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Walmart’s Amazon Price Matching Backfires Almost Instantly With $90 PS4 Scam

Well that escalated quickly.

Walmart has long had an “Ad Match” program to price-match other stores, but just days ago they began officially matching prices at select online retailers, including Amazon. So, of course, the Internet had to go and ruin everything by setting up PS4 sale pages with incredibly low prices and getting them price-matched.

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How could price-matching a site with user-generated product pages possibly go wrong!?


It seems that, originally, people were using a single Amazon listing that had a PS4 priced at $89.99.

But it seems Amazon has caught on, as the page is now marked “out of stock” with no price. Twitter users have suggested alternate means like setting up your own fake listing and screencapping it before Amazon shuts it down or using browser dev tools to edit the price on the real PS4 listing. Those options are maybe slightly more morally bereft and involve actually producing something fraudulent on the part of the buyer rather than just screencapping an existing listing, but I doubt anyone really thought the $90 PS4 listing was legitimate in the first place, so I wouldn’t put it past anyone.

In a similar situation, Sears had a glitch on their website recently which listed a Wii U bundle at $60, and consumers jumped on it with price-matching efforts. However, Walmart’s own price-matching policy reads that they don’t accept “misprinted ad prices of other retailers,” which definitely covers the Sears debacle and could probably even be applied to the Amazon situation, seeing as there were no actual $90 PS4s. It’s just going to take a little extra effort on the part of store employees to identify these “misprints.”

So that should be fun for store employees going into the holiday season.

I’m not sure I think poorly of anyone who pulled it off, though. I have no tears to shed for Wamart, and I doubt it’s going to have any effect on price-matching policies in the long run. I’d almost call these shoppers quick thinkers, but then I consider the intelligence involved in tweeting about how you willfully scammed a retail giant out of a few hundred dollars, and it’s kind of a wash.

(via Polygon)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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