Shopping Discussion

Now Featured on Wal-Mart’s Website: Higher Prices Than Stores

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  • Nov 15th, 2017 11:58 am
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Now Featured on Wal-Mart’s Website: Higher Prices Than Stores

This is from the US so it may not come to Canada. But it's an unusual move.

Now Featured on Wal-Mart’s Website: Higher Prices Than Stores
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to charge customers more to buy some products online than in stores, part of the company’s efforts to boost profits and drive store traffic as it competes with Amazon.com Inc.

The world’s biggest retailer has quietly raised prices for some food and household items sold on its U.S. website, including boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Colgate toothbrushes and bags of Purina dog food, according to people familiar with the matter and comparisons between online and in-store prices.

Some big-box retailers charge more for online purchases, including Costco Wholesale Corp., but the move is unusual for Wal-Mart, which has long honed an “everyday low price” message and has worked to keep online prices at least as low as shoppers find in its 4,700 U.S. stores.

Wal-Mart previously aimed to keep online and in-store prices equal for many of its most popular products, unless competition drove them lower. But the company is experimenting with a new system, which has at times resulted in higher web prices for goods that would otherwise be unprofitable to ship, the people familiar with the situation said.

In some cases, product listings on walmart.com show an “online” and “in the store” price. Often the online price matches Amazon...

For inexpensive items, “there’s no cheaper way to get these products to consumers than have them come in the store and pick it off the shelf themselves,” Mr. Lore said at last month’s investor conference. He said he hopes shoppers will come to stores for the best price and place larger orders online to offset the cost of shipment.
The full article is behind the WSJ's paywall. I'd post the whole thing if it weren't against RFD rules. Use Google to find out how to scale that wall for free.
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Makes complete sense
Costco charges moreto compensate because you don’t need to be a member
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Red_Army wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 6:30 pm
Makes complete sense
Costco charges more to compensate because you don’t need to be a member
Costco website charges more due to shipping cost included in the price
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This is not news...

A couple of months ago I was in the market for a bar fridge.

I checked out the item online & Instore at various Retailers and there were discrepancies at a lot of Cos (in both directions)

Walmart was more expensive on line vs in store
Costco was less expensive on line vs in store
Sears was the same price for both

Once upon a time Retailers sold us on the idea that things were cheaper on line because of lower overhead...
But shipping costs often equalled things out

I believe now that pricing can change often both on line & in the stores, cause Retailers are not just selling us stuff anymore they are analyzing all the data they have at hand and adjusting pricing to drive Customers & the market in their favour / direction they choose

When we want to make a non day to day purchase (even something small like windshield wipers) we check pricing both on line & Instore from a variety of sources and buy wherever has the best deal
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 7:05 pm
When we want to make a non day to day purchase (even something small like windshield wipers) we check pricing both on line & Instore from a variety of sources and buy wherever has the best deal
The problem for bargain hunters like us is that it takes time and money (e.g. transportation) to check prices in-store against online. It's not worth the costs or effort unless the price differential is substantial, say a few dollars, unless you happen to be at the store for other reasons. Perhaps WalMart's strategy is to get us instore where they can better tempt us to buy other stuff as well. And of course avoid shipping charges, especially on orders that just pass the free threshold.
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You can find this issue at Walmart web site. I would go in the store look up at the web site to see if it is available in this store and noticed that the prices do not always match.
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bylo wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 9:55 pm
The problem for bargain hunters like us is that it takes time and money (e.g. transportation) to check prices in-store against online. It's not worth the costs or effort unless the price differential is substantial, say a few dollars, unless you happen to be at the store for other reasons. Perhaps WalMart's strategy is to get us instore where they can better tempt us to buy other stuff as well. And of course avoid shipping charges, especially on orders that just pass the free threshold.
Ya shipping is the killer for us Cdns in that almost NO ONE offers FREE Shipping

There is always a fee or a Minimum Purchase clause

Even Sears, where the Bar Fridge was the same price on line & in store

It was the Delivery Fee that sealed the deal... Bought in store & took it home myself
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sandikosh wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 4:15 am
You can find this issue at Walmart web site. I would go in the store look up at the web site to see if it is available in this store and noticed that the prices do not always match.
Price will also vary by shipping location.

https://www.walmart.ca/en/help/products
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 5:07 am
Ya shipping is the killer for us Cdns in that almost NO ONE offers FREE Shipping

There is always a fee or a Minimum Purchase clause

Even Sears, where the Bar Fridge was the same price on line & in store

It was the Delivery Fee that sealed the deal... Bought in store & took it home myself
OTOH I prefer to buy heavy stuff from sites like Amazon and Dell because of the free shipping. I've bought UPSs and replacement batteries from both of them, printers from Staples, etc., all on sale, and all with free shipping. I can't see how they made any money off me considering the cost of shipping the items. (Staples has their own delivery trucks so maybe it's not such a big deal for them.)

I think some of the stores, e.g. Amazon, have smartened up to this. We just bought a 30kg OTR microwave oven from a local store. Amazon's prices for the same and similar models were ridiculously high.
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bylo wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 7:13 am
OTOH I prefer to buy heavy stuff from sites like Amazon and Dell because of the free shipping. I've bought UPSs and replacement batteries from both of them, printers from Staples, etc., all on sale, and all with free shipping. I can't see how they made any money off me considering the cost of shipping the items. (Staples has their own delivery trucks so maybe it's not such a big deal for them.)

I think some of the stores, e.g. Amazon, have smartened up to this. We just bought a 30kg OTR microwave oven from a local store. Amazon's prices for the same and similar models were ridiculously high.
We have definitely used the likes of Apple, Dell & Staples in the past, and have appreciated their FREE Shipping .... Especially when it comes to the heavy items.  But lol, we only buy computers, printers & such only every so often (think we are at about 5 years now).

Appliances was not nearly as competitive, when we took into account pricing, warranty & returns and shipping / delivery.  Another reason the Customer has to check things out on-line vs store (Sears wanted like $ 40 to deliver the Bar Fridge)

And honestly if you look at WHO is offering FREE Shipping day in day out it is brands that are based out of the USA (where FREE Shipping is not just the norm, but expected).

Even LL Bean moved towards FREE Shipping to Cdns.  Something the likes of Marks, who still charge $ 6.50... could learn from IMO

FREE to your door shipping (or address of your choice) is awesome & convenient... So much better than getting it shipped FREE to a store, although if it is that or pay for shipping, I'm definitely going to the store to do pick up
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 10:32 am
We have definitely used the likes of Apple, Dell & Staples in the past, and have appreciated their FREE Shipping .... Especially when it comes to the heavy items.  But lol, we only buy computers, printers & such only every so often (think we are at about 5 years now).

Appliances was not nearly as competitive, when we took into account pricing, warranty & returns and shipping / delivery.  Another reason the Customer has to check things out on-line vs store (Sears wanted like $ 40 to deliver the Bar Fridge)

And honestly if you look at WHO is offering FREE Shipping day in day out it is brands that are based out of the USA (where FREE Shipping is not just the norm, but expected).

Even LL Bean moved towards FREE Shipping to Cdns.  Something the likes of Marks, who still charge $ 6.50... could learn from IMO


FREE to your door shipping (or address of your choice) is awesome & convenient... So much better than getting it shipped FREE to a store, although if it is that or pay for shipping, I'm definitely going to the store to do pick up
Competition is fierce in the US. After the dust is settle, we will see who is still around. Then we will see who will offer free shipping.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 5:07 am
Ya shipping is the killer for us Cdns in that almost NO ONE offers FREE Shipping

There is always a fee or a Minimum Purchase clause

Even Sears, where the Bar Fridge was the same price on line & in store

It was the Delivery Fee that sealed the deal... Bought in store & took it home myself
I was looking at a $5 item on Walmart's website and noticed they allow free ship to a Canada Post outlet close to your home.
This beats the minimums in place to qualify for free shipping as well as the potential shipping costs for a $5 item exceeding the cost of the item.
They are probably copying Costco by selling higher online to cater for shipping costs.
Only a matter of time before this hits Canada.
The US is quite competitive and many online retailers give free shipping with no minimums.
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PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 10:32 am
Even LL Bean moved towards FREE Shipping to Cdns.  Something the likes of Marks, who still charge $ 6.50... could learn from IMO
LL Bean is the gold standard for customer service in general. They go even further than free shipping to Canucks. They also collect duty/taxes at checkout so you're spared the usual UPS/FedEx et al extortion racket at the door. They also have a Canadian address for returns to spare the customer from all the customs and tax related hassles of doing returns. (If only they'd pay for return shipping to spare us from Canada Post's ridiculous small parcel rates...) They even let Canadians who bought stuff in the US (online or retail) and are now back home to return stuff to the Canadian address. And they're one of very few sellers who will take back stuff for any reason, including after a decade of use and heavy just because the customer thinks the product should have lasted even longer.

Then again LL Bean's prices are generally mid-range to higher so presumably they have more margin to work with in funding such liberal CS policies.
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sandikosh wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 1:04 pm
Competition is fierce in the US. After the dust is settle, we will see who is still around. Then we will see who will offer free shipping.
What dust ?

I think that BECAUSE of the competition is fierce in the USA for sooooo many more Customers that FREE Shipping is there to stay.

If it comes north to Canada, it will because some savvy US Cos have figured out WE CDNS ARE ANXIOUS TO SHOP ON LINE (re LL Bean)

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