There are several Target stores nearby. I went to the first one and struck out, but picked up a couple of cute summer dresses for her ($3.50) and a bathing suit for my oldest ($5.48), both on clearance. I went to the next Target and found the pajamas, thank goodness. On my way out of the girls' section, I saw a front display of the same sundresses I bought at the last store. They were selling for $5.00! I hunted around for the bathing suit and found it, too. It was on clearance at this store, too, but selling for a dollar more, at $6.48.
Then, just to satisfy my curiosity (and because I apparently have way too much time on my hands), I went to a third Target. The prices were the same as at Target #2, but just as I had convinced myself that Target #1 was the Target to frequent, I spotted a pair of pink and orange Bermuda shorts on a clearance rack off to the side. They were marked $9.08. The same shorts were prominently displayed at Target #1 for $12.98.
I was outraged -- what was I supposed to do? Go to every Target within a thirty-mile radius every time one of my kids needed a shirt? I have since found that Costco, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Abercrombie, and Banana Republic operate in the same fashion. Banana Republic is owned by Gap (and so is Old Navy), so they probably play fast and loose with their prices too. Was there no end to this?
It may have to do with the demographic where the store is located, or how much inventory they have. I found that most stores would price match, but if you found your item at another store, you might as well just buy it there and return the first item. If you don't find the exact same item (size and color), I don't think they will do a price match. What I decided to do was get a list together of what I most often purchase at Target, price the items at a few Targets, and make my final decision. I might visit one of the others to pick up an item or two if I was in the neighborhood, or if I couldn't find something at the other Target, but it wouldn't be my ONE. But for sure, now I'm telling all my friends to shop around ...
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!