Wal-Mart Customers Trick Stores to Match a Fake $90 Price for PS4 - Update

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Wal-Mart Customers Trick Stores to Match a Fake $90 Price for PS4 - Update

Wal-Mart's price-matching policy lost the company a lot of money when customers brought in Amazon third-party sellers' prices of PS4s.

Update: Wal-Mart has confirmed to The Escapist that the company has amended its price-matching policy to state it will no longer match the prices of third-party vendors. The full details of the policy are available to view here.

Original story:Wal-Mart stores sold PS4s for $90 when customers took advantage of Wal-Mart's price-matching policy. The company will match the price of select online retailers, such as Amazon, on an identical product.

However, Wal-Mart stores were matching the price of PS4s, originally $400, set by third-party sellers in the Amazon marketplace. Any Amazon member with a registered selling account can list items for sale online. Wal-Mart's policy currently requires customers to present just a screen capture of the page to a cashier.

Customers have posted pictures of receipts to show Wal-Mart accepted the fake Amazon listings, such as Twitter user Taahaa8, who wrote, "LMAO Amazon and Walmart jig just got ps4 for $97."

Employees did not check the legitimacy of the listings they were matching.

Last weekend, a Sears glitch caused Wii U and 3DS bundles to be listed for $60 each. Sears quickly corrected the problem, but before it was fixed, Sears customers got physical stores to match the $60 price found online. Others got Toys R Us, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart stores to match the false price.

We have contacted Amazon and Wal-Mart for comment.

Wal-Mart may need to amend its price-matching policy to reexamine what "for sale on Amazon.com" includes.

Source: CNBC

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Hehe
Well, really with a policy like that it was only a matter of time before some one abused it.
I'm sure this isn't the first case either.

"Heh, that's obviously fake. But frankly, WalMart, you don't pay me enough to care. NEXT!"

I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

I know Best Buy has their employees hop on their computer before they do the match (I assume they are going on amazon to check but I suppose they could just be putting on a show). Seems strange that Walmart wouldn't do the most basic amount of work to check those numbers...

Kinda wish I got in on this. No I don't feel bad work for wal-mart and had friend who did and it's not a one store thing they treat employees like crap so yeah. Feel free to bankrupt wal-mart.

Story:
Hehe
Well, really with a policy like that it was only a matter of time before some one abused it.
I'm sure this isn't the first case either.

considering they exchange open toys (and don't care to make sure the toy in the packet is the correct toy, or even, say, a bunch of oranges or even a wasps nest), you can imagine some staff memebers are just giving stuff like this a free pass.

Reminds me of the time /b/ discovered that certain Walmarts allowed you to - from home - order images printed out, for pickup and payment at the stores. They bombarded them with porn and gore.

Good times

But ya - you would think that someone would have exploited this earlier

Walmart's a little behind on this one. Target was very thorough when I went to price match a game last year.

IceStar100:
Kinda wish I got in on this. No I don't feel bad work for wal-mart and had friend who did and it's not a one store thing they treat employees like crap so yeah. Feel free to bankrupt wal-mart.

I hope your friend paid in cash. Setting aside whatever sticking it to Wal-mart you feel should/shouldn't happen. I'm no lawyer, but pretty sure this is still fraud.

Windknight:

Story:
Hehe
Well, really with a policy like that it was only a matter of time before some one abused it.
I'm sure this isn't the first case either.

considering they exchange open toys (and don't care to make sure the toy in the packet is the correct toy, or even, say, a bunch of oranges or even a wasps nest), you can imagine some staff memebers are just giving stuff like this a free pass.

Gezz, well, I guess Pyrian was right on the money then.
I can't say I feel sorry for Walmart or anything.

Slycne:

IceStar100:
Kinda wish I got in on this. No I don't feel bad work for wal-mart and had friend who did and it's not a one store thing they treat employees like crap so yeah. Feel free to bankrupt wal-mart.

I hope your friend paid in cash. Setting aside whatever sticking it to Wal-mart you feel should/shouldn't happen. I'm no lawyer, but pretty sure this is still fraud.

I feel like you interpreted that wrong; He didn't say he had a friend who took advantage of the error, he said that he had a friend who worked at Walmart, who said that their employees are treated poorly.

Pyrian:
"Heh, that's obviously fake. But frankly, WalMart, you don't pay me enough to care. NEXT!"

My mother works at the local Rite Aid which is basically the busiest store around here and this is pretty much what happens. Basically there is no possible way to deal the added workload of arguing with these people meaning they almost always get what they want.

Timothy Zwicker:
I feel like you interpreted that wrong; He didn't say he had a friend who took advantage of the error, he said that he had a friend who worked at Walmart, who said that their employees are treated poorly.

Ah, you might be right.

Either way, committing fraud for a cheaper PS4 is still not a great idea. Tweeting about it with a picture of your receipt is just dumb though.

Slycne:

IceStar100:
Kinda wish I got in on this. No I don't feel bad work for wal-mart and had friend who did and it's not a one store thing they treat employees like crap so yeah. Feel free to bankrupt wal-mart.

I hope your friend paid in cash. Setting aside whatever sticking it to Wal-mart you feel should/shouldn't happen. I'm no lawyer, but pretty sure this is still fraud.

In what universe? If the company's policy failed to specify it didn't apply to marketplace sellers, the only way the company could claim it was fraud was if the person asking for the price match was also the person who put up the marketplace listing(and they could show that definitively), otherwise how are the company supposed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the person asking for the price match knew the marketplace listing wasn't legit? Even if the policy did specify it didn't apply to marketplace sellers, it's not the customer's fault the store employee failed to properly apply the company policy - if I go into a shop and buy something, and the store later find out the cashier made a mistake and undercharged me, they can't call me up and demand I pay the difference, the sale is made and is every bit as final for them when they fuck up as it is for me if I want to return it in circumstances outside my statutory rights.

Ark of the Covetor:
In what universe? If the company's policy failed to specify it didn't apply to marketplace sellers, the only way the company could claim it was fraud was if the person asking for the price match was also the person who put up the marketplace listing(and they could show that definitively), otherwise how are the company supposed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the person asking for the price match knew the marketplace listing wasn't legit? Even if the policy did specify it didn't apply to marketplace sellers, it's not the customer's fault the store employee failed to properly apply the company policy - if I go into a shop and buy something, and the store later find out the cashier made a mistake and undercharged me, they can't call me up and demand I pay the difference, the sale is made and is every bit as final for them when they fuck up as it is for me if I want to return it in circumstances outside my statutory rights.

Ultimately if a court case was to come to light that's exactly what they would be attempting to decide whether there was willful and deliberate deception. This is what fraud is there for you don't just get to go "gotcha!".

I honestly dislike this kind of practice. A lot of people are quick to dismiss this as "sticking it to Walmart". However, keep in mind that by creating false ads on Amazon, they're actually hurting consumers and other gamers as well. For every person who gets a cheap PS4, there's probably a dozen people who placed an order for what they thought was a special deal (hey, we're heading into Black Friday, after all) who will be sorely disappointed when they find out that the order can't be filled. What about those parents who thought that this was their chance to provide the perfect Christmas gift for their children? Hopes dashed just so someone can game the system.

The only thing that bums me out more than the individual act itself is that news organizations are essentially providing a how-to guide by reporting on it, ensuring that the scam negatively affecting our fellow consumers will most likely increase in frequency.

Slycne:

IceStar100:
Kinda wish I got in on this. No I don't feel bad work for wal-mart and had friend who did and it's not a one store thing they treat employees like crap so yeah. Feel free to bankrupt wal-mart.

I hope your friend paid in cash. Setting aside whatever sticking it to Wal-mart you feel should/shouldn't happen. I'm no lawyer, but pretty sure this is still fraud.

I don't know. Is it also fraud when you believe you are not scamming someone, but genuinely thought you get a hell of deal?
But I probably would've paid in cash too, just to be safe.

I thought about doing this while back ago but i did not because i feared about the Imperial Legion soldiers popping out of nowhere to tell me I'm a criminal scum. o.o

tippy2k2:
I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

I know Best Buy has their employees hop on their computer before they do the match (I assume they are going on amazon to check but I suppose they could just be putting on a show). Seems strange that Walmart wouldn't do the most basic amount of work to check those numbers...

By the sound of it, the products were actually listed for that price on Amazon. The thing is, anyone who signs up for a selling account (which I have done myself) is free to sell products on Amazon for whatever price they want, so they probably just got their friend to put his PS4 on sale for $90 during the 3 minutes it took to make the purchase. They weren't cheating Wal-Mart, they were exploiting an oversight in their policy. The only risk was if someone actually tried to buy their PS4 on Amazon for $90, but even if they had to actually ship it, it would still just be trading one $90 PS4 for another or possibly several.

Stories like this really brighten my day.

el_kabong:
I honestly dislike this kind of practice. A lot of people are quick to dismiss this as "sticking it to Walmart". However, keep in mind that by creating false ads on Amazon, they're actually hurting consumers and other gamers as well. For every person who gets a cheap PS4, there's probably a dozen people who placed an order for what they thought was a special deal (hey, we're heading into Black Friday, after all) who will be sorely disappointed when they find out that the order can't be filled. What about those parents who thought that this was their chance to provide the perfect Christmas gift for their children? Hopes dashed just so someone can game the system.

How can a dozen people place an order for 1 PS4? At most one gullible person will buy it and then it'll be removed from Amazon's storefront. Then that one gullible person will have to face THE HORROR of not actually getting a stupidly cheap PS4. That's if the $90 PS4 was on sale long enough for anyone to even try to buy it though. And who knows, maybe the people who put it on sale would have actually followed through, in which case this poor consumer of yours actually comes out ahead.

I don't agree with this practice (even if it is the Walton boys paying for some of your new PS4), but that's funny because while Walmart will usually accept a return any item they sell (soggy, no receipt, obviously used, etc) they're more strict on game hardware. A friend of mine got a 360 for free from a Best Buy laptop deal, and when he tried to "return" it, unopened, to a Walmart they scanned the bar code on the 360 showing through the box and told him it was from Best Buy and they weren't taking it. Because of that. I'm really surprised that they don't have a policy to verify price matches of things like video games and other expensive goods.

Also, I'm surprised about the Sears story, too. Six months ago, I couldn't even get them to price match, from their own site, a tool sitting on the shelf right behind the guy I was talking to. It would have been $20-30 cheaper if they did. I went home, ordered it online for the lower price with free shipping and got it a couple days later, while that individual store, who is apart of an idiots-led company that competes with itself, lost revenue. I guess I either have a store that's extra incompetent (or I got a lazy employee, who just lied to me) in my area, or Sears learned their mistake, only make new ones.

Olas:

tippy2k2:
I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

I know Best Buy has their employees hop on their computer before they do the match (I assume they are going on amazon to check but I suppose they could just be putting on a show). Seems strange that Walmart wouldn't do the most basic amount of work to check those numbers...

By the sound of it, the products were actually listed for that price on Amazon. The thing is, anyone who signs up for a selling account (which I have done myself) is free to sell products on Amazon for whatever price they want, so they probably just got their friend to put his PS4 on sale for $90 during the 3 minutes it took to make the purchase. They weren't cheating Wal-Mart, they were exploiting an oversight in their policy. The only risk was if someone actually tried to buy their PS4 on Amazon for $90, but even if they had to actually ship it, it would still just be trading one $90 PS4 for another or possibly several.

Best Buy has it where it HAS to come from Amazon for their price match to be valid. I couldn't put a PS4 on Amazon for $90 and have them honor it.

My guess is Walmart is supposed to do that too (or they will now) and the cashier didn't know/care enough to look into it.

Pyrian:
"Heh, that's obviously fake. But frankly, WalMart, you don't pay me enough to care. NEXT!"

Pretty much this. You want a Wal-Fart cashier to give a ruddy damn about anything like this during the holiday season, during Black Friday even? HAH! Yeah, you don't pay your people enough. Have fun with that.

Captcha: The yellow king

*Looks around and sees Old Man Henderson stepping into Walmart for lawn gnomes...*

Olas:

tippy2k2:
I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

I know Best Buy has their employees hop on their computer before they do the match (I assume they are going on amazon to check but I suppose they could just be putting on a show). Seems strange that Walmart wouldn't do the most basic amount of work to check those numbers...

By the sound of it, the products were actually listed for that price on Amazon. The thing is, anyone who signs up for a selling account (which I have done myself) is free to sell products on Amazon for whatever price they want, so they probably just got their friend to put his PS4 on sale for $90 during the 3 minutes it took to make the purchase. They weren't cheating Wal-Mart, they were exploiting an oversight in their policy. The only risk was if someone actually tried to buy their PS4 on Amazon for $90, but even if they had to actually ship it, it would still just be trading one $90 PS4 for another or possibly several.

Stories like this really brighten my day.

el_kabong:
I honestly dislike this kind of practice. A lot of people are quick to dismiss this as "sticking it to Walmart". However, keep in mind that by creating false ads on Amazon, they're actually hurting consumers and other gamers as well. For every person who gets a cheap PS4, there's probably a dozen people who placed an order for what they thought was a special deal (hey, we're heading into Black Friday, after all) who will be sorely disappointed when they find out that the order can't be filled. What about those parents who thought that this was their chance to provide the perfect Christmas gift for their children? Hopes dashed just so someone can game the system.

How can a dozen people place an order for 1 PS4? At most one gullible person will buy it and then it'll be removed from Amazon's storefront. Then that one gullible person will have to face THE HORROR of not actually getting a stupidly cheap PS4. That's if the $90 PS4 was on sale long enough for anyone to even try to buy it though. And who knows, maybe the people who put it on sale would have actually followed through, in which case this poor consumer of yours actually comes out ahead.

So, you're correct on your first point...if they only put one quantity for sale. However, most of the people who successfully use this exploit are putting their stock at a number high enough that it will stay on the page long enough for them to claim their ill-gotten gains. So it definitely results in multiple orders, not just one.

Also, anybody who is actually selling legitimately at that price aren't who I was talking about. I'm also fairly confident that NO marketplace is selling at that price point for a working unit.

I tip my hat to you. I tip my hat to anyone who cheats walmart.

Wal-Mart's Online price matching is down to the individual store manager's discretion, the only "We have to" price matching comes from actual, physical fliers from a direct competitor. (My local store, for example, will not match Sear's unless it's a Black Friday ad).

All the Wal-Mart associate has to do is check the flier and call a manager over to enact the override, where the manager looks over the ad again.

Really, anybody taking advantage of glitches like this is incredibly lucky. Even employees who aren't paid enough to care are generally able to do the quick cost-benefit analysis that says letting this go through is not worth the job I use to pay rent.

Seriously, guys, I hate Wal-Mart, too, but so low-wage cashier is probably going to end up fired over this bullshit, and that's not worth a $90 PS4.

Thanatos5150:
Wal-Mart's Online price matching is down to the individual store manager's discretion, the only "We have to" price matching comes from actual, physical fliers from a direct competitor. (My local store, for example, will not match Sear's unless it's a Black Friday ad).

All the Wal-Mart associate has to do is check the flier and call a manager over to enact the override, where the manager looks over the ad again.

Really, anybody taking advantage of glitches like this is incredibly lucky. Even employees who aren't paid enough to care are generally able to do the quick cost-benefit analysis that says letting this go through is not worth the job I use to pay rent.

Seriously, guys, I hate Wal-Mart, too, but so low-wage cashier is probably going to end up fired over this bullshit, and that's not worth a $90 PS4.

It's retail. Customers don't care about the cashier. Which is really freaking sad.

Pyrian:
"Heh, that's obviously fake. But frankly, WalMart, you don't pay me enough to care. NEXT!"

My thoughts exactly...

Then again, if that employee gets in trouble for it (or if they knew the one who bought it) I'm sure they'll be having a chat with management...

oh well... worth a laugh to the internet at least...

el_kabong:

Olas:

tippy2k2:
I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

I know Best Buy has their employees hop on their computer before they do the match (I assume they are going on amazon to check but I suppose they could just be putting on a show). Seems strange that Walmart wouldn't do the most basic amount of work to check those numbers...

By the sound of it, the products were actually listed for that price on Amazon. The thing is, anyone who signs up for a selling account (which I have done myself) is free to sell products on Amazon for whatever price they want, so they probably just got their friend to put his PS4 on sale for $90 during the 3 minutes it took to make the purchase. They weren't cheating Wal-Mart, they were exploiting an oversight in their policy. The only risk was if someone actually tried to buy their PS4 on Amazon for $90, but even if they had to actually ship it, it would still just be trading one $90 PS4 for another or possibly several.

Stories like this really brighten my day.

el_kabong:
I honestly dislike this kind of practice. A lot of people are quick to dismiss this as "sticking it to Walmart". However, keep in mind that by creating false ads on Amazon, they're actually hurting consumers and other gamers as well. For every person who gets a cheap PS4, there's probably a dozen people who placed an order for what they thought was a special deal (hey, we're heading into Black Friday, after all) who will be sorely disappointed when they find out that the order can't be filled. What about those parents who thought that this was their chance to provide the perfect Christmas gift for their children? Hopes dashed just so someone can game the system.

How can a dozen people place an order for 1 PS4? At most one gullible person will buy it and then it'll be removed from Amazon's storefront. Then that one gullible person will have to face THE HORROR of not actually getting a stupidly cheap PS4. That's if the $90 PS4 was on sale long enough for anyone to even try to buy it though. And who knows, maybe the people who put it on sale would have actually followed through, in which case this poor consumer of yours actually comes out ahead.

So, you're correct on your first point...if they only put one quantity for sale. However, most of the people who successfully use this exploit are putting their stock at a number high enough that it will stay on the page long enough for them to claim their ill-gotten gains. So it definitely results in multiple orders, not just one.

Also, anybody who is actually selling legitimately at that price aren't who I was talking about. I'm also fairly confident that NO marketplace is selling at that price point for a working unit.

They might be if they're doing it specifically to undercut Wal-Mart so they can then buy a bunch of cheap consoles, which was kinda my assumption. Look, either way, the worst thing I could see happening is a couple extremely foolish people having their bubble burst. Boo hoo, there's also no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Welcome to reality.

I'm not saying it isn't wrong, it is, but it's the mildest kind of wrong. It's not like the people who tricked iPhone 6 users to microwave their phones. I was actually against that, but there someone was having their property damaged. This is wrong on the level of a prank phone call.

The only part I hate is when it becomes public news.

All those people, getting AMAZING deals, then some asshole takes off to social media to brag about his purchase.

Soon after, tech and gaming websites post it on their sites and ask Walmart for comments, which at that point everything is ruined and nobody else can get the same deal.

Ticklefist:
Walmart's a little behind on this one. Target was very thorough when I went to price match a game last year.

Yes, Target is much more thorough on this. I work there, and it can be a bit of a pain when someone wants to price match. This wouldn't have happened at Target (or at least not at the one I work at), because the item being sold has to be being sold by Amazon itself, not someone selling on Amazon or supported by Amazon.
We get a lot of grief for that and other price match policies and people always go, "Well, Wal-Mart does it." Yes, apparently they do--for real! I can legitimately say that now without doubting it. :-)

Guilion:
That is one hell of a loophole to exploit.

As for people doing this I really don't think there was much at loss here, I mean this is Wal-Mart 300 dollars lost is a drop in a swimming pool for them.

Don't worry. If it hurts them, they'll just cut back on hours for their employees(but still make them work the same amount of time) and blame it on the Unions.

Pyrian:
"Heh, that's obviously fake. But frankly, WalMart, you don't pay me enough to care. NEXT!"

pretty much this. Treat your staff like expendable assholes and they not going to give a fuck about you when it matters.

tippy2k2:
I'm kind of surprised they just take your word like that.

Poorly trained cashiers and managers who don't investigate returns are the root causes of these types of things. I worked at a hardware store for nearly two years and we had the cashiers refund someone for a toilet that 'didn't work and we bought it here'. It was clearly a 5 year old toilet (with all the 'wonderful' proof of that I noticed when trashing it) and was a brand that the hardware store didn't even carry. But because they came with a debit card receipt and the cashier didn't notice/care how fishy it was, they got a full $160 refund for their old toilet.

This is how the big box stores lose a LOT of money. These things add up over time.

Svarr:
I thought about doing this while back ago but i did not because i feared about the Imperial Legion soldiers popping out of nowhere to tell me I'm a criminal scum. o.o

Obviously if you had invested in Speechcraft you wouldn't have had this problem .-.

When you have stupid policies like price matching (how about just having decent prices? that seems to work for everyone else) you get burned by people smarter than you. No wonder they got scammed.

Redlin5:

Poorly trained cashiers and managers who don't investigate returns are the root causes of these types of things. I worked at a hardware store for nearly two years and we had the cashiers refund someone for a toilet that 'didn't work and we bought it here'. It was clearly a 5 year old toilet (with all the 'wonderful' proof of that I noticed when trashing it) and was a brand that the hardware store didn't even carry. But because they came with a debit card receipt and the cashier didn't notice/care how fishy it was, they got a full $160 refund for their old toilet.

Dear GabeN.

Anyone that did this here would be fired and the cost deducted from his pay.

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