Shopping can be lots of fun, especially when you’re sure you got a great deal on your purchase.
But what happens later, when you find out that your ‘great deal’ was not so great, that a friend got it cheaper, or that a competing outlet is selling it for considerably less?
Most consumers aren’t aware of price protection policies offered by major stores and credit card issuers. Many stores offer policies that promise to pay back the difference when a price drop occurs on past purchases, but customers must do their own research and go through the hassle of requesting refunds.
Earny: automatic refunds
With Earny, a new free app created by Israeli developers, all that work is no longer necessary. The app, which the company is describing as ‘a personal assistant’, automatically tracks purchases through emailed receipts, finds better prices, monitors price adjustments and files refund claims back to the original payment method. Earny automatically unlocks those savings from credit card issuers as well as more than 50 of the largest retailers in the United States, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and many others. The app is programmed to understand each individual store’s price match policy and knows how to file claims without requiring any interaction on your part. All Earny’s transactions are securely and safely handled by MasterCard’s trusted Simplify Commerce technology.
No more hoop jumping
Sign up for our free weekly newsletterSubscribe
The idea for Earny originated when one of the future founders was doing some personal clothes shopping. He paid what he believed was a good price for a blazer; $129, only to be told soon after by his roommate that he had bought the exact same blazer online for half the price. After jumping through many hoops to get the difference back via a price protection policy, he realized there was an opportunity to automate this process for consumers. He subsequently formed a team that entered MasterCard’s Masters of Code Hackathon, and won first place.
Earny has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Sweet Capital Ltd. and Science Inc., with participation from Jeff Bonforte, SVP, Communications Products at Yahoo, and Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash. The team also relocated to Santa Monica to work out of Science’s offices there.
Although the app is free, the company takes a 25 percent cut on each of your refunds (besides the first, which is free). This may seem like a large cut, but the way Earny sees it, this is money you would not have otherwise bothered to get back, money left on the table.
“Earny’s ultimate vision is to protect users’ wallets by making sure they don’t overpay on any purchase made,” Oded Vakrat, CEO of Earny said in a statement. “We want to eliminate the headache of tracking down money people are owed on discounts on flights, hotels, products and more. We expect to get consumers approximately 10 percent of their yearly purchases back.”
Photos and video: Courtesy