Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Best Buy Might Want to Reconsider Its Own Name

A recent commercial for Best Buy pointed out something that I noticed recently about the big box electronics store. But what they pointed out isn't exactly something I'd call a selling point or a sensible marketing message.

Their latest commercials feature a hapless customer standing on a podium in front of a stadium full of energetic Best Buy salespeople who want to help answer questions. One of the responses to a question posed by the customer is that 'Best Buy will match any competitor's prices'. And herein lies the problem.

On two recent occasions, I was shopping for electronics products. First was a digital photo frame for a birthday present for my wife. I went to Best Buy and bought the frame that I thought my wife would like. The next day I did some price surfing on the internet and found out that Wal-Mart's price beat Best Buy's price by at least 20% (I apologize, I don't remember the exact prices). When I found this out, after having already bought the frame from Best Buy, I went back and got a credit for the difference in price back to my account, but only after having to stand in a long line at customer service. Not a good way to start.

Then, I recently was looking for a Flip video camera to have on hand for when my son was born (3 weeks ago tomorrow!). I shopped around the prices, and, lo and behold, Wal-Mart beat Best Buy again, this time by about $10. Not a lot, but it made my decision that much easier. Mind you, I'm not normally a shopper at Wal-Mart because I'm not a huge fan of their stores, but hey, if I can save a few bucks... why not?

My point here... if Best Buy were really trying to do a service to its customers it wouldn't offer to match any competitor's prices... it would truly offer the "best buy" in the first place.

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