Which? analysis has found price match schemes - offered by some of our best-rated retailers - could help you save as much as £300 on big-ticket purchases.
A number of well-known tech and appliances retailers offer price match schemes, allowing you to claim back money or pay less at the checkout if you find the product you want cheaper elsewhere.
Many of these retailers are highly rated by shoppers for their customer service, aftersales care and product availability. So making use of these retailers' price match schemes means you might be able to pay less without sacrificing the five-star service you expect when buying expensive items such as fridges, washing machines and TVs.
Here, we look at how these schemes work in practice and how much you could be saving.
We looked at six of the biggest retailers that sell tech products and appliances and also offer price match schemes, including:
Euronics and AO, for example, are in second and third place for best household appliances shops.
Richer Sounds is our top-rated tech shop, with a customer score of 92%, while AO scored an also impressive 77%.
So using these price match schemes could save you some money while ensuring you'll still receive good customer service when making your purchase and thereafter.
Each retailer has slightly different rules on how to go about price matching.
Some retailers ask that you price match at the point of purchase, for example, while others allow you to claim back money for a specific timeframe after you've placed your order. Their T&Cs might also specify certain product or store exclusions.
All of the retailers told us the products have to be completely like-for-like, so bear this in mind when searching for a cheaper price.
Richer Sounds' policy goes one step further than the others, promising to 'price beat' any cheaper prices you might find by up to £100. Looking at products between £300 - £1,000, for example, Richer Sounds will not only price match a competitor's price, but will beat it by £10.
Most of the retailers told us they allow you to price match against sale prices and discounts too. Euronics said its policy 'may include discount codes as advertised by competitors'.
The table below sets out how the six biggest tech and appliances retailers' terms differ.
|Retailer||Can you price match pre or post-purchase?||Product/services exclusions||Which retailers can you price match?||Does the product have to be in stock?||Does the price match factor in delivery fees?|
|AO||At the point of purchase or within seven days of receiving your order.||There are no product exclusions.||It doesn't price match against in-store only deals, AO Business or other trade sites.||Yes - the product must be available to order and pay for that same day.||Yes|
|Boots||Not at the point of purchase, but you can within 72 hours of your purchase.||The scheme only applies to products within Boots' electrical beauty category.||It includes high street retailers and Amazon, but excludes products listed on Amazon marketplace and all other online-only retailers.||Yes||No|
|Currys||At the point of purchase or within seven days of purchase. Price match claims on mobile phone handsets can be made post-purchase only.||Ink products, delivery charges, installation charges, product protection plans, mobile airtime plans or other services.||It matches against any other UK retailer store or website price including offer-code discounts. It does not match trade prices, prices only available as part of paid-for membership or subscription, or third-party marketplace seller prices. It does not match exclusive discounts e.g. student discounts.||Yes||Yes|
|Euronics||Only at the point of purchase.||Price match is only available for in-store purchases.||Selected stores can offer a price match policy against AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, Hughes, Crampton & Moore and Harry Garlick against models advertised on Euronics.co.uk.||Yes - the matching product must be in stock with the competitor and available for delivery within 72 hours.||No|
|Hughes||At the point of purchase and for up to seven days post-purchase.||No - but Hughes told us this is under review.||Hughes match the prices of AO, Argos, Appliances Direct, Currys, Marks Electrical and Richer Sounds. It doesn't match prices on Amazon or eBay.||Yes - it must be in stock and available to order on the day of the price match with immediate delivery available.||Yes|
|Richer Sounds||At the point of purchase or within 14 days of purchase.||Not available on special orders or finance sales. With accessories under £50 Richer Sounds will only price match, instead of price beat.||It will Price Beat against products from any authorised UK store / website, including member-only retailers (when VAT added and proof of membership provided). It excludes retailers that only accept BACS payment.||Yes||Yes|
With the cost of living on the rise, ensuring you're getting the best price possible when buying big-ticket items could make a huge difference to your finances.
We looked at eight tech and appliances and compared their prices online against some of the retailers that offer price match schemes.
The table below shows some of the savings we got with a range of products including TVs, washing machines, microwaves, fridges, blenders and bluetooth speakers.
|Product||Price of product with the retailer that offers a price match scheme*||Cheaper price found elsewhere*||Price match savings|
|LG FH4G1BCS2 TrueSteam 12kg 1400rpm Washing Machine||£1,299 (Hughes)||£999 (Currys)||£300|
|Miele K12020S-1 Fridge||£589 (AO)||£399.99 ( Appliance City - with delivery charges ranging from free delivery to £10 depending on your choice of delivery date)||£189.01 - £179.01|
|LG OLED65G16LA 65 Smart 4K Ultra HD OLED TV||£2,199 (AO)||£2,099 (Box)||£100|
|Hoover HMCI25TB-UK 25 Litre Combination Microwave Oven - Black||£207 (AO)||£119 (Box)||£88|
|Panasonic NN-CT56JBBPQ 27 Litre Combination Microwave Oven - Black||£249 (AO)||£194.99 (John Lewis)||£54.01|
|JBL Charge 5 Wireless Speaker - Black||£169 (AO and Currys)||£129.99 (BT)||£39.01|
|MAGIMIX 11610 Le Blender - Black||£180 (Currys)||£159.57 (Nisbets)||£20.43|
*The prices recorded in the table were as advertised at the time of research and might have changed since then.
If you've recently bought an item from one of the retailers that allow you to price match retrospectively, it's well worth doing some research online to see if you could get some money back.
A few of the price match claims we enquired about weren't valid with the retailers in question - below are some tips on what to look out for based on our rejected claims.
We've set out how to price match with each of the retailers in more detail below.
AO told us you should ring its customer service team or use its live chat service at the point of purchase. If you're looking to price match post-purchase, you can log into My Account and use the price match form online. You'll need details of the product code, the retailer you'd like to match against and the retailer product page link.
We've asked Boots for more information on how to put through a claim and we'll update this page when we hear more.
Currys customers should fill in its online form or visit a store. You'll need to provide your name, address, name of the product, and a link to the competitor's product online.
Euronics customers must provide evidence of the price to be matched e.g. screenshots, photos of adverts etc. The scheme can only be used in-store.
Hughes told us its customers can go in-store to price match, as well as calling over the phone, using its live chat service or filling in an online form.
Richer Sounds customers looking to make a claim post-purchase should fill in the Price Beat claim form which will be processed within three working days. If you want to price beat at the point of purchase, you can call your local store or telesales team.