I try to buy everything I can with my Amazon Prime Membership. Not only does Prime provide convenience and save me an immense amount of time on a weekly basis, I find it rare that I can’t find what I'm looking for. As if I needed more reason to do my shopping online, a recently released app called Paribus will monitor your purchases and refund you if prices drop! It's literally free money and one of the best online services I've found in the last year.
What is Paribus?
Most retailers guarantee if you buy something and the price goes down later that you are entitled to the difference in the form of a refund. The problem is that most people never check or know how to claim the refund they are owed. Paribus now automates this process and makes it effortless for the consumer.
Once you've signed up, Paribus is linked to your email inbox and will scan for new online purchase receipts. If it finds a receipt for certain retailers, it will monitor the price. If the price drops, Paribus negotiates on your behalf for a refund. Paribus makes money by taking a 25% cut of the money you get back (although this can be temporarily lowered in 5% increments for every friend you refer to Paribus).
The negotiations are automated so you don't have to do anything. Paribus will send emails on your behalf, fill out online forms, and even vary the messages they send to make them appear more human. This is all part of the startup’s initiative to keep retailers like Amazon (who have over 2 million price changes each day) honest in the marketplace.
How Does It Work?
Let me show you an example of how Paribus has worked for me. In late December, I purchased an 8 pack of the Gillette Fusion Proglide razor blades on Amazon. Two days later I was notified by Paribus that the price had dropped, and they had filed a claim to get a refund for the price difference. A few days after that I received an email from Amazon (and Paribus) that they would be refunding the credit card I paid with for the $6 difference in price! This was awesome news and some of the easiest money I've ever received. After Paribus took their 25% cut of my $6, I was able to put $4.50 back in my pocket. Since joining Paribus in December I've made 7 successful claims totaling $20.20. It's not a lot but it adds up!
Thrifty Tip #1: Download the app on either the Apple app store or Google Play. This makes it very easy to follow your account activity. They will even send you a push notification when a claim has been submitted and your refund has been processed.
How much does it cost?
Paribus takes a 25% cut on any successful claim they make on your behalf. If you don’t have success with a claim, you will not be charged. You really have nothing to lose, especially if you use Amazon frequently.
Which retailers offer refunds with the Paribus service?
As it stands today, the service is available for use with a handful of retailers, most notably Amazon. I haven’t attempted to purchased anything at any of these other retailers since December, but I will certainly make sure to do this online for the effortless refund protection provided by Paribus.
Thrifty Tip #3: Many of the retailers pictured above are also available through online shopping portals. Maximize your points and miles accounts by purchasing through a portal all while getting the refund protection from Paribus.
How do I sign up?
As mentioned above, Paribus takes a 25% cut of any successful refund claim. You can lower this amount in 5% increments when somebody signs up through your personalized referral link. Both you and the friend will enjoy a reduced commission from Paribus for 6 months. If you refer 5 friends, your refunds will be commission free for a period of time!
Paribus is tackling a growing market as nearly 10% of all retail sales in 2015 were online. The company estimates that nearly $15 billion in refunds go unclaimed each year. Don’t leave your hard earned money on the table. Sign up and take back what's yours.