Posted November 2, 2012 3:10 pm by with 0 comments

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At this time of year, it’s the little things that can help sway a shopper over to your side of the street. Paypal’s working that theory by offering not just an easy way to pay for gifts, but protection for purchase missteps.

Most of the hype surrounds their new offer to price match. Basically, if you pay for an item with Paypal and you find it cheaper within 30 days of the purchase, Paypal will refund the difference. There are restrictions. Door buster, one-day, limited quantity and close-out sales aren’t included. That pretty much covers most of what you’ll see on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On the upside, Paypal’s price match is available for both online and offline sales. They’ll even price match NEW Buy it Now items on eBay. That’s huge. They’re also covering airline tickets within 7 days of purchase.

In addition to price match, Paypal is also offering free shipping on returns within 30 days. I think this is an even bigger deal but it’s not getting much airtime in the news. If a store won’t cover return shipping, then Paypal will pay it for you. You can show proof of mailing cost and request a refund or submit a claim prior to shipping and get a pre-paid mailing label.

Both of these services require some hoop jumping in order to get what’s owed and there are plenty of loop holes, but overall, I think Paypal is making an honest push to get more business.

Price matching and free shipping aren’t new but the situation is. When Target offers to price match, they’re setting their own price point and have a good idea of what other merchants might charge on the same item. But here’s Paypal offering to pay the difference no matter who you buy from – Target, Amazon, eBay (non-auction) – so they don’t even get to pocket the retail mark-up on the item. I suppose it’s like the cash back offers you see on many major credit cards, but with more rules.

This is a smart move for Paypal, because even if consumers don’t use either of the protection plans, the offer makes them seem like a business who is interested in doing what’s best for their customers. And good will goes along way during the holiday season.