Q:

Is Sears online cheaper than shopping in the store?

A:

Quick Answer

While the Sears website sometimes offers cheaper prices on items online than Sears has in its stores, it is Sears' policy to match its prices in the store with its website prices if a customer asks. Although Daily Finance reports this policy was in place by 2013, the Consumerist claims that as recently as 2011, Sears had refused to match prices with its own website.

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Full Answer

Sears is somewhat unique among retailers in its willingness to price-match its own website. Among eight retailers surveyed, only Sears, Target and Best Buy offered to price-match their websites' prices as of 2013. Wal-Mart JC Penney and Kohl's explicitly refused any price matching, while Lowe's and Home Depot's policies were ambiguous. Wal-Mart claims it does not consider its online site or other online sites as competition for the business of its brick-and-mortar stores.

Sears' willingness to match its own site's prices may represent a response to customer complaints about the previous policy. The Consumerist published a letter in 2011 from an angry customer who found a better deal on a hose on the Sears site than at his local store, which refused to match the price. The customer wrote to the company claiming that such a policy was inflexible and unfriendly and that it negatively affected his future shopping plans.

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