As an avowed frugal person who writes on this here frugal blog, I’m always looking for a way to save money. When Paribus came to my attention as a money saving app, my frugal ears perked up. I thought I would write up a Paribus review and see if it does actually put more money back in my pocket.
Have you ever bought something to find it on sale a few days later? It’s got to be one of the most frustrating experiences in the world. You feel cheated, and you wish you could get the same item, but at the cheaper rate.
Enter Paribus. Paribus works to save people money on items they buy online through automated price protection. Translation: Paribus scans your purchases from certain retailers, compares them to other retailers, and if it finds something cheaper, gets your a refund for the difference. Paribus also scans coupons and coupon codes- if they should have been applied to your purchase, it requests the price difference for you.
Sounds pretty frugal to me! What a way to ensure I’m always getting the best deals on what I’m buying. Paribus finds you deals specifically by searching the email inbox that receives your purchase receipts and searches for price drops on items you bought. If it finds a price difference, it files a claim on your behalf and deposits the money in your account. Here is a neat video which summarizes how the software works.
Obviously, in order for this to work for you, you have to allow Paribus access to your email account and grant them permission to view and manage your email, view your email address, and view your profile information. You also need to link a credit card, where you’ll get your refunds back.
Right now, there are over 700,000 Paribus users. Those numbers were good enough that the company was bought by Capital One in October 2016. They’ve been mum on the details of what’s to come, but it looks like credit card protection is in the works. Paribus takes a 25% commission from every refund you receive. You can save 5% through referring someone. Paribus currently works with a number of major retailers:
Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg.com, Staples, Target, Bloomingdale’s, Bonobos, J Crew, Zappos, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, GAP, Old Navy, Athleta, Macy’s, Walmart, Kohls, Office Depot, Neiman Marcus, Overstock.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Costco, Home Depot, Sears, Crate and barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond, REI, Anthropologie, West Elm, LL Bean.
Sign up is easy and only takes a few minutes. The sign up page is here. After that, you sit back and let the app do its thing. The average Paribus user saved between $60-$100 a year in 2016. According to their site, the more expensive an item is, the more likely you are to get a refund.
So those are the Paribus facts. But what about using it? Where’s the Paribus review in this review anyway?
Here are the immediate downsides:
-You have to have your receipts emailed to you, not hard copies.
-If you don’t shop online a lot, you won’t receive a lot of refunds.
-You must give Paribus entrance to your email account, which could mean an invasion of privacy to some.
-They work with a limited number of companies. If you don’t buy from those companies, you’re out of luck.
Here are the immediate upsides:
-Money back in your wallet
-Eliminates the need for time-consuming comparison shopping (I hate comparison shopping)
-Easy to use interface and product
-No more worrying if you missed a sale
In this frugal person’s mind, Paribus is worth trying out. I use an email address for my purchases that’s separate from my personal or business account, so for me, privacy is not an issue. I also easily get burnt out comparison shopping. Having an app that will help me make sure that I bought the most frugal option, or that gets me money back in the event that I did not, means less time thinking on my end. I like that!
If you’re interested in signing up, the link is here.
Consider this a positive Paribus review. I say test it out. If it works for you, yay! Put some money back into your wallet. If it doesn’t work for you, delete it and pretend like it never happened.