Apple Store Will Now Match Competitors’ Prices

November 25, 2008

Apple has apparently fired the first shot in the holiday shopping battle, by announcing internally that retail store employees have the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers. The stores have also cancelled all regular presentations on Black Friday, posted holiday buying tips have on Apple’s retail Web page, and created a special iPhone 3G gift card to help bolster holiday sales. Up to now, the stores have not given managers the ability to approve certain “deals,” but there has been no general price matching policy. As well, Apple traditionally never discounts its products except on Black Friday. It’s not clear if the pricing matching will be publicly announced through advertising or Apple’s retail Web pages. The price flexibility does come with some restrictions, including the customer supplying proof of the competitor’s pricing. Last Sunday Best Buy announced $50 to $150 discounts on various computer models, while Amazon.com typically offers year-round discounts on Macintosh models.Here’s an example of a price-matching receipt that was mailed to one Apple Macbook Pro buyer. Notice that the buyer also received a 10 percent discount on a La Cie hard disk drive.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

ars_workerbee November 25, 2008 at 0624

They have always price matched to brick-and-mortar stores. I haven’t read the new policy, so I dunno if they now match to online now.

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tape November 25, 2008 at 0651

er, when I worked at an Apple Store (2005-2006), we pricematched to any authorized reseller, brick-and-mortar or online, as long as the price was within 10% of Apple’s price.

so this article makes me think that they stopped doing that, and have started again?

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tape November 25, 2008 at 0652

obviously it had do come with some documentation (advertisement; showing us the competitor’s website with the price; etc.)

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professor November 25, 2008 at 0658

Much of this story is incorrect. As a long time Apple Store manager, I can state that retail has always had the ability to match prices with Authorized Apple Retailers with some limits, such as matching rebates and matching prices with Club stores. The policy is very clear and printed in the retail operations manual.

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James November 25, 2008 at 0857

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if he’d match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price. The clerk actually argued with the manager (politely) in front of me, saying “We’re not supposed to match prices”. The manager insisted and the clerk rang it at that price, but it was clear from her words and expression that she thought the manager was breaking company rules.

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john November 25, 2008 at 0955

that’s why she’s the clerk, and he’s the manager

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Michel November 25, 2008 at 1129

I know this site has a stated Apple Store bias, but I’ll take Best Buy’s $100-$150 off, no Black Friday lines, and Reward Zone 2% $ back offer any day. I find no prestige to be had in waiting in front of an Apple Store on Black Friday. In this economy, I’ll take all the $ back that I can get.

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Silver November 25, 2008 at 1749

The Apple Store always offered price matching. This is a non store!

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Used Macs November 25, 2008 at 1752

Apple is really going after as much of the market as they can, even if that means cannibalizing their resellers…

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louie November 25, 2008 at 1948

The stores have always priced matched brick and motar not web or catalogs for the last 4-5 years.

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Mumbo Jumbo November 26, 2008 at 0423

Apple has always priced matched Auth. Resellers on ” apple ” products by 10% if they have the item in stock. I have worked for Apple way to long to know that this article is incorrect. Sorry Gary!
And this whole thing about student pricing in Store Apple has not changed the % discounts for students they actually increased the discount on APP last year. They took away iPods because there is really no price margin on them anymore.
But I love the responses about this article about time!

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Gary Allen November 26, 2008 at 0441

Everyone – Thanks for the feedback on the price matching policy. The comment consensus is that it previously was a “policy,” although unadvertised, unoffered and rarely used. However, multiple sources indicate price matching is now more up-front among Apple’s sales policies.

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Apple ajusta el precio como sus competidores November 26, 2008 at 0716

[ ... ] Apple coincide en precios con sus competidores [ .. ]

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Lee in NC November 27, 2008 at 1020

I’d like to know if they’ll match bundle pricing like the deal BB is running with an iPod at list price with a $25 iTunes card…

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