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(The Consumerist)   Best Buy comes up with a genius idea to compete with Amazon: Lower online prices   (consumerist.com) divider line 64
    More: Obvious, Best Buy, Amazon, superstar  
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3976 clicks; posted to Business » on 04 Oct 2012 at 11:59 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-04 03:16:30 AM  
This isn't really butthurt this time though, is it?

/noticed the site has 50% less butthurt.
 
2012-10-04 11:58:55 AM  
One thing I can say about this article is that it exists.
 
2012-10-04 12:08:24 PM  
FTFA:

Scott Durchslag says... consumers "are trying to reach a general conclusion that they are not having to pay more than they need to"

In other news, water is wet.
 
2012-10-04 12:08:31 PM  
i0.kym-cdn.com

Like a boss.
 
2012-10-04 12:12:50 PM  
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-03/best-buy-may-reduce-online-pr ices-to-compete-with-amazon-1-.html

In case you don't want to infect your computer with consumerist page
 
2012-10-04 12:30:25 PM  
Didn't they also have a policy of one price online at home and a different price online in the store?
 
2012-10-04 12:32:35 PM  
Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

1) Purchased a specific laptop online that our CEO just "had to have" in the next two days. Chose store pickup and drove 45 minutes to the only Best Buy that had it in stock. When I arrived, the laptop had been previously opened and returned and no others were available. The previous purchaser must have had pizza grease all over his hands and smeared them across the monitor and cover (or maybe that was from the Best Buy employee performing a "thorough inspection" of the returned item). Thanks for selling your returned stock items as brand new.

2) Purchased something with Rewards points online and chose store pickup. Had to return the item and was told Rewards points can't be credited at Best Buy when ordering from the online store. Took me a week to get the points back after several calls to customer disservice. Awesome.

3) Purchased a game online and chose store pickup. Received an email the item was ready. Drove to the store (30 minutes) and upon arrival, was told by the pickup counter employee that my game was, in fact, not available, and that it wouldn't be in for three more days. And they had tried to call me, even though the number they rattled off was not associated with my bestbuy.com information. Thanks guys.

Eff these guys.
 
2012-10-04 12:37:28 PM  

valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

1) Purchased a specific laptop online that our CEO just "had to have" in the next two days. Chose store pickup and drove 45 minutes to the only Best Buy that had it in stock. When I arrived, the laptop had been previously opened and returned and no others were available. The previous purchaser must have had pizza grease all over his hands and smeared them across the monitor and cover (or maybe that was from the Best Buy employee performing a "thorough inspection" of the returned item). Thanks for selling your returned stock items as brand new.

2) Purchased something with Rewards points online and chose store pickup. Had to return the item and was told Rewards points can't be credited at Best Buy when ordering from the online store. Took me a week to get the points back after several calls to customer disservice. Awesome.

3) Purchased a game online and chose store pickup. Received an email the item was ready. Drove to the store (30 minutes) and upon arrival, was told by the pickup counter employee that my game was, in fact, not available, and that it wouldn't be in for three more days. And they had tried to call me, even though the number they rattled off was not associated with my bestbuy.com information. Thanks guys.

Eff these guys.


No but I've had them sneak recurring charges on to both mine and my fiancee's credit cards. Both times the cashier was more interested in talking to a co-worker than paying attention to doing their jobs. After calling over and over they finally got it taken off. Best part was when they tried to explain how ACH charges work to me. At the time, I was managing our bank's ACH department.
 
2012-10-04 12:42:38 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-04 12:45:17 PM  

Your Zionist Leader: valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

1) Purchased a specific laptop online that our CEO just "had to have" in the next two days. Chose store pickup and drove 45 minutes to the only Best Buy that had it in stock. When I arrived, the laptop had been previously opened and returned and no others were available. The previous purchaser must have had pizza grease all over his hands and smeared them across the monitor and cover (or maybe that was from the Best Buy employee performing a "thorough inspection" of the returned item). Thanks for selling your returned stock items as brand new.

2) Purchased something with Rewards points online and chose store pickup. Had to return the item and was told Rewards points can't be credited at Best Buy when ordering from the online store. Took me a week to get the points back after several calls to customer disservice. Awesome.

3) Purchased a game online and chose store pickup. Received an email the item was ready. Drove to the store (30 minutes) and upon arrival, was told by the pickup counter employee that my game was, in fact, not available, and that it wouldn't be in for three more days. And they had tried to call me, even though the number they rattled off was not associated with my bestbuy.com information. Thanks guys.

Eff these guys.

No but I've had them sneak recurring charges on to both mine and my fiancee's credit cards. Both times the cashier was more interested in talking to a co-worker than paying attention to doing their jobs. After calling over and over they finally got it taken off. Best part was when they tried to explain how ACH charges work to me. At the time, I was managing our bank's ACH department.


I give up - how are credit cards and ACH related?
 
2012-10-04 12:49:50 PM  

valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?


Need a new microwave, amazon had it for $240 and free 5 day shipping. My wife went to best buy to see if they would bet this and they offered her the same microwave for $320 plus tax and guaranteed 3 day shipping, but they wouldn't ship it for 2 weeks. They nicely pointed out that some times amazon shipping takes longer and theirs was guaranteed to be there 3 days after they got around to shipping it.
 
2012-10-04 12:58:44 PM  
The only thing brick and mortar stores are good for is taking a look at the items I want (and possibly holding them in my hands/taking a test run) before I go home to order it on Amazon. It has less to do with the price and more to do with not wanting to be harassed by your "sales" staff for the duration of my shopping trip.
 
2012-10-04 01:07:38 PM  

mcreadyblue: Your Zionist Leader: valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

1) Purchased a specific laptop online that our CEO just "had to have" in the next two days. Chose store pickup and drove 45 minutes to the only Best Buy that had it in stock. When I arrived, the laptop had been previously opened and returned and no others were available. The previous purchaser must have had pizza grease all over his hands and smeared them across the monitor and cover (or maybe that was from the Best Buy employee performing a "thorough inspection" of the returned item). Thanks for selling your returned stock items as brand new.

2) Purchased something with Rewards points online and chose store pickup. Had to return the item and was told Rewards points can't be credited at Best Buy when ordering from the online store. Took me a week to get the points back after several calls to customer disservice. Awesome.

3) Purchased a game online and chose store pickup. Received an email the item was ready. Drove to the store (30 minutes) and upon arrival, was told by the pickup counter employee that my game was, in fact, not available, and that it wouldn't be in for three more days. And they had tried to call me, even though the number they rattled off was not associated with my bestbuy.com information. Thanks guys.

Eff these guys.

No but I've had them sneak recurring charges on to both mine and my fiancee's credit cards. Both times the cashier was more interested in talking to a co-worker than paying attention to doing their jobs. After calling over and over they finally got it taken off. Best part was when they tried to explain how ACH charges work to me. At the time, I was managing our bank's ACH department.

I give up - how are credit cards and ACH related?


They weren't. That was how the Best Buy customer service person was trying to explain it.
 
2012-10-04 01:12:41 PM  
Just got a Best Buy gift card last week so looked at the online site.

There are a number of good (older) cd's for only $5 & $8 with free shipping.

New cd's and movies are about equal to Amazon.com but Amazon has more discounts on box sets it seems.

If you are in the market for an older cd, check out Best Buy before hitting the button on iTunes or Amazon.
 
2012-10-04 01:25:10 PM  

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: Didn't they also have a policy of one price online at home and a different price online in the store?


Everyone does that.

Best Buy will, though, price match to their own website. Which is nice.
 
2012-10-04 01:40:47 PM  
If hell were to create an electronics store, they were model it after best buy

and hire their employees.
 
2012-10-04 01:48:47 PM  

valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

1) Purchased a specific laptop online that our CEO just "had to have" in the next two days. Chose store pickup and drove 45 minutes to the only Best Buy that had it in stock. When I arrived, the laptop had been previously opened and returned and no others were available. The previous purchaser must have had pizza grease all over his hands and smeared them across the monitor and cover (or maybe that was from the Best Buy employee performing a "thorough inspection" of the returned item). Thanks for selling your returned stock items as brand new.

2) Purchased something with Rewards points online and chose store pickup. Had to return the item and was told Rewards points can't be credited at Best Buy when ordering from the online store. Took me a week to get the points back after several calls to customer disservice. Awesome.

3) Purchased a game online and chose store pickup. Received an email the item was ready. Drove to the store (30 minutes) and upon arrival, was told by the pickup counter employee that my game was, in fact, not available, and that it wouldn't be in for three more days. And they had tried to call me, even though the number they rattled off was not associated with my bestbuy.com information. Thanks guys.


img.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-04 02:06:59 PM  
I bought my TV there about a year or so ago. I looked literally everywhere else I could first, no one else had it in stock. Best Buy had the best price on it as well (just barely) so I decided to just suck it up and go into the store to pick it up.

When I get there, the price on the sales floor is more than the listed price on their website (duh). The sales guy told me to just go use their in-store computer to order it online and select in-store pickup. Now, let me sidetrack for just a moment to comment on how farking retarded it is that they have a dedicated terminal for customers to place online orders... in the store. W. T. F.?

So I do the needful, print out my receipt, and take it down to the in-store pickup counter. Well, apparently they just need to wait for my order to "process" before they can go and get it from the warehouse in back and hand it to me. Regardless of the fact that I have the receipt IN MY HAND, they have to wait. And not just wait. They can't even bring the TV out to the pick-up counter in the mean time.

Well, 30 minutes go by... nothing. Finally, an hour after I placed the order, they tell me that they've received notice of the order and they're just waiting for one of the warehouse workers to bring it to the front. Awesome. My nightmarishly boring wait in Best Buy is almost finished. I mean, there's only so much time I can spend browsing their lackluster inventory and getting aggressively marketed to by the two or three salesmen roaming their store trying to push cable television or whatever on me.

45 minutes later the warehouse worker wheeled my new television to the pick-up counter. Fark Best Buy.
 
2012-10-04 02:07:43 PM  
So BB might just turn their storefronts into showrooms, with no actual stock on-hand and only one or two drones for general "service"?

Frankly, I think that idea could be a real winner. Out-Amazon Amazon. Only catch is that you then have to offer prices and shipping to compete, as well as a quick and easy way in-store to purchase what you're looking at. BB already uses QR codes for item lookup, so they've got 90% of the structure they need to make this happen.
 
2012-10-04 02:21:07 PM  

Cheron: valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?

Need a new microwave, amazon had it for $240 and free 5 day shipping. My wife went to best buy to see if they would bet this and they offered her the same microwave for $320 plus tax and guaranteed 3 day shipping, but they wouldn't ship it for 2 weeks. They nicely pointed out that some times amazon shipping takes longer and theirs was guaranteed to be there 3 days after they got around to shipping it.


sounds similar to my experience. i checked their website for a keyboard and it listed it could be delivered in 2 days but the store bear me had 3 in stock.

went to the store and couldn't find it. asked a guy that was restocking stuff for help. inventory lists 5 in stock but he can't find any in the back. apparently to save space they have a storage facilty several blocks away. he estimated that it would take 2 days to get it to the store, from a warehouse that was a few blocks away. he also suggested that i could order it there and to have it shipped, but that would take an additional 3 days.

a 5 day delivery estimate from a physical store that was 5 miles away from me while their online store estimated a 2 day delivery time. this was 6 months ago.

what makes them think they can compete with amazon?
 
2012-10-04 02:39:58 PM  
I might go to Best Buy more often if they didn't insist on trying to sell me a warranty on each and every item. An $8 warranty on a $18 pair of headphones? That's just silly.
 
2012-10-04 02:40:36 PM  
Best Buy hate thread?

Best buy hate thread...

I'll be back to read the great CSBs forthcoming.
 
2012-10-04 02:45:19 PM  

valkore: Has anybody else had consistently poor experiences from Best Buy store pickup as I have?


I ordered the 2-pack with the first two Resistance games when it was on sale for $20 online for in-store pickup, and after waiting weeks for them to get it in stock at the local store they just gave up and cancelled my order for me, despite the fact that it's easy to find the game in stock at Amazon.
 
2012-10-04 02:55:34 PM  
Before they can accomplish anything, they need to clean out their entire management hierarchy. it's too bloated with legacy drones who don't understand or care about the modern marketplace. The need to fire pretty much every single employee in the company and start from scratch
 
2012-10-04 03:02:38 PM  
I haven't bought any electronics from a brick and mortar store for a while... but, am I alone in missing circuit city? or did that store suck too?
 
2012-10-04 03:14:33 PM  

Lost Thought 00: Before they can accomplish anything, they need to clean out their entire management hierarchy. it's too bloated with legacy drones who don't understand or care about the modern marketplace. The need to fire pretty much every single employee in the company and start from scratch


doubt that's going to happen since they paid out huge bonuses to keep them from leaving.

whatever happened to the founder's offer to take it private?
 
2012-10-04 03:24:54 PM  

Kuroshin: So BB might just turn their storefronts into showrooms, with no actual stock on-hand and only one or two drones for general "service"?

Frankly, I think that idea could be a real winner. Out-Amazon Amazon. Only catch is that you then have to offer prices and shipping to compete, as well as a quick and easy way in-store to purchase what you're looking at. BB already uses QR codes for item lookup, so they've got 90% of the structure they need to make this happen.


That might work. Some people like a showroom to at least see/feel/get info for large purchases. Then have a simple QR code that people can scan linked to an online account (have kiosks there to create an account for new shoppers). People can opt to get the item now if its in stock or have it shipped to their homes. I'm guessing some people would like large items (TV's, etc.) shipped even if they are in stock since they can't fit it in their car, etc.

Basically play Amazon's game to your own advantage. It requires lowering prices and probably keeping less inventory in-house. Not a retail expert so who knows if this would work.
 
2012-10-04 03:25:46 PM  
Best Buy = Amazon's showroom
 
2012-10-04 03:34:51 PM  
As I was looking to buy my wife a GPS, I won a $50 Best Buy gift certificate from a raffle at work. I went to BB and bought a $150 GPS, paying $100 plus tax. Just for kicks, I looked up the GPS on Amazon, and guess what? That's right, they had it for $100, no tax, and free shipping. Sure glad I won that gift certificate.
 
2012-10-04 03:42:28 PM  
I used to get guitar strings on impulse from Best Buy sometimes. I would need a set or break one and didn't to wait for them to be shipped. It seems as if they figured out which brand I liked and stopped stocking them, but there was still a spot on the shelf for them. Not some wierd off the wall brand either and in a very common size. I haven't back since. Although I am looking to get a new a,p and I will go in and test drive all of theirs before I order it from somewhere else.

A question: What will everyone do when Amazon starts adding state sales tax? Oh yeah, it's coming.
 
2012-10-04 03:42:35 PM  
I went to a Best Buy the other day because Fry's was closed at the time, trying to find a keyboard for my mother. The cheapest one they carried was $30. Using my phone, I compared Fry's prices, and saw that their median price for a low-end keyboard was about $15. I promptly walked out, realized there was a Walmart 500 feet from where I was standing, went there, and found one for $14.

fark you, Best Buy. How do you think you can compete with online retailers while maintaining your high prices? And how do you think you can compete with other physical stores while wasting floor space and maintaining such a limited selection of goods?

I hope you die and rot in hell with Tower Records.
 
2012-10-04 03:45:16 PM  
The problem with BB is that the actual stores and the website seem to be related in name only. If you buy something online and try to return it to a store it's as if you bought the damn thing at Wal-mart or something.

"Oh, we can't exchange that here. You bought it online."

"Yeah, Best Buy online."

And if someone in a store has to contact customer service about a BB Online issue they have to use the same number as customers and wait in the same hold queues. How ridiculous.
 
2012-10-04 03:48:39 PM  

turbidum: he cheapest one they carried was $30.


what? they did try to sell you a Monster keyboard with nitrogen gas injected dielectric and quad-shielding for maximum conductivity for only $299.99, not including the extended warranty for $19.99, which is totally worth it?

someone needs to be fired.
 
2012-10-04 03:55:07 PM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: turbidum: he cheapest one they carried was $30.

what? they did try to sell you a Monster keyboard with nitrogen gas injected dielectric and quad-shielding for maximum conductivity for only $299.99, not including the extended warranty for $19.99, which is totally worth it?

someone needs to be fired.


You have to buy cables from them. My wife need an HDMI to mini HDMI best buy wanted $35, PC Richards wanted $78 and Amazon wanted $5. When you spot one scam you start to wonder what else are they trying to rip you off with.
 
2012-10-04 03:59:59 PM  
Amazon ain't always a bargain. I've started checking prices a lot more closely. Used to be it was always Amazon was cheapest. Nowadays, they'll bend you over the counter and make you walk funny once in a while.

There was the coffeemaker that was 2.5 times more expensive on Amazon as it was on Walmart.com.
 
2012-10-04 04:12:18 PM  

Cheron: Spanky_McFarksalot: turbidum: he cheapest one they carried was $30.

what? they did try to sell you a Monster keyboard with nitrogen gas injected dielectric and quad-shielding for maximum conductivity for only $299.99, not including the extended warranty for $19.99, which is totally worth it?

someone needs to be fired.

You have to buy cables from them. My wife need an HDMI to mini HDMI best buy wanted $35, PC Richards wanted $78 and Amazon wanted $5. When you spot one scam you start to wonder what else are they trying to rip you off with.


And you can get one on ebay for
 
2012-10-04 04:24:09 PM  

Kuroshin: So BB might just turn their storefronts into showrooms, with no actual stock on-hand and only one or two drones for general "service"?

Frankly, I think that idea could be a real winner. Out-Amazon Amazon. Only catch is that you then have to offer prices and shipping to compete, as well as a quick and easy way in-store to purchase what you're looking at. BB already uses QR codes for item lookup, so they've got 90% of the structure they need to make this happen.


There's an idea. Bring back the catalog stores, a la consumers distributing. You go to their site, find what you want and go pick it up.
No sales staff to bug the hell out of you, plus you get it faster.
I like that idea.
 
2012-10-04 04:24:57 PM  

OtitisMEDIA: Best Buy = Amazon's showroom


Amazon should seriously market that.

Best Buy: Amazon's showroom

That would be the most hilarious advertisement ever.
 
2012-10-04 04:27:23 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: Kuroshin: So BB might just turn their storefronts into showrooms, with no actual stock on-hand and only one or two drones for general "service"?

Frankly, I think that idea could be a real winner. Out-Amazon Amazon. Only catch is that you then have to offer prices and shipping to compete, as well as a quick and easy way in-store to purchase what you're looking at. BB already uses QR codes for item lookup, so they've got 90% of the structure they need to make this happen.

There's an idea. Bring back the catalog stores, a la consumers distributing. You go to their site, find what you want and go pick it up.
No sales staff to bug the hell out of you, plus you get it faster.
I like that idea.


Cut out the part where I have to go their site and buy it -- so I can just walk in and take whatever I want, and you have a guaranteed "customer" in me.

/you wouldn't download a car
//you wouldn't download a Best Buy
 
2012-10-04 04:32:34 PM  

stupiddream:
A question: What will everyone do when Amazon starts adding state sales tax? Oh yeah, it's coming.


They've already started doing that in Texas on some items. I look at it this way (assuming Best Buy has the same base price, which is usually not the case):

Amazon:

Item A - $100
Shipping - $0 (assuming it qualifies, which most items do)
Tax - $8
Total - $108

Best Buy:

Item A - $100
Shipping - $0
Tax - $8
Gas - $4
Time - $50 (assuming 1 hr composed of drivetime and dealing with BB employees)
Total - $168

Unless I HAVE to get it right now, Amazon wins.
 
2012-10-04 04:33:45 PM  
*sigh* $162 for Best Buy

/Work gets in the way yet again
 
2012-10-04 04:34:05 PM  
if you want a microwave go to Costco or Sears
 
2012-10-04 04:35:50 PM  

ColSanders: The problem with BB is that the actual stores and the website seem to be related in name only. If you buy something online and try to return it to a store it's as if you bought the damn thing at Wal-mart or something.

"Oh, we can't exchange that here. You bought it online."

"Yeah, Best Buy online."

And if someone in a store has to contact customer service about a BB Online issue they have to use the same number as customers and wait in the same hold queues. How ridiculous.


Yup. Instead of integrating the online site and brick and mortar locations into a seamless operation (at least in the customer's perspective), there are very strictly controlled touchpoints limited to order processing and fulfillment. Exchanges, returns, customer service, etc. are all a royal pain in the ass at the store if you placed the order online, even if you completed the order IN THE STORE at a kiosk.
 
2012-10-04 04:58:18 PM  
Speaking as a former BB drone, it took a minute for me to wrap my head around the fact that Best Buy stores and dotcom are, for all intents and purposes, separate entities that just happen to share the same logo. The only connection that existed was the in-store pick up service, and the times when Bestbuy.com would call and beg us to squeeze in their angry customer for a delivery the next day.

Also, when I was there, there was no direct connection between POS and inventory. Inventory took forever to update. This is why even if inventory shows 2 of something in stock, employees HAVE to actually locate the item because if the items have been sold, it may not have updated to reflect that in inventory. This is also why BB.com would often screw us and customers because there wouldn't be enough inventory to support in-store pick up orders while the website still says "In Stock". "In Stock" might actually mean "In Stock 4 hours ago" while the product has since sold out.

I think this sluggishness a major reason why Best Buy is failing utterly compared to the likes of Amazon. Best Buy was fine before smartphones and ubiquitous high-speed Internet. But now that people want and can buy stuff with one button press, Best Buy needs to focus on being able to move product and manage inventory a LOT more efficiently across both BB.com and its stores. For a company that wants to emphasize connectivity, there is a LOT of disconnection behind the scenes, and is evidenced by the anecdotes that often pepper these Best Buy threads on Fark.

I met some great people while I was with them, but I am so glad I found more dignified (and better compensated) employment before they all went so much to pot.
 
2012-10-04 05:07:01 PM  
Just got back from a Best Buy, was looking for a non i-thingie volume controlled earphone/earbud. Their MP3 player and mobile phone sections now look like an Apple store without a genius.
 
2012-10-04 05:32:27 PM  
Can you buy beds on bestbuy.com yet? Because bestbuy.ca sells all sorts of crap now.
 
2012-10-04 05:53:54 PM  
Too late as far as I'm concerned. The overwhelming amount of brick and mortar stores I used to give my money to have long ago used up all of their good will and benefit of the doubt equity when it comes to price, selection and service.

I now prefer to do my shopping online with nameless, faceless vendors throwing out their best price in direct competition with other nameless, faceless vendors.
 
2012-10-04 06:00:06 PM  

pute kisses like a man: I haven't bought any electronics from a brick and mortar store for a while... but, am I alone in missing circuit city? or did that store suck too?


I used to buy all my CD's there.
 
2012-10-04 06:32:25 PM  

stupiddream: I used to get guitar strings on impulse from Best Buy sometimes. I would need a set or break one and didn't to wait for them to be shipped. It seems as if they figured out which brand I liked and stopped stocking them, but there was still a spot on the shelf for them. Not some wierd off the wall brand either and in a very common size. I haven't back since. Although I am looking to get a new a,p and I will go in and test drive all of theirs before I order it from somewhere else.

A question: What will everyone do when Amazon starts adding state sales tax? Oh yeah, it's coming.


They're already doing it in California. They're still cheaper than most other places.
 
2012-10-04 06:58:30 PM  

stupiddream: A question: What will everyone do when Amazon starts adding state sales tax? Oh yeah, it's coming.


Um, still shop at Amazon.

In the list of reasons I go to Amazon first when I want to buy something, not paying taxes is probably third or fourth.
 
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