Revised: Target’s Official Price Matching Policy

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Edit: Target updated their price matching policy less than one week after making it public. It now states that Target-issued coupons are deducted first, then the product is price matched, then a manufacturer-issued coupon is applied.

Some time back I informed you that Target started to match prices if you found an identical item advertised for less elsewhere. At the time, though, their official price matching policy was not available online.  In fact, we were lucky that they had just published their official coupon policy.

Well, times have changed and you can now print Target’s price matching policy from I advise you to read it, understand it and then print it and bring it with you if you plan to price match. Some readers have commented that their local Target has refused to accept Target coupons on price matched items and had other sorts of confusion about the process. This official price matching policy should clear it up.

Your turn: If you have price matched items at Target what tips and tricks do you have for the rest of us?

For your convenience I’ll paste the policy as it exists today (November 23, 2009) below.

How does price matching work?

If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number. is excluded from our price matching policy. Competitor catalogs can also be ad matched as long as the catalog displays a valid date and meets all other qualifications.

What if I’ve already made the purchase at Target?

No problem. Within seven days of purchase, bring your Target receipt and the competitor ‘s current printed ad. We will reimburse the savings to you.

What qualifies as proof of a competitor’s advertisement?

Please show us the entire printed advertisement. Photos, photocopies, or mobile phone versions of the ad cannot be accepted as verification of competitive pricing.

What does ‘identical store item’ mean?

The program covers items with the identical brand name, size, weight, quantity and model number of the item at Target stores. We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the product.

Can I use coupons when price matching?

A guest can use coupons when price matching per Target’s normal coupon policy. When the guests presents a coupon(s), these steps will be followed:

Manufacturer Coupons:
Manufacturer coupons will be applied after the price match is made.

Target Coupons:
Target coupons will be applied before the price match is made. If the competitor price is still lower than the price after the Target coupon has been deducted, the ad match can be adjusted to match the competitor’s price.

Combining both a Target and Manufacturer Coupons:
The Target coupon will be applied before the price match is made. If the competitor price is still lower than the price after the Target coupon has been deducted, the ad match can be adjusted to match the competitor’s price. Once the price match is made the manufacturer coupon will be applied.

Reminder: We accept one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item unless either coupon prohibits it.

Target does not ad match a competitors coupon-required offers.

What do you mean by local retail competitors?

This refers to retail stores located within the same market area as a particular Target store. Examples of a market area can be a city, a metropolitan area or a specific rural region.

What about online price matching?

All online pricing, including, is excluded from our price matching policy, as well as online retail promotions or products advertised on another company’s web or mobile sites.

Other price matching exclusions include:

  • Online prices, including
  • Promotions or products advertised on another company’s web or mobile sites, even those advertising in-store prices.
  • Timed events (e.g., early bird, door busters)
  • Items advertised as limited time/limited supply/limited quantity
  • Membership club or loyalty programs (e.g. prices that require a club or loyalty card)
  • Coupon-required or giftcard offers
  • Prices advertised only as a percent off or $ off
  • Competitor’s free product, buy one, get one, bundled offers, or special purchases
  • Mobile coupons
  • Sales tax promotions
  • Damaged product or opened packaging
  • Clearance or closeout items
  • Mail in offers or instant rebates
  • Product services (warranties, assembly, etc.)
  • Going-out-of-business liquidations
  • Special financing
  • Used or previously owned items
  • Display merchandise
  • Pricing or typographical errors
  • Owned brands (i.e., Home, Merona, Circo, Market Pantry and Archer Farms)
  • Non-branded items (e.g. produce not marketed under a specific brand name)
  • Target Portrait Studio, Optical, and Clinic offers
  • Expired Ads


  1. Val B. says

    Hi! My friend used Target online printables to score some great deals as they told her they accept competitor's coupons too. Does your Wal-Mart do this and why doesn't any of the top blogs price match Target's coupons to Wal-Mart's deals if this is true everywhere?

    • says

      Val – Walmart's corporate policy is that they do NOT price match coupons, but individual store managers can be more lenient and accept them if they'd like. With that, you can call your local Walmart to see how they handle competitor's coupons.

  2. says

    Carrie, I would personally like to give you a great big thanks for pocket your dollars. I started couponing about three months ago, and literally have saved hundreds !!! I would recommend this site to anyone who is trying to save money on virtually anything that is out there. This is time consuming, and with 3 kids I can imagine that this for you can get hectic at times. Thanks again, Sue S.

  3. Cath says

    Okay, so as a made-up example,

    I want a movie that costs $50 at Target and the same movie is in the Best Buy ad for $40. There is a $10 Target store coupon.

    So if I were to "price match," then they would ring up the movie at $50, take off the $10 coupon, then do the match to the $40 that it costs at Best Buy? But then again, if the Target coupon has already been taken off, it would already be down to $40. Huh, that would mean that the price match wasn't worth doing, at least in an example like this, right?

    Am I getting this right?

  4. erica f edwards says

    I think this is why I don't bother with the PM at Target. It is just too much for us couponers. I think they are trying to make it too hard. Thanks Carrie for taking time to help us through this journey of couponing.

  5. kathy Merchant says

    Thanks for printing out the price match policy. After last years Check Book Magazine did a comparison of Target, Cub, Walmart, Rainbow etc for groceries, I have almost completely switched to groceries at Target unless it is some brand/item Target doesn't carry. I even find lately that some of Target's prices are sometimes lower than Sam's Club (for example once in awhile I'll be so mad because Target's skim milk gallon was cheaper, or a special on ground beef was cheaper per pound).

    I started doing the price match once in awhile this Fall at Target Plymouth (I'm from Crystal, MN) because I just don't like shopping Walmart because of it's few check-out lanes open all the time. I found that different Target employees tell you different answers about the matching policy but it has worked best to shop for the item first (before I do the rest of my shopping); take the items to the customer service counter with my printed ad and buy it there. Then I go and do the rest of my Target shopping.

    I'm still not saving hundreds of dollars and I've been trying to learn this coupon "ing" process for well over a year but I keep at it. I think part of the problem is that I don't do the double coupon thing at Rainbow because when I tried it they were totally out of the item I wanted (and curiously all the other varieties of the same item) so I think it may be a come on item. I also believe Rainbow's prices are slightly higher to start with so by the time I clip coupons I'm not saving as much. If you have any suggestions for saving more than a few dollars on each grocery trip I'd appreciate it. My family is in a situation where we need to save everything we can.

  6. Elise says

    I work at a Target in the Guest Service department and there are sheets of paper for us that clearly explain our rules-there is no reason another Target Team Member should be skewing any information about our price matching. A note on that: Always ask the Guest Service Desk-Cashiers and Sales floor Team Members are not as versed in price matching because all price matches must be done at the Guest Service Desk anyway.

  7. Bethany says

    Say Wal-marts regular price for an item is cheaper than the price at Target…will Target match it or only on items that are advertised in the paper? If they do match competitor's regular priced items, how do you bring in proof of the price?

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