Monday, January 02, 2006

Price Matching - Best Buy vs. Amazon

There have been stories going around the internet this holiday season, like this one, posted at , or this one. I read both of these horror stories in the last couple of days. I was well prepared walking into Best Buy yesterday and turned out pleasantly surprised. Allow me to explain.

I bought theWife a Bluetooth headset for Christmas this year. I found a good price for it on and then, after reading all the news about's price-drop policy, and then finding the price-drop tracking website, I got a refund for $9 a couple days after Christmas.

theWife loved her gift, I got some money back on top of the good deal I got, every thing turned out great. Then theWife said it was time to get me one as well. I had received a gift card from Best Buy from theBroInLaw for Christmas, so I thought what better way to spend it, or part of it, on this for me. However, when I walked into Best Buy I was met with a bit of sticker shock. The cost of the same headset was double what I paid for it on I simply walked away, saving my gift card for another day.

I did not even think of asking them if they would price match, but by the time I had read all the bad publicity Best Buy had been receiving, I figured I would give them a shot and at least ask. The associate I spoke with, of course, had to ask his supervisor. The supervisor fleetingly nodded and said they had price matched before and told his associate to look up the price of the headset online.

I thought his eyes would pop out and hit the monitor when the results of his search came up showing a price of half of what Best Buy carried it for, but his supervisor had already told him to go ahead with the price match. I tried reassuring him that I was not trying to scam them by informing him that I would rather purchase the item from Best Buy, but how could I with a price difference like this. Here is where the catch was found, however. happened to be out of stock. I was informed that since was out of stock, they could not price match the item for me. Since they were in such a giving mood, though, I was not ready to give up just yet. I asked another simple question. How about another model?

I raced back over to the display case and found another suitable headset, this one, the HS820, was $20 more that the H500 and again the associate was taking a very long time looking it up. theWife called home, where theElderSon was, and asked him to look up the price and stock availabilty for us. In 30 seconds theElderSon told us what theAssociate could not in 5 minutes. The price was $60 cheaper on, and most importantly, it was in stock.

theAssociate finally printed off the product page, went to talk with another supervisor, came back and politely informed me that they do not usually do this, but they were making an exception because I had told they have in the past. He wrote up the order, I paid and walked out of Best Buy with the Motorola HS820 headset for less than half of what Best Buy sells it for.

I currently, for the moment at least, am a satisfied Best Buy customer.

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