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.
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.
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.