Ever make a purchase online then check back a day later and see the price dropped? Many retailers know that price fluctuations can frustrate consumers, which is why they’ll refund you the difference if you point out the discrepancy. However, keeping track of all your purchases and making the price-adjustment claims can be a hassle – so much so that most people don’t bother.
Two businesses are making the refund request process easier. Paribus and Slice connect to your email account and automatically scan it for receipts or invoices from merchants. They store records of all your purchases, compare the purchase price to the current price, and help you claim a refund
if you’re eligible.
What do the services offer?
Paribus focusing solely on helping consumers get price-drop refunds. The sites checks to see if the price for a product you bought dropped and checks the timeline against the retailer’s policies. If you’re eligible for a refund because of a price drop, Paribus makes the refund request on your behalf. You get paid, and Paribus takes a cut of the savings. In some cases, you may be eligible for a refund through your credit card issuer. Paribus shows when this may be an option, but can’t make those claims for you.
Slice offers a similar price-tracking and price-drop services, but instead of sending a request on your behalf they prepare an email for you to send. You have to take the extra step of sending the email, but Slice doesn’t take a cut of your refund.
Slice also offers a suite of additional features. The site can track your online orders and show when shipments should arrive, you can view your past purchases by category or merchant, and your e-receipts are backed up on their system. Slice also lets you know when products you bought are recalled
Which retailers are eligible?
Paribus: Paribus can track orders from Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Sephora, Newegg, Staples, Target, Bonobos, Zappos, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Athleta Old Navy, Piperlime, Walmart.
Paribus scans your email for receipts from almost all the retailers, but to track and get refunds for products from Amazon you’ll need to directly link your Amazon account.
Slice: Slice Supports over 140 stores, including major retailers like Amazon, eBay, Costco, and Staples, for its shipment-tracking service. Price-drop notifications are available for purchases from 22 retailers.
You don’t need to directly connect to online retailers, just your email account. Slice also lets you add several email accounts to a single profile. With Paribus, you can only track receipts sent to one email address.
Do Slice or Paribus have referral programs?
As a new member, Paribus takes 25 percent of the earnings you save by using the site. Every time you refer a new person, the cut is reduced by 5 percent – all the way down to zero if you refer five people. However, the lower rate expires after six months, at which point you’ll need to refer another five people.
Slice doesn’t take a cut of the rebates and doesn’t offer a referral program to users.
Users may have privacy concerns.
You may be apprehensive about connected to either of the services. You need to give them access to your email account, which raises privacy and security concerns, and with Paribus, you’ll need to fork over your Amazon.com account info as well.
One apparent difference is that Paribus makes money by taking a cut of price adjustments. Slice sells users’ data, as you can see from their business-facing site Slice Intelligence. If you don’t want your data being sold, stick with Paribus.
I came across an interesting option in the comments section of a Paribus review on My Money Blog is to create a separate email account for your purchases. Connect it to Paribus and/or Slice and whenever you buy something forward the confirmation email to the new email account.
My experience with these apps.
I signed up for Paribus months ago, and it’s recorded about $400 worth of purchases, mostly from Amazon and Target. I haven’t gotten any money back yet, but I don’t mind having the service connected.
I just signed up for Slice as well. It went back through my emails and pulled up receipts and invoices from seven years ago. It’s nice to see a breakdown of my spending, and I like that I can easily track the different shipments that are coming my way. The focus of the two sites is clearly different as Slice’s tabs let users look at current shipments, past orders, and break down their spending. There’s no tab to review or check for price-drop adjustments.
I’ll stay connected to both services to see what happens with future orders. I like that Slice doesn’t take a cut of the refund, but I’m skeptical about staying connecting for too long if they’re selling my data.