Do you love online shopping as much as I do? It is so convenient to shop from the comfort of your own home and have everything delivered to your front door.
If you shop online, there are several services that will help you save or earn money. That’s why I have an account with Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and other similar sites. I earn cashback on my purchases; if you’re already spending the money, shopping through a cashback site makes sense.
In my quest to locate the best services to help you save money, I came across Paribus back in 2016. I gave it a try back then and enjoyed using it.
In this post, I’ll share an overview of Paribus, plus an updated review for 2019. That way you can make an informed decision and decide if you want to sign up.
What Is Paribus?
Have you ever made a purchase only to discover the product went on sale the next day? It’s always such a slap in the face type feeling, where you almost get mad at yourself for not waiting.
Except, you didn’t know. Unless someone at the store clued you in and told you that this particular product was going to be on sale the next day, you wouldn’t have any reason to think about it. You don’t have time to constantly go back to the store websites and check purchase prices for every single item you purchase.
That’s where Paribus comes in. It’s an app that was acquired by CaptialOne back in 2016.
It claims to help you keep tabs on price drops. Because when the price drops, you may be eligible for a refund.
You see, many retailers have a price guarantee. That means if the price drops within a certain amount of time from your purchase, you can request the difference as a refund.
Typically, the process involves three steps:
- Noticing the change in price
- Contacting customer service and showing proof of purchase
- Waiting for the refund to be approved
It’s a tedious process. And since many people don’t even notice the price change, they never take the next steps and move forward with their refund request.
They are leaving money that they are eligible for on the table.
That’s where Paribus comes in. It monitors your receipts for online purchases and notifies you if there’s been a price drop. It also begins the process of requesting a refund directly from the retailer.
Late Delivery Fees
In addition to watching for price drops, Paribus monitors the delivery of your orders. Many companies offer a small payment for delayed shipments.
By tracking your emails about product shipments, Paribus can spring into action if your delivery is late. This can help you maximize your potential earnings.
However, it’s important to note that this service is not eligible for every company. They don’t all offer perks or late shipments. You also need to have paid for guaranteed shipping or be ordering through Amazon Prime.
Who Is Eligible to Use Paribus?
At this time, only residents of the United States or Puerto Rico can sign up. Additionally, those who sign up must be 18 years old and have a valid email address.
How Do You Get Your Money?
When Paribus detects a price drop of $3.00 or more, they will file a claim where eligible. There is no guarantee that the companies will approve the refund request. Any refunds obtained will be applied by the merchant to the card you used for payment.
The exact payment method varies from company to company. The average time for a refund is 3-7 days.
How Does Paribus Work?
Paribus hangs out in the background of your computer or phone, quietly sorting and sifting through all your purchase receipts. They compare this information to online prices and available coupons.
If a price drop or missed coupon is found, Paribus notifies you. Then it reaches out to the company and helps walk you through the process of getting money back.
You can expect to see a summary of refunds obtained each month.
In order to see what items you have purchased that may be eligible for a price drop refund, Paribus needs access to some of your information. Specifically, you need to grant them access to your email account.
When you go to connect a third-party app to your email address, email services all ask for a standard permission. This grants them permission to view, send, and delete emails.
If you are not comfortable granting this access, do not sign up for this service. You do not want to cause yourself stress over something that is supposed to be a simple way to get some refunds.
You can find all the privacy and support details on the Paribus support page.
Here are three key details, taken from their FAQs:
Does Paribus store my passwords?
Paribus does not store your email password. If you choose to provide your Amazon credentials, we will display itemized detail of your amazon purchases on the dashboard. We will store your Amazon username and password in an encrypted format.
Does Paribus sell my data?
No. Paribus has not and will not sell your data.
Why does Paribus require permission to view, send, and delete emails?
Your e-mail service requires you to grant read, write, and delete permissions to any third-party app you would like to connect to your inbox. Paribus cannot change, limit, or alter those permissions.
Your privacy is important to us. While you give us the permission to delete, we do not delete your emails. We never read personal emails. We only scan for purchase and shipping confirmations from the retailers we monitor and for hotel reservations from select online travel agents. When we find relevant purchases or hotel reservations, we can begin tracking for price adjustments and late deliveries.
There are privacy concerns about granting so much access to your emails. One way that you can minimize this is by opening a new email address. You can simply forward all your receipts to it.
Then the only emails that will be involved will be receipts.
How to Sign Up for Paribus
If you are comfortable with the permissions, you can sign up for Paribus with a simple process. It’s 100% free and you don’t need to provide a credit card.
You need a valid email address to apply. Due to security requirements, you can only sign up with one of three email services: Gmail, Yahoo! And Outlook.
These three services provide token-based authentication, so you don’t need to provide your email password. It helps keep everything more secure.
To sign up, you will need to download and install the app or navigate to the Paribus website on your computer. You get the same service with the browser version as you do with the app.
Enter your email address username and password. Then, grant access on the Permissions screen. This allows Paribus to scan for receipts from their supported stores.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the sign-up process.
Is Paribus Safe?
As stated earlier, back in 2016, Paribus was acquired by Capital One. That’s the same Capital One that offers credit cards and online bank accounts.
All email data is stored in an encrypted format (using AES 128 encryption.) There are multiple security mechanisms in place to protect your information.
But, only you can decide if this is a service you feel comfortable with. It will not be a good fit for everyone.
For instance, if you rarely shop at the supported stores, creating an account might not be a good idea. You may never see any results from it.
However, if you shop frequently at the stores listed, Paribus can be a good way to help you claim the refunds you are eligible for.
Currently, in 2019, Paribus monitors 30 specific online retailers. If you shop at these stores, this app may be able to help you save.
The list of monitored retailers has fluctuated some over the years. That’s because Paribus is not in control of the actual policies for stores. They must abide by the rules of the price protection policy for each company it works with.
Thankfully, Paribus is very transparent about which stores are covered by their service and keep the list up to date here. From that page, you can click on each store name and see more detailed information.
As of July 2019, here are the 30 stores Paribus works with, along with a few details for each.
Again, this is subject to change so always check with the individual retailers for the most current information.
- Amazon – late delivery monitoring only, but Paribus cannot file a claim on your behalf. However, they make it simple for you by providing instructions via email.
- Bloomingdale's – price drops or missed coupons within 10 days of purchase
- Macy's – price drops or missed coupons within 10 days of purchase
- Best Buy – price adjusting is available via chat for price drops or missed coupons within 14 days. However, Paribus cannot initiate the claim on your behalf. They do make it simple for you though, by providing a direct link to the chat
- Newegg – for products with the Price Match Guarantee badge, Newegg will adjust for price drops within 14 calendar days
- Staples – price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order
- Target – price adjustment is available via phone for price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order. However, Paribus cannot initiate the claim on your behalf. They do make it simple for you though, by providing a number for you to use
- Bonobos – price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order, if it is still in stock in the size you purchased
- J.Crew – price drops or missed coupons only on full-priced goods within seven days of your order
- Zappos – price drops within 10 days of purchase
- Nordstrom -price drops within 14 days of ordering
- Banana Republic – price drops within 14 days of ordering, but items purchased with a promotional discount are not eligible
- Gap – price drops within 14 days of ordering, but items purchased with a promotional discount are not eligible
- Old Navy – price drops within 14 days of ordering, but items purchased with a promo code are not eligible
- Athleta – price drops within 14 days of ordering, but items purchased with a promotional discount are not eligible
- Walmart – price adjustments available for up to 90 days after purchase, if it was previously purchased on Walmart.com and is now listed at a lower price. No adjustments are offered for prices showing between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Kohl's – price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order
- Office Depot – price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order
- Neiman Marcus – price drops or missed coupons within 10 days of your order, but Online Clearance items or special promotional items are not eligible
- Saks Fifth Avenue – price drops on full priced merchandise within seven days of you order
- Costco – price drops or missed coupons within 30 days of your order
- Home Depot – price drops within 90 days of your order
- Sears – price drops within 30 days of your order. But, no adjustments are granted between Thanksgiving Day and the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, or on items purchased with points.
- Crate & Barrel – no explicit policy
- Bed Bath & Beyond – no explicit policy
- REI – price drops or missed coupons within 14 days of your order
- L.L. Bean – no explicit policy
- Anthropologie – price drops within 14 days of shipment
- Loft – price drops or missed coupons within seven days of your order, but special promotions are not eligible
- Wayfair – price drops or missed coupons within seven days after shipment, as long as the item is still in stock
As you can see, these policies vary greatly. The stores that have no explicit policy, Paribus still tries to request refunds from when possible. They try to get you any money back that you may be eligible for.
2019 Amazon Updates
Since my original review back in 2016, Amazon has made some significant changes to their policies. They no longer offer price guarantees.
They also no longer allow Paribus to directly contact them when shipments are late. This means you will need to notify Amazon yourself when this happens.
This takes time. And, if you are tracking your own packages, you can see when they are late and just do everything yourself.
However, if you shop on Amazon a lot and aren’t great at keeping track of shipment details, Paribus can still be a benefit. That’s because they notify you if you should act.
In addition to granting email access, you will need to link your Amazon account to your Paribus account. There’s a simple link you can use. Then you log in to your account and grant access.
How Much Does Paribus Cost?
Paribus is free. Like really free! You don’t need to register a credit card with Paribus to experience the benefits of their price adjustment monitoring.
This has not always been the case. When I first started using this service, a 25% fee was charged on all refunds. Since that is no longer the case, it’s a great time to sign up!
You can create your Paribus account for free. (Just so you know, Paribus compensates us when you sign up for their service using the links we provide.) If you’re ready to start getting some refunds for price drops, go ahead and sign up today!)
Other Automated Services and Apps That Make You Money
Automated services are such a simple way to make money. I love these little automated money-makers, because even a few cents or dollars at a time can add up to big results.
If you like earning money too, here are a few more of my favorites:
- Rakuten (formerly Ebates) – Rakuten is great for shopping both online and in brick and mortar stores! By installing their browser extension, you'll never miss out on getting money back from their retailer affiliates. With their app on your smartphone, they help you access in-store coupons and do price comparisons, too.
- Shopkick – If you'd like to earn some cash just for walking into some of your favorite stores, check out Shopkick – with their app on your phone, they'll reward you for shopping at certain retailers, making purchases online and off, and more.
Originally published in March 2016. Updated August 2019.