Target Posts Its Holiday Price-Match Details But Forgets To Link To The Page

Written by Evan Schuman
October 24th, 2012

When Target announced its holiday season plans to match some online pricing last week (Oct. 17), it promised shoppers it would publish all of the details—its terms and conditions—on October 22. Technically, it did publish those conditions on Monday. Target simply forgot to link to the page.

Shoppers who tried finding the details on were locked into an endless loop. Clicking on the link provided on the chain’s news page took shoppers (and us) to a “More reasons to love Target” page, which had a link taking us to an “Our low price promise” page, which looped back to the “More reasons” page. As of Wednesday (Oct. 24), Target had finally inserted an updated price-match page, complete with details, into that loop.

The details, though, paint a very different picture than Target’s announcement did. In the October 17 statement, Target promised: “For the first time, Target will offer guests the ability to match select online competitors’ prices in its stores between November 1 and December 16.” That statement differs from Best Buy in that it didn’t exclude Black Friday. But in the terms and conditions, Target did indeed exclude November 22–24. (Best Buy’s exclusion is much greater, though, running from November 18–26; a difference between three days and nine days.)

The online retailers didn’t change much, with the initial published list of “,, and” only getting one additional name:, which is within the Toys”R”Us family.

Some of the other exclusions, though, are more baffling. Target stores in Alaska and Hawaii aren’t involved, and the program has a “limit quantity of 1 online price match, per identical item, per guest.” So if a shopper has two children and wants to get them the identical toy, and if that toy is being offered at Amazon for less, Target will only grant the lower price on one of them? Wouldn’t that simply make the shopper buy the lower priced one at Amazon and, given the effort, they might as well buy both of them there? What’s the rationale of that limit in a holiday price match?

Part of the problem is that rules need to be rigid. Target spokesperson Jessica Deede said the rule is there “to ensure Target is managing our inventory appropriately this holiday season.”

That’s understandable. But if a customer came in and truly sought two or three of the same item, is it really so problematic to honor the price and retain the sale? The problem is with quantity. Two might be fine, but what if that shopper wants 20? Or 2,000? Setting a limit makes sense. But why not five? Setting the limit as one would seem to undermine the point of the program.

Or this rule: “Items that are out of stock at Target or a competitor at the time the price match is requested; rainchecks will not be issued for any item being price matched.” Let’s set aside the legal question about whether some states will require rainchecks to be issued and honored.


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