Best Buy announced, in my opinion, a pretty great policy change. One that will increase competitiveness in the marketplace and keep prices in check. What does this entail?
What Is Showrooming?
Showrooming, or the act of going to a physical, brick-and-mortar retail location to scope out a product and then buy it for a lower price elsewhere – usually online, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s no great secret that if you’ve got a savvy bone in your body you can save a significant amount of money by shopping around and comparing prices, especially when you add the online marketplace in to the equation.
Best Buy has been hit pretty hard by this phenomenon, and rightfully so! They did not do nearly enough to remain competitive and they suffered because of it. Point in case, look at the stores they’ve closed just in the last year alone. If companies do not or can not keep up, they fall by the wayside, that’s just a principle of free commerce, period. Well, Best Buy has done something pretty significant to try and remain competitive, here’s how it breaks down.
How It Works
Beginning March third, Best Buy will institute a price matching guarantee. If you enter their store shopping for a TV and find your desired set and can prove it’s available at another local retailer or more than a dozen online competitors for a lower price, they will match it in the store. Best Buy actually set this same policy in motion during the 2012 holiday rush and it worked very well for them. This is their permanent version.
Price matching can be requested on a product for up to 15 days after the initial purchase, meaning you’ve got 15 days to find a lower price for the Walkman you just purchased.
The following online retailers are part of Best Buy’s price match guarantee:
BH Photo Video
As you can see, that’s a pretty extensive list of places to browse through to scope pricing on whatever it is you’re shopping for. If you’re in a Best Buy and you have decided on the item you wish to purchase, simply pull out your smart phone, or to make it quicker, go to their computer section and hop online to search through these places. Odds are that pricing will probably be pretty consistent throughout most of the venues but if you can save a few bucks, why not!?
Don’t forget to check with your local retailers as well when doing price comparison, there can sometimes be major deals to be had at these locations that may not be advertised online for whatever reason.
What Does This Mean For Me?
Simple. The days of browsing through an electronics showroom, finding what you want to purchase, going home, finding it for a lower price online, ordering it, paying for it (and sometimes shipping) and then waiting for your new, exciting purchase to show up…is over! One stop, with a tiny bit of research in to competitive pricing, and you’re some cash poorer but on your way home with your brand new i-device or TV or whatever it is you just purchased. AND you don’t have to even think about the possibility of overpaying, you’ve done your research.
As to how this will help Best Buy in the long run, who knows. I think that will depend on how they continually adapt to the ever changing market. Sink or swim is the hard motto of the marketplace and this move should at least contribute to putting Best Buy back afloat.
As always, comments and questions are very welcome!
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