In a recent post on money management, I discussed how an app called Trubill helps you locate all your monthly subscriptions that you’re currently paying for, and even facilitate the cancellation process. Well today, we’re going to look at my Paribus review, which is also a must-have service for all online shoppers. Now keep in mind, if you’re ordering services such as Sun Basket or Stitch Fix, you won’t have them covered in the list of merchants that Paribus’ service works with.
What does Paribus do? They keep track of your online purchases, and if they notice that a merchant has dropped the price of an item you’ve recently purchased, Paribus will attempt to get a refund of the difference from the merchant.
Wait, what? Do merchants honor such refunds? Yes, they do! Let’s take a look at an example of such a policy:
These are just two of the many giant retailers that offer such a refund in the circumstance that a previously purchased item is marked down.
While anyone can take advantage of these policies, it is tedious work to constantly re-check all your previous purchases to see whether or not you’re eligible for a refund. This is where Paribus comes in – their software will continuously check online prices for you, and in the event that a price drop does occur, they will automatically request a refund for you!
Heck, companies such as Paribus have been so effective with their automated software that in 2015, Amazon has stopped offering refunds for price changes. But don’t fret, there is still a way for you to get a refund from Amazon through other means that we will cover later in this article.
Let’s begin by signing up for Paribus, if you click here, you’ll head over to their official homepage where you may sign up.
To utilize Paribus, you will have to be using one of the major email providers. On my end, I selected the Gmail option.
Now we must give permissions for the app to connect to our email account:
Yes, you’re reading that right, you do have to give permission to read, sent and delete your emails. Now keep in mind, even though they are being given these permissions, Paribus will never delete any emails in your inbox, and the only emails that their software is going after are those that come with an order confirmation. So be rest assured that the emails between you and your boss or a loved one will remain private. Unfortunately, without giving them this app permission, you won’t be able to utilize their service, because this part is crucial to automate the process for you. They simply won’t be able to know what your transactions are, and they won’t be able to send emails to merchants asking for a refund without said permissions.
Once you “Allow” permissions for Paribus to access your email, the next screen you’ll see is one telling you that if you refer friends to their service, there will be benefits. I simply skipped that screen, and was greeted with the following:
Just as they say, if you want them to be 100% accurate when it comes to tracking the price of the items that you’ve purchased, you’ll have to provide your Amazon account details. Do keep in mind that your information is being sent over a secured server and hashed, so no one at Paribus actually knows what your real password is. They’re simply using an API from Amazon to verify your credentials. If this makes you feel uneasy, then you may simply press on “Skip”. If you do so, then their software will do its best to follow Amazon purchases via your emails.
On the following page, you’ll be asked about the credit card company that you use. My personal card is a “Freedom” Chase card, so I selected that.
Credit card information? Why the hell would they need that information? Yes, I know, another scary page, but it actually makes sense. Many consumers are unaware that their debit & credit card comes with several features. Take a look at the perks Chase provides in regards to price protection.
When it comes to Chase, we are able to receive up to $2,500 in refunds from changes of price per year. That’s fantastic! Remember how I mentioned earlier that Amazon has stopped providing refunds for price changes? Well, in scenarios where there is a price change on Amazon, they won’t file a claim with Amazon, they will actually file a claim with your credit card company.
As to why they ask for your actual credit card number, it’s so that they can collect their commission whenever they get you a refund. Let’s say that Paribus finds out that a TV you’ve recently purchased has dropped $100 in a price. They will send a claim to the merchant or your bank for a $100 refund. Once that refund is secured, they will then charge you $25 for their service.
In all circumstances, Paribus will always take 25% commission whenever they are successful in filing a claim and securing you a refund. Paribus is now 100% free so you’ll end up keeping 100% of your refund.
Once you’re done entering your CC information, you’re ready to go. The next page you’ll see is your actual account. Mine looks like the following:
It does seem that we have to wait sometime before Paribus is done scanning our emails and Amazon account for recent purchases. Keep in mind that the reason why I have the “Import Amazon Purchases” button is because initially I mistakenly entered my wrong Amazon credentials. Once I entered my correct ones, that button disappeared and I’m not currently waiting for purchases to be imported.
Within your account, you’ll also find a “Deals” page, this page shows you what users just received a refund, and what items have recently seen a drop:
As you can tell, Cary recently received a $161 refund for a bed that she purchased that had a price drop. In her case, out of that sum, $40.25 will be given to Paribus, and $120.75 will be kept by Cary. That’s pretty awesome, especially considering that without this service, it’s very likely that Cary would have never realized the price drop, nor would she have known to file a claim. You now keep every dime since Paribus no longer takes a cut!
Paribus is definitely an interesting service, an effective service and holds quite a few raving reviews online. It’s understandable for some consumers to be wary of handing permissions to their emails, Amazon account, and their credit card information – but do keep in mind that it is for good intention. This company isn’t a fly by company, they were serious enough to raise $2.1 million back in 2015 and just recently in 2016, CapitalOne has purchased Paribus! There is a difference between trusting a small unknown company with your private information, but when a large bank such as CapitalOne takes them over, I believe it is safe to assume that your information won’t be used for malicious reasons.
Most importantly, I am not done reviewing Paribus! You’ve seen that I am currently waiting for my purchases to be imported, once they are, I will update this review with how my dashboard looks. Once I secure my first refund, I will also make sure to update this review in the process. Unfortunately, I’m not in the market to be making any purchases right now, so I’m not sure how long it will take before I receive my first eligible refund, but I’ll keep everyone in the loop.
Update: June 9, 2017
It’s been around two months since my initial experience with Paribus, and I’m ready to make a quick update. Initially, when I connected account to my Amazon account and bank cards, I had to wait for them to import all my recent transactions. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made any recent purchased so I knew that I had to make a few purchases first before I can see Paribus import a few transactions.
Now that I’ve made quite a bit of purchases over the last two months, let’s take a look at how our dashboard page looks like:
Yes, I did buy my mother two spa gift boxes, don’t judge me!
What you’ll notice is that Paribus displays the price you purchased the item for as “a month ago”, and also displays the current price of the product, which is under “Now”. Out of these three products, only the Roomba Vacuum actually dropped in price since my order. When I bought it, I paid $316.08, while the current price of the vacuum is $299.99. Ultimately, that means that I will be receiving a refund of $16.09. Yay!
Have I received any refund as of yet? Nope. Unfortunately, I have not. Notice the blank box to the right of each product, I’m guessing that is where the status of each order should be, in the case that it’s eligible for a refund or not.
To the right of the Roomba product, our box remains blank and there doesn’t seem to be an indication that Paribus plans on securing that refund for us. Now remember, Amazon no longer price-matches, but Chase does, so I’m expecting Paribus to send Chase an email on my behalf asking for a refund.
What I am looking to do now is contact the Support Team and ask them why there isn’t a refund process for that vacuum product.
There is another point I want to touch on. Paribus offers their service on their website as well via their mobile app. While I can imagine that many of you would love to utilize the app, I recommend against that for now. Let’s take a look at the app reviews:
No, I didn’t mistakenly post the same screenshot. The first one shows the total ratings for all versions of the Paribus app while the second image displays the ratings for the current version. As you can tell from the ratings for the current version, it isn’t a wild success. As it stands right now, the app is quite buggy, and not as functional as the desktop version. I personally recommend using the desktop version.
Just as last time, I will continue to update this review until I receive my first refund from Paribus. In my next update, I will cover what the support team responds to my inquiry regarding the vacuum product. If you are ready to sign up to Paribus, then simply click here to create an account on your computer. By the way, that is my affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission for having someone register via my link ($1!). If you have enjoyed reading my paribus review so far, then a great way to support the site is by using my affiliate link (at no extra cost to you). Thank you!
Update: July 19, 2017
Apologize for the late update!
A few hours ago, I finally had the chance to email Paribus and ask them why they didn’t attempt to contact my bank (Chase) for the “price protection” feature. Minutes after sending that email out, I actually found this notice in their FAQ:
Ouch! It looks like since last month, they have discontinued the side of their service where they contact your credit card company for you. This is quite unfortunate, especially since 90% of my purchases nowadays are on Amazon.
Now that we covered the bad news, let’s look at the good news. Thankfully, it’s quite simple for you, as a consumer to file a price protection claim with your credit card company. Let’s take this Reddit user for example, he reached out to Chase, emailed his receipt of the product to them, and then also sent them a screenshot of the current price of the product (which was lower than when he purchased it). Once Chase received the documentation, they issued a refund for the difference to the Reddit user within 6 days.
So while they no longer does this legwork for you, you can still use them Paribus to keep track of all your purchases, and their current prices. Whipping out an excel sheet to document your purchase price on each item, and then keeping tabs on all your purchases’ current prices is quite tedious, so nevertheless, it’s still worthwhile to use Paribus for keeping track of all your purchases.
That’s all I have to say for now! If anything changes, I’ll keep all of you updated! If you’re ready to sign up, then click here to create your free account.
Update: November 24, 2017
I’m pretty late on this update, but considering that today is Black Friday, I should definitely update my experience with Paribus.
For starters, Paribus is now completely free. That’s right, using Paribus comes free of charge. Previously they would take 25% of the refund you would receive, but from now on you keep 100% of the refund!
It’s been nearly 5 months since I first began using them, and the burning question is – Have I received any refund?
Yes, I have! Back in August, I received an email from Paribus in that they realized that an Amazon purchase I had made was delivered just a day late:
Along with this email, I came to find that they had sent an email to Amazon on my behalf:
Boom! I actually received a $10.00 credit from Amazon without even having to lift a finger! Best of all, since this refund occurred after they transitioned to being 100% free, I ended up keeping all of $10.00.
To bring this update to an end, I do want to share some statistics I’ve received from them:
Now those are impressive numbers! If you haven’t signed up to Paribus yet, then click here to get started!
Update: December 30, 2018
I haven’t had an update on this review all year, so I figured it was time to catch you guys up.
I’m still an avid user, and I’ve received a few emails for my last purchases, let’s take a look:
Paribus had noticed a price drop on a scarf that I purchased for my wife. I paid $74.25 for the scarf, and when I received this email, I checked, and yes – the scarf dropped to $59.40! That’s $14.85 in savings on the spot. I know that the email says that I should call them, but I quickly Googled Nordstorm’s refund policy, and they allow us to email in and ask for the refund – which I did!
Here’s another email:
So I completely forgot that some time ago, I changed my Amazon password, and this caused my connection with Paribus to cease. Because of this, they weren’t able to send an email on my behalf to request credit. Either way, later in this same email, they tell me to reach out to support and gave me a template on what I should say.
At this point, I’ve been using Paribus’ service for nearly 2 years, and I’ve been happy. It’s simply plug and play, and there is zero reason to not be using the service. While you may not save $1,000 per year, you’ll definitely get some money back into your pockets over the year. Every penny counts, doesn’t it?
Is Paribus Legit
Yes it is. It’s legit enough that some time ago it was acquired by CapitalOne. I’ve been using their service for nearly two years now, and I’ve saved money. Had I not been using them, I wouldn’t have seen a dime back. It’s a fantastic way of keeping track of your past purchases and reaping all the benefits from your credit card rewards as well as the perks offered by every merchant.
Is Paribus Safe
If you want the service to be 100% effective, you do have to give them API access to your email account. Yes, that will make anyone feel uneasy. On the other hand, while you are sharing API access, Paribus will never know your actual password, meaning, at any point in time, you can revoke access. As a long-term customer, I have yet to see a single instance where I felt that Paribus was invoking on my privacy. They simply have a bot that scans your emails for any purchases, and it keeps track of them. Your love letter to your crush isn’t going to be looked at by another human being, and the bot that actually checks your account won’t spend an extra second scanning that sort of email.
What is Paribus?
How much do they charge?
Does Paribus work monitor all merchants?
Is my information safe?
Is Paribus only a web service?
Do all merchants share the same refund policy?
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