Walmart consistently beats Amazon’s prices—Except for in this 1 category, study says

Getty Images

Amazon and Walmart both have loyal customer bases, but when it comes to the best deals, which retailer do you think wins the price war? A new study set out to determine exactly that, and the results were surprising.

For years, the two companies have been duking it out for sales supremacy.

In 2017, Walmart.com even began offering free 2-day shipping on more than 2 million items, making the company’s e-commerce business more competitive with Amazon’s free 2-day shipping with a Prime membership.

But which online website should you shop in order to get the best deals?

According to a new study by LendEDU, a personal finance website and online marketplace for student loans, Walmart was the winner in all categories, except one.

Getty Images | Joe Raedle

How Researchers Conducted The Study

In order to examine which retail giant offered customers the best prices on products, researchers from LendEDU added the same 50 products into their carts at each store’s website.

The items ran the gamut from inexpensive products like a 12-pack of Pepsi to more pricey goods like a Nest home thermostat and a treadmill. The items chosen were reportedly the same in quantity, style and model.

The study then grouped the items into five categories—Home Goods, Kitchen/Appliances, Technology & Entertainment, Food & Beverage and Miscellaneous Items—and used a math formula to calculate the difference in percentage for both specific items and for the categories of items collectively.

Shipping was not taken into consideration, nor was Amazon’s discounted bundling options.

Getty Images | Aaron P. Bernstein

Home Goods

Let’s say you are planning a picnic or party and needed to pick up a pack of red solo cups. A pack of 50 from Amazon would set you back $9, whereas the same 50 cups would only cost you $3.88 from Walmart, claims the study. Likewise, a 150-count package of Dixie paper plates on Amazon is $22.90 while the same product at Walmart costs only $14.94.

RELATED: Wal-Mart Lowering Prices To Compete With Aldi

Overall, Amazon was 33.6 percent more expensive than Walmart when it came to the home good items examined by LendEDU.

Flickr | m01229


In the Technology & Entertainment category, the margins are a bit slimmer with Amazon only 4% more costly, but Walmart still wins out. A pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 Black Luxe Edition headphones rings up at $129.99 on Amazon. Walmart’s price? Only $89.10.

Getty Images | Leon Neal

Food And Drink

There was one category where Amazon tops Walmart, and that’s food and beverages. On average, Amazon was 20.58 percent less costly than Walmart in this area. For example, LendEDU found that Amazon sells a 15-ounce bottle of A.1. Original Steak Sauce for $4.49, compared to Walmart’s $5.97 price tag. Similarly, on Amazon, a can of Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato Soup is $1.66, whereas the same can from Walmart costs $3.06. That’s a significant difference.

Flickr | adpowers


It turns out that if you’re in the market to purchase home goods, kitchen products, appliances, tech products, entertainment goods or miscellaneous items, Walmart is 28.96 percent cheaper per item than Amazon. However, if you’re shopping for food and beverages, then Amazon should be your go-to. Amazon’s food and beverages were cheaper, on average, than Walmart’s.

Flickr | Walmart Corporate

Amazon’s Response To The Study

As you might expect, Amazon didn’t agree with the study’s findings. The company issued a statement that read:

“The study issued by LendEDU is flawed and misleading, and based on incomplete data … Amazon’s prices are as low or lower than any other retailer and we work hard for customers to ensure that’s true every day. In addition to low prices, we offer customers a vast selection, and more than 100 million items that are eligible for free shipping to all customers, every day.”

Getty Images | David Ryder

Visit LendEDU to see a full breakdown and comparison of the items examined and the company’s methodology.

Do these results change your mind either way when it comes to Amazon and Walmart?

About the Author

Margeaux Baulch Klein

Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and digital strategist based in Los Angeles. She has written for publications like the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others. Visit Scripps News to see more of Margeaux's work. More.

More to explore