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The catch with Target's (TGT) price matching

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Target made headlines this week when it announced that it will be extending its holiday season price matching program, making it year round.

But before you get too excited, a new report says that offer comes with a lot of fine print.

Target says it will match prices at Walmart, Best Buy, Toys R Us, or even Amazon.com. Most stores don't match Amazon's online prices, so this appears to be a great deal.

But MSN Money says it's not as easy as it seems.

The Catches with Price Matching

To receive a price match:

       -The item you find cheaper must be identical, with the same product code, and even the same color, according to MSN. TVs for instance, often have different model numbers at different stores, even if they appear to be the same.

       -The item cannot be from a third-party Amazon vendor. Target will match only Amazon's own prices, not third-party vendors on Amazon, which is about half of what Amazon now sells. That's a significant difference, as "fulfilled by Amazon" vendors often have a lower price.

MSN says Target's price matching still appears to be more generous than Walmart's program, as Walmart won't match online prices at Amazon.

Allow Extra Time

Finally, one more downside according to MSN: you have to stand in line at Target's customer service to get a price match, you can't just hold up your smartphone at the register.

Register clerks are not authorized to lower a price.

That means you need to allow extra time for your price haggling.

That way you don't waste your money.
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