IS a hassle to price match, and the last thing penny pinching moms need (who drive an extra mile to get a good deal sometimes) is to have the rules switched on a whim--a whim they may not be aware of.


22 Michelle - Chicago Suburbs November 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I have also decided to take my business elsewhere. I have been venturing into Target because of their good deals, and I do not normally enjoy shopping there and have been met with nothing but problems from cashiers and customer service managers. One CSM actually threw my money at me when she was told to refund it by the store manager because I was right in telling her that her own stores policy was for me to be able to use (1) store coupon & (1) mfg coupon, which she would not allow me to use. She then told me how sick and tired she was of "you coupon people" and that it was going to be a very long holiday season. Then she told me I could only price match if the item was on sale at Target and on sale at the SAME time somewhere else for less money. She actually said more horribly insulting things on other issues I raised with her about how I was charged for items that were marked for less on the shelf, which I was right about too. NO matter how you dice it, the experience was the worst customer service I have EVER recieved in my life and I will never return for any kind of deal. I was pleasant but firm with her and I just killed her with kindness no matter how rude she was. I have worked retail in my life and I hated when people yelled or were rude, so I never do that.


23 Barbie November 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I go to my local Target and try to price match an item and then use a manu coupon and half the time they do it and the other times they say no. Then today, I go in to price match those tag books and use a manu coupon that I got from the Wendy's kids meals. Not printed but the actual coupons, use 6 coupons for 6 books and they hassle me. Like I am stealing and I get the attitude from them like I am buying too many of them. I don't like shopping like that. I want a pleasant experience and not the feeling that I dread having to deal with the hassles EVERYTIME I shop. Shopping isn't even fun anymore at Target.


24 Sarah November 25, 2009 at 1:34 am

I think it is easy to become greedy and see what all you can get for free when becoming addicted to coupons! Let's remember that one of the pluses of saving money through using coupons and shopping sales is not just to hoard up a bunch of "treasures" for ourselves, but also to be able financially to bless someone who needs it.

Looks to me like Target has HAD to change their recent policies due to abuse.


25 drove2 November 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm

It DOES NOT PAY to LIE to your customers.

In Fact, It is A GOOD WAY to LOSE customers.
If you DO NOT price match say so.


26 Barbie November 25, 2009 at 10:24 am

I belong to the slickdeals community and I must agree that I have seen some abuse of coupons and deals but for the most part I see just ordinary people wanting to get something on sale during hard times and the stores are just not wanting to give those bargains anymore. They want to make these rules and that is fine but like Target who has changed it's price matching policy three times in a month well it just frustrates shoppers and they will lose business in the end. Make me feel like I am stealing or hassle me about how many items I am buying and you will lose a regular customer. Hassle me during the holidays and I will not be shopping with you the rest of the year. Simple as that.


27 lisa April 22, 2010 at 7:12 am

Target price match is a disgrace. Every time you go in they find an excuse not to match the price. One visit they tell you they will match any ad that is not a closeout but then you bring the next ad and it is not a weekly ad? The ads that Target would not match, Walmart did.


28 Jadey June 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Targets price matching just sucks monkey balls! I was looking to buy a Samsung 32" tv from them but noticed the price went up from 449 to 499. I checked Best Buy and Walmart and their price for the tv was at 499. I brought in a printed ad from BB in hopes of Target to price match... low and behold they did not honor the price match. I left very angry and ended up buying elseware! Do not participate at Target ever!


29 Jadey June 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm

My mistake, the price from bb and walmart was 449, not 499 like I stated above. Either way Target does bad business imo!


30 drove2 November 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Other price matching exclusions include:

Online prices, including
Promotions or products advertised on another company's web or mobile sites, even those advertising in-store prices.
Timed events (e.g., early bird, door busters)
Items advertised as limited time/limited supply/limited quantity
Membership club or loyalty programs (e.g. prices that require a club or loyalty card)
Coupon-required or giftcard offers
Prices advertised only as a percent off or $ off
Competitor's free product, buy one, get one, bundled offers, or special purchases
Mobile coupons
Sales tax promotions
Damaged product or opened packaging
Clearance or closeout items
Mail in offers or instant rebates
Product services (warranties, assembly, etc.)
Going-out-of-business liquidations
Special financing
Used or previously owned items
Display merchandise
Pricing or typographical errors
Owned brands (i.e., Home, Merona, Circo, Market Pantry and Archer Farms)
Non-branded items (e.g. produce not marketed under a specific brand name)
Target Portrait Studio, Optical, and Clinic offers
Expired Ads


31 jham October 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Wow , this sounds exactly lik emy experience with wal-mart! i was hoping that target would be my ad-matching night in shining armor, :( what to do now? with wal mart i actually called the main office in bentonville becuase their policy clearly states that they ad match "prefereed customer card prices"... the csm told me that they do not at all, headquarters told me that this confusing for the cashiers because they dont know how to make the item free, wether the coupons OR ecb make it free, but that it is definately allowed. so then i got a call from a woman at the wal mart i went to and she was apologetic and agreed that they definately do honor these ads, so i went in again, met resostance at the register, and the very same woman i had talked to on the phone said they would not honor the ad match and they only honer preferrred customer rewards from places like kroger and that they also would not honor my competitors coupons... wal -mart is a joke and apparently so is target. where to go from here???


32 jham October 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm

also, they state int heir policy that htey do not need the ad to price match- not true that last three(unsuccesssful) trips i have to wal-mart they ask to see every single ad and find a reason not to ad match it... and also demand to know what store the ad is from.... i just want to know how they can get away with all of this when the policy clearly states that these are acceptable transactions? even when headquarters gives the go ahead they do not honor their own policy!


33 Evelyn Cautt October 8, 2012 at 12:30 am

I was shopping at target Woodland Hills today , my son want to purchase a video game for PC , we find a comparable price in three different store , Target price match is a disgrace. Every time you go in they find an excuse not to match the price. Every store match any price. Target store will always show the capitalist mind.


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