Cameraphones, your weapon in the coming price-match wars

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The people who make ShopSavvy, that bar-code scanning application for Google Android, got their first report of a user being chased out of a Target store for doing a price comparison before she bought an item. A call to the store later revealed no such policy existed:

I called the Target he visited (27300 Dequindre Rd. Warren, MI 586-573-4200) and talked to the store manager, Debbie, who indicated that she wasn’t aware of the policy. I asked her if she could check as I wanted to let our users know if they weren’t allowed to scan items in her store. She put me on hold for several minutes as she called her manager who indicated that whoever told Brandon he couldn’t use ShopSavvy was simply wrong.

ReadWriteWeb has a very thorough write-up of the situation, but I think they've got the nut when they say "Instant Price Match is Retail's Future".

Eventually, sure, but in the meantime will stores start installing cell phone jammers or ban picture-taking in stores claiming the privilege of private property? (Yes, some will.)

First ShopSavvy Ban Target [Biggu.com]

Image: M J M

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12 Comments

  1. I was told not to take pictures in Whole Foods 2 years ago, by the guy behind the sausage case.

    (Tobias: “Nope, nothing wrong with that!”)

  2. Long term policy at any retail store I’ve worked in or for has been against unauthorizd photography in the stores. Not sure how this has changed at other businesses with camera phones and such, but the stores I currently work for do not allow photography – for competitive reasons amongst others. Want a photo with a product, or to take a picture to show a friend? The store manager or clerks may allow it if you ask nicely, but I wouldn’t just snap away.

  3. …but in the meantime will stores start installing cell phone jammers or ban picture-taking in stores claiming the privilege of private property? (Yes, some will.)

    And those stores will go out of business. Hooray for capitalism!

  4. Don’t some stores have “if you find it cheaper somewhere else, we’ll match that price” policies or something similar? Seems like using ShopSavvy is perfect for that sort of thing (perfect for the consumer anyway).

  5. I don’t see the problem with Shop Savvy though. Saves a step for the store in price matching – they don’t have to find the ad or call the competitor, as often is the policy. And I sneak pictures in stores all the time 🙂

  6. Almost EVERY retail store I have ever been in has a policy against unauthorized photography in the stores.

    I especially find it amusing to see the sign detailing this posted right next to a “you are on camera and we reserve the right to do anything we want with the footage” signs.
    The odd contrast always amuses me. (Our photons are ours, and your photons are ours too!)

  7. Snap away anywhere you please. Stores are open to the public with their wares out for inspection and that INCLUDES taking pictures.

  8. #2 The Coffee Girl: No, I would just start snapping pictures. And relish in the staffs’ angst about it.

    Well – not quite. But it’s hardly a crime or offensive act.

  9. More than likely, whoever “caught” him thought he was a comp shopper – that is, an employee from another retail store who goes to competing stores to see what their prices are on certain items, and reports back – and Target DOES have a policy against that. Silly, yes, but the policy exists.

    @7: Unfortunately, the inside of the store is NOT public property, and they can kick people out for whatever reason they want. It’s dumb, and it needs to change, but that’s the fact of the matter.

  10. I would imagine that in some markets and for some products this will both encourage and in some ways facilitate various forms of price fixing. It will be interesting to think of bottom-up ways to deal with that.

  11. “…but in the meantime will stores start installing cell phone jammers or ban picture-taking in stores claiming the privilege of private property? (Yes, some will.)”

    just like the cell phone jammers the have in the theatres? I don’t thinks so

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