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Old 02-24-2015, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default How to defraud Best Buy

Over the past several years, I've twice had occasion to make a purchase from Best Buy. The first, several years ago, was a GPS navigator to replace my then recently-departed Magellan, and most recently last week, a Brother color laser printer to replace my Konica-Minolta which had finally given up the ghost after seven years of service.

On both occasions, I had researched my purchase beforehand, using the BestBuy.com website to locate a specific item which I desired, and then identify a store which had that item in stock.

Coincidentally, on both occasions, said item had been advertised on sale at the website. And yet when I went to the store to commit to the purchase, the price was rung up at the non-sale amount. In response to this, I pulled out my phone and showed the employee at the register the advertised price on the item, they glanced at it, and quickly entered that price at the register instead.

A quick glance at Best Buy's published Price Match Guarantee reveals the following:
At the time of sale, we price match all local retail competitors (including their online prices) and we price match products shipped from and sold by these major online retailers: Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Newegg.com, and TigerDirect.com. We match BestBuy.com prices on in-store purchases and in-store prices on BestBuy.com purchases.

On neither occasion did the employee at the register study in detail the information which I was showing them on my phone, or independently verify it, or examine the URL of the web page displayed, nor did they call for the assistance of a manager. They simply glanced at the display on my phone and keyed in the price shown. For all they know, I could have been showing them a doctored web-page hosted at a server other than BestBuy.com, or for that matter, even a photoshopped screen-shot of a web page. (I was not.)


Lessons learned:

1: Best Buy employees appear to have the authority to discount items at the register by arbitrary amounts in order to comply with the stated price match policy.

2: In doing so, said employees appear to take an extremely relaxed stance with regard to validating the authenticity of the advertised price which they are matching.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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It's becoming fairly common for the 'brick & mortar' store to charge 2-4% more than the web site at several companies. I know Office Depot (soon to become Staples) does it and at least one of the big Auto parts store.

I usually check prices online + print out the page and take it with me.

I've yet to have an employee question it (whether reg employee or manager). I usually get blank looks when I ask why it is...

I guess for the 95% of the people who never look/ask they make more money.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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They wouldn't match the advertised price of bait and switch places like Abe's of Maine
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahurd View Post
It's becoming fairly common for the 'brick & mortar' store to charge 2-4% more than the web site at several companies.
This seems fair, given that a B&M store has a much higher overhead as compared to a distribution center.

In theory, you are paying a bit extra and receiving some kind of value-added service from the employees with whom you interact. (In practice, said value-add usually tends to be them informing you of an extended warranty that you don't need.)


Quote:
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They wouldn't match the advertised price of bait and switch places like Abe's of Maine
I've never been to Maine.

My understanding is that it is cold there much of the year, and they have lots of seafood.

Not sure why you think that's relevant to the retail price of a laser printer. Must be a Virginia thing...
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I've never been to Maine.

My understanding is that it is cold there much of the year, and they have lots of seafood.

Not sure why you think that's relevant to the retail price of a laser printer. Must be a Virginia thing...
Warning: Avoid Abe?s of Maine and Other Bait & Switch Retailers | Canon Camera and Lens Deals - canonpricewatch.com
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
This seems fair, given that a B&M store has a much higher overhead as compared to a distribution center.

In theory, you are paying a bit extra and receiving some kind of value-added service from the employees with whom you interact. (In practice, said value-add usually tends to be them informing you of an extended warranty that you don't need.)
Great theory... I'll try and remember that.

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Old 02-24-2015, 06:12 PM   #7
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I tried to get them to pricematch micro-center and they knew they weren't local :/
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:19 PM   #8
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Although it seems strange to haggle at a place like BB, it's a fact that you can. But why buy anything there, unless for convenience. They're usually overpriced.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:26 PM   #9
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I recently purchased a receiver from BB which on their website said they had it in the store.

When they found out their mistake, the price matched newegg which was about $30 cheaper, knocked another $20 off for my hassle and to negate the tax, then had it shipped to my house for free.

They seemed to go quite a bit out of their way to make that sale to me.

Now that i know they price match online sale prices, i'll check to see if they have it in a store nearby and buy it right then and there.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:50 PM   #10
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You do realize that Amazon will bring a printer straight to your house, right?
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:53 PM   #11
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I was told the actual policy at Best Buy is to price match things only when the manufacturers SKU/Part Number/Model Number matches the BestBuy SKU/PN/MN. Because BB is so large, they can go to manufacturers like Linksys and have them change the SKU/PN/MN by one digit (like changing the last number from say, A to D) and even through mechanically and electrically its the same router in the box, because the numbers don't match, they won't price match. They also do this for things like TVs on Black Friday so you can't find reviews of the products before you buy them. Start Googling PNs from BB on consumer electronics and you'll see this pretty quickly.

Of course, the weak link in the chain is the meat popsicle at the keyboard, so YMMV
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:54 PM   #12
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The serial number thing is commonplace. Target vs. Walmart. Vacuum cleaners, toasters and mattresses. Everyone does it, now that everybody has instant web access.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:56 PM   #13
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A few years ago, before Best Buy was pricematching online retailers, I purchased a set of Pioneer speakers from them and then tried to pricematch to Amazon a few days later when Amazon dropped the price. The guy at the CS counter started to balk and say there was no way he could override their pricematch policy. I asked him if he really preferred that I return the speakers to Best Buy (since I was still within my return period) and just buy them direct from Amazon instead.

Suddenly, he had the authority to override their pricematch policy.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:53 PM   #14
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as a former best buy employee, I do recall having the ability to change prices on things. I also recall understanding enough about computers to realize that any price-matches I made could later be reviewed by a manager, and that it was not in my best interest to give things away.

As a result of being a trustworthy person who exercises due diligence, I am proud to say that I no longer have to slave in B2C retail sales in order to make a living. Unfortunately (or fortunately, based on perspective), as long as there are minimum wage jobs, there will be minimum wage employees to fill them.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:59 AM   #15
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I bought a Laptop from BestBuy recently because it was sold out at my local Frys which had it on sale for an amazing price. I went into BestBuy, found the laptop on display and opened the Frys website on the laptop. A sales person approached me and I showed them the price and requested the match. They hummed and hawed because it was out of stock locally (after much fanfare of calling the store to check).

I then started to order it online with free shipping on their laptop in the store. Suddenly my price was matched without any more hesitation.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:20 AM   #16
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Best Buy seems to be the new Video Only... i.e. prices can be dropped if they really want to. Otherwise?

That being said, I'm not a fan of their return policy and try to avoid them like the plague.
I tried to exchange a Flip HD camera once, years ago that would stop charging about an hour after it was plugged in. This was discovered about two days after I bought it.

They refused to exchange it unless their GeekSquad folks could duplicate the problem.
They actually wanted me to hang out and wait for the unit to overheat in their presence before they'd take it back.
And mind you, I wasn't trying to return the video camera for money, I wanted to exchange it for a new, functional unit.

Everyone in the store said the same thing. Geeksquad first.
So, I called Flip technical support from the return counter. Flip ended up making things right directly through them... and that's the last time I spent more than $25 in their store.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
You do realize that Amazon will bring a printer straight to your house, right?
When they offer free same-day delivery, I will consider that. In this case, my printer died, I needed a replacement immediately, and the one specific unit I wanted happened to be in-stock at a store which is on my way home for the same price as the on-line retailers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
I was told the actual policy at Best Buy is to price match things only when the manufacturers SKU/Part Number/Model Number matches the BestBuy SKU/PN/MN.
It's entirely possible that the employees might exercise a more rigorous standard of proof if I were to have offered an online ad other than one at the BestBuy.com website for the purpose of price-matching.

The key point here is that, in two out of two trials, BestBuy employees in two states have accepted, unquestioningly and without rigorous examination, a quick glance at my phone of the BestBuy website advertising a price roughly 20% lower than the displayed in-store price for an in-stock item which I wanted to purchase.

An unscrupulous person could take advantage of this complacency by creating a falsified BestBuy.com webpage, loading it onto their phone, and showing it to an employee while purchasing an item which is not, in actual fact, on sale at the genuine BestBuy.com website.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:54 AM   #18
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A quick google search for "fake bestbuy website" brought up fun article.

Best Buy's secret intranet site exposed

This was right around the time i worked at a BB store, 2007ish. loololol
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