How do you offer tips for getting the best deal for the retailer (Walmart) known for the lowest available price? Walmart has economies of scale, which I’ve actually written a research paper on. If I still had that, I would have linked it. Just trust me when I say brands that want to sell products at Walmart are often convinced to give Walmart a lower price than they may give another retailer. They do that to gain access to Walmart’s huge customer base. By getting the price from the manufacturer for less than other retailers, Walmart can sell it for less.
Anyone who enjoys the People of Walmart series, may even love shopping in person. While I rarely encounter people worthy enough of making it into a video montage, I do usually find some great deals. Even when Walmart does not have the best price, there is a really good chance it may find the best price and match it anyway thanks to the beauty of Savings Catcher. Shopping online has its own unique benefits, because Walmart uses a lot of third-party resellers to make a variety of items available to consumers. Just make sure you price check online prices, because those third-party resellers price gouge at times. The fastest way is to compare the Walmart price to the Target price.
Economies of Scale and Low Free Shipping Minimum
Walmart has more consistent pricing than some other drugstore retailers. That means the online price (when purchasing from Walmart and not a third-party reseller on Walmart’s site) and the price from store to store does not have a lot of fluctuation. This is vastly different from Target where the online price is almost always cheaper and the price at a Target down the street from you can charge a different price for the same items. It makes getting the best deal a little easier. There are plenty of times where the in store price is actually less than the online price so familiarizing yourself with the price of your staple items is a good idea. Walmart offers free online shipping with a $35 purchase. With that $35 minimum, you also get 2-day shipping. That is one of the most impressive offers in the industry. This was likely done to compete with Amazon Prime. The difference is Amazon Prime costs $99 a year (for that and other benefits).
Walmart participates with Paribus. When shopping online, Paribus will automatically look for price drops. If any occur within a limited time frame, it will file a claim on your behalf with the covered retailer. After reviewing the claim, Walmart will usually price match the lower offer and issue a credit. The exception is when the items purchased are through a third-party reseller. Those claims will get denied.
The Walmart Beauty Box
This is a subscription. Some items inside are full-sized and some are sample sized. Boxes can have as few as four items or as many as 10. It ships once per quarter, and you can cancel at any time. While the value is always over the $5 paid for shipping, there is a lot of variety in the boxes. Some members will receive a box with very little value, and others will receive box with a lot of value (relatively speaking). My favorite thing about this box is it is a great way to get drugstore samples. Falling in love with drugstore items is always preferable to falling in love with high-end items.
The Walmart Baby Box
The second box is the Baby Box. Like the Beauty Box, there is variety in these boxes as well. My sister-in-law and others in my life who have little ones have ordered this. Items inside vary from diaper creams, baby books, bottles, diapers, pacifiers, baby beauty samples, and more. Some items inside are full-sized and some are sample sized. Boxes containing diapers usually have the lowest value, because a handful of diapers costs a lot less than a new bottle. This is a single order box and the contents change constantly. You could order a box this month and another next month and receive completely different items. It is also possible they will be exact duplicates.
Walmart Credit Card
Walmart has its own credit card and while I am always reluctant to recommend store branded credit cards, there is also a MasterCard option. This gives you spending ability at any place that accepts MasterCard. Members get special promo codes throughout the year. They also get cash back on purchases.
While the offers can vary, ordering groceries online and picking them up in store usually results in 3% cash back instead of the 1% you’d get for shopping in store. Doing this also allows you to get the groceries with cash back from a pay-to-shop program.
The Big Savings section is a huge key toward best deal. This is where you find: clearance, value bundles, Rollbacks, Special Buys, and your Weekly Ad. Rollbacks run extremely efficiently at Walmart. When other stores over price an item, it takes them a lot longer to lower the price.
To get access to the weekly ad for your local store, you need to enter your zip code or sign into your account. This is helpful for those who like to plan their store visits in advance. What I love about the Weekly Ad is it is user-friendly. If you click on the item you want to look at, it will pull up. It will show you availability at your store if you click on the item. No sense is rushing over to the store to grab a great deal if your store does not even have it in stock. You can also select the free pickup offer and have all the items ready and waiting for you once you arrive at the store. The pickup window is usually less busy than the checkout stands, but it always takes time even when there is no line. A lot of orders get processed that way, and the employees need time to find yours.
There are some clearance sections in-store. They are never clearly marked. Compared to the other product aisles, this section is always very messy.
A lot of items are in clear buckets or random containers.
You can usually find clearance items by spotting their stickers, which are usually red and white.
At times, items in clearance have the usual orange and yellow stickers. The “was” price and “now” price are different. In the case of this Flower Beauty Foundation, it is 50% off.
Other times, you will find items in clearance that are full retail. Don’t be fooled by the strange pricing in the orange tabs. The item with $69.85 in orange is the price per ounce while the item with the $13.97 in orange is the price per each. Listing the price per each is really dumb for single palettes like this. That Revlon palette retails for $8.97 at Ulta so seeing it in the clearance section could trick someone into spending $5 more than necessary to try this. It is a good idea to know the cost of the item you’re looking for. If you are randomly searching through the clearance section and see something like this, use your smart phone to Google the item.
When buying makeup and beauty products, I’d suggest sticking to the sealed ones. A lot of these items have clearly been swatched. It is definitely not a good deal if you buy something on clearance only to discover someone used it already.
My store had a lot of Flower Beauty items on clearance, which makes me wonder if Walmart will stop carrying the line. It has launched at Ulta.
I purchased some Flower Beauty makeup brushes for full price from Walmart online in October of 2017. When they arrived at my house, they had clearance tags on them for 50% off. A part of me wanted to call Walmart and ask them to price match, but I never did. If it happens again, I will. Until it happens again, I am unsure if they would.
Walmart does not have a lot of promotions when it comes to beauty products, but it does accept manufacturer’s coupons on its already low prices.
It does have regular bulk deals on products where you can buy two for a cheaper per unit price like these treatment masks, which are $5 for one or $8 ($4 each) for two.
It has similar deals on sheet masks where you can pay the per unit price or get two for $5. Look at the price of the mask you are selecting though. Some of these masks already retail for $2.50 so you only need to purchase one to get the $2.50 per mask price.
The beauty section has cameras everywhere (to prevent theft) so I thought it would be fun to say hello.
I also wanted to point out that while there is a healthy amount of Flower Beauty products on clearance, most are still regular price. It is possible the clearance products are old stock or items Walmart will not sell anymore.
Everyday Low Prices
It is important to note that while there are not many promotions, the everyday prices are lower than almost every competitor on most items. The Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Refill Pack 25 retail for $4.47. This is the cheapest regular price I’ve seen.
The Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrubs are $6.48. This is the cheapest regular price I’ve seen. Promotions at other stores can make this a better deal. I just purchased two of these at Ulta for $7.99 on the first and $4.79 (40% off) on the second. Granted, I had to buy two, but that made each one $6.39. When the sale price at one store only gives you $0.09 off per unit, you know the regular price at Walmart is low.
The L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara in Blackest Black is $8.97. While that is a good price, it is not the best. This is proof that Walmart is not always cheaper. Target has it for $7.09. Granted, that is the online price. If you pick it up in store, you may pay a lot more.
The L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation is $14.97. This is $0.02 cheaper than Target, which is pretty close to normal. It is surprisingly $1 cheaper at Bed Bath and Beyond. I doubt I would buy a product like this from Bed Bath and Beyond though. As they are not an authorized retailer, who knows where that stuff came from.
The Maybelline Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter is $7.94. That is $0.05 more than Target online, but it is cheaper than the price at my local Target. This product is up to $9.99 at other stores.
Of all the products I looked at today, only the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer does not match the online price. It is $13.23 in-store and $13.65 online. That goes hand in hand with what I was saying that online prices at Target are usually cheaper and in-store prices at Walmart are usually cheaper. For items you regularly purchase, it is a good idea to know what the price is depending on how and where you purchase it. Target is listing this as $10.09, but I saw this in my local Target recently for $13.74. That $10.09 price is odd. Ulta has this for $8.99 for its spring haul, but it will return to $14.99 there once that event is over.
One of the few drugstore brands that has very little fluctuation in pricing regardless of store is elf.
Milani prices at Walmart are usually the best around. If you are lucky enough to have a Target that carries Milani, you can see these items in person before buying for around the same price as Walmart.
Never overlook the travel section. This is a great way to sample drugstore items or get small items for you trips. While the price per ounce is usually more expensive than the bigger sizes, it is not always the case. That is also true with prestige brands. If one of your staple items comes in a smaller size, knowing the price per ounce on all sizes is ideal.
Cheap sheet masks and bath salts are right up my alley. I love taking long baths and do it more often when I can get items that do not break the bank.
The same goes for bath bombs and fizzies. This bag of Bodycology fizzies is $4.97 for 8 2.1oz bath bombs. I purchased a bag and will review them soon. People I create gift bags for are always asking me for bath bombs. Getting them for less than $1 each makes it easier to include them than it is to give some of the others I purchase.
Ibotta is another great way to save money when shopping in store. It is a coupon app that allows you to upload receipts to get rebates on specific items. I usually go shopping first then check Ibotta offers once I get home. If anything I bought qualifies for a rebate, I upload my receipt. To save even more, you could check Ibotta offers and tailor your shopping trip to the offers that give cash back. This is similar to how extreme couponers purchase the items that they have coupons for. It was nice getting $2.50 back on items I was going to purchase anyway. New members get a $10 bonus if they save $10 using the app within the first 30 days. Anyone who refers a new member gets a $5 bonus. You have to select the store you want to shop at, browse through the offers, add the ones you want, and upload the receipt after shopping.
Once you reach $20, you can cash out. I just created my account within the past 60 days, and I already cashed out my first $20. That was thanks to receiving my $10 welcome bonus and checking the offers before shopping a couple of times.
There are some gift card options for cashing out and one even offered a $5 bonus. Of course, the $5 bonus was for a place I am not interested in. I decided to do a PayPal transfer to my account.
Within seconds, PayPal emailed me to confirm receipt. That is the fastest I’ve ever received a PayPal transfer. So far, I am enjoying this app.
Create an online account and enter your local store so you can download in-store coupons. Many of these coupons are the same ones you’d find through Swagbucks, Coupons.com, or MyPoints. Printing directly from Coupons.com or Walmart only gives you the face value of the coupon. Other than the traditional methods of getting coupons, via mail, newspapers, magazines, etc, you can also get coupons from coupons.com, MyPoints, and Swagbucks. What I like about printing coupons from MyPoints and Swagbucks is you get points for printing and redeeming coupons. You can use those points to cash in for gift cards to retailers. It is like scoring twice.
If you want the best price on most drugstore items you purchase, shopping at Walmart is a good idea. Drugstore pricing has a lot of fluctuation so Walmart is not always the cheapest. Savings Catcher can help bridge the gap on some sale items and items that are just naturally priced lower elsewhere. It is probably my favorite tool of all the ways to save money, because it is almost hassle free (short of uploading the receipt). Deal hunters can find great prices no matter where they shop. When there is a price difference at Walmart versus Target, it is almost always $0.11 per item. If I can get something for $4.99 at Target, I can usually get it for $4.88 at Walmart. While I enjoy the shopping experience at Target more, those who want to save more money overall and do not care as much that Target carries some nicer items, will probably benefit more from mostly shopping at Walmart.
What are your thoughts on these tips for getting the best deal at Walmart? Let me know below. Remember to check all WalMart offers before shopping online. Even though Walmart does not have as many promotions as some other retailers, its regular prices can beat sale prices at other stores. Whether shopping in store or online, price matching is available. Walmart looks for you for in store prices using Savings Catcher. You must submit claims for online prices, but there are apps like Paribus that can assist you. See all Walmart and Subscription Box articles. There are never any promotions on the boxes, because they are already free (with a $5 shipping charge). View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links