Walmart knows this, and loves every bit of it. They're giving their stores more power to ad-match and 'win' the business, and you as a consumer can take advantage of that.
That... combined with employees that are either:
- Dim-witted, or
- Just don't give a fuck.
Either way, you win.
Case 1, I just recently purchased a new laptop. It was designed to be my 'freelancing' machine (even though my customers aren't paying their bills like they're supposed to), so I wanted something with a good processor, good memory, and lots of space.
The machine I wanted was $700, but I settled for the $500 version. Both HP's, both same-size screen, and the average person wouldn't be able to see the difference except in the price.
Walmart is full of average people. They didn't have the $500 in stock, so I pointed to the $700 machine and asked them to do that one for $500. I read off the specs of the $500 machine (the similar ones, at least) from their website, showed them what I was talking about, and they just assumed it was the same exact product, just priced wrong. Did I defraud them? No, but I didn't correct them, and got $200 off the laptop I really wanted...
It was almost midnight, when they close registers and managers are scrambling. I took a picture of the display, because at the right angle, it looked like you were getting $20+$30 off the glowscreen nook.
I showed this to the cashier. They were confused (AND training a new cashier) and called their manager. I showed manager the picture, and as they were thinking about it three other cashiers demanded her attention. She was being pulled in six different directions, ok'd the override, and I got a $140 nook for $90.
Could you call this taking advantage? Perhaps, in a way, but I'm just stretching my dollar. They have margin built in to ad match and negotiate down when needed, so why not make sure you're always on top? And what's the worst that can happen, they tell you know and you end up paying for it anyway?
If you want to do something like this, do a little scouting first. Find an employee that looks stressed, dumb, or one that looks like they hate their job (that covers about 80% of Walmart employees, doesn't it??). They're more willing to buckle. Secondly, time it during a busy spell when managers are few and their demand is high. If it's a 24 hour Walmart, between 11:30 and midnight is perfect because they're closing out registers and usually short-staffed. They don't have time to haggle and will often give you what you want.
Lastly, look for bad or confusing merchandising, like the 'boys vs boy's' ordeal I posted about before. If they're advertising something that's incredibly similar to what you want, see if they can spot the difference. Pictures on a smart phone work well, as they'd rather look at that than call back the toys or electronics department to verify the fine print.
Good luck, and good shopping!