Here’s a Painless Way to Get Money Back for Price Changes on Your Purchases
If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time keeping track of everything.
I mean, there are just way too many things for me to keep up with: bills, chores, my job, meal preparation, my friends on social media. Then there’s taking care of my family, my home, my car, my pets.
That’s why, even though I work at The Penny Hoarder, I’m not out there making a bunch of elaborate financial moves. Things like rewards programs, coupon stacking, online shopping hacks — man, I don’t have time for that — I don’t have room in my brain for that.
Then I found Earny. It requires nothing from me. I pay it no attention whatsoever.
This service gets me money back on any purchases I make online whenever there’s a price change. It works for a bunch of retailers, including Amazon, Gap, Jet, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Overstock, Target, Walmart and Zappos.
Here’s the sweetest part: All you have to do is keep your email receipts. Other than that, you do nothing. Nothing at all.
Just a personal note about me: I’m really good at doing nothing. Maybe you are, too.
Price Change? Let This Bot Negotiate on Your Behalf
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for Earny for free here.
- Earny scans your email archives for receipts. It finds your purchases from any of more than 50 major retailers and monitors the prices.
- It tracks those items to find price drops. Then it takes advantage of retailers’ and credit-card companies’ little-used price-protection policies to negotiate money back on your behalf.
Again, you do nothing after you sign up. This is what you call a “set-and-forget” app. Earny is a busy little bot, and it doesn’t need your help.
It also prevents you from grinding your teeth in frustration when you buy something from Amazon and the price unexpectedly drops a day later. Aaarrrgghh, I hate that.
Call it buyer’s remorse. Post-purchase depression.
Practically nothing is more irritating than finding a recently purchased item available for a cheaper price. It’s like the opposite of finding money on the street.
Earny’s price-protection magic powers are good for 90 days after your purchase.
Theoretically, any of us could do the same thing Earny does. But let’s get real: We’re not going to. American consumers walk away from more than $50 billion in price drops each year, according to research from Mastercard.
That’s because we’re unaware of cheaper offers, or because getting one of these refunds generally requires a lot of effort and tedious paperwork.
So here’s what you do:
- Do your shopping online, pecking away at your laptop.
- Let Earny do its thing. When the app gets you a refund, it takes a 25% cut of the money it collects for you. You get an email about the refund, and the money appears on your credit card statement.
- Go about your business. Other things require your attention.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He loves doing nothing.