Target shoppers have recently noticed something peculiar about the price of in-store products. See how you can ensure the lowest price possible.

By Hannah Bruneman

Avid Target shoppers, you’re going to want to read this.

Reported by news station KARE11, customers are finding that items in Target stores can often be found for much cheaper online.

Image courtesy of Getty
Target Corp. shopping carts sit inside a company store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Monday, May 16, 2016. Target is scheduled to release earnings figured on May 18. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While browsing Target’s website or app, you might come across a product on sale for a killer deal. However, when you head to the store, the product is on the shelves for its full price.

A lot of stores have online deals that aren’t advertised in store—many customers will show the cashier the sale price on their phone and ask for a price match.

Here’s where it gets tricky. If you allow the Target app or website to track your location, it will know when you’re in a Target store, and the online price you pull up on your phone will raise. This makes it near impossible for customers to check if they’re getting the best price in store.

The tip came from an observant Target shopper who noticed a price change on her app when she walked from the store to her car. To prove the pricing fluctuation, the reporters at KARE11 started inside a Target store and watched as the price on a product rose on their phones as they drove further away from the entrance. They’re calling it the “Parking Lot Price Switch.”

Some products, like a Dyson Cyclone vacuum, can be more than $100 more expensive when bought in the store. That’s hardly a small difference, although the price switch does not happen to all online sale products.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to get the sale price within Target stores. First, turn off your location settings in the Target app if you have it. This will allow you to pull up the sale price while you’re shopping. You can also screenshot a picture of the item you intend to buy before entering the store. Show the cashier the sale price and ask for a price match—more often than not, you’ll walk out saving a good chunk of money.

There's no word yet on if Target intends to fix this discovery, but we do hope they’ll address it soon! In the meantime, you can find us shopping online instead of the aisles.


Comments (1)

July 3, 2019
It works the other way also, items can be cheaper in the store than online. Each store marks items down at different times so the only way to know what the price is, is to go in each store.