Walmart USA getting smarter with pricing: The Saturday Weekend Review #64

Walmart savings catcher receiptsBEAT OUT THE COMPETITORS

 

Walmart USA is making headlines again with more pricing strategies which I think is smart.

Pricing wars are not only popular at the grocery stores in the USA but also here at home in Canada.

With recent talks of suppliers upset over the low pricing of products just to get customers through the door with what they call loss leader products things could change.

A loss leader is a pricing ploy where a product is priced under the marketed cost or what the store purchased it for just to get you, the customer through the door.

I was right when I said to save those receipts and now more than ever if you are using your receipts to save money with the new apps available you are thanking me for suggesting you keep them all in an envelope to do your budget.

Already retailers will do just about anything to drive customers in to use coupons, price matching and now introducing smart phone app programs such as Checkout51, Snapsaves, CartSmart and PC Plus points.

Just last week I was shocked when Food Basics in our area said they now allow printable coupons. There was a time that they never accepted them which meant we shopped elsewhere. The game of grocery just keeps on getting more competitive and it’s not going to stop.

I was reading an article this morning that says now Walmart USA recently came out with a new online tool called a “Savings Catcher”. Now the idea is that it tracks advertised prices of thousands of products online. If a lower price is found at another store the discounter will refund the shopper with an in-store credit.

I don’t know the in’s and outs of the Walmart USA program but it sounds interesting from what I read of it. My understanding is that you set up a Walmart account at www.walmart.com then log onto the Savings Catcher page.

When you come home you enter data from your receipt at the Savings Catcher page and the computer system does the checking for you. If it finds a product at a lower price they will give you a store credit. Brilliant!

 

Automated savings

 

I’m not sure why they would have to wait until the customer gets home to do all of this. Why not have it automatically set up at the store. If the customer signs up for an account have the cashier punch in a number or swipe a card and let the computer do the work right there and either give the customer a store credit or take the money off the bill. Seems too easy, but maybe in the future.

In Canada you can price match which would be similar as well as do a product price adjustment at many retailers provided they offer this.

For example if you make a purchase at Canadian Tire for a product and the next week it’s on sale in the flyer you can go back for a price adjustment although you will get actual cash back not a store credit.

What I thought was pretty cool is that Walmart USA simplified their price matching policy but having all the competitors prices on hand for the customer. This eliminates the need for the customer to drag in all the flyers, spread them on the grocery belt holding up other customers.

Most stores that allow price matching also allow you to show the price on your smart phone but if you are like me and don’t own one you have to bring the flyers into the store with you which is a pain in the backside.

I thought it was a brilliant idea to have the competitors lowest advertised prices for the week ready on hand so all the customer had to say was that they were price matching to such and such a store and the cashier had the info.

How smart was that? I’m pretty sure there are faster ways of doing it with all the technology we have today and in the future I’m betting it will all be computerized.

There will be no need to even tell the cashier the computer system will automatically detect the lowest price and you will get that price. Some stores like Freshco go a step further and beat that lowest price which would be an even bigger perk.

All I have to say is smart going for Walmart but who knows if we will ever see these time and money saving perks in Canada.

How far will retailers go to get you in the door to shop?

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

It was a super busy week for us here in the CBB house as we ventured over to the Home and Garden show right in Toronto which was amazing. We did manage to buy something for the house which I will talk about later on in a blog post.

It was interesting to see the dream home that they had on display. The layout and colour choices were similar to our tastes. They had a lovely sunroom that anyone would have loved to sit in all year long with a two-sided gas fireplace. The kitchen was grey which went well with the house and it’s an unusual but popular colour this year in many homes.

We spent the entire day roaming around and getting pulled in by salespeople to make a purchase. The best part was all the sampling. Boy did we have some yummy samples.

Other than that I’ve been sick with the flu the past few days and I just hope the sun gets here at a faster pace. Nothing too exciting happening with the blog at this time although it’s been nice to see more people commenting on blog posts. It’s important to me that readers leave a comment it shows me that they read the post and was interested in the topic.

Have a great week everyone.

-Mr.CBB

 

Fan deals and inspirations

 

laundry soap deals

Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week Nicola shares here steal of a deal on laundry soap which is hard to pass up at this price.

Hey Mr.CBB

Here you go this is the deal I found this week while I was out grocery shopping. I price matched the following products with Canadian Tire at RCSS

  • 9 bottles of Arm Hammer $2.99 with $1.25 coupon = $1.74 each
  • 2x 6pks of Royal tissue paper $3.99 with $1 coupon = $2.99 each
  • Total spent $21.64

-Nicola

 

Making a difference

 Mario Bonifacio

If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email so I can reach out to them for a feature story.

Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured by all means get in touch with me as I am filling spots up for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.

Today I’d like to introduce you to my blogger friend Mario Bonifacio who blogs over at Adventures in Frugal. Check it out!

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

More than any other goal, my hope is that readers of my personal finance blog “Adventures in Frugal” are able to find inspiration to get a little more enjoyment out of life using frugality, debt pay-down strategies, and the other personal finance tools that I discuss.

I see my blog as something of a hybrid: I share frugal tips and other personal finance knowledge including thoughts on saving and investing. But I also discuss how to tie that personal finance knowledge back to happiness; and how to use personal finance as one tool to help me chase my passions.

I think that far too many people wrongly look at frugality where the only step is doing less of everything. I see it as a long process of getting to know yourself to figure out what you really care about – not just to spend less on the things that matter less, but to focus your time, effort, and money on those things you’re truly passionate about.

This has been true of my own experiences.

I started this blog at the beginning of 2013 as a way to document my personal journey out of debt and to hold myself accountable to the judging eyes of the internet.

What I quickly found was that paying off debt, learning ways to live more frugally, and otherwise getting my financial house in order, didn’t just help me out on paper; it made me more confident about chasing all the adventures I’m passionate about.

It’s this same confidence that I hope to impart on my readers.

 

What is a blog carnival?

 

Some fans have asked me “what is a blog carnival?” so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans.

A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web. Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed.

If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

 

Carnival glory

 

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals and/or sharing my blog posts with their fans.

Carnivals

Blog Mentions

 

Google search terms

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Optimum Shoppers Points Cheat- Ya, you don’t want to be cheating the system you’re only bound to get caught
  • Canada Pot Smoker Life Insurance- Hmmm not sure about that one.
  • I want women for….- I don’t know you finish the sentence
  • Is bread with an expiry date of Feb 25 too old?- I just don’t understand sometimes lol…
  • Never be proud of yourself- Way to motivate…

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #64. Have a great week and catch me here again next Saturday with more updates.

-Mr.CBB

 

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Photo Credit:freedigitalphotos.net/patpitchaya

 

Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Pat Ciulka says:

    Interesting idea. I don’t think it would encourage me to start shopping at Walmart though. Hopefully some other Canadian stores will see this and adopt their idea!

    • You never know Pat competition is fierce in this industry however just like Julia said you can opt to price match at other stores and keep the money in your pocket OR check your receipt when you get home at the Walmart website and the credit is applied for you to spend at Walmart. There’s always something lurking…. you know! :)

  2. I think it’s loss leader, rather than lost leader, because they are taking a loss on the product.

    • Sheila, You are so right. I am so ill with the flu that my brain is not operating. I’ve updated that, thank-you so much and have a great weekend. :)

  3. I think its nice that the systems are progressing, but hoping still that its not more of an illusion of savings to trick the customer through the door.
    If they pursue this option as an ALTERNATIVE to price matching at the register, then what’s happening is the customer is getting store credit where they would have usually kept the cash in their pockets!So while people may think this is “convenient” for shoppers, it’s actually just fattening Walmart USAs pockets;)
    Will be very interesting to learn the ins and outs of the program if they decide to roll it out in Canada!
    Julia @ Save Big Live Better! recently posted…In Case You Missed It (March 21)My Profile

    • I think that was what I was questioning at one point in the post. Why it was not done at the cash with the technology that we have today. You are right Julia the money is staying with Walmart so it’s again smart on their part with pricing. They know what they are doing.

  4. Brad Gold says:

    Our local walmart no longer produces flyers so I no longer know what is on sale or not unless I go there, so instead, I’m looking at just shopping online and having it delivered to the local walmart (which doesn’t count towards their sales figures). Yes, it saves them about 25 grand a year in printing costs, but how much in sales are they losing? Our community is a largely rural one, so people rely on the flyers to know if it’s worth their time to drive into town to shop and if they don’t know what’s on sale, they won’t bother.

    • That’s a good point too Brad. Not everyone has a computer or smart phone either. They are appealing to the masses it seems like. What is in is where they are directing their marketing tactics. I understand exactly what you are saying. Good point mate.

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    It will be interesting to see if they bring this into Canada and just how they roll it out… I think the competition in Canada is getting more fierce as we are having the American retailers moving here now more and more. It was a big deal when Walmart moved up here but they were just the first of many now.
    I understand Brad’s point completely as we don’t get the SDM or No Frills flyers delivered to the house with the rest of them. I have talked to the stores and it is a head office call. The dear lady at SDM told me they use your optimum number to tell where you live and what store you shop at so they can tell if it is worth it for them to send flyers our way, being in a small town and they are out of town for us. It’s a catch 22 there as if we don’t shop there we don’t get the flyers but if you don’t get the flyers we don’t know if it’s worth the trip so we don’t go there……
    Nicola got a super deal on that Arm and Hammer!!!! I didn’t have that lovely coupon to save with but I still got 3 jugs at the 2.99. Still a good deal for me!!
    Glad to hear you enjoyed the home show in Toronto!! There is one coming up shortly in Stratford, tempting thought. Hope you feel better soon and have a good weekend!,

    • Yes it does make it a tough call whether to drive in or not for the deals unless you get the flyers. My mother in law is in the same boat and sometimes has to call in to see where the flyers are. It’s odd sometimes they show up and other times they don’t. Yes Nicola did score a great deal…. :) I hope I feel better soon too.. it’s hard getting ill the first days of Spring…

  6. That Walmart Savings Catcher program sounds interesting, I hadn’t heard of that before. I’ll have to check that out!
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted…Weekly Money Roundup #17My Profile

  7. Mary F. Campbell says:

    I just got back from Palm Springs and we shopped at Walmart every day! There are some things we use that you just don’t get cheaper anywhere else… gallons of water for one! I also hauled home this monster big bottle of instant chicken boullion. We certainly don’t even see that size here at home!!! Hubby loves their deli fresh “take and bake” pizzas & really enjoyed the one he got on sale over the vacation. You really have to know your prices and watch your sales with all the competitors. I loaded my digital coupons each week onto my Ralph’s card so that I got the discounts I wanted that we available. :-) What does it matter if Walmart gives store credit if you will shop there for other items anyway? So the next time you are in to get the always low priced item… you’ll have a credit to use. I don’t use paper flyers… I do all my price comparisons online. We use a lot of different stores in the US for our groceries and I have the discount cards for them all. I have to say, I was really impressed that the Albertson’s manager emailed me regarding their gluten free products after I completed a survey. He offered to bring in the products I desired and for me, sometimes the customer service is more important than the pricing. :-D

    • That is the other alternative. If you are already a Wal-mart shopper at some point in time you will be using that store credit. Some people on the other hand would like to have that savings in the bank account for other reasons. It’s catch 22 really and depends on works for the individual. I still think it’s a brilliant idea and the ideas are only bound to get more exciting as the years go on.

  8. Thanks so much for the mention. I truly appreciate it :)
    Mario Aventuresinfrugal recently posted…Simple rules of thumb to split a restaurant check (to save money); math!My Profile

  9. I get such a thrill from price matching while grocery shopping. I have several flyers and love telling the cashier, “I have a price match for this, this and this.”
    If Wal-Mart Canada does roll out this “Savings Catcher” feature, I’d be all for it. While you are only getting in store credit, if it’s at a store you shop at frequently for the essentials (such as toilet paper and laundry detergent), then I think it’s worth it.
    MakintheBacon recently posted…The Price I Pay to RelaxMy Profile

    • That’s great that you get a thrill from price matching although I’m betting the stores will make it easier and easier just to grab customers and less hassle for us.

  10. I don’t shop much any more at Walmart, I find that their loss leader deals are never in stock, the stores are extremely messy and disorganized. The food quality is horrible and quite often they’re not much cheaper than Longo’s or the PC chain of grocery stores.
    I still flip through all the flyers before going grocery shopping to make sure I’m getting the best deal without having to drive all over the place. My time is important and if I have to drive too far out of my way for $1.00, it’s not worth it.

    The Savings Catcher idea reminds me of the movie Miracle on 34th Street where the Santa was recommending other stores with better prices. The store thought it was bad but in the end the customers were super happy and said they’d be lifelong shoppers. We’ll see what happens….
    Michelle recently posted…When Quality No Longer Justifies the Price TagMy Profile

  11. Savings Catcher is presently only in selected U.S. markets. From a grocery standpoint Savings Catcher Terms and Conditions state that weighed products like produce and meat are not eligible thus meaning a dedicated price matching shopper would have to Ad-match these categories at the register. The maximum amount you can redeem per calendar year is $599.99 and any amount remaining in your account at end of a calendar year will be redeemed for you. Receipt submissions are limited to 7 in a one week period and 15 in one month.

    These are healthy amounts and reasonable limitations, perhaps in place to prevent someone from collecting and submitting friends (and strangers) receipts….. but still not as satisfying as the money that stays in your pocket by being organized and price-matching all categories at the register.

    I would guess that Walmart USA is not immediately applying the savings upon checkout as it could potentially cost them a certain amount for every shopper rather than just those who choose to take part. That said, I agree with you Mr. CBB, that not too long from now all of this will get easier and much more automatic for us. I am glad I found your blog !

    • Hi there Ken,
      You raise some good points and thanks for letting us know about the yearly limitations because you know as well as I that it could easily get out of hand. I would prefer to have the money in my bank account rather than a credit but others may differ. I can see their aspect as well…for the people who know about it they reap the rewards and for others well they pay the premium that makes up for all the deals they are giving back. I’m pretty sure it’s a win-win for the company. Everything in life will get easier in terms of convenience. Even now not having to carry coupons around is a bonus for some products and that’s bound to be extinct at some point. I’m glad you like the blog mate…. join me on Facebook as well :) Cheers mate.. Mr.CBB

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