Savvy shoppers in the US have found a way to take advantage of Walmart’s recently revised price-matching policy that has seen them pick up a PlayStation 4 (PS4) games console for as little as US$90.
The discount retail chain has long assured customers that if they find one of their stocked products in another store at a lower cost, they will match that price. As of last week, that policy was officially extended to included prices with e-commerce giant Amazon and other online retailers.
Brazen buyers were soon taking advantage of the revised policy when, as reported by Kotaku, a glitch on department store giant Sears’ website listed the price of Nintendo Wii U and 3DS bundles as just US$60. Presenting the listed price to Walmart store managers, they walked away with products that typically cost US$300 and US$200, respectively. One Reddit user even purchased three Wii sets.
With the glitch rectified, a new plan soon hatched. Fake third-party retail listings were set up on Amazon that priced the PS4 on sale for US$89.99, under seemingly legitimate names such as AmzonElectronics. The page was then screengrabbed before being removed from the site by Amazon.
Photo via Kotaku
Scammers who had success with the strategy soon took to Twitter to display their new console and sales receipts.
LMAO Amazon and Walmart jig just got ps4 for $97 pic.twitter.com/pEIKsCvdHN
— Taahaa Mobeen (@taahaa8) November 18, 2014
— Wow Dot Ben (@WowDotBen) November 18, 2014
Having discovered the scam, Walmart has since updated the policy to only include prices listed on Walmart.com and 30 other established online retailers.
Company spokesperson John Forrest Ales told Kotaku, “We launched online price matching because it’s the right thing for our customers. It’s making a meaningful difference for people who want to feel confident they’re getting the best price, and we’re committed to matching online prices going forward.”
“At the same time, we can’t tolerate fraud or attempts to trick our cashiers. This kind of activity is unfair to the millions of customers who count on us every day for honest value. With this in mind, we’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from Walmart.com and 30 major online retailers, but we won’t honour prices from marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites or sites requiring memberships.”
Amazon itself is preparing to open its first ever bricks-and-mortar store in the heart of New York’s major shopping district. The outlet will be located on Midtown Manhattan’s famed 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building and right up the street from Macy’s department store.
Walmart image via Shutterstock