Best Buy Blues

General and high profile video game topics.
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VideoGameCritic
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Best Buy Blues

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 11th, 2017, 7:32 pm

I stopped by Best Buy today and have some thoughts to share about the experience.

Normally I buy everything off Amazon but having some people over soon and wanted an extra PS4 controller. Guess how much they were? $65! It's only $48 on Amazon. Now, I realize they can't match Amazon on price, but they could at least make an effort to be close.

If the video game section at Best Buy is any indication, I can see why people have resorted to digital distribution. The selection was really poor and the games were disorganized and unpriced. Plus the area is so cramped you don't really feel like hanging around there.

So I get in line and there are only two people in front of me. But it still takes 10+ minutes because there's only one cashier! Adding insult to injury, when I look around I see literally dozens of blue-shirted employees just lounging around. I almost tossed the controller on a nearby shelf and walked out.

When I got up to the register I noticed a trend in that physical stores are trying to be like online stores. For one thing, they are always trying to get personal information out of you (email, phone number). And they try to nickel and dime you with extended replacement plans or whatever. Probably a better example of this was my recent trip to Valvoline for an oil change. I had to answer so many questions I felt like I was on trial. I hate that.

Whenever I go into Best Buy I feel as if I am trying to give them my money but they are doing everything in their power to chase me out. There is no reason why they shouldn't have a great selection of games and the ability to ring you up fast. It could be that this particular store is poorly managed, but I've seen this at other stores, and I suspect it starts at the top.

I picked the camouflaged controller by the way. The problem is, I can't ever FIND the damn thing!!

LS650
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby LS650 » February 11th, 2017, 9:01 pm

So, is it that people are unwilling to pay because of lousy service - or is it lousy service because of people unwilling to pay?

There's a lot of overhead involved with running a brick & mortar, far, far more than you might expect. You're paying for the building and land, taxes on the property, service fees,etc. - and human staff are expensive. Human resources generally cost about 50% on top of salary: if someone is getting paid $20/ hour, all the additional costs of overhead and benefits drive the real cost for that employee up to $30/hour.

Mom & Pop stores all over North America have pretty much been killed by the big box stores; now the big box stores are being slowly killed off by online. People made the decision that it was more important to save money than to pay for better support and service, and so here we are.

Paul Campbell
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby Paul Campbell » February 11th, 2017, 11:21 pm

And I have to admit, Amazon is doing a pretty good job making people comfortable with their ability to provide service after the sale, even at a distance. I have had Amazon bend over backwards fixing a problem that they had no proof I wasn't completely fabricating to benefit myself in some way.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby Retro STrife » February 12th, 2017, 1:51 am

It's tough to beat Amazon for new items, with their great prices and 2-day shipping for Prime members. I'm usually willing to wait the 2 days rather than dealing with the time and hassle of a retail store. It's very rare that I go to a real store for any gaming or electronics stuff anymore.

However, here's a tip for next time Dave.... you said you realize they can't match Amazon's price... well, actually they can.. you just have to ask! Best Buy, and many other big-box retailers, will price-match their competitor stores and certain online retailers, including Amazon. Of course, they don't tell you this at the register- you have to mention it. I do this all the time--if I'm about to buy something pricey at Walmart, Best Buy, Target etc., I'll check the prices on Amazon and competitor stores to see if they have a better price, and then get price matched at the register. $65 is way too expensive (even though it's Sony's MSRP), but they would have matched Amazon's $48. You might be able to bring it back and have them do a return and rebuy to get you the discount. Here's the Best Buy policy by the way:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/help-topics ... 7300050000

Voor
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby Voor » February 12th, 2017, 8:16 am

Yeah, businesses started online matching a while back, specifically to compete with Amazon. Give me a call and I bet they'll help you out.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 12th, 2017, 10:44 am

Thanks for the price-matching tip. Although the lady working their looked so overwhelmed I'm not confident she would have been able to help me with that.

My credit card has a service where they find the best price after the purchase and refund you the difference, so I'm going to take that route.

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C64_Critic
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby C64_Critic » February 12th, 2017, 3:04 pm

LS650 wrote:So, is it that people are unwilling to pay because of lousy service - or is it lousy service because of people unwilling to pay?

There's a lot of overhead involved with running a brick & mortar, far, far more than you might expect. You're paying for the building and land, taxes on the property, service fees,etc. - and human staff are expensive.


All true. Yet until about the past decade, it seemed like walking into a store, finding what you want (with a price that's easy to find), and then paying for it and being on your way was never a problem. Somehow, now, it is. I can't stand constantly being quizzed for personal info, being hounded about becoming a member of whatever special discount club the store in question is hawking, mystery pricing, and lazy or surly employees. I think all the lousy, uncaring, incompetent employees that Circuit City used to employ all moved over to Best Buy when CC went out of business because that's about the same I noticed trips to Best Buy seeming more and more like ordeals. For standard gaming-related stuff like getting a new controller, I'd just go to Target and avoid Best Buy altogether. Outside of this forum I sent a message to the Critic about my last Best Buy experience, just before Christmas, attempting to buy an Xbox One game for my son; mission accomplished, but they made it the most painful possible experience for me and I haven't been back since.

I don't mind paying a little more for the ability to run out and buy something locally without having to wait for delivery, but don't make it so difficult for me to simply buy something you're (ostensibly) hoping to sell!

Steve
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby Steve » February 12th, 2017, 8:18 pm

The sad part about all of this is that as soon as the retail stores go out of business, the prices on Amazon/online will skyrocket.

pacman000
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby pacman000 » February 13th, 2017, 8:54 am

So I get in line and there are only two people in front of me. But it still takes 10+ minutes because there's only one cashier! Adding insult to injury, when I look around I see literally dozens of blue-shirted employees just lounging around. I almost tossed the controller on a nearby shelf and walked out.

The length of the line sounds about average, when compared to Wal-Mart, & Wal-Mart wouldn't have anyone to help you if you had a question. It takes 10+ minutes to enter your credit card info anyways, so I have no trouble buying at an actual store.

$65 is way too expensive (even though it's Sony's MSRP), but they would have matched Amazon's $48.
Can Amazon do this? Doesn't Sony have a MAP agreement? Can you be sure you're not getting an "unofficial" "Sony" controller? Amazon has had pirated produvts in the past...

So, is it that people are unwilling to pay because of lousy service - or is it lousy service because of people unwilling to pay?

There's a lot of overhead involved with running a brick & mortar, far, far more than you might expect. You're paying for the building and land, taxes on the property, service fees,etc. - and human staff are expensive. Human resources generally cost about 50% on top of salary: if someone is getting paid $20/ hour, all the additional costs of overhead and benefits drive the real cost for that employee up to $30/hour.

Mom & Pop stores all over North America have pretty much been killed by the big box stores; now the big box stores are being slowly killed off by online. People made the decision that it was more important to save money than to pay for better support and service, and so here we are.
This is one of those moments I wish this board had a karma system. +1 from me! :)

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Rookie1
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Re: Best Buy Blues

Postby Rookie1 » February 13th, 2017, 10:53 am

I rarely buy anything In store anymore with the exception of groceries of course. Unless I find a crazy deal, everything is purchased on either Amazon or Ebay.

Of all the stores I go to, BB has the best price-match policy though. I have shown them the Amazon app on my phone and priced matched several things right at the register. They rarely have the specific things I am looking for, but if they do I will always get it priced matched.

Target has an ok price match policy as well, but you have to do it at the service desk which is a pain in the a$$. I price matched a phone there once and had to have someone walk it all the way to the service desk, get it matched, and then walk it all the way back to electronics to unlock the security wrap and activate it. Took almost 30 minutes.

Wal-Mart is hit or miss. Some will price match amazon, some wont, some have no idea what I am even talking about. For example, I have 2 close to me and one thats a little out of the way. Of the two close to me, one will price-match amazon and the other wont. The one thats out of the way always gives me the "I dont know if I can do that" and then the 20 year old assistant manager says "let me check on this" and never comes back.


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