Best Buy's Secret "Employee Only" In-Store Website Shows Different Prices Than Public Website

Have you ever found a deal at Best Buy’s website only to travel to the store and find that the “sale” is over? Did the Best Buy employee show you “proof” on their “website”? It now seems that there are really TWO websites, and they’re identical except for the prices. Here’s the deal:

• You walk into a Best Buy to purchase a sale item you saw on their site.

• The employee tells you that the item is no longer on sale, and shows you what looks to be Best Buy’s website, but it’s really a secret intranet that Best Buy’s corporate office denies exists. The price on the website shows that the sale is over.

• You cry and leave, then at home you see that the sale isn’t over at all. What happened?

The Hartford Courant investigated this phenomenon throughly and are convinced the secret “intranet” exists. Their columnist actually saw it:

Many employees I talked with said they had no idea there is an internal site. But two employees at two different stores confirmed to me that there is an intranet site available only to employees.

One long-time employee showed me the intranet site Hammer and I had been led to believe was the bestbuy.com site.

The salesman told me it was a site that only employees could access because it contained confidential information as well as item prices.

Moral of the story? Bring a printout of BestBuy.com and also ask for the secret intranet price to be quoted to you. Sometimes it’s more, but sometimes it’s less.—MEGHANN MARCO

Computer Purchase Reveals Website Confusion [Hartford Courant]

Comments

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  1. TedSez says:

    “Confusion” is an interesting word for this practice. “Fraud” might be a better one.

  2. Coder4Life says:

    This is true the intranet site offers more products as well.

    The website has almost no load time, meaning its an intranet. It runs on thier own software, not IE 7. Soemthing that bestbuy created themselves.

    The prices never looked into it, but it is not the same thing you look at online.

  3. Kos says:

    Can we say Deceptive Business Practices? See http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c44/a46.html

    • Anonymous says:

      @Kos:

      fraud? there is an ‘internal’ site with the same look and feel of the website. it is an intranet, but its a graphical representation of what is actually in the store. bestbuy.com and the store dont always have the same prices, duh…thats no secret. should they? thats anotherdiscussion. fact is, no fraud because if u want the ONLINE price, then buy it ONLINE. if you want to pick it up, then you pay the in-store price. the ‘kiosk’ is just an easy way for the customers to see whats in’stock in that particular store, without having to wait on a rep to look it up in the strictly text based RSS. calm down people

  4. crayonshinobi says:

    Holy subterfuge batman!

  5. mikesfree says:

    Interesting, I had to show circuit city a discount using my Sprint PDA/Phone that they couldn’t find. Of course, they werent trying very hard either.

  6. I am a previous Best Buy employee and I can say for a fact that I’ve never seen this so-called “intranet.” I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, and in fact I have no trouble believing there’s yet another layer of fraud to that store. I’m sure the managers know about it, but all of my co-lackeys surely did not.

  7. kerry says:

    Whenever I’ve tried to get Best Buy to match a Bestbuy.com price I’ve been told that they do not pricematch online retailers, even their own site. The BB near me has internet terminals in the store so customers can get the online price and do in-store pickup from the store itself. Bringing the printout would do no good, as they are not required to match bestbuy.com prices (or so they would have me believe at multiple stores).
    That said, Circuit City *will* pricematch bestbuy.com sales, so just take that printout and walk it over to CC, instead.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    What a coincidence.. I experienced this a while ago. I browsed the online version of the Best Buy store ad. I saw a Motorola phone charger clearly on sale for $25. The website also indicated that it was on sale for $25. So I go to the store and the item rings up at full price. I said that it’s on sale in the store ad. So I go over and pick up a paper copy of the store ad near the entrance. Huh?! It’s not there! I go over to the intranet station and the item comes up full price too. WTF?

    And then this Best Buy employee asked me what I was looking for. I told him what was going on. And then he said, “ohh, that happens all the time”. He brought me over to his terminal and showed me the wrong price. And then he logged into something; Either a different intranet or maybe accessing the outside internet. And then he shows me the correct sale price.

    So there you have it.. price discrepancies in the online store ad, the paper ad, the Best Buy website, and the Best Buy intranet.

  9. HawkWolf says:

    Kerry, that’s odd. I bought speakers in-store and price-matched them with the BestBuy.com website.

    I still think the fact that I can get a different price online and in the store is some sort of fraud as well. I don’t care if it’s called a ‘sale’. Best Buy is Best Buy is Best Buy is Best Buy. If Best Buy != BestBuy.com then it shouldn’t have the big freakin’ Best Buy logo all over the damn thing.

  10. Kerry is exactly right, here’s a copy of both the bestbuy.com and best buy store price matching guidelines.

    Bestbuy.com price matching guidelines:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site//olspage.jsp?type=page&content

    Best Buy store price matching guidelines:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?type=page&category

    You have some leeway for argument but chances are they’re going to stand firm.

  11. InsaneNewman says:

    Most associates probably wouldn’t be aware of this (it’s not something they train), but it is true that there are two sites. When you go to any BestBuy.com kiosk in the store, it loads to an intranet site called kiosk.bestbuy.com. However, there was a workaround for employees who actually care – on Employee Toolkit, there was a section called external links, which listed both BestBuy.com (Web Pricing) and BestBuy.com (In-Store Pricing). Allegedly, this system exists to serve up in-store prices on store products while you’re there (Don’t ask me why).

    Additionally, most stores will match BestBuy.com if you badger them enough… though technically they don’t have to, it makes absolutely no sense to not take the revenue on that specific day. (Though they won’t match offers like “get a free DVD Recorder with purchase of an HDTV” because they say that their financing and in-store freebees supersede the online offers… and price matching of other stores never includes “offer matching” anyway.)

  12. CaptainRoin says:

    the BestBuy near me has a lappy with a Verizon wireless web card, I usually use that one to check my own prices before I buy something. I’ve even looked up things on newegg.com (while standing in bestbuy) and decided to order from there instead of bestbuy.

  13. tork says:

    This is conspiracy theory B.S.

    Best Buy does have an intranet but it is for internal training purposes, internal communication and a way to distribute information (new prices / packages) to employees. If someone checks the intranet and it has not been updated then that is simply a mistake … there is obviously not as much urgency to update an intranet site. This does not use internal software either … it uses internet explorer and windows. You people are looking to cause strife because of your own previous problems.

    Seriously!

    The only thing you should do is just make sure that when online prices are checked that the actual online site is used on a regular computer, not a terminal … each best buy has these available … for example every display laptop with wireless.

  14. matto says:

    can someone tell me why anyone would voluntarily shop at best buy?

  15. BestBuy.com is a subsidiary owned by BestBuy, the stores are a separate subsidiary. The two businesses are actually in a sort of competition, much like each of the stores are in a sort of competition with each other.

    The website prices are competitive against the stores. BestBuy.com wants you to order from the website. They have their own stock/warehouses and their own motivations for particular sales which usually do not match up with the stores’ motivations.

    If you really want to get something at the store for the internet price you can order the item online and choose to have in-store pickup (if available).

    However, the price difference generally is no more than 10% on items between $50 and $100. It’s very minimal, especially from BestBuy’s standpoint.

    The whole thing can be compared to buying milk at two different locations of the same supermarket chain. Each location is likely to have milk for a different price, depending on stock, demand, wholesale price, etc. Milk will go on sale at supermarket #1 because they have an overstock that will expire soon, but not at supermarket #2 because their stock is not critical.

    It’s not a conspiracy or a trick on the part of the corporation, though if an individual employee misleads you in some way (other than a simple misunderstanding of internet sales vs. store sales) it is on their head and you most definitely should tell their manager (escalate to regional manager if necessary).

  16. XStylus says:

    Sorry Tork, it’s no theory (and in BestBuy’s defense, probably not a conspiracy either). InsaneNewman was absolutely correct.

    There are two separate websites — one that is shown in stores (kiosk.bestbuy.com, accessible only through the store’s intranet), and the main site (www.bestbuy.com).

    If you ask an associate politely enough, they’ll let you access the regular website. Most aren’t aware of the difference though, so if you find a discrepancy, take a moment to politely educate them.

  17. Tigernetic says:

    Actually, here’s the common misconception that needs to be cleared up. There is no “secret intranet.” There is, however, an internal Plumtree-esque portal used for resources, education and inventory management, similar to what every major company in the world does (including Microsoft, Boeing, MasterCard, et. al.). Management doesn’t deny this exists — they simply (and correctly) tell inquiring customers that it’s none of their business.

    Best Buy *does*, according to policy, pricematch with the website — so long as the items are still in stock and orderable. When a customer orders an item from BestBuy.com within the store, said store receives the revenue from it. As a result, the prices shown from BestBuy.com internally will match the in-store prices. From a standard store kiosk, upon loading BestBuy.com a script runs to determine what store it’s from and the prices adjust accordingly.

    We’ve noticed this as associates, because customers will bring in printouts of stuff from home that reflect different prices. As a result, we use our workarounds to check the site from a standard web browser instead of the internally-supplied one. This isn’t deceptive business practices, it simply has to do with the way inventories are set up between the two systems. As employees, we take that with a grain of salt and work with things the best we can. That’s all. It’s unbecoming to post a misinformed rant slandering the company of deceptive practices. Perhaps you might assess your own.

  18. YellowDucati says:

    Bait…….

  19. YellowDucati says:

    …..Then Switch!

  20. overclocker89 says:

    Travis is correct. I work for Best Buy, and we will always match Bestbuy.com. The .com warehouse is different from the store warehouses. However as far as finding the price of an item in store, a sales associate could do it a few different ways. First by taking to a register and doing a price check, this is the price at that current time in the store. This will not show any online sales prices. Another way is to pull up the stores inventory system, which shows the current in store price, and if it is on sale in the store or not. I.E it will show sales price: 19.99 regular 21.99. Finally they might use the computers in the store, using internet explorer 6, to go to http://www.bestbuy.com to lookup the price.

  21. ekdikeo says:

    Utter bollocks. Just bring a laptop with a wireless connection. They intentionally leave it open.

    It’s probably a cached copy of the actual website from first thing in the morning.

  22. pnorth_12 says:

    I’m a part-time employee at best buy, working for the discount, so basically don’t have too much allegiance to them. So when I say usually the people that come in and make a big deal about it are cheap bastards, it’s from the heart. Take 2 minutes order it online and select pickup in store if your so worried about the $10 your going to save. Most of the time time they don’t bother with matching a price because you were such a jerk about it – come over when I’m there, be polite, ask nicely and I’ll give you the world – be an ass and I’ll be one right back and tell you to order it online or to buy it somewhere else. As a sidenote the best sale I ever had was when some jerk said he’d go somewhere else if I didn’t cut him a crazy deal so I gave him directions to circuit city – he knew I wouldn’t put up with his crap and respected that – he stayed and bought $15,000 worth of home theater equip.

    Moral of this story – don’t be a jerk- they are non-commision and couldn’t give a rats ass about you – treat them with respect and they will do the same for you.

  23. Juancho says:

    Kerry is very right. I had this happen with a CD about a year and a half ago. It was on sale on the site, but rang up full price in-store. I politely asked, “You don’t price match to your own site?” They said they didn’t, but it would be alright and they could let it go through…this time.

    Yeah, right.

  24. billhelm says:

    A few weeks ago when I was picking up something at my local best buy, one of the employees told me that often prices are lower on the online site than in store. I asked because an item I wanted to buy was not marked down on the shelf in the store to the same price on the website (but it was marked down in the register).

  25. I work for a 3rd party that does demonstrations in Best Buy occasionally. Online prices are different, in many cases, than in-store prices. If you get the manager, typically they will adjust the price for you.

    There is a lot of markup that they get to play with…. (Can you imagine paying 34.99 for a six foot USB A-B printer cable?)

  26. kerry says:

    @pnorth_12:
    What are people who only want to buy DVDs and such supposed to do, then? You can’t pick those up in-store, and often the price difference between the site and the store is enormous.

  27. in regards to smaller items (CDs, DVDs, etc): don’t assume that the price stickered onto the packaging is the correct price. The stores rarely re-sticker merchandise if the price changes.

    If the price at the website is significantly different, there’s a good chance that the item will ring up differently from the sticker.

  28. hop says:

    i don’t buy from best buy if i can possible help it…..most of their sale stuff is rebate anyway………

  29. Kat says:

    At my store, their wireless connection is NOT open to the public.

  30. Diokhan says:

    On one occasion, I’ve seen two Best Buys within 15 miles of each other (in Northern Virginia)show different prices in their weekly add for the same thing. Is that practice well known or not?

  31. crankymediaguy says:

    Travis Anderson said:

    “BestBuy.com is a subsidiary owned by BestBuy, the stores are a separate subsidiary. The two businesses are actually in a sort of competition, much like each of the stores are in a sort of competition with each other.”

    Travis, that’s nonsense. If they’re co-owned they are NOT “in competion with each other” by definition.

    This situation exists for one reason: to defraud the public. Period.

  32. 420greg says:

    I had this happen to me when I was trying to buy a digital camera around Christmas. I was able to pull up ‘the real’ outside website on my BlackBerry and show them the lower price. The inside site had it for $40 more.

  33. teknoshake says:

    Looks like crankymediaguy has never owned/managed his own retail business before. Co-ownership does not necessarily imply a lack of competition. If you own any business (or multiple businesses) that has more than one location and tell me that the managers are NOT in competition with one another… you are either a liar or an inept businessman.

    Competition and incentive are the only things that drive sales. I have no idea about the relationship between Best Buy and their online counterpart, but I can guarantee the situation does not exist solely to “defraud the public”. A statement like that shows ignorance of actual business experience.

  34. FLConsumer says:

    Can someone explain to me why people STILL shop at this store?

  35. Paulj says:

    My optimistic self hopes that this is a simple case of misunderstanding and that employees have access to ‘employee’ pricing. Possibly this is an isolated incident by a select few employees using the system to mess with Best Buy and their customers.

    Then again, I wouldn’t put anything past corporate America.

    540interactive

  36. V-effekt says:

    At my Bestbuy, when I checked out and noticed a higher price for the item than on the website, the cashier told me that their computer had higher prices than the web site. She freely admitted this, and told me that the customer service desk has access to the ‘real website’ and they can do a price match. I thought it was odd and lame, because they seemed to be hoping that I wouldn’t notice. But at least they gave it to me at the lower price, after getting into another line, requesting a price match, sigining a sheet of paper, waiting for a manager, waiting for them to print out the lower price, sign papers, etc. ;)
    Nice corporate practice, jerks.

    I was actually surprised that they were so open about it at my store in Pittsburgh, PA.

  37. Chiller says:

    Here at the Canadian stores, we do match the online with the exception of some offers which are labelled clearly on the listing as being “Online Only”.

    All our kiosk computers access the same website as the one you can visit from home http://www.bestbuy.ca with the exception that they are identified as a kiosk instead of a home computer, so we can ring through online orders with a credit card reader.

    It sometimes may happen that our register systems disagree with the online price (either more expensive or cheaper, and if that’s the case then we take the time to correct it, and we let the other associates in that department know so they can do the same for other customers.

    I work in Computers myself, and we’re encouraged to help out the customers first and foremost, not employing any pressure tactics or anything else like that. In fact, I myself have called other stores to verify prices for customers, and I redirect them to where they might need to go if we don’t carry an item they need, or don’t have it in stock. I check out their computers, and I happily give them any information that they need.

    What does this get me from my sueprvisor?
    A smile, a high five, and a thanks for always being there to help customers out. I’m not the only one either.

    I can understand customer frustration if you’re waiting there in line for something, or maybe no one comes around to help you out. I can’t speak for every store, but I know that this happens at mine only when there are really more customers than we can handle at that time. People will ask us why there aren’t more people working, but really, can we anticipate what demand will be at any given time? We do try to schedule more people in during busier periods, but that might not always be the case.

    As far as anything else goes, we’ll take the time to explain it to you if we can, or set it right. We might not always be at the top of our game, but we try.

    So now I’m rambling…

  38. bduck says:

    Absoluetly, the “company” sire exists at Best Buy. exists.

    I went to get a Apple Video iPod a couple of weeks ago and had looked up the price on bestbuy.com. I went to my local Best Buy store, and it was $12 higher.

    I asked the sales assoctiate, who tried to tell me I’d gone to a fake site. I finally asked a manager, and he just rolled his eyes and said, “Yes, that’s the price” when I quoted him the real price. I had called my wife while in the sotore and she was staring at the screen with the same price I had quoted. And the manager admitted the company site did not always update with the same prices as the consumer site.

    Long story short – I got the iPod for the advertised price without too much of a hassle, although I did inform their floor associate I was right. But there defintely is a company-only site they use within the store.

  39. Legodude522 says:

    Now I’m pissed. Happened to me too with some computer memory!

  40. mbressman says:

    It seems to me that if you can “order” something on BestBuy.com and then pick it up in the store, then you are basically taking from the store inventory. Therefore, if the price for BestBuy.com differs from the price in-store, it’s somewhat ridiculous, but I suppose you can always just place the order online (maybe even do so right in the store), and then just choose in-store pick up and get the item that is being advertised in-store at a higher rate at the online sale price.

    Also, I can definitely state without a doubt that there is a discrepancy between prices displayed on Best Buy in-store terminals available to customers/employees and prices displayed on the BestBuy.com website. Just two days ago, I went back to Best Buy because a USB Flash drive I had purchased didn’t come with the advertised USB extension cable (that is clearly advertised on their website). I also went back because priceprotectr.com had noticed the price went down slightly. While in the store, an employee looked up the price and it was still listed at the higher price. I looked it up on my Treo phone right then and there, and it was clearly a discrepancy between what was on the employee’s kiosk terminal and what was on BestBuy.com. Needless to say, I just ended up returning the flash drive and ordering it much cheaper off of eBay.

    Shame on Best Buy for such deceptive and confusing practices!

    P.S. According to the source article for this story, Best Buy will honor the lowest price whether it be from their internet site or from a competitor: “He (Justin Barber, Best Buy spokesman) said Best Buy’s policy is to honor the lowest price, whether from its Internet site or from a competitor.”

  41. ppalac says:

    I’m finding this note a little late, but this is interesting to hear. One of my friends purchased an item on the floor at BestBuy and found a different/cheaper price for the same item on the BestBuy.com site the same day. They walked back in the store and mentioned their discovery and the person at the customer service desk didn’t have a problem refunding the difference.

    This experience happened post Christmas last year, and I’m believing that if you’re definitely going to buy something at BestBuy. . .buy it on their website and click the “pick up at store” option.

    BestBuy-er beware!

  42. jenblackledge says:

    The price difference problem actually happened to me and my son, and I called BS while in the store: http://fiveforefun.blogspot.com/2006/12/hassle.html

    Long story short, it worked. But it was definitely a hassle.

  43. j0e438 says:

    Let me clear the air on this topic.

    I have been an employee with best buy for over 3 years now.

    There is a different version of the site that exists on an intranet. It is called kiosk in store pricing. It exists for customers to order products in store off of bestbuy.com and have the store recieve that revenue on our scorecard. As previously stated, there is much internal competition between stores.

    The price differences are not for any sinsiter motives, simply because the store and the website can’t have the same prices. In the store customers can use coupons, no interest financing, and negotiate prices, the website offers none of those tools. As such, the website will offer sales that the store doesn’t, in order to make up for that.

    Best Buy does match their own website if you ask. Many employees (uninformed cashiers especially) are unaware that the bestbuy.com aplication on our store computers leads them to the in store priced web site. I didn’t realize the difference for probably the first year.

    The only way I could see a price match denied would be if you wished to use a coupon on top of the online price. other than that, best buy has a 30 day price match GARUNTEE!!!

    It is not an attempt to weasle more money out of you, it is simply a confusing situation created in an attempt to not put online customers at a disadvantage. Realistically best buy should do a better job informing the employees of the difference.

  44. me4sweetd says:

    I am a current BB employee (no, not a manager, just a regular sales employee), and let me tell you, there is no scam going on. Yes, there is an internal site that we use at the store; it does not show any sale prices what’s so ever, it shows the regular MSRP of the products. We want customers to buy products in store rather than online because the store sees the profits from the sale. I use this site only to look up specs and information on a product, but how good would it look to a customer standing over my shoulder to see that the “online price” is cheaper than what I’m about to ring it out for? If I KNEW that a product was on sale across the street for five dollars less, would you expect me to say “Hey, you don’t know this, but I’m going to give you this product for five dollars less JUST because I know some place you can get it cheaper.” Of course not, but if you walk in and tell me that you saw it cheaper across the street, I would have no problems selling it at a discount for you. Same thing with BestBuy.com, if you walk in a tell me that you saw it on the website for less, I will give you the same price, but I’m not going to give it to EVERYONE, just the people that know about it. It’s a business after all, if you took the time to do the research all over town and online, I will be happy to help you get the best deal. I’m not going to do it for you though. I won’t ever deny that sometimes the online prices are cheaper, and yes, it all ends up in the same bank account at the corporate level, but at the store level, Bestbuy.com is our competitor. The stores that are denying the site and not price matching bestbuy.com are doing it to make a couple extra bucks on that sale. My store figured out a long time ago, that you make sure when that customer walks out that door, they are happy with their purchase, because not only do you lose that one sale over a couple bucks, you lose that customer’s business for the rest of their life, not to mention everyone else that they are close to. I have customers that drive 40 mins, past two best buys, and three competitors just to shop at our store, because they want only the best customer service. Good luck going to bestbuy.com or Wal-Mart and have an employee walk you to a product, give you a full demonstration, and answer all of your questions with a knowledgeable answer rather than “I don’t know”.

  45. cntrchfrk says:

    “***Good luck going to bestbuy.com or Wal-Mart and have an employee walk you to a product, give you a full demonstration, and answer all of your questions with a knowledgeable answer rather than “I don’t know”.***”

    -AMEN

    i also am currently employed at BBY. you all make me sick that you need to complain about this. If the associate logs on to their account in the store there are now two (2) bestbuy.com’s. one says local, and the other is national. the national will show them the internet price that all you unsatisfied customers have seen. If you have a problem, mention this to them.- WE ARE ALL HUMAN!
    we make mistakes just as much as you do.
    Show respect to us, we respect you.

    -employee, store #xxx, Long Island, NY

  46. simplicityscape says:

    This is far, far from the truth.

    I’ve been employed as a Sales Associate at Best Buy for nearly a year now, and I feel obligated to tell you all that this is a false claim. There ARE two websites. A “National” and a “Local” website. The “Local” ones are only accessible from the in-store kiosks because some BB.COM items are either “Online Only” or just simply not carried by our particular location. The only reasons the pricing might be different is because sometimes our ad prices in the circular are different from the ad prices online. If an employee is not giving you the online sale price, however, that is something you should take up with management in the store, as we are required to match those prices, as well as our competitors with physical locations, such as Fry’s, Office Depot, Walmart, etc.

    Best Buy has non-commissioned sales associates and have long been known as among the most honest of retailers. And I know from experience as an employee what rigorous training we all go through to ensure we have every bit of product knowledge to keep the customer informed.

    Have a little respect.

  47. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @simplicityscape:

    Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

    Obviously there was enough evidence of wrongdoing by Best Buy for Connecticut’s Attorney General to launch an investigation into the matter. And the investigation turned up enough evidence for the AG to file suit. Here’s a link to the press release from the AG’s office:

    [www.ct.gov]

    You call for us to “show a little respect,” but why should we show ANY respect for a company that’s apparently not showing respect for consumers?

  48. starzm00ns says:

    I worked customer service for over a year, and never once did we deny a price match as long as it was within a 50 mile radius, or a bb price match, i was once told that the “price difference” was due to different zip codes..etc.., If a customer came in with a printed copy of the item, and it didnt state “online only” duh.. we matched it. I found difference from the web site that was behind the counter to the kiosk located in the store..and yes..gave the lower of the two. i dont think its deception..its just not having all their ducks in a row. and lazy employees not willing to take the extra time to help the customer out..

  49. ceriphim says:

    @pnorth_12: I call BS on pretty much everything you said except “Don’t be an ass” and “they are non-commissioned workers”. I’ve worked retail for a long time and consistantly find BB’s customer service to be absolute dog crap regardless of what state or city I’ve shopped in.
    It’s not the consumer’s responsibility to go online and jump through hoops to get the 10 bucks off, it’s yours. Which pretty much sums up why BB’s customer service sucks, attitudes like that being perpetuated.

  50. notoday says:

    Has anyone ever considered the idea that they are a business that is run to produce profit? This particular tactic makes sense from a business standpoint in that the .com customer does not cost nearly as many man hours as the in-store customer. Consumers come to the store to talk to knowledgable sales people, therefore they must incur the cost of the trip to the storefront. Makes sense from a business standpoint, but it does not make me feel very warm and fuzzy about shopping there.

    • Anonymous says:

      @notoday: I no longer work at Best Buy, but did for a few years and the simple explanation is that http://www.bestbuy.com is essentially a different BB location and has diffferent competitors (e.g. newegg) than your local store, and it’s prices reflect that accordingly. The website kiosk.bestbuy.com is web-version of the local store and has exactly the same prices as the local store. It serves as a great way for customers to get more information about products while they are in the store, just as if they were doing product research from home. It’s not a conspiracy that the local store and ITS website (kiosk.bestbuy.com) can have different prices from another BB store (bestbuy.com).

      Wanna hear a conspiracy? The prices at my local Minnesota BB store has different prices than the store in Hawaii!!!! CONSPIRACY!!! Next thing I’ll find out that things are priced differently from my store than the store opening up in China! CONSPIRACY!!!

      Just bring a printout from home so if you encounter a newb who doesn’t know how to pricecheck bestbuy.com, you’re covered because matching bestbuy.com is not a problem. Except that any price changes need to be manager-approved and signed-off on to ensure employees aren’t just hooking up their friends and relatives with bogus prices and ripping off the store. Sometimes the sales manager is at the other end of the store doing something and it takes a minute for them to get over to customer service to approve the price change.

      Idiot.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I also work at Best Buy. There are two sites, Best Buy National and Best Buy In Store. The In Store website shows the best price available at any store in the corporation. So if you pull that up, it’ll not only show the sales that we have going on, but all the sales from across America. However, it will not show http://www.bestbuy.com‘s pricing. Best Buy national, or the best buy kiosk website (available to anyone who walks up to a kiosk) is the exact same thing as on the web.

    Best Buy in-store shouldn’t be used simply because it reflects promotions not offered by the store, but it will always have lower or equal prices to what we offer in the store. The only reason we’re supposed to use it for customers is to order something for them that we don’t currently have in stock, as that’s the only way we can do web orders and still get credit toward our daily sales goals.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Best Buy stinks. Any store that knowingly and purposely misrepresents its prices and does a bait and switch deserves to be tarred and feathered. I’ve spent thousands of dollars there in the past year….laptop…flatscreen…etc. That has just ended.

  53. Corey Matthysse says:

    if you have proof best buy will match prices, but you have to acctually make them aware of it

  54. antifratdude says:

    I too work for Best Buy, and we match pretty much everything under the sun (except for Amazon and a few other super-cheapo online sites due to their low overhead). If an employee didn’t match your online price, then they should have been written up or fired. We as employees have been ordered to match every price on the Best Buy website (as well as Target, Costco, Wal-Mart, Sears, or any other retailer) regardless of the situation or whether we’re taking a loss on the product. We are not allowed NOT to match it.
    There is in fact an In-Store site, but it is the same as the national site… only differing in that we use it to order products that are out of stock for customers. If there is any price discrepancy (whether higher or lower) we’re always supposed to give the lower price.
    If you had a bad experience, tell the store manager. It’s most likely he’ll ream the aforementioned employee on the spot, whether you care to watch or not.
    It should never happen.

  55. Ben Henderson says:

    I work for Best Buy, and this article may border on flat out slander. We don’t have a secret website, and if you saw something on our website that’s on sale, we’ll match it, as long as it’s in stock. If you see something in our flyer that’s on sale and we don’t have it, we’ll get it, at the same price, shipped straight to your door via UPS, usually in under 10 days, shipping paid for by US.

    We don’t play that bait and switch crap, and never have. We don’t draw you in to buy a laptop for 349, then try to sell you the 699 laptop because we don’t have the 349 unit on our shelves.

    Whoever edits this site seems to have a hardon for Best Buy, and I don’t know why. Maybe you had a bad experience, and we apologize.

    As for another article I read on the same site, about the former employee who says Tech Reps at BB don’t know their stuff; come on down to Elmira, and we’ll prove you wrong.

  56. Geeksquad says:

    I’m not shocked that a few people came to this site to whine about a few bucks, people whine over the stupidest of sh1t. . Best buy isn’t for everyone. Prices are different everywhere you go because the cost of living changes so drastically from area to area.

    There is no hidden intranet like some of these fools are stating, its called our employee toolkit which can show discounted prices on products for employees ONLY.

    Everyday we see people that come into the store making up stuff, posting shitty reviews because they didn’t get their way, like this intranet, sale prices that they have no proof of, or the biggest, Someone at best buy told me, but they never have a name of who they talked to, its all hear say.

    Just remember you act shitty @ any consumer chain, expect the same in return. We are smiles as long as you are, we are only human. Negative energy travels, so if you want something, be nice you will get A LOT more then if your gonna be a di(k.

    If your worried about saving 10-15$ on something, best buy probably isn’t for you. I’m sure wal-mart or target might have what your looking for, yea that’s right i went there, WAL-MART go there to save you pocket change.
    Most that come to best buy come in for the experience, and enjoy it, while some get all worked up because they gotta wait their turn in line, like they have never stood in a line before.

    As for these price differences, you have to pay attention to the date and time that’s listed on there. Sometimes items are on sale and are in a package deal equaling two different prices, to put it simple, if you feel the price is different, and in fact is cheaper its very easy to say something to the cashier or to a blue shirt, and they will assist you.

  57. chuchunezbie says:

    LOL!!!!! This is so not true. I wish it was though. That would be amazing!!!!!! (I’m a Best Buy employee by the way)

  58. blitznabong says:

    the kiosks are on an intranet but its only so it can link up with the stores inventory counts. notice if you click on an item it will say at the top if this store has that item in stock or which location does have it in stock…the prices on the intranet site update faster than bby’s website because of the link to RSS (Retek Store Systems) thats the inventory system we use that will have the normal price of an item and the sale price if there is one going on..

  59. Belle says:

    This happened to me. I went to buy a camera that was 10% off according to the website. The sales person gave me 10% anyway. I didn’t lose anything but they would’ve lost a sale if they had not given it to me.