Best Buy Plans To Use Permanent Price Matching To End Showrooming

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chrisv815

Why can't Best Buy understand their biggest crutch is their employees and this price match strategy only works by talking to said employees, which most of us can't stand doing. I'm not going to sit in your store for 45 minutes while these drooling, underpaid, lazy, obnoxious, uneducated, mouth breathers play a game with me trying to decide if they will price match. And NOTHING will puts me off more than sitting there for 45 minutes and then being told they won't give me the match. Does the executive team understand I can checkout on Amazon from their store on my phone in less time than I would spend just standing in their line waiting to see a cashier?

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Nyarlathotep

BB is the only brick and mortar option within at least an hour's drive from where I live. Their selection and in store prices are average and, in my opinion, mostly acceptable.

My main reason for not shopping there is the consistently horrible customer service. In my 20 plus years of buying electronics I have never had even one positive customer experience with them. I have never been in a BB and been asked less than 3 times if I need help with anything. The most I've been asked is 7 although one rep asked me twice that visit. Every time I have actually asked a question it has been clear that the rep either had absolutely no understanding of the product they asked to help me with or they will make up the most ridiculous things to make a sale (even though I don't think they're commission).

Examples:
When they started selling computer cases I actually had a young man try to sell me on a desktop case because the cd tray doubled as a cup holder. This is of course a bad idea but he didn't realize the case didn't even come with the optical drive pictured on the box.

Another time I asked the AV guy if they sold test pattern discs. He told me no because consumers cannot calibrate their own displays. While there is some validity to this statement it still is not absolutely correct and is not something I think should be said to a customer. He then proceeded to try to bully me into buying their "professional" calibration services and saying that only idiots throw away money on televisions and don't have them calibrated. I noticed a couple other customers cocking their heads and staring at him as he told me this.

Last week I asked a rep if they carried short (12" - 18") Apple cables. The guy actually said "No. I don't see why you would want something like that." Who is he to question what I want? These are not too hard to find online. In fact I checked after I got home and BB offers them on their website with free pick up in the store. You'd think the sales rep would have mentioned that.

Add to my own anecdotal stories all of the experiences my friends and family have had with the Geek Squad and the only situation gets worse.

BB management keeps blaming internet purchases for their declining sales but I think they'd do better focusing on improving their customer experiences. Maybe hire less minimum wage workers and spend the savings on people who know what they are talking about?

Just my $0.02

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72olds455

It is no surprise that they are reducing their return window from 30 days to 15 days as part of this change. It is only a matter of time until they change the policy from 15 days to no returns allowed.
The only thing I purchase in Best Buy anymore is loss leader items and a DVD or 2 if the price is low enough and I know I do not need to return it. With any luck this is the last death twitch of a dying corporation.
Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I used to remember that if a company took care of their customers, the profits would come. Best Buy doesn't understand that process.

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pastorbob

I haven't made a major purchase of any kind at Best Buy for over ten years. I do buy accessories and peripherals on occasion when they are on sale. I have found some really great deals. I have also gotten some great deals at Staples on printers and laptops.

Most of my major electronics purchases I buy at Wal-Mart.com. I get 10% off because my wife is an employee (she is an optician in the vision center). And I also get free shipping by having it sent to the local store. If the local store has the item in stock it is same day pick-up. The online prices typically run less than in store prices.

However for major computer builds (I have not bought a prebuilt system in almost twenty years), I go to a local store called Computer Deli. Not always the cheapest but the employees are all computer power users. They have everything in stock for any level of system you want to build. Odds are they have first hand experience with any components you pick. And they have a liberal return policy as long as you have the receipt. My last build about a year ago only ran me $35.00 more than if I had bought everything at Newegg (tax included). In the course of the build I exchanged the graphics card and memory for faster stuff. To me it was worth it for the convenience and peace of mind.

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norjms

Your dad was not charged $500 unless he was trying to have offsite data recovery. If he was having offsite data recovery show me a reputable company that does hardware failure/real data recovery cheap. I call BS

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Nyarlathotep

I cannot speak to Devon's Dad's situation but for what it's worth I had a friend's daughter (financially disadvantaged college student) recently take her laptop that died to the Geek Squad. They quoted her about $200 to replace the mechanical hard drive(which they correctly diagnosed as failed) with an SSD, $150 for an external hard drive with backup software to prevent future data loss, and another $100 in labor and miscellaneous fees. This is pretty close to $500 after tax.

I bought her another mechanical drive for under $100 and showed her how to back up her documents to a flash drive she already had.

BB is certainly not unique in this practice and I know they're in business to make money but they should at least be honest about what you're really paying for and what your options are. Her Dad was so pissed they tried to take advantage of her that he has vowed never to shop there again.

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Lednaara

Well, while the $150 dollar external drive may be a bit much, because as you said, a flash drive would probably have been more than enough to serve as a backup medium, $200 for a new hard drive, especially an SSD, isn't that bad of a price depending on how long ago this occurred, and if I can correctly assume that the labor involved not only installing the new drive but reloading the OS as well, then $100 isn't that bad either. I kind of like Best Buy. Great place to just walk around for an hour or so checking stuff out. Great place to get something if you need it that day. And since I no longer will buy a monitor or tv from Amazon for reasons mentioned in an earlier post, Best Buy and Staples and the like are my go to places for "fragile" things.

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Nyarlathotep

I don't really have a problem with the pricing.

I was really trying to make two points:

1. The above poster basically says it's not possible that BB would quote $500 to remedy a hard drive failure. My friend's daughter had this very thing happen and I explained how that price was reached.

2. BB wanted her to pay a premium for an SSD to replace a failed mechanical drive. They made no effort to explain what her options really were. Even if these practices are committed by a minority of their workforce it still gives them all a bad name. BB is not unique in this regard.

In reference to this article I think BB's poor customer service is a bigger problem for them than competition from online retailers.

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devin3627

my dad was charged $500 and i said "NO" and bought a new hard drive for $70 and the problem and the problem was fixed. (irrelevant question: has anybody had trouble with the firmware boards on Western Digital HDs?)

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norjms

Well as a person who works at a Best Buy part-time I would hate see them shutdown and the reason isn't because I would lose some income. There is something to be said for buying something locally. I enjoy actually putting my hands on a product before laying my hands on it. I receintly purchased a new laptop from Best Buy and I couldn't be happier with product. Think about when you test out a new laptop or computer and half the time they feel cheap/flimsy or don't like the way the keyboard feels. All displays on laptops are not the same...they may have the same specs but, some look better than others. It's the same with alot of products I purchase.
There are also other items they sell that I wouldn't buy online such as a cell phone. Go buy your phone somewhere else I.E. a At&T, Verizon, or Sprint store. When you get their insurance for the phone there is generally a deductable for replacement and some actually only allow one replacement. Best Buy does them for free with insurance and they will give you a loaner while waiting for your new phone (phones are refurbished). Washers, dryers, and other appliances like ordering those online...I bet your wife doesn't she probably wants to see the product in a store prior to ordering it.
The discount movie bins are something else I frequent because, I can buy a new Blu-ray for $7.99 and watch it the same day and clearance priced items can be had for a steal. When I take my child shopping for new game or movie she wants to see it and make her decision. She doesn't want to look at it on a computer to pick the movie she wants to watch in a few days.
Lastly, and I know I'm going to get flamed for this one. The Geeksquad repairs are actually quite good at some stores. (I work the tech bench)Most of the people on this site will groan at the idea of Best Buy's technitions because, some don't know their a$$ from a hole in the ground and they can do all their repairs one their own. In alot of cases people don't have an oncall nerd to transfer stuff from a new computer or unbrick their pc. The masses rely local pc techs to do their bidding. Most stores have 3~4 Geeksquad personel assisting the customers and around 2 who know what their doing for actual repairs.
I will shop for things at a local store if prices/convinence is comparable and for something Best Buy is and with others they can't compete. The buy it online crowd has hurt quite a few good businesses who couldn't manage the new business models. A large one I miss is the local video store. Good luck find the non-new release movie you want to watch at a redbox or netflix. The ability to walk into a video store and grab the movie was pretty good.

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Nimrod

Maybe if BB wasnt such a shitty company in general tech savy ppl wouldnt hate it so much. Educated consumers know what a bunch of low life scum shts these people are and that lone is always going to drive ppl away from their store out of principal alone.

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maverick knight

I like brick and wall stores. Its a good excuse to get out of the house. If you have everything delivered to you then you WILL be fat in no time.

There are ways to attract customers and keep them happy but these stores need to make sacrifices and big changes. Customer satisfaction is key and it has always been. Offering something that online retailers don't have is another way. Rewarding customers by just visiting the store could be researched and see if it works.

I bought my monitor from best buy because if I need to return it I can just go the store and replace it. Instead of waiting for the mail and all that.

Brick and wall stores enemy is not online retailers but other brick and wall stores who are fighting for the same type of customers. Targets, Staples, Sears, Kmart, Wall Mart and Sams club all offer more or less the same items. They need to attract those favorite customers if they want to stay relevant. I don't even know how Sears is still in the mix.

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darthkab

I experienced what was mentioned before in the earlier comments, in the case of price matching Amazon, if it is not fulfilled by Amazon, they will not price match. I can't recall seeing this in either large or small print, but in either case, I have learned that from now on as soon as I determine that the better deal is had at Amazon, regardless of who fulfills the item, I will order it. No more dealing with small print (or lack of) gotcha's from Best Buy. I just don't HAVE to have it today. In addition shipping is usually free and I save gas by not driving to the store only to be disappointed...again. Fact is Amazon rocks and Best Buy will soon go the way of CompUSA and Circuit City.

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supercourier

If BB is still having to collect taxes unlike Amazon, can't they at least match the all online/paid shipping to return? They don't even have to cover the outbound shipping to begin with, so why don't they match the No-Hassle/NO-COST returns Amazon has rather than making you drive back in and wait on lines? Just log in and print your pre-paid return shipping label like Amazon.

(P.S.--How is "reducing its return policy from 30 days to 15 days" a competitive step FORWARD?)

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mistypants

As a former Best Buy employee, I can tell you that they've price matched from at least when I worked there (August of last year). All you had to do was bring in the ad you saw it in, which must be current. If it was a big discount it required manager approval, which the manager would usually just take a look at the ad and make sure it was current (no bringing in last week's Staples ad, for instance) and the same model. Sometimes if it wasn't the same model but a similar one they would offer you some kind of discount.

Not a lot of people know about their price matching which is a shame--too many people say "oh but it's cheaper on Amazon, I'll just wait for the shipping, I don't mind given the money I'm saving." Just go into Best Buy and get it for that price and get the item immediately--even if Best Buy turns you down, it's worth a try. You don't even need to print out the ad, just pull it up on your smartphone.

That said, their protection plans are ridiculously expensive. Don't hate the cashier for trying to push it on you, though! We're excessively pressured to do so.

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rchris

Here's my most recent experience with my local Best Buy's price matching policy:

ME: I see your sign saying you'll price match, even for online items?
BB: Yes we will.
ME: I can get this HDTV for $100 less at Amazon. Here's the ad.
BB: I'll ask my manager. [Returns in a few minutes] We'll knock $50 off our price.
ME: That's not exactly "price matching" is it?
BB: Yes, we've offered you a lower price.
ME: No thanks. I guess we don't agree on the meaning of the word "match."
BB: [mutters some rude comments as I walked out the store]

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Lednaara

I'd be willing to bet they didn't match it because there's a model difference. But the fact is, they offered you $50 off. So you get to roll out of the store with 50 bucks knocked off. You'd probably spend close to that on shipping alone on a good sized tv.

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rchris

Nope. They agreed the model was the same. And Amazon shipped it free.

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Lednaara

Well then it's own you whether you want to wait for something to be shipped to you. Honestly, after having two tv's shipped to me from Amazon last year, both having arrived broken, I don't trust them. And for me the shipping was only free because I have a Prime membership. $50 bucks off would have been worth it to me to get it locally rather than deal with the headaches of something that high dollar. Luckily third time was the charm and it only took them a total of four and a half weeks for Amazon to get me a working tv. Some things are just worth getting locally to me.

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NavarWynn

That's clearly Amazon's fault, those bastards... after #2 fail, I would have been calling the UPS distro center to complain about my delivery driver. I'd guess his habit was to 'upgrade' you to 'airborne' delivery... I seem to recall a youtube video last year involving a monitor getting tossed over a gate by the delivery driver...

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Lednaara

The third attempt arrived inside of another box stuffed with bubblewrap on either side. I haven't ordered a monitor or tv from Amazon since.

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Mortal_M

That's not really Amazon's fault, once it leaves their warehouse it's UPS responsability to handle your package with care, Too bad they are not well known for that.

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NavarWynn

I tried to buy a HDD at best buy (online) because someone had given me a best buy gift card which brought the price below what I could find it for on Amazon - Their site (and stores) have so few options and products that the only way I could have purchased the 750gb Scorpio black I wanted was to go through their 'marketplace' in which they wouldn't accept BB gift cards...

Jeezus, they've already got me on their site (because they don't have the product in stock at the store), TRYING to pay them, but couldn't make it work... no wonder they are failing...

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Lednaara

I had a similar issue last year. The marketplace is actually a way for other distributors to sell through Best Buy's online website. However, you can sometimes work around the gift card. I bought something through the market place and had it shipped to store, since that was free shipping. At the store I mentioned the problem with the gift card not being accepted at the site. They allowed me to "return" the item at the store then repurchase it using the gift card. I don't know if this was done out of what I would consider extraordinary customer service, or if this was standard practice. Either way it worked for me.

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ShyLinuxGuy

I'm pretty sure that stores that offer price-match guarantees team up with manufacturers and suppliers as much as possible to alter features or even SKUs and model numbers so it isn't technically the exact 'same' thing you've seen in another store. That way, they won't be obligated to price match per their policy. They'll say that it isn't available at another retailer (and although it's a douchey move, there will be some truth to that).

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John Pombrio

I just never go into Best Buy anymore. I enjoy looking around but I find that I rarely ever buy anything. As for electronics and stuff, my local purchases always come from BJs or Sams Club.
Heh, I was getting hit by MPC spam filter for capitalizing words like cheep and buuy.

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tetlecie

Why are you americans so selfish, why would you want best buy to close down, when all I see on American news is about the economy and jobs being lost. If you all are truly patriotic as you all claim to be you will support best buy when ever you can, if they are price matching might as well get it there. Amazon will still exist because they supply far more than anyone one else. Stop being mindless idiots and look at the big picture.

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Arse_assin

retarded post fail

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Engelsstaub

Oh goody! Another "you Americans!" internet scolding. Are you also shaking your finger at your computer as though it represents every last citizen of the United States?

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kiaghi7

I'm not sure where this ignorant rant came from, but you can take it back from whence it came...

Where someone chooses to buy has nothing to do with being selfish or patriotism, it's entirely to do with preference. It's like saying they aren't patriotic because they drink pepsi rather than coke, the entire premise of determining patriotism is grounded on an entirely irrelevant thing.

If a retailer, be they online or brick-&-mortar, has a better price on "Item X" they will tend to get more sales of "Item X". It's very basic economics, and often the online stores have an advantage in that area since they need to only warehouse items, rather than displaying them for people to browse down aisles and paying a staff of people to help sell the products and assist customers.

There are of course pros and cons to each approach, we are all aware of the limitations and benefits of each, so I will only touch upon the financial aspects of the two seeing as that was the gist of what the article is talking about.

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Scatter

"Where someone chooses to buy has nothing to do with being selfish or patriotism"

Actually, it does in countries other than the USA.

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John Pombrio

I do buy a lot of electronic stuff local, just not at Best Buy or Staples or Walmart.

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John Pombrio

double post.

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Pyrophorics05

Great, now I get to argue with the BB employees on what their new policy is.

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wolfing

Amazon knows the 'no tax' war is lost, they're moving to charging tax on all sales. With that, their prices won't be nearly as attractive as buying retail, even with free shipping. It'll be a customer service + variety - shipping (Amazon) vs. convenience (Best Buy). Right now the scales benefit Amazon, but after they implement global tax, it might be enough to keep retail stores afloat.

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livebriand

For me, it's like this:

Newegg (easiest, their site actually works, though not always the cheapest) > Amazon (site is a PITA sometimes and won't give me shipping info without signing in, but cheaper) > Frys (fairly cheap, selection, but going to a local store is less convenient)>>>> Best buy (crappy selection, expensive)

In CA, newegg always charged tax, which made me to to amazon on a few fairly expensive single items. However, when building my PC, I went to newegg because amazon's site is too much of a pain. Now that amazon charges tax here, I don't think I'll be coming back to their site - no tax was the slight advantage over newegg, but their site has always been significantly worse.

To put it simply - between Newegg and Best Buy, newegg wins.

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Cohiba

I've priced matched a bunch of stuff at Best Buy (which is a mile from my house.)

You do the following:

Look up the item at Amazon, ensuring it says "Fulfilled by Amazon" if its Fulfilled by JoesMidnightComputers, they won't match it.

I recommend you print the page or bring the link with you to ensure model number matching.

A Manager verifies the webpage and keys in the override.

Works like a champ. You still pay sales tax, but no delivery.

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Lednaara

Yeah I was wondering about the model number matching. There are a lot of laptops and desktops which are exactly the same spec wise, but they have a model number difference because one model is sold through Best Buy, another model sold through Newegg/Tiger Direct/ Amazon, and yet another sold through Wal-Mart. The exact same product, but different model numbers. Will Best Buy price match it in that case?

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Ledoubleu

That old model number bait and switch tactic has been used long before the internet. However with the advent of the internet it is much easier now, with a little research, to get a brick and mortar to bend to the will of the all mighty dollar. I tell them to match or I move on!

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wumpus

I can only hope this kills them as fast as it looks. As far as I can tell, their business plan is to keep advertised prices low, then jack up prices at the register with extended warranties and $100 cables. The "gotta have it now" customers are already there, and will just get lower prices. Most new customers probably learned about it over the internet, and are much less likely to buy the crap at the registers.

If they aren't profitable now, these customers are only going to make them less profitable. They are also going to be losing money on their near-core "gotta have it now" customers, digging their grave even faster.

Die Best Buy, die!

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Scatter

Yeah, things will be much better when there's no local option where you can buy your electronics

/sarcasm

As far as I've seen pretty much all brick and mortar retailers try to upsell warranties and accessories.

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wumpus

When was the last time you shopped at microcenter? The checkout clerks have tried to get me to fill out employee survey, but never upsell crap to me.

I expect to see the same crap I might buy for "zero time shipping" at Target. Sales clerk knowledge will go up (from negative) and the hassle of getting through checkout will go down immensely.

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livebriand

In my case, Best Buy is absolute garbage - limited selection, and high prices. I honestly don't care if they go out of business.

Frys, on the other hand, at least has decent prices (and generic HDMI cables that are at least as cheap as amazon on sale) and fairly good selection. I actually go there sometimes, though I usually buy online.

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maverick knight

You do know that extended warranties and extra cables are optional, right?

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Morete

In my area, Best Buy got beat out by Frys Electronics. Enough said.

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warptek2010

Just curious to know if they'd price match the zero sales tax you sometimes find online?

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Scatter

As far as I know they can't. Besides, the tax isn't part of an item's advertised price

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tweeve

There are quite a few states now that collect sales tax on all online purchases now. I know Washington is one of them. So if I can go into best buy and buy the item instead of ordering and waiting for it online, it is a lot easier. Besides what I pay in shipping the item I can usually drive to the store and get it cheaper.

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pastorbob

However, most online purchases are still tax free. And more often than not you can find deals with free shipping. Consequently, it is cheaper in most cases to buy online.

Of course the obvious downside to buying online is if you need to return an item. And, as you mentioned, there is the wait to receive an item.

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McChief

I want to point out, that if you make an online purchase and don't pay taxes you are supposed to claim those taxes on your income tax's. if you don't, and you are audited, you will be fined. Simple as that. Wonderful interstate commerce law.

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