About a year ago, I across some shoes that I liked while I was browsing one of my favorite websites. Not wanting to miss out, I quickly pulled out my credit card and paid $100 for the shoes. They arrived at my house and I was happy with my purchase.
A few days later, my friend found the same pair of shoes on the same website for just $80. Needless to say, when I found out, I wasn’t so happy with my purchase anymore.
My friend found it to be amusing. Of course, it was funny to him, but not to me. All I could think of was, “How can I get a refund?”
I researched options and came across two different apps that could have helped me to prevent situations exactly like this one. Those apps, Paribus and Earny, will automatically check for lower prices on your purchases and help you to get a refund for the difference when the price drops.
I took some time to compare Paribus vs. Earny to see which one was best. Both seemed to be completely legit, but after weighing the pros and cons I decided to become a Paribus user. Since then, Paribus has saved me on more than one occasion. It’s kind of crazy to think that a free app only requires a minute of your time to set up, and then it will help you to save money on an on-going basis and prevent you from overpaying.
This article will cover details of the two leading automated refund apps so you can decide which one is best for you.
Paribus vs. Earny: Understanding the Concept
Some stores and websites guarantee the prices of the products that they sell, so if there’s a sudden change, you can file for a price adjustment. The store will pay you the difference between your purchase costs and the new reduced priced.
The whole process of getting a refund is quite time-consuming, and to be honest, most of the time you’re not going to even know that the price dropped. If you do know about the price drop, you will need to provide your receipt and other documents the store needs to verify your claim.
Money-saving apps like Paribus and Earny help to simplify this process, making it almost effortless for you. The apps do all the work to get you your refunds. Refund periods generally last for about a few weeks, and these apps monitor the prices of the purchased item for that period in case it drops.
An Overview of Paribus
As mentioned above, Paribus was my first experience with refund sites/apps. It’s mostly used to monitor purchases at major merchants across the U.S like Walmart and Amazon. Paribus has recovered over $10 million for over 2.5 million users. Their services are, however, only available to residents of the U.S and Puerto Rico.
How Paribus Works
When you sign up for Paribus you will have to register with your email address to access their services. It will require allowing Paribus access and analyze your email to identify refundable receipts. This means that you’ll want to sign up using the email address that you use for your online shopping.
Paribus will monitor your online transactions through your emails. When Paribus sees a receipt from a merchant that offers a price guarantee, they will monitor the price of that item. If the price drops, Paribus will notify you and Paribus will file for a refund on your behalf. Not all merchants have the same policies. In some cases, you may need to take some action, but Paribus will point you in the right direction. In other cases, Paribus will be able to handle everything and you won’t need to lift a finger.
So, for instance, if you purchase a table at Walmart for $200, and after a few days the price drops to $175, Paribus will file a claim for the $25 difference. Note: Paribus only files for a refund if the price difference is $3 or more.
It’s also worth noting that Paribus is owned by Capital One.
The Signup Process
To sign up for Paribus, simply visit their website. You will be required to sign-up with a Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, or any other email account. Click on your email service provider and sign-in to your account. It will ask you to allow Paribus access your details, email settings, and others. Click “allow.”
You will then be taken to the Paribus dashboard, where you can access the functionalities.
It’s normal to hesitate about giving out your details to third parties, but the company promises absolute security. It’s up to you to determine if the potential amount you will save is worth it.
One way you can, however, solve the issue of privacy is to create a new email account and auto-forward receipts from merchants to it.
What Stores Does Paribus Work With?
Paribus currently tracks prices and refunds of about 25 leading retailers, including the following:
Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, Target, Bonobos, J.Crew, Zappos, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, GAP, Old Navy, Athleta, Office Depot, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Costco, Home Depot, Sears, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Anthropologie, L.L.Bean, Loft, Wayfair, and QVC.
Get Compensated for Late Shipments
Another awesome feature of Paribus is that it also helps you get compensated if your shipment arrives late. For instance, if you make a purchase from Amazon with two-day shipping and it arrives later than it’s supposed to, Paribus will get you compensation for late delivery. That compensation may be a gift card, or possibly a free month of Prime.
Paribus is completely free. Before 2016, it retained 25% of any rebate. However, this has changed, and the service is now 100% free. The company, however, makes money from advertisements.
Pros of Paribus
- Pays You Directly: Refunds come directly to you (typically to whatever credit card you used for the purchase).
- Paribus is Free: The service is both free to join and use. You won’t be required to pay a cent to recover your money.
- Delivery Tracking: Asides getting refunds, Paribus also gets you compensation for late deliveries.
Cons of Paribus
- Availability: The services are only available to residents of two countries (the U.S and Puerto Rico).
- Email access: Paribus needs to access your email to work properly. Something some people aren’t comfortable with.
An Overview of Earny
Earny is another fantastic app that takes the hassle of getting refunds after a price drop. Earny is very much like Paribus. It scans your inbox for receipts from merchants and tracks price changes on your behalf. When it finds one, it automatically files for claims to get you a refund. Earny has up to 3 million users and has recovered about $75 million in refunds for its users. It offers up to 90 days of price protection.
How Earny Works
You would need to download the app and then sign up with your email to create an account. Just like with Paribus, if you aren’t comfortable with sharing your email account details to a third party, I recommend you create a new email and auto-forward shopping receipts to it from your main account.
Once you have signed up, Earny will scan your previous receipts and keep tracking all receipts from merchants’ shops they cover. It will notify you through the dashboard of any successful refund and have it transferred to your account.
The Signup Process
The sign-up process for Earny is similar to that of Paribus. You can either register through the app. Download the Earny app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and follow the prompts to register with your email. Alternatively, you can register on the Earny website. Visit the website and click on login. You will be asked to choose an email service provider. I use Gmail, so I selected that and was prompted to log in to my email account and “allow” Earny access the setting and detail. Just click allow, and you will be registered.
What Stores Does Earny Work With?
Earny currently covers a number of merchants including:
Amazon, Athleta, Best Buy, Bloomingdale’s, Carter’s, Costco, GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, J.Crew, Jet, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Newegg, Nike, Target, Nordstrom, Overstock, Sears, Staples, Walmart and Zappos.
How Does Earny Make You Money?
Earny makes you money from the refunds. It recovers any change in prices ranging from $1 to $2,000. Additionally, just like Paribus, it also gets you compensation when your delivery arrives late.
Signing up for Earny is free. However, you have to pay $4.99 monthly or $39.96 annually to access the services. The subscription gets you other services, including refunds for purchase drop, compensation on late shipments, and full protection on stores and other covered platforms. These fees are probably the biggest difference between Earny and Paribus.
Pros of Earny
- Saves you time and money: It automates price tracking and gets you a refund if prices drop for a specific period.
- Quick setup: you only need to log in with your email account to get started.
- Excellent rating: the app has above 4-star ratings on both the Google Playstore and Apple App Store.
- Late shipment tracking: get compensation when your packages arrive late.
Cons of Earny
- Fees: Earny charges $4.99 monthly when Paribus is free.
- Missed refunds: There have been cases of missed rebates with Earny. The platform is not perfect and may miss some price drops.
- Security concerns: You have to allow access to your email.
Paribus vs. Earny: The Verdict
Having used both, I would say it’s a difficult call choosing between Paribus and Earny. Both platforms are similar in several ways, but also have their unique advantages. If you are wondering which is best amongst the two, these differences may help you choose.
Minimum Refund Amount – Earny has the edge over Paribus on this one. It recovers price differences from $1 to $2,000, while Paribus only recovers from $3 and above.
Merchants Covered – Paribus covers over 25 major retailers, while Earny only covers about 15 major retailers. Both platforms include Amazon and other top retail platforms.
Fees – One major reason I love Paribus is that it’s completely free. Earny, however, requires a monthly or annual subscription.
I recommend Paribus over Earny, especially as it offers all the services available on Earny for free.
Conclusively, it’s important to note that these refund apps are not affiliated to the merchant they get refunds from. They help you file your claim. The final decision about the refund lies with the seller.