Friday, July 8, 2011

Open Box? Best Buy Shopping Tips

Lets talk a bit about Best Buy.

Not really going to go on a rant here, although there are SO many things i could say about Geek Squad. Today I'm gonna touch more on their "open box" items. Basically they are either returned items or floor/display models that are being sold at a discount price.

For the most part it's the same as buying a new item with the exception that sometimes there are missing parts. To my knowledge Best Buy does a good job detailing what may be missing from said equipment but I'd love to hear comments saying otherwise. I've bought open box items many times in the past and I can honestly say that I've never had a problem with a used item that made me wish I bought it new (from Best Buy.)

So then what's there to talk about? The pricing. Take this example:

I recently saw something I was interested in buying and I had 3 choices. The "new" which was priced at 79.99. A "open box" item that was previously returned with all components at 69.99. And finally another "open box" item that was missing the manual and the actual box it came in, for 79.99! Obviously something didn't make sense and after asking a few questions I discovered that the ORIGINAL price of said item was 99.99 so the 79.99 price tag was a discount from that, ($20 off.) Some time later the item went on clearance for 79.99 and thats why the other open box item was even cheaper.

Which leads me to tip #1; compare prices of identical items. Mistakes are made all the time so don't get caught paying too much for something that recently went on clearance. If you see a discrepancy don't be afraid to ask questions.

Well, it turned out that both "open box" items were supposed to be marked as 69.99. And that leads me to my next question. Why? Why does a item missing parts get the SAME discount as a item that is new, with the exception of being opened once before. They told me that it has to do with the age of each item, but that really didn't help explain anything.

I ended up getting the one that still had a box and manual since it felt like I'd be getting the smarter deal and went home. I decided to do some price comparisons to see if I could have gotten a better deal somewhere else and I was surprised to see a 69.99 price tag... from BEST BUY'S WEBSITE! So, in the end, I ended up paying the regular price for a open box item.

Tip #2; always compare online prices with retail locations. For the most part large stores like Best Buy all go by the same price structure so the website would probably be the most accurate source for price updates. Just make sure that any online pricing is not exclusive to online promotions or deals.

Now comes the fun part, going back to the store to question the price discrepancy. Tip #3; make sure that if you complain about a price difference that it's actually for the correct model. Check model numbers. Sometimes discounts only apply to certain models or packages so don't start a fight you cant win.

Well I'll make a future blog with the results of my investigation, but before I close, just one more question. If the original price was 99.99 and the open box discount was $20 off, then shouldn't the 79.99 price been $20 off? What should the discount be for the 69.99 price tag? Also, how much money would need to be on the line for you to want to dispute pricing? Leave your comments below and see ya' next blog!

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