During the many years that the internet has been a thing, it’s turned almost everything upside down. Including and perhaps most noticeably, retail.
Companies that once stood proud like Sears and even relative newcomers like Circuit City have come under heavy fire and in many cases sank, or are sinking in the face of the always open, lowest price in town buffet, that is buying online.
And yet, the current survivors think they are immune?
“Best Buy” – is a company that by it’s very name sake should in fact be the “best buy” right?
I have no idea what there name actually means because my smart phone routinely reminds me that Walmart and Target are often cheaper for the same item, right now – but as Best Buy so proudly points out they will “price match” anything sold and shipped by Amazon and a few others. For comparison I am not even sure people working in the “tech” section of a Walmart or Target are even human sometimes as the customer service is what I would expect in perhaps a medium security prison, forget price matching. I get it you hate your life, can I get some help over here?
But do they really “match”?
Getting it out of the way that sometimes they charge more than MSRP on something like Mac memory and often don’t even carry there highest selling products in store, because I have no idea why – the whole idea of “price matching” is that it becomes the same price.
So when I wanted to buy my daughter an ACER Chromebook 14 to replace the steadily declining quality of another clueless steadfast, HP (in another article) I thought that I could go into the nearest stocking Best Buy and walk out for the same price as buying online.
It’s important to note that Chromebooks outsell every other PC and this particular model is one of the highest rated and most sold one’s they offer and it was only stocked in one of three local stores, in Socal?
Long story short the sales human (is that PC enough?) – I say that lovingly, got a store manager who should fire it, to help knock the price down to Amazon levels and asked me to pay 322.XX to take it with me. But that’s not what I had asked and not what I expected – I asked if they could “match” Amazons price and that price was 292.XX with free overnight shipping. I wanted to leave the store with the new PC in hand for 292.XX to which the answer was “no” and they gave me some speech about sales tax etc etc.
As a consumer do I care? I want something at the lowest price and while you can trot out some speech about this or that, the reality is that wasn’t even the lowest price I could have paid – that went to some podunk company no one has ever heard of that can operate on a profit margin made from just 270.xx. (that deal has actually passed, but you can literally have it in Gold by buying online)
Of course people will say that companies can live off ramen, but the truth is leverage – Best Buy has almost 2000 stores worldwide – if they can’t use that massive buying power to undercut Ramen-Tech and make a larger profit and/or more importantly drive people into their stores for cases and overpriced sodas, are they really a business at all in this market? Or just a thing that’s here to take up mall space for awhile?
This of course overlooks the time and and money (gas etc) saved by ordering online and did I mention “free” shipping from Amazon? – it’s already at Best Buy = more profit.
Since this was originally written the author “me” found out you can actually buy the nicer IPS screen model refurbished for 40% less! Buy Now