Update: Due to this tactic, Walmart has amended its policy to only match prices from Walmart.com and 30 selected retailers. Prices from third-party vendors, marketplace sellers, membership-only retailers and auction sites will not be honored.
Walmart probably thought it was making a smart marketing move with its Walmart Ad Match Guarantee, a policy where the retailer offers its products at the same price as its competitors. However, it didn't count on the ingenuity of the Internet to take advantage of its lax rule, which only requires the customer to show a copy of the ad that lists the low price—regardless of retailer.
Kotaku reported that someone posted a listing for a brand new PlayStation 4 on Amazon for the low price of $89.99—and some people were able to print it out and get Walmart to match the deal. (The console typically retails for $399.99.) The listing in question seems to have been popularized by Norman Caruso, who tweeted the link out this morning. For the record, he claimed he did not take advantage of the scam because he already has a PS4. Anyone can list a product for sale as long as it exists in Amazon's marketplace, but usually the company promptly takes down questionable deals. However, some people were able to screenshot the listing before it was removed. Another two $89.99 consoles appeared around 3:45 p.m. EST on Amazon according to Heavy, but they were promptly removed as well.
— Norman Caruso (@GamingHistorian) November 18, 2014
While Target didn't bite, according to Caruso, it seems that others were able to take advantage of Walmart's policy. Many people tweeted about scoring a cheap PS4 console, with a few offering photographic proof.
— Jamel (@dablueprint) November 18, 2014
— Wow Dot Ben (@WowDotBen) November 18, 2014
LMAO Amazon and Walmart jig just got ps4 for $97 pic.twitter.com/pEIKsCvdHN
— Taahaa Mobeen (@taahaa8) November 18, 2014
Ps4 for 89.99 at wal mart through a loop hole… probably not gonna work by the time this is read though pic.twitter.com/evoHLIIZhZ
— Kelvin Mai (@kelvinmai) November 18, 2014
No word if Walmart is going to change their policy, but let this be a lesson: If it's too good to be true, then it's probably not real—unless a retailer offers to match it.