As a gadget-guy, I enjoy strolling the aisles of BestBuy to see what new goodies are out there. Most of the time you can better prices from online retailers unless you’re in a pinch and must have something right then and there. And that has always been my policy — size up something locally, online shopping is simple, safe, effective and gets my coin.
About a month ago, I was nosing around in a local BestBuy and heard a fellow customer ask a clerk, “I understand you match Amazon.com prices?” The clerk said that was correct with the caveat, “…only if the item is stocked and shipped by Amazon.com.” In other words, the price matching does not extend to the Amazon.com Marketplace.
I was looking for a new camera bag and found something that caught my eye on the shelf. Costing $99, discounted to $89 in the store, I checked the Amazon.com price and found it listed for $43.77 — but surely the store wouldn’t match that price? I chatted up a salesperson and mentioned the online price. Without missing a beat, he verified the stocked and shipped by criteria, called over a manager to adjust the price, and five minutes later I was walking out with the camera bag at about half-price.
I’ve done this about three of four times in the last month, each time receiving somewhere between a 10-45% discount on whatever I’ve purchased. But it does beg the following question: How can BestBuy continue to match Internet pricing while existing as a brick-and-mortor store? I would be surprised if BestBuy continued matching throughout 2013. Surely, their overhead will either prevent continued matching or are they doomed to the fate of Circuit City and The Good Guys (both dead and gone). Time will tell but meanwhile, why wait for the Amazon.com box to arrive when I can pull the trigger and take it home right now.