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February 25, 2013

Best Buy Makes Price Matching Policy Permanent, But…

Filed under: Electronics,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:33 am

About a week ago, Best Buy announced that as of March 3, it will make permanent the price matching policy that it introduced last fall for the holiday shopping season.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Online or In Store: Find a Lower Price and We’ll Match It

If you find a lower price on a qualifying product at a local retail competitor’s store or a designated major online retailer, we will match the price.

At the time of purchase, we will match the current pre-tax price for new, identical, immediately available products from a local retail competitor’s store and these designated major online retailers: Amazon.com, Apple.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Buy.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, Frys.com, hhgregg.com, HP.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, Newegg.com, OfficeDepot.com, OfficeMax.com, Sears.com, Staples.com, Target.com, TigerDirect.com and Walmart.com. We will match prices between our stores and BestBuy.com ®. We will also match prices post purchase if we lower our price within 15 days of your purchase.

The Guarantee is limited to one price match per identical item, per guest and does not apply to: Contract mobile phone devices and plans, the online prices of retailers not listed, the online prices of third party vendors (Marketplace vendors) on designated major online retailers websites, post purchase price match requests to competitor’s prices,

Best Buy for Business™, offers that include financing, gift card offers, bundling of items, free items, pricing errors, mail-in offers, coupon offers, competitors’ service prices, items that are advertised as limited-quantity, out of stock, open-box, clearance, refurbished/used items, our and our competitor’s Deal of the Day, daily deals, special hour sale event items and credit card offers, BestBuy.com Clearance & More and Marketplace items, and items for sale Thanksgiving Day through the Monday after Thanksgiving.

The new policy unfortunately continues to exclude some of the best sales (limited quantity, “deal of the day,” etc.) and best sale days (Black Friday through CyberMonday), and limits online price matches to 19 specific stores only. That is better than most stores which don’t match any Internet prices. And, now Best Buy will also match prices for accessories which were excluded previously.

Another change that does not benefit the customer is making the low price guarantee primarily a “before purchase” price match plan. In other words, while they would previously match prices either before or after the sale, now they will only match competitors’ prices at the time of your purchase. After the sale, they will only give you back the difference if Best Buy itself lowers the price, but only within 15 days of purchase.

Why for only 15 days? Because that is the little surprise that wasn’t disclosed in Best Buy’s press release.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Effective March 3, Best Buy’s return policy is being reduced from 30 days to just 15 days for most customers.

Mouse Print* asked Best Buy’s PR department why they were reducing the return period to just 15 days when most competitors’ policies are longer than that, and whether they thought that offering a price guarantee was a fair trade for cutting the number of return days.

“Overall, our updated return and exchange policy is still generous. Best Buy does not charge restocking fees, regardless of the item. Two of our major competitors charge 15 percent restocking fees on all or some consumer electronics products. We expect the impact to our customers to be minimal. The vast majority of our customers already make returns within 15 days of the purchase. In addition, customers have told us that price is more important that return and exchange period.” –Best Buy External Affairs

Just imagine the shocked look on customers’ faces when they try to return a purchase to Best Buy between day 16 and day 30.

• • •

11 Comments

  1. I bought a 42″ LG HDTV from best buy last week asking them to do a price match from an online store called video and audio center (tax & shipping free) and to my surprise they did match it so I was very pleased.

    Comment by M3 — February 25, 2013 @ 7:33 am
  2. I don’t have a problem with this. I have no problem actually with a store that won’t price match or has a short return policy. If I’m stupid enough to buy something “on a whim” or without researching or just something that seems overpriced, I don’t see why I should be rewarded by being able to get a lower price later.

    I always thought return policies were mostly for items you purchased and were not happy with, not to be used as a way to get a better price a month later. I pretty much know within 15 days if I am happy with an item or not, especially a piece of electronics that I have probably used every day since I bought it (especially a new purchase).

    So, as always, shop around, look for the best deal. I usually buy from the place with the best deal anyway, I don’t give another store a chance to price match. If they didn’t have the best deal from the start, they don’t get my business at all.

    Comment by Gina — February 25, 2013 @ 8:19 am
  3. Again, I’d be happy if store’s matched their own online prices. Had a recent experience with Toys R Us where it was $20 cheaper at their online site, but the store would not sell it to me for that price. Wtf? I told them it was so cute they thought I would still spend money there.

    I’ve had issues with them anyway – once tried to exchange a $10 gift without a receipt and was refused. Wrote a letter to complain and they basically said the $10 item was worth more than my future business with them.

    Comment by Bryan — February 25, 2013 @ 8:39 am
  4. I’m not much for price matching, but if a store is going to use it as a positive to get customers in, it seems to me they are committing to something positive for the customer.

    Their statement, “We expect the impact to our customers to be minimal.” flat out means they expect the *change* to be negative. We just don’t know yet if the overall will be negative.

    But I won’t set foot in Best Buy because of attitudes I’ve had from 2 different stores’ employees and managers, and I’m usually a pretty agreeable customer.

    Comment by BobF — February 25, 2013 @ 8:59 am
  5. I like Best Buy’s price match policy, but reducing the return policy to 15 days is shifty. That part I do not like.

    Comment by Wayne R — February 25, 2013 @ 10:26 am
  6. Well Best Buy made one good change, but had to make some other change in order to benefit them. That is business for you..

    Comment by Richard Ginn — February 25, 2013 @ 3:25 pm
  7. Best Buy is a terrible company to do business with , i bought a computer there awile ago and have not been back . They lie and tell half-truths to their customers all the time , I hope this store closes because they are not customer service represtative at all .

    Comment by Brenda — February 25, 2013 @ 5:03 pm
  8. There is a reason why Best Buy has almost gone out of business several times. They have continually been rated as the worst in customer service polls with the worst return policy (Costco #1 best). In fact, the price match was a desperate move last holiday season. Healthy companies don’t need price gimmicks to attract consumers into their shops.

    Comment by McGillicutty — February 25, 2013 @ 9:52 pm
  9. Well, what about those of us who buy items as a gift – usually more than 15 day out? No returns? No more BB purchases from this consumer.

    Comment by MiMOM — February 26, 2013 @ 9:54 am
  10. Best Buy has seen the writing on the wall and it says “Circuit City.” Change or become a memory. BB has great store traffic as folks come in and look at the item, get a demo, check the price and then go home and buy it online somewhere else. Change or perish and it looks like they are at least making an attempt.

    Comment by Rick — February 27, 2013 @ 3:10 pm
  11. Now it might actually be an option to buy an HDMI cable from Best Buy. Who woulda thought this day would ever come?

    Comment by Marc K — February 27, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

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