These Apps Get You Money Back When Popular Retailers Lower The Price Of An Item You Purchased

The best part? You don't have to lift a finger to get a refund.

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Getty Images | Sean Gallup

There is truly nothing more frustrating than buying something only to see the price drop a few days later—especially if you’re a savvy shopper on a budget.

If that happens to you in the future, you can easily get your money back by downloading a few handy smartphone apps (there are websites that also do this when you book flights, hotel rooms and rental cars).

 The best part is that these apps do all the work in the background—no more calling or emailing the store to get some of your money back,

Here’s what you need to know.

Earny

Earny, which is available for iPhones and Androids, checks your inbox for receipts and then watches for price drops. If it catches one, it will work in the background to get you a refund.

Of course, you could try to get a refund on your own, but who has time for that? The makers of Earny say the app is like a personal assistant who can save you time and money.

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“Retailers and credit card companies offer price protection policies. This means that if the price of an item drops within a certain time frame after your purchase, you can get the refund of the difference,” according to Earny. “Stores and credit card issuers provide these policies because they want you to be satisfied with your shopping experience, but you shouldn’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle after you purchase an item.”

The app is free but takes a 25 percent cut of your refund. The makers of Earny point out that they only get paid when you’re getting a refund, so you only pay when the app has actually done its job.

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“Users have received refunds ragging from $1 to $2000 on past purchases, without ever lifting a finger,” according to Earny.

Here’s how Earny works. You give the app permission to scan your email for receipts from certain retailers. When the price drops, the app instigates the refund process and gets the retailer to refund the money to you credit card.

Earny tracks prices from these retailers and says it’s expanding to more stores in the future:

  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Carter’s
  • Costco
  • Gap
  • Banana Republic
  • Old Navy
  • Athleta
  • JCrew
  • Jet
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Newegg
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom
  • Overstock
  • Sears
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Zappos

Paribus

The concept behind Paribus is similar to Earny (the two apps are competitors).

You download the app, give it access to your email account (and thus your online receipts) and the app works in the background to get you a refund after a price drop.

Here are all the retailers Paribus works with:

  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • Newegg
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Bonobos
  • J. Crew
  • Zappos
  • Nordstrom
  • Banana Republic
  • Gap
  • Old Navy
  • Athleta
  • Macy’s
  • Walmart
  • Kohl’s
  • Office Depot
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Overstock
  • Sak’s Fifth Avenue
  • Costco
  • Home Depot
  • Sears
  • Crate & Barrel
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • REI
  • Anthropologie
  • L.L. Bean
  • Loft

So, how should you choose between the two apps? It largely depends on which retailers you shop at the most. Earny’s co-founder Oded Vakrat also told Tech Crunch that eventually his team plans to broaden Earny to include flights, hotels, car insurance, phone plans and an assortment of other purchases.

 

 

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