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Target: Price Matching FAQs

by Tara Kuczykowski on November 14, 2009 · 42 comments

Target Grocery Coupons


I've been reading a lot of confused and discouraged comments lately, because it seems that everyone is having different experiences when price matching at Target. I hear some of you saying that your store won't accept a Target coupon on a price match, and many of you are unsure of just exactly what the procedure is for obtaining a price match.

So you'll be thrilled to know that Target has an updated Low Price Promise Policy on their site that should answer many, if not all, of the questions I've seen, as well as be a useful tool in getting all Target stores on the same page in price matching.

I recommend printing the entire document and carrying it with you, but here are a few notable pieces of info:

  • The entire original printed advertisement must be presented at checkout.
  • Target does not match coupon-required offers but guests can use Manufacturer or Target coupons when requesting a price match.
  • The program covers items with the identical brand name, size, weight, quantity and model number of the item at Target stores.
  • Online pricing will not be price matched.

There is also a long list of other exclusions that you'll want to look over, including the newly added exclusion of timed events (e.g., early bird, doorbusters).

So what is the process for price matching at Target?

Originally you had to take the item, your coupon(s), and the ad to the customer service desk so that they could perform the transaction. Lately I've heard that many of you have been able to price match at a regular regsiter with the rest of your transaction. I'd imagine that this is the direction they'll be moving in as a standard, but you'll still have to verify which procedure is in place at the store level for the time being.

If you aren't also carrying the Target Corporate Coupon Policy with you, I'd recommend printing it as well so you have all of the information at your fingertips should an issue arise.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah November 14, 2009 at 11:55 am

I hate that Target excludes "doorbusters". In my past experience Walmart will price match on doorbusters. Just in case anyone was unaware of that and wanted to keep from dealing with multiple lines. Happy Shopping!

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2 michelle November 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Thanks so much!! I just tried yesterday and they told me I couldn't price match and use a coupon. Now I will bring in the policy.

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3 katie November 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

If you love target then you would love mine. They never question any coupon, give a hassle on quantity or anything. My sister actually took in a circular that the item was a door buster from like 7am to 1pm and target still matched the price and let her use coupons and this was at like 8pm. The day I get hassled is the day I move out of this town! :) good luck and happy target holiday shopping!!

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4 meech t November 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm

wow, katie! where are you?

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5 caetie November 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I know every Target seems to have their own pickinesses, but our Target won't price match stores that have store cards--like Kroger, Price Chopper, etc. When I questioned Customer Service they pulled out their policy card and pointed to the Club Card exclution section (that had pics of the Costco card and Sam's Club Card). She said that since Price Chopper has a 'club card' (even though it's a free store card!!!) Needless to say, I think that is bogus. Hopefully your Target is better!

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6 Chriscia November 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I am right up there with Katie. Our target is great. I live in Bonney Lake BTW.

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7 Becky November 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I have never, ever had a problem with Target. As with each store, I print out their policies and carry with me in my binder, and I follow their rules completely, always reading over signs very carefully. Yesterday when I was checking out at Guest Service (because I had a price match) there was a very frustrated lady that had just checked out with coupons and was looking for a manager because her Glade $5 gift card did not prompt, so she didn't get it. The lady was raising a fuss and she looked over and saw my coupon binder. She motioned toward it and said that she wasn't sure it was worth it as she always had trouble. I asked her the problem and she said she purchased 5 Glade products and was supposed to get a $5 gift card, which she did not. I politely said to her that the signs all say 5 Holiday Scent Glade products, and I asked if that's what she purchased. She said no that she didn't see that on the signs. I walked her over to the check lanes end cap and she looked at the signs which clearly said that. There was one under each product on the promotion with that fragrance name under it. She was embarressed, of course. I suggested to her that rather than throw a fit, she might consider asking them if she could swap the ones she purchased for holiday scents. They said yes, her gift card prompted and they handed it to her with her receipt. She left happy. My point? Sometimes the stores are at fault and have difficult policies to follow (WAGS), but sometimes we just need to slow down and breathe. Often my first response is that the store is at fault when sometimes it's ME!! Target is exploring new waters (for them) as far as matching prices, etc. I'm just so excited because they have store coupons that I often stack with manufacturers coupons to get some amazing deals. I have never done that at Wal-Mart! Be patient, guys...but also, be prepared. Know the policies, print them and carry them with you. Often the attitude you project in knowing what you are doing is the difference between a manager or cashier helping you or not. Happy shopping all!

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8 Tara November 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I went to Target this morning with mixed feelings. There was one alphabet pal left and I figured I would try. I went to the register and he told me I'd have to go to customer service to price match. By this time, I'm thinking it will be a no go. I was so wrong! I was upfront with the lady and told her I didn't know if she could do it or not (I didn't want her to think I was trying to pull a fast one) and she said we'll see. I ended up paying .52 including tax and she even looked to see if they had more in the back for me! I was so pleased! I <3 Target!

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9 Jennifer I November 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I was given a hard time trying to match a DVD at Target because the DVD was "packaged" with a free coloring book. I was told it was a "Target Exclusive" item and they would not price match even though the DVD and the item # were the same. Anyone else encounter a problem like this?

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10 Heather Dixey November 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Thank you Deelseekingmom for all your clarification!
I didn't get the alphapal price match either but I am excited that they are price matching and I love their coupon generator!

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11 Tracy November 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I often use Target coupons on top of price match ups, and until today have been successful. I took the Toys R Us ad in today with the coupon and attempted to purchase the Alphabet Pal at Guest Services. They would not allow the sale because they claim their policy is not to match up with "timed events." My husband tried to explain that all saels are "timed events" whether it be one week or two days. Anyway, we left without the Alphabet Pal.

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12 Kristy November 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Jennifer I -

Are you talking about the Barbie and the 3 Musketeers DVD that had the Target exclusive coloring book attached? I used the Toys R Us toy book for price matching with no trouble and was even able to use the $5 Target coupon to get it for less than $5.

It seems that these things vary by store and the people you talk too!

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13 Melissa November 14, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I tried to get the shaun white Wii game yesterday w/ the TRUS ad. But Target has an exclusive Shaun white game that comes w/ the game so they would not honor it. Nor would they honor the wii music b/c the TRUS ad said 50% off insted of a stated price. Anyone know a way around that one or the policy if there is not stated price just a % off.

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14 katie November 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Meech I live in northeastern pa. Wilkes-barre / scranton area. Actually have 3 targets near me and the farthest one is 16 miles away! Me and target are a match made in heaven!

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15 Beth November 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I've yet to try price matching at my Target, but since I'll have their policy in hand, I think I may just try it! It's good to know that it's an option, at least!

Thanks so much for the post!

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16 Jan November 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm

I was unable to price match with the Toys R Us ad on the Alphabet Pals toy. I was told at customer service that they do not price match "special doorbuster" ads. I was very disappointed. I didn't have time to run around my city and try another Target, but I couldn't help but wonder if another Target within my city might have priced matched the ad I had in my hand. I am very happy for those of you who were able to work the deal on this on. By the way, I'm in St. Louis.

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17 heidi November 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I know with Walmart that there is only a certain distance that they will price match (ours is a 30 mile radius). Does anyone know if this is true for Target? Our nearest Toys R Us is over an hour away and I would love be able to price match things closer to home!!

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18 Heather November 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I did get the item today for 54 cents but it was a hassle. Since they couldn't show me anywhere that said doorbusters were excluded (except for their internal memo), they sold it to me...after much hassle. I just waited & was patient.

However, I'm still not seeing "doorbusters" excluded per se on their policy which I printed out. It states "limited quantities" so I guess that's what they mean. But I don't recall the TRUs ad saying limited quantities. I'd have to go re read it.

Either way, I'm sure the Target policy will be refined & modified. I'm pretty happy with stacking a Store Q & a MQ at Target...that should be good enough for me I suppose.

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19 Shay November 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I have had no problem price matching and using coupons at Target. I just got the Leap Frog Caterpillar for $.49 cents. I price matched it with Toyrsus ad this weekend and then used Target's coupon for the Caterpillar. No problems! Great deal!

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20 Noelle November 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I had no problem at all at the uptown Charlotte Target. There was only one on the shelf but, after he rang it up, the very helpful customer service associate went and got more for me out of the back. So 3 Alphabetpals, 3 Rayovac batteries and a write-on board for $2.33.

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21 Heather November 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm

This is interesting. I printed out the low promise facts last night. Went into Target this morning and at first they didn't want to price match because they said it was a limited time sale. My husband asked to speak to a manager and he was very nice and said that because he had taken the time to come over and he had the ad that they would give it to him. They said that they didn't want to use the 10.49 price and instead would give us 50% off, which is what the TRU ad read. Well since it is 19.99 at target this came to 9.99, then he used the coupon at it was free. But today when I pull up the ad it has the doorbuster exclusion, so it looks like it's a new part to the policy.

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22 kelliinkc November 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I attempted my first ever price match at any store at Target. I took in the entire TOYRUS circular in order to do the Barbie Three Musketeers DVD and the Barbie in a Christmas Carol DVD deal. I had my $5 off Target coupon and (thanks to blogs knew to look for a DVD with a $5 off peelie) and manuf. $5 off peelie. I told the young cashier that I had a couple of items to price match and asked if I did that at the register or customer service and she referred me to customer service (which I didn't mind doing at all-kinda expected it). I also told the customer service rep why I was there. First thing he said was "I need to see the ad", which I handed over, he opened the peelie and carefully read the front of the peelie coupon and at first said that I couldn't use it with the Christmas Carol DVD but with one of the others on the list. I looked again and and very politely showed him where it said Christmas Carol. He looked again and sheepishly said, "Sorry, I missed it in the middle of the list." He accepted the price match, $5 peelie and the Target $5 off coupon and I paid with my Target Visa to get another 5% off. I was loving that deal and all you wonderful bloggers out there!! Thank you for doing what you do everyday.

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23 Jane November 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Wow Shay, you're lucky! I called my target and they said they do no price match any "doorbuster deals" either. So I am in the same boat like most of the comments. BTW I am in Chicago, IL.

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24 SarahJ November 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I price matched twice last week at two different Target stores. The first clerk at the register knew just what to do. She checked the date on the sale flyer, made the adjustment on the item and let me use the Target coupon. It was EASY.
My second experience, the checker seemed to be a new checker and had never done it before. She went ahead and made the price adjustment and let me use my coupons. So far, so good. I'm thrilled with the process because I hate shopping our Walmart. Our Walmart always gives me issues when price-matching and using a mfg coupon and they will only match certain stores. Ugh.

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25 ms. drummer November 14, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I dont know where I was when the alphabetpal deal went up cause I TOTALLY missed this one. However, earlier this week, I was able pricematch the leapfrog deals from Toysrus at target to score the junior reader for $7.99 and the books for $4.99 after the coupon and pricematch with no problem. I did have to do two separate transactions though because I had to purchase the price-matched items at guest services.

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26 Saving Money for a Wedding November 14, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I just was in Super Target and got to price match a 3-lb page of apples. Final Price paid only $0.99!!

I did have to go to customer service, as the cashier at the register could not do it.

Check it our here: http://savingmoneyforawedding.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-target-deals.html

Thanks!

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27 hallie November 14, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Does anyone know if they'l match the BJs Toybook? I saw in store at BJs that the Baby ALive doll that pees and poops was $21.99 at BJs ($3 cheaper than TRU). I plan on trying the pricematch this week, but thought I'd ask first.

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28 Tara Kuczykowski November 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Ms. Drummer, I never posted the Alphabet Pals deal because I read that many people were having issues price matching it, so I didn't want to send everyone on a wild goose chase.

Hallie, according to the exclusions, they will not price match warehouse club prices.

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29 Linda November 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Today was the first time I did pricematching at Target and had no problems. I used the K-Mart flyer today along with the Hasbro coupons and Target coupons for the Pictureka game and Clue game. I got both for 4.99 no hassles and I did it at the Register, but there was a woman I met there trying to get the caterpillars and they told her no, cause she printed out the TRU flyer and did not have an actual flyer, so word to the wise - always have on hand the actual flyer. Thanks for all the great tips and links so I could get these games so cheap!Love this site!!

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30 ms. drummer November 14, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Thanks Tara, I felt like I missed something...these would have made awesome birthday/baby shower gifts! I do think I may try it though, the worst they can tell me is no....my Target is pretty cool. I usually dont have problems... except this week when I went and got wipes, the clerk got lazy and didnt ring 6 of my $1 coupons...luckily I was counting and knew what my OOP was going to be beforehand.

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31 S. Wade November 14, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I was able to price match at the Target in Watauga, TX, without any hassles today. It was my first attempt at price matching. They had me go the customer service desk. My cashier told me she was more than capable of doing it, but that the store manager will not allow cashiers to do so. Also, I know many of the Targets in this area allowed price matching for the Alphabet Caterpillar. I tried several locations yesterday and today and they were all out.

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32 Matthew November 15, 2009 at 1:04 am

i did the alphabet pals leapfrog match yesterday and was one of the lucky ones that got to price match + use a coupon and get it for 53 cents :)

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33 Target Employee November 15, 2009 at 1:21 am

Hi everyone! I am glad to see so many Target shoppers here. I work at the Guest Service Desk at a Las Vegas Target and I hate the way management treats our coupon policy. Just so you know, it is not that the cashiers want to be ignorant or mean but the Target I work at is more likely to yell at you if you take a coupon or price match something they don't want you to than to take a counterfeit $100.00!!! Here a few issues at Target and why they are so strict.

1. Target cashiers are timed per transaction. If you get a guest with coupons we get a "red" score simply because it takes more time to process the transaction. Same thing with checks, if you pay with a check or let your child count out $2.00 for their toy we are at jeopardy of being yelled at or written up if we don't improve our average score. The Guest Service desk is not timed so go there if you have a lot of coupons or price matching.

2. When you use a coupon at Target and then return that item you get the full amount of the item back, not the amount you paid therefore you end up with more money in your pocket. This is why we limit how many coupons you can use. For instance I wanted to do the Hasbro game promo for Pictureka Flipper. I bought it and used the $5 Hasbro coupon and the $5 Target Coupon. I paid $13 and change for it after my discount. I returned it the next day because I got the ad for KMart and wanted to price match making the game under $5.00 when I returned it I received $18.00 because they give you the amount of the manufacterers coupon back. The Target coupons work differently so those aren't included in the amount refunded. You can see how Target wouldn't want that to happen and believe me we have crooked people that simply buy and return coupon items to make money off of them. They are ruining it for the legit moms that are just trying to get a decent price on an item.

3. If you get an item that your coupon doesn't work on at the register go to Guest Services on your next shopping trip and say you forgot your coupon, or you could even try it before you leave the store that day. As long as it is within a few days you will be ok. I wouldn't do this all the time but if you feel the coupon is valid give it a try. One plus is that the item isn't right there looking you in the face so they can't say that isn't the same item pictured. I know I am a lot more reasonable with people than the cashiers simply because I frequent these sites and know how things should go down with the coupons.

4. When I want to do one of the promos that you guys discuss I usually go to a different Target than the one I work at because my Target is strict and unreasonable! I did the Hasbro game promo for Pictureka Flipper, Guesstures and Clues Secrets and Spies and the Up/Monsters's Inc deal and walked out with all those items for $36.00. My Target wouldn't do it but the one 3 miles away didn't even blink!

5. For anyone that tried to do the Alphbet Pals promo - YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO!!!!! We received a Christmas promo that specifically says "WE WILL GLADLY HONOR 2 DAY SALE PRICE MATCHES!!!!" (excluding timed events like 6-9pm) As soon as I walked into work on Friday I was told we would not honor them, about an hour later I read the flier that we received from corporate and I was so excited I wouldn't have to turn anyone else away but when I pointed it out to my front end managers they still would not let me honor the TRU ad + the coupon.

I hope this helps you guys. I am currently hoping I don't get fired because I price matched the Best Buy ad and used the coupons for 2 different customers that bought Up and Monsters Inc. I will probably get written up for it : ) Anyways, if you have any questions about this just ask here and I will do my best to get you an answer. I hope to see you at my Target because I will help you whenever I can with this coupon situation!!! See you soon...
Las Vegas Anonymous Target Employee

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34 hippiedad November 15, 2009 at 1:50 am

I live in the chicagoland area and have not had this problem, in fact I got the UP blue ray and Monsters Inc blue ray dvd's for thirteen dollars with coupons and price match described in deal seeking mom this very evening before I read these comments. My problem was finding a store that had both, I finally got them at the third target I went to and that was the last copy of m. inc., the service desk assistant call the last store and they held the copy for me . Also at each of the stores I went to they told me they would honor my $28.00 in coupons and the price match ( I brought in three different ads each with a lower price then target's and they gave me the lowest priced one as a match) so you help me save around 80%, Thanks DSM.
P.S. I am also sending in for the rebates that add up to $14.00 you had added to the info, bringing my final cost down to ZERO when I get the checks.

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35 Dani November 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Just wanted to share a Target toy deal for this week:
The Furreal Lulu the Cuddlin Kitty is supposed to be on sale this week for $39.99 (according to the circular) but is ringing up at $36.00. Even the website is showing the lower price (http://www.target.com/FurReal-Friends-LuLu-Cuddlin-Kitty/dp/B00243ZBS2/ref=sc_ri_1). Use the the $10 off Target printable toy coupon and it comes to $26 before tax. Not bad...I was going to price match the TRU ad that has it for $39.99 but this is a heck of a lot easier!!

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36 Sarah November 15, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Personally, I don't think Target is all that well organized when it comes to these policies that are supposedly laid down in concrete.

Time and time again I have heard from Target employees reporting just how much latitude and individual store has in setting "policy."

My local Target doesn't even bother to answer their phone a lot of the time. It literally can take hours to just get one person to even hello.
The employees seem to not have any info whatsoever on when Monsters Inc will be back in stock and are stumped as to how one would find out. Worse, you call the corporate "customer service" and you speak with someone in India that is well intentioned but has zero idea of what Monsters Inc is, much less what a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack is. They just blindly follow the listed inventory online. I think a 2 year old could give you equally reliable service.
Oddly, Target has been known to call Wal-Mart the "Evil Empire." Pot calling the kettle black.

I am so thrilled some of you have such a great store, it makes my day to know that people get low hassle service. I am totally stressed out by the employee reporting that they can be written up for actually doing their job.

Becky, I truly admire your preparation and organization. That is not the average person, at all. Kudos.
I don't think the woman you encountered should be hammered for being upset, given this marketing tactic is meant to create just the situation the Glade purchaser encountered and, hopefully, they won't ever notice. Few do.
Point being, a customer should NOT have to know the policy of the company better than the cashier, much less the management. A customer should not have to have so much burden put upon them that the average prudent person can't reasonably decipher what is expected of them to meet the requirements.
Stores know this and exploit the living bleep out of it, knowing that governments are very slow to enforce the rules, if at all.

Target local employees AND corporate have willfully and intentionally lied to me. I don't take kindly to that. Yes, don't shop there blah blah, but that only goes so far, consumer laws are broken and that has to be accounted for.

Were it not for people that press the issue, companies would continue with wishy washy policies and local "executive decisions" as the norm. Some couponers botch things up for everybody if they get excessively greedy, but many couponers and bargain hunters help the average shopper in getting things straight.

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37 Alan November 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Target corporate policies mean nothing! They decide when they want to follow their own guidelines. They are the kings in the corporate world of the bait and switch. When it comes to couponing and shopping (in general) I stay away from Target. I have filed complaints with the BBB and the Florida Dept. of Consumer Affairs so far. I hope other people who waist their time and resources as a result of Target's silly games will do likewise.

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38 evonne November 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm

does anyone know where to find what toys r us/ babies r us price match and accepting compeiteres coupons policy are

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39 Char November 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I just did 2 price matches at Target for the 3 Musketeers Barbies. One Target made me purchase at the register then go return & re -buy at customer service. The other Target did it all at customer service. Totally worth any hassle though, I price matched from this weeks Rite Aid flyer for 9.99 and used the target printable coupons for $5 off. So the $19 Barbie was $5.

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40 Lori November 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Funny that you mention Rite Aid, Char. I tried to ask for a price match at Target today with the current Rite Aid flyer. They said that they don't match Rite Aid ads, although they do CVS. What's up with that?

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41 renee June 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm

just to let everyone know wal-mart takes target coupons. i dont go to target anymore because its a hassle. i have gotten to know a hand ful of checkers at my wal-mart, that dont give attitude with price matching and coupons. but they will take other stores coupons so you can ad match and stack coupons.

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42 Kari November 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I just tried to get the target near my house to price match a toy that toys r us was out of, and the manager refused saying that the way he INTERPRETED the toys r us ad was that the toy I was looking for was "limited quantities" even though the ad did NOT say that. Also, in the ad I recieved from target, there was nothing that said "exclusions apply" or anything for their price matching, just that it had to be a current ad from a local competitor. He said he wasn't going to price match it because it was too big of a price difference and told me to go somewhere else. Thanks target, I think i WILL take my business elsewhere.

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