Best Buy to Match Online Prices (WSJ)

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Link: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10000872396390444657804578...

Lede and opening grafs:

Best Buy Co. is planning to match the prices of Internet competitors such as Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.61%this holiday season, even as it plays down its concerns over shoppers browsing gadgets in stores only to buy them for less online.

The electronics chain also is preparing to offer free home delivery on merchandise that is out of stock in stores, according to a person familiar with the matter, in spite of recent remarks by new Chief Executive Hubert Joly that "showrooming" by consumers has been blown out of proportion.

The Richfield, Minn., retailer says it is taking these steps to improve the percentage of people who walk into their stores and leave with a purchase—about 40% of shoppers. "We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate," said Matthew Furman, a spokesman for Best Buy.

Best Buy's seemingly contradictory stance underscores the conundrum facing executives at many big-box chains. Aware that they need to adapt aging business models to the realities of mobile- and computer-aided shopping, they don't want to overreact or lose sight of what made them successful—that is, selection and service.

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BB is heading into the ABYSS like Circuit City.. Writing is on the wall.. I am sure they will match any and everything..... (more)

normal1 (Nov. 15, 2012 @ 9:34p) |

Sounds like Amazon's chance to deliver a head shot. They don't need to make a profit to command a 3000x P/E ratio, just ... (more)

timr37482 (Nov. 16, 2012 @ 3:21a) |

I hate going in to HHG. The employees eye you like a hawk, like they do at a new car lot (except most of the time someon... (more)

Slickone (Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:00a) |


They should have done this sooner. A lot of people would buy from BB if they simply matched the price, especially the last few days leading up to Xmas..

a lot of people would buy from BB if they actually provided a service in the form of KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF. Instead, they hire a bunch of kids who know nothing about the products they're selling. Only time I ever had a good experience with an employee was in the mobile department because he actually knew what he was talking about.

Brick and mortar stores can't hope to hire knowledgable staff and also match prices of stores with no staff. It's just not going to happen. They can have really good staff and much higher prices (making them a high-end shop), no staff and online/discount prices, or compromise with slightly high prices and crummy staff. Which way do you think they've always gone? The problem is you just can't match the online prices and have a staff and building to pay for... At least to date they haven't found a decent enough revenue source to pull it off, if you can, you can be rich!

my point was that if they're going to charge more than the online retailers, at least provide a little more value in shopping at the store. Even basic training for the employees so that they can pretend to know what they're talking about would be better than nothing.

Blah, blah. I don't find any credibility in the press release. There's going to be so many exclusions that even if you were trying to do a legit price match, the idiot in the blue coat would deny it for some invented reason. If you escalate, you might eventually win, but it won't be worth your time and stress.

Next year, yeah - when I'll start getting hit by sales tax by Amazon. In the mean time, I'll wait for the two day prime shipping.

Exclusion will still stay for BF anyway...

Yeah, I went to BB last week to return something I found cheaper on Amazon. They told me they could have price -matched it just by going on the website and verifying. I guess they're feeling the online competition pressure!

They are just making it "official"
Last year they price matched an on-line appliance discount store for me & I bought my stove from them at 1/2 price.

foglem said:   Brick and mortar stores can't hope to hire knowledgable staff and also match prices of stores with no staff. It's just not going to happen. They can have really good staff and much higher prices (making them a high-end shop), no staff and online/discount prices, or compromise with slightly high prices and crummy staff. Which way do you think they've always gone? The problem is you just can't match the online prices and have a staff and building to pay for... At least to date they haven't found a decent enough revenue source to pull it off, if you can, you can be rich!

I agree with foglem, you can't have best of both worlds -- cheap prices or having a B&M store, not to mention a decent one. Having worked with Best Buy before, I can definitely and confidently say (believe it or not) this company definitely emphasizes on quality of staff, so customer service and knowledge in their products. Best Buy has ongoing training throughout the months, store meetings each month for further training and emphasizing Best Buy's mission so we can perform towards that direction. Supervisors and managers check up on us to make sure we are following our job paths and duties. How well this is all performed varies from store to store, thus why you have good and the bad Best Buy stores.

What I am trying to say is Best Buy spends more money on the customer service than offering the best price. Fry's Electronics on the other hand is the opposite -- cheaper products but horrible staff. On top of that most employees there are 100% commission, so that helps compensate for offering cheaper prices. I can contest to the horrible staff from personal experience, from talking with employees there, and the rigors of applying for a job there. The stores I went to seem very disorganized, high theft so I can't even find products I want, employees playing the typical salesman pitch, and the employees give an I don't care attitude towards the customers and store. One of the managers there had me back and forth to the store 7 times (for a job interview) because he was either on lunch, on vacation, off that day, or random excuse. Might as well tell me not to come at all. Wasted me lots of time and gas there. Fry's Electronics is like the WalMart version of electronics.


In summary:
No B&M store = Best Prices but shipping costs and waiting for the product
Good B&M store = Worst Prices but convenient, see the product in person, and knowledgeable people to help you
Bad B&M store = Decent Prices but horrible staff

It is easy for BB to amnnounce such a PM policy when they already know upfront they will not have to honor it 99% of the time. Best Buy has gone to great lenghts in the past few years to ensure most of the electonics they sell are specific verions exclusive to Best Buy complete with UPCs no other retailer is allowed to stock. Good Luck!

wc455 said:   In summary:
No B&M store = Best Prices but shipping costs and waiting for the product
Good B&M store = Worst Prices but convenient, see the product in person, and knowledgeable people to help you
Bad B&M store = Decent Prices but horrible staff

Or as I once heard someone smarter than me say,

Good prices, good service, convenience, pick any two.

They've been price matching for a while. I bought an apple airport extreme recently at the Amazon Price. $20 savings. You just have to ask and they'll go online and check the price.

Garhart13 said:   They've been price matching for a while. I bought an apple airport extreme recently at the Amazon Price. $20 savings. You just have to ask and they'll go online and check the price.

Hmm, you might have gotten lucky with that one. Stores can make exceptions, but it is against store policy to do so. When I worked at Best Buy, plenty customers came up to price match online prices and I had to reject every single one of them. Either that or in your case Best Buy already started price matching ONLY for the holiday season, so it is only temporary.

Bestbuy needs to close up Brink in Mooter stores are all but dead for electronics they have 5 years left if they are lukky

yea, that was the policy in 2005 when i worked there


Garhart13 said:   They've been price matching for a while. I bought an apple airport extreme recently at the Amazon Price. $20 savings. You just have to ask and they'll go online and check the price.

The Wall Street Journal did a follow-up story yesterday, giving more details of the new Best Buy online price matching policy:

WSJ story

In short, they exclude Black Friday week and Cyber Monday, consumers will have to ask for the price match, only 20 specific online stores are covered, and staff will only match the online price "when it makes sense."

Weasels.

It looks like they want us "devil customers" to return to help them.

Ha!

I hope Best Buy goes the way of the dinosaurs...EXTINCTION!

But than all we'll have is hhgregg.
Nobody wants that do they?

I wonder if BB will match their online prices? I remember going to customer service, handing them my item and asking them to price match the online price. Said no, so I had to go out to my car, put on my reading glasses, order it online and walk back into store, talk to same person, get same item I left at the desk, and show my drivers license for id. Wow, that was easy..

Curious to see if bb will take no tax into account @amzn when doing PMs, especially on more expensive products.

Genius069 said:   Curious to see if bb will take no tax into account @amzn when doing PMs, especially on more expensive products.

Dont make me laugh. Of course they will add tax to price-matched price, i.e., if you manage to get them to price-match in the first place. I think you have a better chance getting it if you bang your head against a rock . This is WorstBuy we are talking about.

MrConsumer said:   The Wall Street Journal did a follow-up story yesterday, giving more details of the new Best Buy online price matching policy:

WSJ story

In short, they exclude Black Friday week and Cyber Monday, consumers will have to ask for the price match, only 20 specific online stores are covered, and staff will only match the online price "when it makes sense."

Weasels.


lmao, I rest my case.

Genius069 said:   Curious to see if bb will take no tax into account @amzn when doing PMs, especially on more expensive products.

Amazon charges Tax for some but not all. You're lucky. Don't count on it with WB.

Still not going to Best Buy (ganda)

I click the button, the UPS man puts in it my garage 2 days later (at most). Why waste the time/money driving to a B&M store? So I can interact with the spotty oiks they employ?

Genius069 said:   Curious to see if bb will take no tax into account @amzn when doing PMs, especially on more expensive products.You mean the tax you're supposed to be paying on out-of-state and mail order purchases?

As some others have said, the store by me has already been doing this, and they weren't very anal about it either. About a month ago I got $40 off on a Slingbox and $10 off on a video game. I just showed them the online prices on my phone and they ok'd it, no fuss and no mention of being limited to certain sites only.

I'm sure it's YMMV when it comes to very deep discounts like BF.

yeah, was visiting the best buy in charlottesville, va several weeks ago to return some blurays, and gave "found it cheaper on Amazon" as my reason..when i expressed my surprise, the guy specifically stated it's a store-by-store policy. charlottesville's a college town though, so probably a few more savvy shoppers, hahah.

so anyway, he pulled up Amazon, typed in the name and pricematched the first thing that showed up, which might've actually been a dvd? but because it was a bestbuy.com purchase, he looked up an old receipt and did a price adjustment of the difference, which i added up on my phone. real nice guy, though.

billrubin said:   Genius069 said:   Curious to see if bb will take no tax into account @amzn when doing PMs, especially on more expensive products.You mean the tax you're supposed to be paying on out-of-state and mail order purchases?

My state offers us a flat rate (based on a percentage of your income) option for online sales tax. You can calculate your actual sales tax due, or you can just pay the flat rate (which is only about $30 for me) and then buy as much as you want "tax free" online while still remaining in compliance with the law. So if I spend $2000 online throughout the year, $1500 of that is tax free. The only exclusion to this flat rate option is that you still are require to pay tax on individual items costing over $500.

the other thing best buy still can't close the gap on is young 20s consumers who can do all their research online and purchase online. for many nowadays, the time waste of getting in the car to go to stores makes Amazon prime so valuable. me personally, as I'm getting ready to welcome our first child, my evenings at home are more valuable than anything.

out of curiosity, has anyone heard any more details about this, like when it starts, or has actually gone to their b&m store to try it out? tempted to try to combine with the $5 upgrade and save promotion that ends this week..

Will they match shady Brooklyn store fronts? You know the one selling the Nikon D800 for $1200

BB is heading into the ABYSS like Circuit City.. Writing is on the wall.. I am sure they will match any and everything.. They have to or they are going BYE BUY

Sounds like Amazon's chance to deliver a head shot. They don't need to make a profit to command a 3000x P/E ratio, just increase revenue, which they can do by undercutting everyone. Then when everyone's out of business, Amazon can jack the prices up and reward their faithful investors. Which has kinda been the plan all along. Best Buy's just helping them achieve it faster this Xmas.

OT: I went to the brand new HR Gregg's today. There must have been a hundred red shirts manning the place. I thought of Star Trek.

timr37482 said:   Sounds like Amazon's chance to deliver a head shot. They don't need to make a profit to command a 3000x P/E ratio, just increase revenue, which they can do by undercutting everyone. Then when everyone's out of business, Amazon can jack the prices up and reward their faithful investors. Which has kinda been the plan all along. Best Buy's just helping them achieve it faster this Xmas.

OT: I went to the brand new HR Gregg's today. There must have been a hundred red shirts manning the place. I thought of Star Trek.

I hate going in to HHG. The employees eye you like a hawk, like they do at a new car lot (except most of the time someone at the car lot runs out to your car before you even get inside). It's really uncomfortable. If they just leave the customer alone, with so many employees standing around, the customer will have no problem finding someone when they need help.



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