Frugal Living

How A Canadian Product Price Adjustment Works

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Are you aware that some Canadian big box and grocery stores have a product price adjustment policy?

If you are, you know about the significant savings you can pocket if you keep your eyes open after purchasing.

Today I will review a product price adjustment, how it works, and Canadian stores that offer this perk.

product price adjustment

Product Price Adjustment Policies Save Canadians Money

If you’ve never heard of this excellent Canadian policy, you’ll learn how to put money back in your pocket. 

Although it’s not the law, this policy allows customers to catch a sale after they’ve purchased an item at full-price or a lower price.

How To Return Products To A Store

Generally, we all know that returning products or purchases are accepted across Canada.

Most stores offer a return policy for rotten, inedible, unopened, unused, or defective products; however, not all offer cashback.

For example, if you shop at Value Village and return an item with your receipt, you only get a store credit.

Once you have finalized a purchase at the point of sale, it is your product unless you need to return it.

Not all stores allow returns, so it’s best to ask before you pay.

Why Canadians Return Purchases

You might want to return a product because:

  • It wasn’t what you expected
  • The product is defective
  • You already have one, and it was gifted to you.
  • It doesn’t fit
  • The product was the wrong colour
  • Food may be expired, tastes off, moldy, or has health concerns from Health Canada.
  • Product recalls
  • Wrong product

On a cautionary note, be aware of a possible restocking fee.

Typically stores have anywhere from 30-90 days for the return policy, but again you’ll want to read their website or ask customer service.

This is strictly for returning products to the store.

However, if you want to keep the product you just bought but found it cheaper the following week, you may be entitled to some money back.

This is called a product price adjustment in Canada.

Product Price Adjustment 101

What is a Product Price Adjustment Policy?

Most people don’t know the Product Price Adjustment Policy for most stores, also known as a Price Protection Policy.

If you buy a product and the exact product goes on sale cheaper than what you purchased it, then you may be able to apply the store policy.

Remember the price adjustment policy time frame is based on individual store management.

This is why it is imperative always to keep your receipts and to read the front and back.

You’ll often find the fine print carries the information you need.

You’ll also find what you need on company websites and at the bottom of most paper flyers delivered to your home.

Price Match Vs. Price Adjustment

A price match policy and a price adjustment policy are two different things.

Don’t get these two mixed up or believe there’s only one policy.

A price match is when a store offers you the same price or lower than a competitor.

This typically happens as you are cashing out your order.

A price adjustment is when you buy a product, and the same store offers a lower price within a specified time limit.

This happens after you’ve paid for your order and a new flyer sale.

How To Ask For A Product Price Adjustment

If you spot a product you purchased in the timeframe allowed for an adjustment, bring your receipt and the flyer to the store.

The store often has the flyer or ability to look up the product on their computer.

I’d bring all the relevant information so you aren’t going back and forth getting what you need.

All you need to do is explain to customer service that you purchased an item that was x amount of dollars during a specific period, and it’s on sale now.

You let the cashier know you’d like it if they could apply their price adjustment policy to the item.

You get the difference between what you paid for the product and its sale price.

Example Of A Produce Price Adjustment

For example, if you buy a BBQ for $799.00 and it went on sale next week for $399.00, you would get an adjustment of $400.

Typically when you ask for a price adjustment, they will refund the difference in whichever tender you purchased the product.

An example would be if you paid by credit card, the adjustment will return to the same credit card.

Also, be aware that policy terms vary from store to store, so the easiest way to find out is to call the store.  

Product Price Adjustments Are NOT the Law

Many stores in Canada offer product price adjustments, such as Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire.

Within 30 days (with receipt), if a customer has purchased an item from any Walmart store that is now offered at a lower Walmart price, the store will refund the difference of the price for the customer. Important: the refund excludes items that are on Clearance.

Walmart Canada

You may even find you can get a product price adjustment at certain grocery stores.

However, as mentioned above, I would call the store to verify before heading over.

** Remember that these stores can change their price adjustment policy anytime.

As I find the links, I will add them below.

I’m updating this post now in 2023.

Grocery Store

Costco You have 30 days to return a purchase, so if you notice a price drop, return the item with your receipt and ask them to price adjust.

Although not widespread, grocery stores may offer a price adjustment on frozen or fresh items.

Ideally, you’ll want to call ahead to confirm if they will complete a price adjustment.

If I can find policies, I will link them below.

Some stores only require the receipt with the product number to make a price adjustment.

  • Metro
  • No Frills
  • Sobey’s
  • Food Basics
  • Loblaws
  • Zehrs

Importance of a Product Price Adjustment

Why is the Adjustment Policy in place?

This extended price policy, as I like to call it, is a good gesture in hopes of retaining customers who might be unhappy.

Don’t be a scammer, though, as it costs the company time and money.

I’ve heard of people getting upset, buying the product at a cheaper price, and using the original receipt to return the first product.

I’m just happy the retailer is thinking about the consumer’s pocketbook, even a small gesture like this.

In 2011 we saved over $300 in price adjustments just by watching the weekly prices in the flyers.

One of our best adjustments was a Swordfish UV Filter System which we paid $157.99 plus tax then it went on sale for $89.99 plus tax the following week.

So there you have it, saving more money in the budget!

Discussion: What is the best Product Price Adjustment you have ever received?

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