Buyer Beware: A Store's Website May Be Much Better Bargain

Walmart, which does have an ad price match policy, doesn't allow in-store customers to price-match the online prices. "Walmart's ad match guarantee does not include online prices," Jariwala told ABC News. As Piltch found out the hard way, Macy's doesn't price-match its online prices either. Macy's website says, "Please accept our apology but at this time Macys.com does not price-match with our competitors." It also says, "Macys.com and Macy's stores operate separately. This means that the products and prices offered at each may be different."

But while it is easy to point fingers at the stores, the experts say shoppers have to be aware of the differences between online and in-store prices. Shoppers can look up the price of items before they head to the store or use smartphone apps like Decide and Red Laser when in stores to check the comparison prices.

They can also do research online before heading out to the store to know the online price. Or they can "showroom," meaning go to the store, check out the product, and then go back home to order it for a cheaper price.

"This goes back to consumer 101: you have to comparison shop," Dworsky said. "You are probably going to overpay if you don't do it."

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