This past Saturday morning, I awoke to kids who were anxious to get out of the house and spend a bit of their allowance money. They’d been planning on buying some new video games and we had Saturday mostly free so they wanted to make it happen.
While I usually encourage them to shop around for the best price (which is quite frequently found on Amazon) I had just heard about Best Buy’s new online price matching policy and I wanted to try it out.
In case you haven’t heard, Best Buy is trying to compete more effectively with the likes of Amazon and other major online competitors. Apparently only about 40% of customers who enter a Best Buy location make a purchase and they’re hoping to increase that number.
Though the new policy sounds great on the surface, a closer inspection reveals a number of loopholes. For example, the offer is not valid Thanksgiving week through Cyber Monday and it’s only valid for a specified list of 20 online retailers — including Amazon, Dell, and Walmart, but not including things like third-party sellers on Amazon or eBay.
Apparently, they can also choose not to honor the policy whenever they want. According to internal documents, they should only match the online price “when it makes sense” which is incredibly broad. Nonetheless, I thought I’d give it a shot.
We hit the store shortly after lunch and our youngest soon found what he was looking for — FIFA Street, which has a suggested retail price of $39.99. Best Buy was asking for that full amount while Amazon was selling it for $28.40, a savings of nearly 30%.
After a few minutes of searching, I found a employee. He was aware of the new policy and informed me that, as long as it was for sale from Amazon proper, and not a Marketplace seller, they’d honor it. All I had to do was show the price (on my iPhone’s screen) to the clerk at the register.
We proceeded to checkout and, sure enough, the clerk honored (after verifying it on my phone’s screen) with no questions asked.
While I’m still quite fond of the convenience and selection at Amazon, there are times when I don’t want to wait around for delivery. I’m not sure about you, but this policy will definitely make it more likely that I’ll head to Best Buy when I need something in a pinch.
No, it doesn’t improve their selection, but if they have what I want on hand, it’s pretty nice to be able to get them to match online prices with minimal hassle.