Handling price adjustment request

By Ilana Davis

‘Tis the season where many products begin to go on sale. It’s that odd time where shoppers begin to purchase items they need for the holiday season, but can’t wait until Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales.

You’ll likely start to see questions like

I bought this new dress two days ago for a holiday party and now it’s on sale. Can I get the new price?

Merchants run a promotional sale, customers ask for the price adjustment, and you’re stuck trying to please the customer while remaining profitable.

A difficult situation, yes, and one that’s bound to happen sooner or later.

How do you keep your profit while also keeping happy customers?

It’s not a catch 22.

You can have both.

Deciding how to respond

If your response, which I assume it is otherwise this would be a moot point, is to decline the request, here are a few options.

Straight and to the point

I’m sorry, we don’t offer price adjustments.

Not likely going to win you any awards, but it does close the conversation. If you go this route, I highly encourage you to add this to your policies if not already.

Make them jump through hoops

I’d be happy to help. You can return the item and repurchase it at the new price within 7 days. In order to start the process, please complete a return request.

Definitely not a favorite of mine however it all depends on your policies. Making them jump through hoops means that some customers will just give up. They won’t want to go through the hassle. The downside, they will likely spread the word.

Offer a future discount instead

Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, at this moment we do not offer price adjustments on past purchases. Knowing that’s likely not the answer you were hoping for, I can offer you 20% off your next purchase. Just use coupon code XXX at checkout. This will expire in 7 days and I won’t be able to offer this in the future, so act fast.

This one can be a great option especially if the price difference is significant. It’s a consolation prize but it may satisfy them nonetheless. Here’s the best part about it. You get to keep the revenue you’ve already made and maybe, just maybe, they’ll make a future purchase using the new discount code.

In the end, do what’s right for your business and your customers. Follow your policies, but I would also consider the situation.

If they literally bought it two days ago, are kind, and genuinely asking for help and not being a complete jerk, why not do whatever you can to make them happy?

One-off support like this can speak wonders for repeat and referral business.

There’s a big difference between two days and two months. Keep that in mind.

If you learn nothing else from this article, learn this.

I didn’t spend a bunch of time on this but there is one key thing from this article you need to take away.

Have a public policy on how you handle price adjustments.

Make it really simple for your customers and your team, to understand how your shop accepts or doesn’t accept these requests along with a return/exchange policy and shipping policies.

A word of caution.

Many merchants use the standard policy templates that Shopify offers. These policies are faulty and are meant as a guideline. Do not copy and paste these into your site without reading them.

Public policies are simple things that every business website must-have.

If your website suffers from problems like these, you might consider buying my Website Rescues. I fix these issues and dozens of other problems that impact Shopify and Squarespace stores.


Get more organic search traffic from Google without having to fight for better rankings by utilizing search enhancements called Rich Results.

Linking Llama

Link discontinued products to their best substitute. Keep discontinued products published on your website and continue to benefit from traffic to these pages.