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For those who ever tried to use the Best Buy “Price Matching Policy,” here’s an excerpt from a court order in a class action about this policy. In short, if it seemed like the price matching policy just wasn’t working for you, this might explain it:

Two ex-Best Buy employees, Juan Ortiz and Boris Manzheley, have testified about the existence of Best Buy's Anti-Price Matching Policy. Ortiz was a supervisor at three Best Buy locations in Connecticut from September 2002 until March 2005.

Best Buy's Anti-Price Matching Policy
Plaintiff alleges that, contrary to Best Buy's stated and advertised price match guarantee policy, it has an undisclosed corporate Anti-Price Matching Policy of “aggressively discouraging and denying customers' proper price match requests.” (Ortiz Decl. ¶ 6.) Best Buy's corporate headquarters created the Anti-Price Matching Policy and disseminated it to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers and necessary store personnel. (Id.) The company taught its employees how to use the policy-that is, how to prevent and deny price match requests-at its district facility and training store located in New York. (Id. ¶ 7.)

Best Buy's Anti-Price Matching Policy included implementing a “multi-level” structure for price match requests in its stores, in which a customer had to discuss his price match request with “at least three levels of Best Buy representatives to have the request considered.” (Id. ¶ 7.) In every case, the policy mandated that store management *426 deny the request if a price match request caused a product to be sold at less than 5% above cost. (Manzheley Decl. at ¶ 4.) The policy gave each store an allowance for how much money it could pay for price matches. (See Ortiz Decl. ¶ 7.) Once a store exceeded its “allowance,” all price match requests had to be denied. (Id.) In addition, Best Buy gave its general managers, managers, and supervisors (to a lesser extent its associates) financial incentives to deny legitimate price match requests by offering them a weekly bonus based, in part, on the store's success in denying price match requests. (Id. ¶ 9; Manzheley Decl. ¶¶ 5-6.)

The plaintiff argues that the extent and significance of Best Buy's Anti-Price Matching Policy is reflected in defendant's internal documents. For example, on October 19, 2006, Phil Britton, a member of Best Buy's Competitive Strategies Group and long-time employee, wrote in a document entitled “Competition Insider Templates”:

Price Matches
  • It looms on the wall, on a 9 foot tall sign. Our Price Match policy. There it is, plain as day, in English (Y en espanol para los de usted que puede leerio.) However, just because it is our policy, do we abide by it? Does it really help the customer?

  • What is the first thing we do when a customer comes in to our humble box brandishing a competitor's ad asking for a price match? We attempt to build a case against the price match. (Trust me, I've done it too). Let's walk through the “Refused-Price Match Greatest Hits;”

  • Not same model? Not in stock at the competitor? Do we have a free widget with purchase? Is it from a warehouse club (they have membership fees, you know)? Limited Quantities? That competitor is across town? We've got financing! Is it an internet price? It's below cost! What about my NOP?


(Braunstein Decl. Ex. 8 at BBJM021690).

Best Buy's explanation for this document-and its blatant attempt to minimize the clear import of Britton's statement-is that, “[Britton] is a long-standing employee with a sense of humor, so whatever he said about ‘greatest hits,’ he's got a sense of humor to make things-one of our-our values is having fun while being the best, and he does embrace that.” (Cox-Feeney Test. at 140:5-9.) The plausibility of this explanation will be for a jury to decide.

Another document, labeled the “Bundle Calculator,” tells an employee how to use a “tool” to help him handle a price match request. The document explains that, “When a Customer Requests We Match a Competitors Price”

- The tool will then need to calculate the expected profit (loss) on the sale so the store employees can decide whether or not to match the price.

- After reviewing the profit, the store could decide to accept, or reject, the competitors [sic] price.

(Braunstein Decl. Ex. 9 at BBJM016444 (emphasis added).) Employees need permission to authorize a price match over a “threshold amount,” which varies by product. (Cox-Feeney Test. at 125:7-17.) If the price match exceeds the predetermined threshold amount, “then something will prompt up on the screen saying that you need a manager's approval.” (Id. at 126:3-5.)

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Where ever will I try out electronics before buying them on Amazon if this happens?

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BetterDays (Jan. 04, 2012 @ 7:49p) |

This was a good article. I enjoyed seeing BB taken to task for their weaselly announcement about not being able to fill ... (more)

BarryAndLevon (Jan. 05, 2012 @ 6:39a) |

Unless he opened the DVD, Best Buy would have accepted the return with no difficulties - I've done it in the last year. ... (more)

SUB (Jan. 05, 2012 @ 8:55a) |


I tried price matching some audio equipment at best buy once. They gave me such a hard time that I just left and bought it at a different store. It was at least 5 years before I went back into another Best Buy.

That being said, I did buy my last TV there. When it stopped working they promptly and professionally honored my extended warranty and gave me a new one.

Bwahaha... Worst Buy referred to us as "devil" customers, didn't it? Pot, kettle, black?

Their stock is down a whopping 48% over the past 5 years:

http://www.google.com/finance?q=best+buy

More proof their games are finally getting the best of them. Here's to hoping in another 5 years they'll be out of business completely.

Not surprised to see BB in court for this. The run around they give you when requesting a price match is insane.

I haven't ever made a purchase at Best Buy, however I don't see the big deal in a company implementing a price matching policy that ensures no item is sold below cost + margin.

I haven't ever made a purchase at Best Buy, however I don't see the big deal in a company implementing a price matching policy that ensures no item is sold below cost + margin.

theahnfahn said:   I haven't ever made a purchase at Best Buy, however I don't see the big deal in a company implementing a price matching policy that ensures no item is sold below cost + margin.

I agree, and as a consumer we can guarantee they don't sell any items below cost either by not buying anything there.

I have stopped shopping at Best Buy for (I forget how many) years. Online only for me.

I don't regularly shop at Best Buy, but have over the years, including this past January. Many of those times there was price-matching involved. I've never had any issues though. They've always asked me where it's a cheaper price and then either call or pull up the website. For the tv I bought in January, the employee said the difference ($150) was more than he had authority to do, so it would take a few more minutes. He called somebody on the line, explained it, and a manager walked over and punched in their code. Similar experiences with either big box or small items over the past decade.

That said, I've predominantly shopped at 5 Best Buys, so I could have just gotten the good bunch!

theahnfahn said:   I haven't ever made a purchase at Best Buy, however I don't see the big deal in a company implementing a price matching policy that ensures no item is sold below cost + margin.
It probably wouldn't be a big deal if that was part of the policy they show their customers. The fact that they have one price match policy they show the customer and another they tell their employees to abide by is the issue. They could have just chose to have a customer policy that said they didn't price match anything.

I've only shopped there three times in my life, last time on BF of 2005. I've been expecting their demise for a decade now, but I keep meeting dumb consumers who shop there and keep it afloat.

Target Price match is also ridiculous. They denies all CVS price match because it requires CVS card(which is free). Most of the grocery store in my area has such free cards so no go on price match. WalMart price match requires that you need to show such card to get price match but Target will not do price match if it requires membership in loyalty programs/cards.

Can someone explain to me how all of my favorite electronics stores have gone out of business over the past several years, but this regurgitation of a store somehow managed to survive the downturn?

Geez. Any management can come up with a policy that loses its customer base, or one that's illegal. But to come up with a marketing strategy that is both illegal AND loses customers at the same time - that's unbelievable.

thok said:   Can someone explain to me how all of my favorite electronics stores have gone out of business over the past several years, but this regurgitation of a store somehow managed to survive the downturn?

$50 hdmi cables

yeah i only go to best buy to "see" big items before i purchase like a TV etc. Several years back i was looking at buying a TV stand and found it cheaper on bestbuy.com. When i went to the store to look at it, it was like $100 more in store. They would NOT price match to their own website and refused to sell it to me at that price. I left and bought from another store nearby.

I personally do not wish the demise of worst buy or other similar stores/chains. I believe they are benefiting the prudent buyers such as FWs, by serving as displays for goods we can examine before buying online, and making extreme profit on most items from non-prudent spenders, that allows once in a while to offer items in bargain prices (to entice customers to enter the store and buy the overpriced stuff), which we can take advantage of. "Devil" stores, "devil" customers, and balance in the force...

STEALfromCAGgive2FW said:   thok said:   Can someone explain to me how all of my favorite electronics stores have gone out of business over the past several years, but this regurgitation of a store somehow managed to survive the downturn?

$50 hdmi cables


Is anyone putting a gun to customer's heads to buy it? They are doing it at their own free will.

If I could have customers willing to pay 500% gross margin for stuff I sell, I would be elighted.

Perhaps some people see it as a convinience. They can go into the store, touch it, feel, and have it right there and then.

I mean buying HDMI cables from Meritline for a $1 and waiting for them to arrive in 3-6 weeks, or planning ahead to "buy them now to use later" is beyond mental capacity of most people. If it were, the country would not have been in as bad a shape as it is now. Most people can't figure out how to stretch their paychecks for 2 weeks, and you want them to think 6 weeks in advance?

The Wiz, Circuit City, Ultimate Electronics, CompUSA... there are no more. Best buy really has no competition in retail other than a dozen of Fry's stores sprinkled throughout the country. They can do whatever they want to do.

If you think you can sell HDMI cables for $50, open up your own store, and see how it works out for you.

Thanks for remembering the angels vs. demons policy. I pretty much boycotted them from that point on.

papamicd said:   I personally do not wish the demise of worst buy or other similar stores/chains. I believe they are benefiting the prudent buyers such as FWs, by serving as displays for goods we can examine before buying online, and making extreme profit on most items from non-prudent spenders, that allows once in a while to offer items in bargain prices (to entice customers to enter the store and buy the overpriced stuff), which we can take advantage of. "Devil" stores, "devil" customers, and balance in the force...

I used to think like that but in the last several years all of my electronics have been bought sight unseen just by reading customers reviews. It's not worth going to the store to see the default configuration and talk to the salesman that knows less than I do.

I buy a lot of items online. For the bigger ticket items, I like buying through the bestbuy.com website (so I get the FW CashBack) and then select pickup in the Best Buy B&M store. If I have any problems, I can exchange it at the store vs dealing with the hassle of return shipping. Plus I can get the items the same day. The prices in the store are often higher than their own bestbuy.com website, and the online price is typically close/same to what other competitors have it for. I have two Best Buy stores within 15 minutes of my house, so it has worked well for me.

I forgot to add that I have had them price match a few items, and never had any issues.

StevenColorado said:   Geez. Any management can come up with a policy that loses its customer base, or one that's illegal. But to come up with a marketing strategy that is both illegal AND loses customers at the same time - that's unbelievable.

What really gets to me is it is not as if they are required to have a price matching policy. No one forces these stores to do this, but if they are going to do it, do it.

I hope they go out of business. I've shopped there 2 to 3 times in my entire life (Deals from Hot Deals) and it was less than pleasant every single time. Hope they go down the toilet like Circuit City.

Disclosure: I'm short BBY stock, and own put options as well.

if all B&M stores go out of business, you think Amazon won't start to rise prices?

Yes, over the years I have soured at Best Buy that I rarely if ever go there. However a few weeks ago I was in the market for a new cell phone and wanted to compare the Ipone/Android/Win7 phones. I needed to not only try the phones but look at screen size, wieght, etc. etc. I stopped into a Best Buy which was conveniently located and not only did they have a great selection but found the worker guy extremely helpful. (I'm an IT guy by trade so I know the 'tech talk'). I was pretty surprised at the positive experience I had using them to do my research.

About two weeks later I made my decision to go with an Android devices for both myself and my wife. I was going to get a higher end one for myself, and I would get a cheaper one for my wife. Lo and behold in the Target weekly circular they had the Motorola Photon for $49.99, whereas it was $199 at BestBuy. Since I really had done quite a bit of research in the store, I thought as a "courtesy" I would buy the phone at BB under the price match scenario. I went through the process of buying the phone and when it came time for the person to ring up the sale I showed him the Target flyer. His words were "sweet, that is awesome" and barely even blinked and overrode the price. I expected a little pushback but got none at all. I was a little dumbfounded! Granted I strategically waited until we were well into the process (had to pick new plan, had phone activated, etc. etc.) before I brought up the notion of a price match, but still had a very positive experience all in all. Hopefully this is a sign of change in their corporate culture.

Should the need arise, I hope I am as lucky as Spudly was. I just made a $984 computer purchase for my grand-daughter as a Xmas gift, and my only concern was that I was buying it the first weekend in November, and that maybe the price would drop as we got closer to Xmas. Salesman assured me that I had 30 days in which to bring proof it was selling for less elsewhere and I would be credited. Ummmm.....not so sure I will be should that happen. Thanks for info, I am now forewarned.

LRM216 said:   Should the need arise, I hope I am as lucky as Spudly was. I just made a $984 computer purchase for my grand-daughter as a Xmas gift, and my only concern was that I was buying it the first weekend in November, and that maybe the price would drop as we got closer to Xmas. Salesman assured me that I had 30 days in which to bring proof it was selling for less elsewhere and I would be credited. Ummmm.....not so sure I will be should that happen. Thanks for info, I am now forewarned.

If you use American Express, they have price protection guarantee, plus extend the warranty, just FYI

i was a supervisor with best buy for several years, and we had a pretty aggressive price match policy, pretty much if we could verify it, we matched it, if it was a web order, i would match the price plus shipping, our managers policy was to take the business, but we would PM anyone on the same item.

Thanks, good to know, but no, I used my Best Buy card with no interest if paid over 18 months - and of course, it will be.

I like Bestbuy since I am a Premier Silver member and they occasionally have solid loss leader sale items as well as clearance or Open Box items. But they can sometimes be a pain to deal with.

Grandparent of the year award!
LRM216 said:   I just made a $984 computer purchase for my grand-daughter as a Xmas gift

Sometimes I forget that Best Buy is actually trying to sell products. I only go there are when I'm about to make a big online purchase and want to see the product beforehand.

papamicd said:   I personally do not wish the demise of worst buy or other similar stores/chains. I believe they are benefiting the prudent buyers such as FWs, by serving as displays for goods we can examine before buying online, and making extreme profit on most items from non-prudent spenders, that allows once in a while to offer items in bargain prices (to entice customers to enter the store and buy the overpriced stuff), which we can take advantage of. "Devil" stores, "devil" customers, and balance in the force...

May the force be with you.

I think Best Buy has changed (somewhat) from their angel/devil days. Personally, I haven't had problems shopping there, even PMing every so often.

Best Buy sucks.
They denied my price match~
The manager is lied to me

Aahhhh, Scoopthis - sweet of you! Thank you. She's pretty special!

ive price matched at best buy before. it was really easy.

i wanted to buy 3 tvs for my office. i just asked for the manager. i said, "listen, i am going to buy 3 tvs rt now. i was planning to buy online where it was free shipping and no tax, but i was by here and figured i would stop in. i know it's not your policy to typically price match internet prices (here you address their concern before they bring it up), but i am going to buy the tvs anyway and if you could price match, i will buy the tvs from you right now."

he asked me how much and i just threw out a number that was like 20 percent cheaper (basically what internet price for what i was looking at was). he adjusted it and off i went with 3 tvs.

as with anything negotiation-wise, you have a lot of leverage if they know you are buying and not just shopping around and testing the waters.

If Best Buy goes under, where will I test out electronics before I buy them at an online retailer?

Skipping 49 Messages...
NewGuy said:   Forbes.com: Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually

It's an interesting article, but this part seems deceptive on the author's part:

In part because he was distracted by the “expert” sales staff prying into his personal finances instead of actually providing assistance, my friend mistakenly purchased the wrong DVD of a NASA documentary—he accidentally got one he already had. We returned the next day to exchange it for the correct one. Sorry, said the customer service staff, DVDs are “software” and can’t be returned or exchanged once sold. No exceptions.

True enough, the return “policy”—several hundred words printed on the back of the sales receipt—says that software cannot be returned. Why not? It’s our policy.

But I already have this one, my friend said. “We can’t help you.”


Unless he opened the DVD, Best Buy would have accepted the return with no difficulties - I've done it in the last year. They won't take opened software & DVDs, though.

In fact, Amazon has the same policy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_90188...



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