We went to a Target store to buy a Bissell SpotClean - Model 52071. It retails at Target for $99.99, but Amazon sells it for $79.99.
Because we wanted to buy it that day to clean some pet accidents and not wait for delivery by Amazon, we headed to Target, hoping to get a price match with Amazon's lower price. Unfortunately, we instead learned the dirty little secret - that manufacturers agree to sell models specific for only one store, so that said store (Target) doesn't have to honor price-matching. For instance, on the manufacturer's website, the Bissell SpotClean is listed as Model #52071. However, there are links on the website to online retailers selling the same model.
Clicking on the Target link, we found that Target only sells model 5207T (T for Target?), while Amazon only sells model model 5207A (A for Amazon?), and Walmart sells, wait for it, 5207W (W for Walmart!). Each model is exactly the same, except that the color is different. At the store, we tried to point out to the Target associate that the 5207T is only sold by Target, but it is the exact same model as the 5207A at Amazon, and both are listed on the manufacturer's website as being the same as the 52071 original model from the manufacturer. We also asked how could Target price-match when they have a deal with the manufacturer to be the only store that sells the 5207T?
However, our arguments fell on deaf ears and we walked away empty-handed.
It seems that Target and likely other stores have gotten around price-match guarantees by making agreements with manufacturers to sell store-specific models of the original by the manufacturer. What a let-down; we feel scammed!
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.