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Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple's unadvertised retail store price matching policy

In an effort not to be undersold on its own products this holiday shopping season, Apple is quietly re-conveying its long standing price-matching procedures to retail store staffers.

Corroborating a report first published by AppleInsider earlier this week, ifoAppleStore notes that Apple is reminding its store employees that they have "the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers."

It’s unclear whether the Mac maker, which rarely offers discounts outside of back-to-school and Black Friday promotions, plans to promote the policy given the current economic situation, but has chosen not to do so in the past.

An AppleInsider reader on Monday noted that the policy has been in place for some time. "If you bring in a flyer or ad to an Apple Store [showing proof of a lower price], they will match the price after getting it approved through the manager," the reader said.

An Apple retail store manager posting in the comments section of the ifo report offered similar information:

"As a long time Apple Store manager, I can state that retail has always had the ability to match prices with Authorized Apple Retailers with some limits, such as matching rebates and matching prices with Club stores. The policy is very clear and printed in the retail operations manual.

Another commenter reported success in having prices from online resellers matched, not just those from brick and mortar retailers:

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if he’d match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price.

By better vocalizing its policy to retail staffers this year, Apple hopes to keep pacing with a growing array of aggressive Black Friday sales already announced and in effect through Apple authorized resellers Amazon.com (Black Friday Sale), Best Buy (4-Day Apple Sale), Mac Mall (57 Hour sale), and others.