Have you ever bought something and then seen it cheaper soon after? Sometimes you can get the difference back, but most of us don’t bother. Now you don’t have to. Read our Paribus review and see how they can get you free money for nothing.
What is Paribus?
Hopefully, when you shop online, you’re comparing prices and looking for the best deal. It’s so easy to compare prices using Google Shop that there is no excuse not to. But even if you do your research and buy something at the lowest price, that might only be the lowest price at that moment.
Online retailers change prices regularly, and it’s frustrating to see that despite your best efforts, you see the thing you just bought is cheaper a day or two later.
Americans spent $394.86 billion shopping online in 2016. If you are among them, wouldn’t you like to get some of that money back? There is a way you can, price protection, which is something many stores offer.
Online shopping: because it’s frowned upon to be in a store with no bra, sweat pants, and a glass of wine.
Price protection is a great thing. If you buy something and the price goes down within a specific time frame, you can get a refund for the difference. The problem is, many people don’t know about it and even those who do, can’t be bothered to watch for price drops and then jump through the necessary hoops to take advantage of it.
For example, you buy a suitcase from Bloomingdales for $313. Three days later, it goes on sale for $275. Bloomingdales offers price protection for a drop in price or missed coupon (there was a coupon available for your purchase, but you didn’t know about it at the time) within ten days of purchase. To get the refund, you have to fill out an online form.
When I clicked on the link for the form, it was a 404 not found. At that point, I would just give up. But $38 isn’t exactly nothing. But I’m lazy and forgetful. So I would just lose out on that $38.
Paribus makes sure all of us lazy people do get back our $38. Paribus monitors your purchases and price drops from almost 30 stores. If there is a price drop, they negotiate the refund for you.
You only need a supported email address to make your Paribus account, and they support the big ones most of us have, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo. If you have more than one email address, be sure to use the one you shop online with. You don’t need a separate password for your Paribus account; you use your email password.
- Go to Paribus.com
- Choose the email you shop with
- Enter your username and password
- Choose “Allow” on the permission screen
- Link your Amazon account
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How it Works
Paribus will scan your email messages for emails related to shopping like order and shipping confirmations to find purchases. Paribus tracks those purchases and any relevant price changes. If it detects one, Paribus will contact customer service for you and arrange the refund.
Paribus scans for purchases made within the last 30 days. Each retailer sets their cut off point for taking advantage of price guarantees though. Some also may require additional information from you. If that’s the case, Paribus will notify you.
If Paribus successfully negotiates a refund for you, the money will be credited to whatever card you charged the purchase to, or you will be given a store credit, depending on the retailer’s policy. The refund comes directly from the retailer, not from Paribus.
Heading into Target. See you in about $150.Tweet This
When you go to your Paribus account, there are two main screens, the dashboard, and the purchase screens. Your dashboard is an overview of your Paribus account. It shows recent purchases, the number of purchases Paribus has logged for you, your spending and the savings Paribus has negotiated for you.
The purchase screen shows purchases made at Paribus supported stores. Every purchase shows the price trend for the item and if it’s eligible for a price protection claim.
Eligible items will have the word “Eligible” next to it in a green box. If a purchase is too old for a refund from the retailer, it will have the word “Maybe” next to it in an orange box. Why the maybe? Because even though the retailer will no longer honor a price guarantee, you might still be able to get one from the credit card you used to buy the item.
A lot of credit cards offer various consumer protections and price guarantees are one of them. Unfortunately, you will have to do the legwork yourself, Paribus doesn’t work with credit card companies. But Paribus has provided you the information. You can screenshot it and send it to your credit card company and try to get some money back.
If Paribus gets you a refund, you’ll see a green thumbs up on the item you purchase and the words “Claim Successful” underneath it.
Paribus used to charge a 25% fee of the amount of each refund that got back for you to use the service. But in 2016 they were acquired by Capital One, and now the service is entirely free even if you don’t have an account with Capital One!
“I don’t care how much money you have, free stuff is always a good thing.”
Paribus monitors prices at 29 retailers currently including Best Buy, Staples, Target, Overstock, and Walmart. Where Paribus had a significant impact was with Amazon. Amazon prices continuously change, so consumers were raking in the rebates.
So much so that because of Paribus, Amazon discontinued the policy. Boo! They do still monitor your Amazon purchases for late delivery and can get your money back for that.
Privacy and Security
This all sounds great! You do a lot of shopping online and can’t be bothered to monitor prices or do the legwork to get a refund. But, but-but. Have you to let some third party have access to your email?
Paribus has a lot of security measures in place including dedicated firewalls, VPN services, and strict access controls on all information. Data and passwords are encrypted. Paribus only reads emails that are related to online shopping transactions. The encryption Paribus uses is bank level.
For Gmail, Microsoft, your password is not stored with Paribus. When accessing your inbox, Gmail and Microsoft provide a token which is presented when Paribus activates. If you use another email provider, Paribus does store your password, but under the security measures mentioned above.
Paribus does not sell your data to third parties. If you’re still concerned, set up a dedicated email address for shopping and give Paribus access to that one.
Is Paribus Worth It?
If you shop online often at the stores Paribus works with; then it is worth it. If you run a business, you can potentially get a lot of money back because Paribus works with Office Depot and Staples and you’re buying more than the average person on the kinds of items those stores sell. The average user gets back $3-5 per month.
If you pay for expedited shipping with Amazon using Paribus is worthwhile. I’ve had a lot of problems with Amazon getting packages to me later than they were supposed to. Another way to increase the impact of Paribus is to shop with a cash back credit card. You’ll get the reward from your card and a potential rebate from Paribus.
A lot of us shop online for the holidays so we don’t have to go to the trouble of packing and taking boxes to the post office so Paribus can save you a few holiday bucks.
Of all the money-saving apps, Paribus requires the least amount of work. All you have to do is sign up. The money you get back is money you don’t have to do anything to get, always the best kind. Unlike other shopping apps such as Swagbucks or Ebates, there isn’t a minimum you have to reach to cash out or any steps to follow to do so. If Paribus successfully negotiates a refund, the money is charged back to the form of payment you used, or you get a store credit.
What puts a lot of people off about Paribus is giving them access to your email. Paribus uses an automated system called “Paribus Receipt Fetcher” to look for emails relating to online purchases, there isn’t an employee trawling through your emails.
Still, privacy is a legitimate concern so you can quickly work around that by setting up an email address solely dedicated to shopping.
Paribus requires minimal effort on your part; they work on your behalf to return money that you otherwise would have lost out on. Of all the shopping apps we’ve reviewed, Paribus is the easiest to use so give it a try and see how much money they can get back for you!