Have you ever made a purchase just to find out the price dropped just days later? This probably even happens more than you realize.
That’s where Paribus comes in.
Paribus is a free app that keeps track of your online purchases and submits refund requests automatically when available. I’ve been using the app for about a year and a half now, so I can tell you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and whether or not it’s worth a shot.
What is Paribus?
Paribus is for people who like to shop online. The app looks at your purchases based on your email receipts and compares them to current prices at supported stores.
If the app detects a price adjustment on a product you purchased, that ‘s eligible for a partial refund, Paribus will contact the store and submit a refund request for you. It’s basically a rebate app that finds price drops for you, so you don’t have to bother.
They do charge a 25 percent fee for successful refunds, however. So, for example, if your refund is $10, they will take a $2.50 cut. But ultimately, you’re still saving money because that’s $7.50 you wouldn’t have otherwise.
How the Paribus app works
When you sign up, you have to give Paribus access to your email. The service currently supports Gmail, Yahoo!, and Hotmail, but is working on adding other providers as well.
Once you give the app access, a bot will periodically crawl your email, looking for receipts from supported stores. When a receipt is found, the items you purchased will be compared to the public prices listed on the store’s website. If there’s a match and the item is eligible for a refund, the bot will send an automatic message to customer service asking for a refund for you.
Once the refund is processed, and you get that extra money back, Paribus will charge your card on file the 25 percent fee.
Since stores adjust pricing constantly, keeping track of everything yourself would take hours of work. But thanks to the price adjustment tracking bot from Paribus, all of the hard work happens while you’re asleep, at work, or watching TV.
The good and the bad
Overall, Paribus works great. I didn’t lift a finger and the money was refunded to my card. Though there was a period of time that I was unable to login and make updates to my account, that issue has been resolved.
Most of my refunds were for items I purchased from Amazon. Amazon has since changed its refund policy, however. For instance, Amazon lowered the refund period to seven days, effectively eliminating much of Paribus’ power on the site. You can still get refunds from Amazon, the time period is just shorter. Plus, there are dozens of retailers and online stores in addition to Amazon that Paribus supports, including Target, Walmart, Overstock.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more.
Put money back in your pocket
Overall, Paribus is a great offering and an excellent product that can put some money back in your pocket. Since I’ve signed up for the app, I’ve seen four price adjustments totaling about $20. Of those four, three worked and I saved $19 total. That’s pretty good since I didn’t make much of an effort.
Now under the ownership of Capital One, Paribus has access to deep pockets and serious support from a banking industry veteran. Maybe this can help launch Paribus into the big leagues. Either way, the app is definitely worth a try. After all, it essentially saves you money for nothing — you have nothing to lose.
If you want to give this rebate app a try, you can signup for free at Paribus.co or find it in the iTunes App Store.
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