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Survive This Economy: Sorting Through Price Match Offers On Holiday Shopping

Many retailers -- like Target, Best Buy and Amazon -- are offering price matching on some electronics for the holiday shopping season, but as always, shoppers need to look at the fine print to get the best deals. (Credit: CBS)

Many retailers — like Target, Best Buy and Amazon — are offering price matching on some electronics for the holiday shopping season, but as always, shoppers need to look at the fine print to get the best deals. (Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Some of the biggest stores have started offering shoppers something new this holiday season to help them “Survive This Economy.” Many major retailers have offered price matching, including for online competitors.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker shows you how to get the best price.

The Wrights are in the market for a new big-screen TV. As always, they’re looking for the best deal; so the newest promotion by Target and Best Buy to match the prices of online sites like Amazon is intriguing.

Marcus Wright said price matching is “the best thing in the world.”

But “the devil’s in the details,” according to Brad Wilson, founder of bradsdeals.com,

Those details include lots of exclusions for price matching.

For example, Target will only match prices from Amazon and three other online competitors. Best Buy will match the prices of Amazon and more than a dozen other online competitors, but only on electronics and appliances.

Wilson said it will be nearly impossible to get the stores to match the best online deals on big ticket items, because many stores receive unique model numbers for TVs, cameras and other popular electronics.

That means two stores might sell essentially the same exact brand and model of TV, but each store will have a different model number for that product.

“So Samsung might make a TV and it’ll be model number 12345A for Target, 12345B for Wal-Mart, and 12345C for Amazon,” Wilson said.

So shoppers can’t get price matching on products in those cases.

Online shopping still offers a big advantage in sales taxes. While brick-and-mortar retailers have to charge tax on every item, you won’t pay taxes to online competitors that don’t have stores in Illinois.

There are other catches to price-matching at some stores. Best Buy does not offer its price match promotion during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Target does.

Neither store will allow customers to apply online coupons codes to in-store products.