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Wal-Mart will offer Black Friday price-matching. Who else?

Wal-Mart is one of many retailers to offer some form of price-matching during  Black Friday sales. Here's a guide to understanding price matching, including some breakdowns of the Black Friday price matching policies for Wal-Mart, Target, and other retailers.

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    A Christmas display at a Walmart store. Walmart and other retailers will offer price-matching for Black Friday, but policies vary from store to store.
    Brandon Wade/Invision for Walmart/AP/File
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Black Friday is right around the corner, and hordes of savvy shoppers are going to descend on malls near you to scoop up the best deals immediately. If you want another way to get the best Black Friday offers, you should look into price matching policies. Here's a guide to understanding price matching, including some breakdowns of the Black Friday price matching policies for specific retailers.

How to Get Black Friday Price Matching

Step 1: Bring Proof of Lower Prices

This is kind of a no-brainer, but you need to have proof of a lower price at a competitor if you want the store to give you price matched discounts. Bring a sales flyer with you that has the price you want the retailer to match, or have the item's sale page on a competitor's website loaded up on your smartphone to show the cashier. Walmart doesn't require a copy of the competitor's ad to have a price match in some cases, but most retailers do. You might get hassled if you show up with a photocopy of the flyer, or a screenshot of the price on your phone (rather than a live web page), since those could potentially be doctored in some way.

Do note that retailers have different policies about price matching in general (and price matching on Black Friday in particular), so not all price matches will be possible. We'll dish about that a little more in step four.

Step 2: Know What Items Typically Qualify

Some retailers offer price matching, but only for select items. In 2012, for example, we reported that J&R would honor price matching, but not on CDs or DVDs. Similarly, Fry's Electronics excluded select items from their price matching program.

In addition, some retailers say they will price match any "local" retailer, but local can be a somewhat nebulous term that can vary from store to store. Ask the manager at the location where you shop what "local" means if you need additional clarification.

Step 3: Don't Forget About Price Adjustments

Whether you are shopping in-store or online, you should keep your eyes peeled for retailers who offer price adjustments. Price adjustments mean that if you can find the same item at the same store for less money at a later date, the store will offer you cash or store credit for the difference. So if you buy that TV for $399, but the store later drops the price to $350, you could stand to get cash back.

Not all retailers offer this perk, and of those that do, not all of them offer it during Black Friday. It's worth asking your cashier what the store's policy is for price adjustments, and for what time period the adjustment offer is valid. The only thing better than getting price matching on Black Friday is getting a sweet price adjustment a week later.

Step 4: Double-Check the Store's Black Friday Price Matching Policy

Some retail stores may have different policies during the ultra-competitive Black Friday sales rush, so it's important to understand the terms of each retailer. For example, Walmart has made headlines on past Black Fridays by offering "guaranteed doorbusters." If an item sold out, shoppers received Walmart vouchers that allowed them to buy the exact same item when it came back into stock, and at the same low Black Friday price.

Check out the guide below to learn more about some of the biggest retailers and their policies on price matching for Black Friday. We've included info about whether they honor price matching on Black Friday, as well as info about their general policies for online price matching.

Price Matching Store Policies

Best Buy

Price Matching for Black Friday: No
Match Online Prices: Yes, for select retailers (Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Newegg.com, and TigerDirect.com)
Full Terms Here

Target

Price Matching for Black Friday: No, but try asking the manager nicely
Match Online Prices: Yes, for select competitors (Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com or BabiesRUs.com) and Target.com
Full Terms Here

Walmart

Price Matching for Black Friday: Yes
Match Online Prices: Unclear (WSJ claims yes, but it remains unconfirmed from Walmart itself)
Full Terms Here

Newegg

Price Matching for Black Friday: Yes, on select items bearing the Iron Egg Price Guarantee badge
Match Online Prices: Yes, but not for auction sites
Full Terms Here

Toys "R" Us

Price Matching for Black Friday: No
Match Online Prices: Yes, for some Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com items
Full Terms Here

Amazon

Price Matching for Black Friday: No
Match Online Prices: Yes, for select televisions and cell phones
Full Terms Here

Sears

Price Matching for Black Friday: No
Match Online Prices: Yes, for select competitors
Full Terms Here

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Price Matching for Black Friday: Yes (Terms do not indicate Black Friday is exempt)
Match Online Prices: Yes, some conditions apply
Full Terms Here

Readers, do you have any secret tips for getting lower Black Friday prices? Just wanna brag about the huge deals you got last year? 

Tucker Cummings is a contributing writer for Dealnews.com, where this article first appeared. 

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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