Have you ever bought an item and then discovered that the store later discounted it?

It's an annoying problem for most consumers. We all like a good deal, and we all like to get cash back, especially if it takes little to no effort. But, it's not easy to compare prices on your purchases and then seek out retailers for a potential refund. Enter: Paribus, a new service that will do that for you - and it's completely free to use.

It's a great way to get ahead of holiday spending and receive refunds on price drops.

Paribus is a mobile app and site that watches for price drops at stores. It's described as a "personal price adjustment agent", as its sole purpose is to comb through your shipping emails in your inbox, look for price changes, and get you money when your online purchases drop in price. It claims to have filed over $6.5 million in claims for users.

You need to connect your email account to the inbox when your receipts are sent so that Paribus can track your receipts and various stores' policies, then it determines if you're owed money or if there any potential savings, and it will let you know and streamline the claim process to make it quick and easy for you to get a refund.

  • Download and install the Paribus app on your smartphone.
  • Sign in to the Paribus site on your computer desktop
  • Open the Paribus app and sign up with your Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook account.
  • Give permission to Paribus to access your email.
  • Login to your Amazon account so that Paribus can monitor your Amazon deliveries.

After signing up for Paribus, launch the mobile app on your device. You will see five tabs on the menu bar at the bottom: Refunds, Statistics, Drops, Share, and Settings. Toggle through these tabs to familiarise yourself with Paribus.

This screen shows you the purchases it has detected and the refunds it has processed. This might take a while at first, as Paribus needs to sift through all your shipping and confirmation emails and your Amazon orders to find active purchases that may be eligible for refunds. Paribus says it contacts retailers on your behalf to get you paid.

Once Paribus has detected your purchases, go to your Statistics screen to see a handy graph of all the purchases it has found, how many of them were purchased at the lowest price, how many retailers were used, how many successful claims Paribus has filed for you, and how many price changes have occurred to your past purchases.

This screen aggregates price drops across several retailers. For instance, we can see Hanes Women's Essential Fleece Sweatpants dropped $4.55 at Walmart, and if you were to tap on the listing, Paribus will give you the option to buy the item before the price goes back up. It'll take you to the retailer's shop so you can cash out.

Unfortunately, if the drop less than $3 for an item, the drop is not filed.

From the Share screen, you can help spread awareness about Paribus.

Go to Settings to manage your email mailbox and shopping accounts.

If you don't want to use the mobile app, you can go to the Paribus website in order to access the service's online dashboard. Just login with your email account, and then you will see options at the top (in the menu bar) to access your purchases, recent drops and deals worth checking out, your stats, and your settings.

Paribus monitors the following stores and retailers:

  • Amazon, Bloomingdale's, Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, Target, Bonobos, J Crew, Zappos, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Walmart, Kohl's, Office Depot, Neiman Marcus, Overstock, Saks Fifth Avenue, Costco, Home Depot, Sears, Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond, REI, Anthropologie, LL Bean, Loft, and Wayfair

Once a retailer confirms a price adjustment, you should be paid within seven business days, depending on the retailer. They typically refund you to your original form of payment, but that depends on the internal policies of each retailer.

Paribus is completely free to download and use. It doesn't even keep a portion of the refunds that it might find for you. You get 100 per cent of your savings - no hidden fees or anything else applied by Paribus.