When it comes to saving money, there are lots of grey areas and retailer policy loopholes to be taken advantage of that can help you save a few extra dollars on your purchases. I’ll be honest and admit that I have taken advantage of some of these loopholes myself over the years. However, at the same time I do aim to conduct myself with honesty and integrity but now and then I still catch myself wondering if I have gone too far or compromised my integrity in some way in an attempt to save a few dollars.
Here’s the situation. About a week ago I came down with a cold and, although I rarely take medication of any sort when I’m sick, I decided to buy some Cold FX to try and ward off the sickness a little quicker. I was short on time so I went to the nearest store to buy the Cold FX where I know the prices are often significantly more expensive than, say, Walmart. I was proven right as I ended up paying about $28 + tax for the 60 pill bottle. I didn’t know what the standard price for Cold FX was at the time, but I knew it must be significantly lower than that!
Fast forward to today, and I was perusing the flyers and planning to do some shopping at the very same store where I bought the Cold FX because they happen to have excellent sale prices even though their regular prices are almost like extortion. While flipping through the circular I immediately noticed that Cold FX was on sale for $10 less than what I had paid for it just one week ago. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if said store had a price protection policy that would allow me to get my purchase price adjusted to the lower sale price, but they don’t.
Most people would just chalk this up to rotten luck and move on. However, knowing the ins and outs of retailer policies combined with the fact that I was going there for a scheduled shopping trip anyway, I had to do something about it!
Fabricating A Price Protection Policy At Stores That Have None
After feeling a little ripped off on the original purchase, this is what I did to get my money back with very little hassle.
First, I went to the store making sure to bring my original receipt with me that had the $28 Cold FX purchase on it.
Second, I walked to the in-store pharmacy counter and purchased a brand new bottle of Cold FX at the sale price that is $10 less than what I originally paid.
Third, I promptly walked to the cash at the front of the store and returned the Cold FX that I had just purchased 30 seconds prior using the old receipt from a week ago consequently getting my full $28 refunded.
Therefore, my total out of pocket cost for the Cold FX after this fiasco is only $18 – a savings of $10 and the equivalent of what would have taken place had the store had a proper price protection policy, which I happen to think every store should have.
Doing this sort of thing is very easy because the two products are identical with the same packaging and bar codes, I had proof of purchase for both of them so I am clearly not stealing, and my original receipt is within the 30 day return window so the return was accepted with no questions asked because the Cold FX being returned was unused and still sealed. The store still makes a nice profit on the sale as well, albeit not nearly as much as they would have made had I never partaken in this vigilante price protection.
Do You Think What I Did Was Wrong?
On my way home I got to thinking if doing this sort of thing is morally wrong or could in any way considered to be fraudulent. Let me be clear, it is not my intention to be fraudulent in any way. It just frustrates me when stores mark their prices up insanely high when they can sell the same product for $10 less and still make a nice profit. The sales and marketing tactics employed by many retailers could easily be considered to be equally as deceptive and sneaky as what I did today. However, all things considered that doesn’t necessarily make it right now does it?
So what is your honest opinion? I can handle your criticism so be sure to let me know if you think what I did was wrong and your reason as to why. Or maybe you would do the same thing I did if given the opportunity – would you? Maybe you’ve even done something similar to this yourself before – have you?