Want to Save Money Shopping Online? There’s an App for That

This post is an old one I wrote for Forbes, but it’s about an app that’s still one of my favorites.

I shop online a lot and I am not alone. A recent PWC survey of 23,000 shoppers in 25 countries found that 54% buy products online weekly or monthly. In our house, we have staples like tissues, paper towels, and multivitamins delivered right to our front door monthly. We recently celebrated our son’s birthday and everything from gifts to the party favors and food were ordered online. If I had my way, I’d never set foot in a store again.

Online shopping is great for price comparisons and saving money, but what happens when you buy an item online, only to see that the price drop – sometimes by several dollars – just days after your purchase? Many stores and even some credit card companies offer price protection policies and will refund the difference if the price drops within a week or two of your purchase. The problem is, who has time to track that? In all my years of online shopping, I’ve never bothered to take advantage of price protection because with a career and a family, I just don’t have the time to keep track of price fluctuations and send emails to retailers requesting refunds.

But if that chore can be done for me? Sign me up.

Enter Paribus, a startup launched in 2015, that monitors your online purchases, keeps track of price fluctuations, and requests refunds on your behalf.

Paribus works by scanning your email inbox for online shopping receipts from more than 20 participating retailers. When Paribus identifies a purchase, they’ll monitor opportunities to get money back, including price drops, better deals found elsewhere, and even missed coupons. When Paribus finds a money-saving opportunity, they’ll alert you and either negotiate a refund on your behalf or give you instructions for requesting a refund on your own.

For my son’s birthday, we bought him a Huffy Star Wars bike from Target and paid $64. A week later, the price dropped to $60. That morning, I received an email from Paribus alerting me to the price drop and letting me know they’ve requested the refund.

A few months ago, I ordered four curtain panels from Target for our family room and the price dropped by almost $5 per panel just a few days later! With a quick phone call to customer service, I was able to have close to $20 refunded to my Target card.

Paribus is completely free! Initially, they charged a fee of 25% of the amount saved but eliminated the fee when they became a part of Capital One in 2017. Now you can save time and money AND keep 100% of your savings.

Have you tried Paribus? I’d love you hear your money-saving stories!

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on my website are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products I link and recommend them because they are companies that I have found to be helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the products or services I recommend!


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