PSA: Price Match In-Store Items with Online Items from Staples and Office Depot & Stack with Rewards

Good evening everyone, happy Friday.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I received emails regarding our Staples Rewards and Office Depot Rewards.  Somehow, I had $29 in Staples Rewards and my wife had $8.59 in Office Depot Rewards.  This afternoon, I printed out my $29 Staples Reward coupon and went to my local Staples Store to buy some ink for my printer.  Strangely, the price for the ink was more expensive at the Staples Store than on Staples.com.  When I went to check out, I asked the cashier if she would price match to the price on Staples.com and she said yes.  It seemed like a fairly common request to the cashier.  She looked at the price of the ink cartridge on Staples.com on my phone and matched the price.  I was then able to use my Staples Rewards to pay for the item.  In this post, I will show you more information regarding the price match process and show a similar process for Office Depot items.

Here are the terms and conditions for Staples Rewards.  I bolded the exclusions since my original thoughts were to buy gift cards or stamps, but those are both excluded.

Rewards are issued online monthly in increments of $5. Rewards expire the last day of the month following the month of issuance, at the end of the day ET and cannot be redeemed after the expiration date. Monthly balances of less than $5 will roll over through the end of the following calendar quarter. Unissued rewards will expire at the end of the following calendar quarter, unless a qualifying purchase is made. Rewards are issued within 30 days after the end of the calendar month. Rewards may be redeemed at any Staples store, online at staples.com®, or by phone at 800-333-3330 by the expiration date printed on your reward. Rewards are not redeemable for cash. Staples is not liable for unclaimed or expired rewards. Staples Rewards® cannot be redeemed for or applied against cash, taxes, credit remittance, shipping charges, custom printing orders placed online, promotional products, any purchases made on design.staples.com, documents.staples.com, design.staples.com/promotional-products/, gift cards, prepaid phone cards, postage stamps, prior purchases, Staples Industrial(sm) purchases, purchases made on staplesmobile.com, or purchases on third-party websites. Rewards earned after application of all promotions, coupons, rewards redeemed, and instant savings, and are not earned on taxes and shipping charges. (To the extent that product-specific coupons were applied pro rata in a transaction in the past for the purposes of calculating qualifying purchase amount(s) for Rewards, this means such coupons were proportionately allocated across all items purchased in a given transaction). The sale, barter or transfer of rewards, except by Staples, is expressly prohibited. Abuse of the Program may result in legal action, cancellation of the member’s account, exclusion from the Program, forfeiture of all rewards accrued, and liability for past rewards redeemed. Reward or Recycling Rewards must be redeemed in full at time of purchase. If reward is not redeemed in full, the remaining balance is forfeited. Staples.com orders or phone orders, excluding taxes, delivery charges, gift cards, prepaid phone cards, and postage stamps, must meet or exceed the Reward or Recycling Reward amount. Expired rewards cannot be reissued. Staples reserves the right to modify, revise or cancel the Program at any time without prior notice.

As you can see, the price for this black ink cartridge is $17.99 on Staples.com (and the same $17.99 on OfficeDepot.com) – they do a great job of exactly matching each other’s prices.

The in-store price was originally $21.99 but the cashier was able to price match to the Staples.com price of $17.99.  I then used my Staples Rewards to cover the purchase.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t charged tax, I wonder if it’s basically free after rebate with the Staples Rewards or if the price match had something to do with taxes not being charged.  Either way, I am not complaining.  The cashier also printed out a new $11.01 balance coupon with the same 10/31/2021 expiration date.

Here is the email from my wife with the $8.59 Office Depot Rewards.  I went to Office Depot yesterday to buy some ink.  Unfortunately, I already threw away the receipt, so I don’t have the receipt showing the price match and the Office Depot Rewards being used.  I learned that my wife had $5.00 in rewards expiring on 9/30/2021 and another $3.59 expiring sometime after that, but I was able to use all the rewards up during my recent visit.

As you can see, the price for this magenta ink cartridge is $15.99 on OfficeDepot.com (and the same $15.99 on Staples.com) – like I said earlier, they do a great job of exactly matching each other’s prices.  The in-store price was originally $21.99, so I asked the cashier if she would price match to the OfficeDepot.com price of $15.99.  She said yes and made the adjustment to my receipt.  I then applied the Office Depot Rewards and paid the remaining balance with my Chase Ink Plus.

I’m honestly surprised that the prices at Staples and Office Depot are higher in-store than online, I would have assumed that the prices would be the same.  I think most customers of Staples and Office Depot would assume the same too.  Therefore, the next time you buy an item in-store at Staples or Office Depot, double check the price online and ask for a price match if you see a lower price online.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

4 thoughts on “PSA: Price Match In-Store Items with Online Items from Staples and Office Depot & Stack with Rewards

  1. Jeff

    The rewards certificates are treated like coupons, so it comes off the subtotal and you don’t have to pay tax on that portion of the sale. And yes, they love to charge more than their website price for the unsuspecting.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Jeff, thanks for letting me know that the rewards are treated as a coupon, that was my initial thought. Also good to know that the prices in-store are usually a few bucks more than on their website. Very sneaky!

      Reply
  2. Brant

    There has been a great deal of consolidation and closers in the office supply store space in recent years and most often, when I go in to by discounted VCG’s, the stores I frequent are virtual ghost towns. It’s only a guess, but I’d say that in store prices need to be higher to support the additional overhead of a bricks and mortar facility. Frankly, I can’t see how that model will last in the future. Most of the time, there are more employees in the store than customers.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Brant, I totally agree. 95% of the time (excluding back to school shopping) there are more employees than shoppers. Charging more in store makes sense to cover the overhead, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend more than we have to :)

      Reply

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