On November 13, US retailer Walmart announced that they will officially start matching the price for items which are also sold for a lower price by online retailers. Less than a week later, the price matching policy has been amended to exclude marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites or sites requiring memberships.
What actually happened?
Well, a few days after the announcement, the website of Sears, another big US retailer, was hit by a glitch that made Wii U and 3DS bundles listed for sale at a price three or four times lower than usual. Some quick-witted individuals misused this for getting the same price for the items at several brick-and-mortar chain stores (including Walmart), and bragged about it online.
As the glitch was fixed rather quickly, some fraudsters found a new way to pull off the same trick: they set up bogus online listings with low prices for the devices on Amazon, took a screenshot, then deleted the listings.
Armed with the printed out listing, they set out to attempt to scam Walmart store employees and managers. Some succeeded, others didn’t, but the scam attempts were quickly noted by the company, which reacted with the above mentioned change of the price matching policy.
“In future, if you want to get a price match at Walmart, it will have to be on items sold by Amazon, not just items sold on Amazon,” Consumerist’s Laura Northrup explained.