Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Price matching demands frustrating

Mark Fletcher
December 23rd, 2013 · 4 Comments

pricematchA customer yesterday wanted to buy the Melway street directory but they wanted us to match the K-mart price. K-Mart had sold out. Our price was $4.00 more. I explained we don’t match prices but we do have a discount voucher opportunity in place for $$ off her next purchase. She rolled her eyes.

It turns out K-Mart had sold out and this was the last Christmas gift she had to purchase. While I could have discounted, I resisted because I don;t want to get caught up in the price matching game. She bought the street directory and then two boxes of cards in a second purchase.

I think price matching marketing is lazy. It can also be deceptive. Good retailers will offer a competitive price for their product / service offering. Poor retailers will say we’ll match and then either sell product you cannot easily compare and or discount to ride off the traffic generated by the marketing of others.


Category: Newsagency management · retail

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David @ Angle Vale Newsagency // Dec 23, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Agree about the laziness and deceptiveness of price matching.

    I am planning a major push on stationery for the new Year and have been price checking against Officeworks. I know I can’t beat them on everything, but I am surprised at how much better my price is than theirs on other items, eg UHU Glustik, my price $3.99, theirs $5.40.

    If I was a customer and saw that price difference, I wouldn’t be asking them to match it, I’d be asking them why their pricing is so far out of kilter.


  • 2 Brendan // Dec 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    David, I did a comparison a few years back against Office works and about 75% of our products were cheaper than theirs at our full mark up. The remainder were not much cheaper than our shelf prices with the exception of their permanent loss leaders.;


  • 3 Jenny // Dec 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Long term price matching is not good for our businesses.


  • 4 Megan // Dec 23, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I recently needed to buy a component to repair my desktop printer. I did an internet search and found a few places that stocked it – not many, because it was an unusual item. OfficeWorks were 40% more expensive than two other (online) stores on an item that was being sold for about $95 by the competitors. I decided to test their price matching offer and emailed them with the URLs of the two stores that were so much cheaper than they were. I received quick and courteous responses – no problem price matching, but I needed to go in-store to my local OfficeWorks with a printout of the competitors’ prices and speak to the manager.

    I might even have bothered to do this except my closest OfficeWorks is about 10km away and when I checked online, I discovered that they didn’t have this item in stock. The closest OfficeWorks that had it in stock was about 20km away. The customer service people said that my closest outlet could arrange a special order for me.

    I asked myself why I was bothering – spending so much time in order to give OfficeWorks my business when the competitors had the item and were able to ship it to me overnight. I placed my order with the competitor and duly received the correct product, delivered to my doorstep – no problems, no hassles.

    Having been alerted by reading this blog to the frequency with which OfficeWorks charges more than others, I decided to post a comment on OfficeWorks’ Facebook page, drawing attention to my frustration with (i) their high prices (and, therefore, their inaccurate claims about being lowest cost) and (ii) all the time and effort that I would have needed to invest in order to give OfficeWorks my business.

    Again, a quick and courteous reply (on Facebook). That person advised me that I didn’t need to go to my closest store – I could have transacted my business entirely from home, but not by email. I had to phone the customer service dept, not email them, to organise the price matching. The Facebook person apologised that I had been given incorrect information in this regard, and told me that the two people that I had dealt with by email would be told that the information they had given me was wrong. The Facebook person invited me to do my business with OfficeWorks. I declined because although it ended up that I could have done it from home, at no time did anyone from OfficeWorks offer any explanation for why their prices were 40% higher than others nor did they apologise for misleading and deceptive advertising in claiming to be a low-cost provided.


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