If you’re a fan of shopping online, you’re probably worried about getting the best deal possible, even at a major retailer.
Paribus is an app that could potentially help you get money back from your favorite store.
If you live in the United States, Paribus can help you save money by tracking price-match guarantees on the items you’ve already purchased.
If Paribus finds a match, you automatically save — the difference in cost comes right back to your bank account.
But is Paribus legit?
And is it worth granting access to personal information on your private email or Amazon account?
In this article, we’ll take a look at what Paribus is and how it tracks price-match guarantees, as well as which national retailers support Paribus.
What Is Paribus?
Paribus was originally founded by Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh in 2014
It has since been purchased by Capital One Bank.
Paribus was designed to work as an app for iOS and Android.
The purpose of Paribus is to search for a price-drop in anything a user purchases, even if the user has already bought an item.
Because Paribus protects users after their purchases, it provides peace of mind when prices drop.
Since most stores have price guarantees, Paribus hunts for any price drops that can be utilized for money back.
A price guarantee is basically when one retailer puts an item for sale at a cost lower than its normal retail price, and another retailer promises to match that rate.
Depending on the timeframe of the guarantee, if the price-drop occurs close enough to the purchase of an item, the difference in price can be awarded as a refund.
Paribus seeks out these price drops so users can file a price adjustment claim and recoup the difference in cash.
By using Paribus to track your online purchases, the app will send you cash back if a price-drop for any item you ordered from major retailers in the past is identified.
How Paribus Works
Paribus is able to track your purchases and chase price matches because it operates inside your email.
So in order to use Paribus, you’ll have to grant the app access to your email account.
Depending on what email account provider you use, that can include access to read, send and delete items.
This amount of unchecked access to personal information might scare some users away from Paribus.
You also have to use one of the personal email providers that the app supports.
Paribus scans your email to track online shopping receipts from all recent purchases made with businesses that support Paribus.
The app will also scan for past purchases.
In addition to standard retail purchases, Paribus monitors the shipping status of every purchase made.
If an item arrives late or in an unsatisfactory condition, Paribus can contact the retailer for a discount or refund for late delivery or the removal of shipping costs.
Right now, this service is only available for online purchases made via Amazon or Walmart.
Hotels and More
Paribus offers the same price match and price protection if you’re hunting for hotel reservations.
Paribus reviews your hotel reservations in your personal email and hunts for any change in rate.
If they find a lower price, they will contact the hotel or travel service for a price-drop refund.
With Paribus, you can book a room anytime with the comfort of knowing you’re potentially eligible for a refund if there’s a price-drop.
Once a refund is rewarded, Paribus will have the cash-back sent to your bank account, all without the hassle of contacting the company yourself.
The best part is that there’s no check issued, only cash to the bank account you provide to Paribus.
You can also choose to have the difference returned to the original credit card you made the purchase with, so long as that credit card is on file with your Paribus account.
Signing Up For Paribus
While you are granting Paribus access to your personal information, the service does not require your actual email password.
All three of those platforms use a token-based certification that enables the service to access your email without receiving your encrypted access information.
You can sign up by downloading and installing the Paribus app on IOS or Android or by visiting the Paribus website.
Either way, you’ll provide a username, password, and email address.
Once you’re done, you’ll grant Paribus access to your email and be ready to start saving money.
However, if you don’t have one of the three major personal email providers, you won’t be able to use Paribus.
Fortunately, signing up for an email with any of these three providers is free, and since you can usually get emails forwarded to another inbox if you prefer, this is a fairly simple hurdle to overcome.
On a related note, it’s best not to sign up for Paribus using a company email on one of those service providers.
Doing so could grant Paribus access to company information and might be against your employer’s IT policies.
Retailers That Work With Paribus
The best part about Paribus is the wide variety of retailers that support the service.
While every retailer has a different specific policy on refunds and returns with Paribus, all of the following support the service in some manner: Amazon, Macy’s, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Costco, and Home Depot.
It’s important to check the details of each price guarantee policy at the retailers you shop from most frequently.
For instance, Best Buy offers a 14-day window on price drops and coupon matching.
However, you’ll have to interface directly with Best Buy (via assistance from Paribus monitoring) to receive a refund.
Nordstrom provides a 14-day window for price changes and will work directly with the Paribus app to assist in refunds.
Both Costco and Home Depot provide much longer windows for price matching guarantees (30 days at Costco, 90 at Home Depot), and will interface directly with Paribus to return money.
However, Amazon will allow Paribus to monitor late delivery fee changes, but the app can’t work solely on your behalf.
Paribus will link you, via email, to Amazon to resolve the dispute.
Is Paribus Safe?
Because of the level of access granted to Paribus, many people have concerns about the legitimacy and safety of the app, as well as how it protects against accidental access to personal information or hacking.
Paribus restricts the use of smaller email platforms because the service only works with particular levels of encryption.
And if you provide Paribus with login information for a certain retailer like Amazon or Walmart, Paribus will encrypt that information as well.
As the app was purchased by Capital One, there’s an extra sense of security dealing with a large worldwide bank with cutting-edge security rather than a Silicon Valley startup.
Many of these apps, including Dosh, provide similar encryption to get you cash back straight to your bank account.