Over the last year, I've heard quite a bit of chatter about something called Paribus that helps you earn money back for shopping. At first, I just assumed it was another cash back shopping app and didn't pay much attention. However, taking a second look, it's completely different from that. And by not using it for all this time, I've most certainly left money on the table I could have gotten back!
Note that at this time, Paribus is only available to people in the United States.
Understanding Price Guarantees
First off, you need to understand how most major retailers offer “price guarantees.” As an example, let's say you order online from Walmart, buying an item that costs you $25. But then a week later, the price on that item drops to $20.
Per Walmart's price guarantee, they owe you back that $5 because you paid more for the item within a certain period of time prior to the price dropping.
In addition to Walmart, many other retailers offer similar price guarantees. Some include Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Old Navy, Home Depot, Kohl's, Costco, Sears, and many more.
Most of us lead busy lives, distracted by basically everything. Therefore, we don't always think about monitoring price drops on items we purchase from these places. I know I don't! We buy what we need to buy and then forget about it.
So there's a very large percentage of people out there (including myself) that never receives these refunds they are 100% entitled to.
Where Paribus Comes In To Play
Paribus makes sure you don't miss these refunds, ever. Once you have an account set up, you have to allow Paribus access to your emails. Paribus will then monitor your email account to watch for messages containing receipts from select merchants you've purchased from (which includes the companies I listed above in addition to many more).
When Paribus sees that you have an emailed receipt from one of these merchants, they will begin to monitor the price of the item(s) you bought.
If the price drops to any amount below what you paid within the price guarantee refund window for that merchant, Paribus will act on your behalf to get your refund for you. And when I say “act on your behalf”, I mean they will go as far as to write an email to the company and request your refund. You literally do not have to do anything at all!
Note that Paribus does not read your personal emails. They have an automated system in place called the “Paribus Receipt Fetcher” that monitors your account for transactional data only. There isn't an actual, live person sitting there filtering through all your private messages.
What Happens Next
After Paribus has requested your refund, you should receive an email back from the merchant stating (hopefully) that they will process your refund. The refund will come from the merchant, not Paribus.
The amount will go back on to the credit card, debit card, or gift card you used to make your purchase.
Does Paribus Do All of This For Free?
No. Paribus takes a 25 percent cut of the amount the merchant refunds for you. So for example, if you bought that item at Walmart for $25 and you received $5 back after the price dropped to $20, Paribus would take $1.25 of that amount.
Before you freak out, understand that this is basically the fee for the service they provide to you. They are helping you save time and money doing something you likely aren't getting around to yourself.
How to Avoid The Fee Completely
The good news is, you can totally waive the fee if you are able to refer some friends to Paribus. Through May 2017, every friend you refer to Paribus gets you 5 percent off of the fee. And this discount is for you AND the friend you refer.
So for example, if you referred five friends to Paribus, then there would be no fee charged to you at all. You will have reduced Paribus' commission amount to zero.
Exactly How Does Paribus Get Their Cut?
They will automatically bill your credit card at the end of each month for their cut of the refunds they helped you get. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can refer to Paribus' credit card security statement:
We take your security seriously. Paribus uses bank level encryption and tokenization to keep sensitive credit card info safe. Paribus works with Stripe, one of the world’s largest payment processors (trusted by Target, Facebook, Slack, Adidas, Lyft and others), and the makers of Very Good Security to maintain PCI compliance (your card is never stored on Paribus!). Paribus undergoes regular audits by outside security professionals to help ensure highest standards.
So because they work with Stripe (a VERY reputable payment processor), they never have your credit card information stored on their website.
What Are the Paribus Reviews So Far?
I signed up the other day. I'll update you on this later so I can provide you with my own experience. But so far, the Paribus reviews I'm reading online make me comfortable enough to give it a go. They have a ton of users who are getting paid back the refunds they are entitled, without having to do a thing other than sign up for their service.
As an example, you can see here how Paribus is monitoring the price of an 8-pack of granite cleaner I just bought the other day on Amazon. I see this when I log on to my dashboard. If that price drops below what I paid anytime soon, I should get the difference back from Amazon thanks to Paribus!
How Do You Get Started With Paribus?
Visit the Paribus website and sign up using your email account. Note you do not need a password, you just use the password you normally use to access your email.
Just provide Paribus with permission to access your account, and you're on your way to getting your money back for price drops! Let us know how it goes for you if sign up!