Paribus 101

The App That Automatically Refunds Price Drops

Paribus 101
September 6, 2016

You just made a significant online purchase, only to find that the price dropped on the item just after you bought it. Many stores will refund the price difference to you within one or two weeks after your purchase, as long as you remember to ask — but you have to take the time to check for price changes, keep all the receipts, and go through each store's procedure for acquiring a refund. Who has time for that on a daily basis? Nobody does, which is why the Paribus app was invented.

Paribus monitors your recent purchases at participating retailers for price drops and automatically works with the stores to secure your refund. When successful refunds are acquired, Paribus keeps 25% as a commission and 75% is returned to your payment card through the retailer.

How does it work? You grant Paribus access to your e-mail, and it scans for any receipts that arrive in your inbox. It will note the items you bought and the amount paid for each item, and then scan the store for price changes in those items. The app can also detect coupons and coupon codes that should have been applied to your purchase and ask for the coupon amount to be redeemed retroactively.

Among the many retailers included are Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Zappo's, J. Crew, Athleta, Staples, and Kohl's. A full listing is available on the Paribus website.

The potential downside is in the amount of information you must supply to Paribus. In order for this approach to work, Paribus not only needs access to your e-mail account to search for purchases and price changes, it also needs an available credit card number to charge you for any refunds that it finds. Tracking of Amazon prices requires supplying Paribas with your Amazon login, and other stores may require sharing access codes to allow Paribus access to your account.

Security is an obvious concern, but Paribus claims strict security through bank-grade encryption. Granted, your information could be vulnerable to a hack at Paribus, but that is true with many retailers as well. Protect yourself using the obvious security measures, such as not using the same, simple password for all of your online security requests.

For those worried about having their purchase history logged, Paribus does not offer gathered information to third parties. They make their money off the per-sale commissions. You have the option to remove individual purchases from the tracking under the "My Purchases" tab.

Note that Paribus requires an e-mailed receipt for your online purchases, so make sure that you receive an e-mail receipt for any relevant purchases, and that the address that receives e-mailed receipts is the same one used by Paribus.

Paribus supports most web-based e-mail services, but if yours is not included, you can simply set up a separate Gmail account for your Paribus account. If you like, you can open multiple Paribus accounts and assign one to each e-mail address that you have. However, it does not go in both directions — you cannot split your Paribus account between multiple e-mail addresses.

As more stores go to dynamic pricing schemes that change prices constantly based on demand algorithms and other analytical methods, the Paribus app should become even more useful. Why not take advantage of all the potential refunds available to you, especially when the amount of effort required on your part is about the same as picking up dollar bills off the sidewalk?


Photo ©iStock.com/SIphotography

  Conversation   |   13 Comments

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Steffanie | 09.06.16 @ 17:43
I have to admit I love the idea of saving money, but giving out all my information makes me very leary.
Wanda Langley | 09.06.16 @ 17:44
I already have this and love it.
Jonathan | 09.06.16 @ 17:44
Make money shopping? Where do I sign up lol
Carla Truett | 09.06.16 @ 17:44
This sounds like a great app although I'm not really comfortable allowing it to access my email.
Jo Ann | 09.06.16 @ 17:44
GREAT APP. I use it and it has saved me a lot of time, and money.
Amanda | 09.06.16 @ 17:45
I loved the idea until the credit card numbers. I don't link or give those out for anything, unless I'm buying/using it. Good idea bad steps.
Christina | 09.06.16 @ 17:45
Not sure the benefits would outweigh the amount of information I'd have to provide... and the risk that it could be compromised.
Leslie | 09.06.16 @ 17:46
I've been using this app for a few months and I love it! I haven't saved a ton, but the little bit I have gotten back was a nice surprise.
Jackie | 09.06.16 @ 17:46
I'm definitely going to sign up for this. My budget is limited and getting cash back or saving money is a high priority with me.
Erin | 09.06.16 @ 17:46
This may be something that I will have to look into. I love the idea, but I don't like having to give out so much information.
trish | 09.06.16 @ 17:47
Wow, this is genius! I would want to look more into the security aspect of this app, but the thought of not having to spend the time price matching/searching for best deals would be worth the percentage to the app. Will look into this further
Selena Walls | 09.06.16 @ 17:48
I'm not entirely sure I'd feel that the amount of money this would save me is worth the amount of information I have to give this app.
Meredith L | 09.06.16 @ 17:54
Well, I was excited about it until I saw how much information has to be released. And, believe it or not, I do not do a lot of online purchases so the need to scan my email is not necessary. The concept is great. I think the 25% is a little extreme - but the flip side is you're getting more money back than you would have without the app. Now, if it was attached to a digital currency wallet, I might feel a lot more secure than giving out my credit card. At this point, I think I'll pass the app.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.09.16 @ 23:23
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