Best Buy Charges $2 Premium For Inferior Open-Box Mouse

The Best Buy in Champaign, Illinois wants Andrew to pay $2 extra for a used mouse covered with someone else’s hand gunk. We see plenty of these open-box pricing bloopers and Best Buy employees are always fast to rush to the comments screaming “But it’s policy!” We understand, but it’s a stupid policy that has a simple, albeit symbolic and ineffective solution.

Stop placing the open-box items right next to the old price tags! The pictures people send us are not (usually) staged. They are taken by ordinary shoppers who could care less about your precious policies, and who can spot idiocy when it stares them in the face. Don’t make the screw job so !@#$% obvious and we might stop making fun of you. Well, we’re going to make fun of you anyway, but geeze, make us work for it, alright?

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  1. axiomatic says:

    No…. I’ll make fun of Best Buy no matter what they do.

  2. FreemanB says:

    While I find these pictures amusing, is this really an issue? Items go on sale. The open-box item prices aren’t changed to reflect the sale. Maybe next week the prices of the new items go back up, and the open-box item is once again cheaper. Since the prices are clearly marked, there’s no intent to mislead the consumer. Other than humor, what’s the point of posting these?

  3. Beerad says:

    That’s not hand gunk! That’s, uh, grippy gel! Yeah, keeps your hand from sliding off the mouse! Be thankful it’s not a $10 markup, ingrate!

  4. ccockerill says:

    The reason it is two dollars more is because it is a blister pack, those things are awful to try and get open. If I were to buy one of those mice I would totally pay to $2 premium to save myself some stitches.

  5. backbroken says:

    Maybe this mouse uses Monster cables…you know, the kind that needs a certain ‘break in’ period for best performance. So the open box one is already ‘broken in’ for you.

  6. Pro-Pain says:

    It’s news because no employee bothered to care enough to change the price to reflect the new price of the mouse. They just don’t care. Best Buy sucketh as usual.

  7. DearEditor says:

    @Beerad: Please…”Palm Salsa”.

    @ccockerill: Two kids at a card table with a sign: “Blister Packs Opened – $2″. Could be the next lemonade stand.

  8. coan_net says:

    I think the best solution is to put all the “open box” items in one section of the store, like the “discount” section. It would be best for Best Buy because some people will see the item, buy it without even checking to see how much the original “new” price is now.

    I think of my local Target store. We know in the toy section where they put all the discounted items… usually not “open box”, but stuff they are trying to dump and get rid of…. but we will usually pick something up, but it would be simple enough for Best Buy to do something similar…. and they will probable sell more of those items to people like me who look for a deal….. but really too lazy to check if it really is a deal or not.

  9. Aphex242 says:

    ..yeah you can even see the tag of the ‘regular’ products is a sale tag. It says “Reg…” at the top with some indecipherable numbers.

  10. ParadeDC says:

    @Pro-Pain: It is most likely due to a weekly sale that they have. They aren’t going to run around the store and change all open box tags to reflect a weekly sale to only have to due it all again when the sale goes away.

  11. renilyn says:

    @FreemanB: Its not a sale. I bought the same mouse, for the same $34.95 last year at BB (Please God save me-but they were the only ones in town that had it in stock :( )

  12. nutrigm says:

    o…k… is this guy being FORCED to buy that mouse?

  13. zentex says:

    @ccockerill: excellent justification!

  14. This is the first Best Buy featured on Consumerist that I’ve been to!

    Maybe they charge you extra because it was used and returned by a celebrity. Wouldn’t YOU pay $2 extra for a mouse gunked on by Michael Jordan? I sure would!

  15. smitty1123 says:

    So what? If you are a big enough idiot to actually buy a used product for more than the cost of the new equivalent, you deserve to be screwed.

  16. hollywood2590 says:

    So let me get this straight. Instead of placing the overpriced open box item next to the cheaper new item (giving the consumer the ability to differentiate and make a good decision) you want them to put the overpriced used item somewhere else where the customer could easily pick it up thinking they are getting a good deal?

    Thats just stupid advice. If anything the employees are helping out but putting it in the same place. Think before you make retarded suggestions.

    I mean seriously your suggestion to fix this is to screw over the customers rather than fix policy. Forget blaming the victim, the reason people stop reading here is because stupid shit keeps getting posted instead of things we should care about.

  17. camron802 says:

    It also works the other way, if an open item is marked down during a sale, and it isn’t caught in time after the price goes back to normal, the cheaper price on the open item is honored.

  18. Traveshamockery says:

    I’m sick of seeing these stupid posts – you can see on the regular price tag that the Mouse is on sale this week: “Reg. $XX.XX – $XX.XX Sale”

    The OPEN ITEM TAG was made before the sale occurred, and nobody caught it. The open item price is discounted from the normal MSRP.

    Get over it, people.

  19. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    The pictures people send us are not (usually) staged.
    If I wanted to open a flickr account for the sole purpose of filling it with pictures of open boxed items placed next to cheaper, new items, it could easily be done with pictures from ONE Best Buy. I see this every time I go into the San Carlos, CA Best Buy (for fun, rarely to buy anything). More often than not the opened item is $20-$30 more expensive than the new item. Great policy.

  20. Frostberg says:

    @InfiniTrent:
    Exactly! What a stupid waste of consumerist real estate.

  21. Part-Time-Viking says:

    Jesus Christ, I’m actually starting to lose my faith in The Consumerist. STOP POSTING RUBBISH!

  22. BugMeNot2 says:

    This thread is a prime example of what I was talking about in the “Stop Blaming The Customers” thread. If you want a higher level of discourse, it needs to start at the top. This sort of thread is not informative. Someone made a mistake and now we all laugh at it! Ha ha, good one!

    Secondly, how can you expect more reasoned debate amongst commentors when editors are saying stuff such as,” They are taken by ordinary shoppers who could care less about your precious policies, and who can spot idiocy when it stares them in the face. Don’t make the screw job so !@#$% obvious and we might stop making fun of you. Well, we’re going to make fun of you anyway, but geeze, make us work for it, alright?”

    What kind of level-headed conversation could possibly be spawned by a lead-up like that?

  23. backbroken says:

    @BugMeNot2: Um, maybe some posts are meant to be less serious than others? Just an educated guess.

  24. oakie says:

    @renilyn: the photograph obviously disputes your story.

    the open item tags are handwritten. i’m still shocked no one has yet recommended the use of your own personal pen to change the price and walk away with a “better deal”.

  25. Apparently my Best Buy store doesn’t follow company policy and do crazy things. I say this because I shop at Best Buy pretty often and because of these posts, I always look at the open box price vs the regular brand new item price anytime I see a taped up package with a big yellow sticker and I am yet to see a higher price on the open box item.

  26. oakie says:

    @Frostberg: “Exactly! What a stupid waste of consumerist real estate.”

    IMO, the big waste of real estate are all of the Michael Moore-esque polls about “worst company in america”. it’s uninteresting, unfunny, and tiring to have to keep scrolling past it to get to one of these excellent whinefests articles.

  27. oakie says:

    @Voyou_Charmant: it’s because someone with absolutely no life sits inside best buy every day with their low-buck camera phone, waiting for sale tags to go up on items that have open-box items on display.

  28. BugMeNot2 says:

    @backbroken:

    That’s all well and good, but then they should not be posting PSAs about how it’s wrong for some commentors to make the comments they do in some threads.

  29. midwestkel says:

    This is a weak first post of the day. You should not post these if it affects one store, no if it was a fuck up on all stores then I would post. But since the employees are told to basicly drop the price 10% there is no starndard on those open box prices so waste of space.

  30. takotchi says:

    Just skip Worst Buy and get it on-line… it’s $25 at NewEgg, maybe even better somewhere else. Ta-da.

  31. Part-Time-Viking says:

    @midwestkel: If the editors only posted stories that relate to the company as a whole, they wouldn’t be able to complain about Best Buy save for maybe once a month, they’d shrivel up and die.

  32. blkhrt1 says:

    Its funny, because at the store where I live, they have to go through open-item tags once a week. Since sale prices run Sunday thru Saturday, its usually on a sunday that open-item tags are fixed. However, the occasional retard will miss them, or the store as a whole won’t fix them, and we’re back to this page every other week. DETAILS, PEOPLE, DETAILS!

  33. axiomatic says:

    Is Consumerist somehow out of hard drive space? Who cares if its a loosely related article.

    You did a good job Carey, don’t let the blog nazi’s get ya down.

  34. saint44 says:

    I don’t even feel this story is worth posting on, but I will anyway. This just seems like an honest mispricing mistake. What’s the big deal? Honestly, nobody is forcing this guy to buy the item, so why not just chuckle at the mistake, enjoy the fact that you can get a new one for cheaper than an old one, and move on with your life? Is this really what the Consumerist decided to use to meet its quota on “Best Buy sucks” stories?

    Yea, it’s a dumb situation, but would you really rather have Best Buy try to trick you into buying the used hand gunked mouses by not making it so obvious? If they did that, then the story would “Best Buy tricks customers into buying overpriced open-box items!” and that might be a justifiable reason for a story.

  35. satoru says:

    At BestBuy a lot of open box stuff is actually hidden behind counters and stuff. You can get open box ipods for sorta-kinda cheap if you ask the clerk if they have any. Definitely open the box and examine if the thing works or is missing any big pieces though.

  36. BugMeNot2 says:

    @axiomatic:

    Blog nazis? Hardly. However, if they expect their commentors to hold to a certain level of decorum, then it would be nice if the editors did as well.

  37. freshwater says:

    Frankly, I don’t see the big deal. If you see a headline, and know
    that it’s an issue you don’t care about, don’t read the full post. And
    don’t waste your time and ours fussing about what a blog not edited by
    you should or should not “waste real estate” on. It’s a funny picture.
    Or a stupid picture, or whatever. But, just like no one’s forcing
    people to buy from Best Buy, no one’s forcing any of you to spend an
    hour reading and commenting about a post you don’t care about. If you
    don’t think the Consumerist should post non-serious posts, don’t read
    it. Start your own blog. But I really doubt that whining in the
    comments is going to change the editorial policy.

  38. freshwater says:

    Frankly, what I don’t want to see is people whining about what the
    Consumerist should or should not post on. No one’s forcing you to read
    or comment on the posts. If it’s something you don’t care about, don’t
    read the full post. If you think it’s a waste of your time to read it,
    don’t. But to spend space and time commenting repeatedly about how a
    post is a waste of space and time is a waste of my time as well. I get
    your point. This post doesn’t live up to your standards of an
    acceptable Consumerist post. But no one’s forcing you to read or
    comment, and clearly the editors and many readers enjoy the humorous
    aspects of the site as well as the serious.

  39. MrEvil says:

    y’know, the “it’s policy” company BS line only works if the policy actually makes a lick of goddamn sense. Unfortunately Best Buy’s corporate overlords want reason to be thrown out the window and fuck any logic to open box pricing. Back when I worked at Lowe’s the management had MUCH more leeway when it came to marking down merchandise that made some blasted sense.

    I’m so glad I no longer work retail.

  40. @BugMeNot2: Aye brother. The summary reads like “please, please don’t flame me, just take it or leave it”. That’s like asking for the people who are annoyed by these photos to get upset.

    But I have another solution for Best Buy. Since Open Box is an optional service to the customer, they can appease the Consumerist by following the lead of stores like Target (and countless others). These stores doesn’t open themselves up to this scrutiny by putting shit back on the shelf, unadjusted. All the available units of the item you want are used? Sucks for you!

    There’s at least one report that they’ve considered alternatives. Why don’t we give them a reason to can the whole thing?

  41. @freshwater: It’s a repetitive story that plays out the same way every time. You and I are just adding the repetitive comments to complete the cycle.

  42. evilhapposai says:

    Working at Best Buy before they decided to cut my hours down to 4 per week (they dont fire you they just cut hours) I seen this all the time and many other shit policies like the internal web page, profiling customers, bait and switch, etc. When I tried to appeal to what, if any, intelligence the managers may of had….well did I mention my hours were cut to 4 per week?

    The only retail I ever seen that was doing the open and clearance thing right was a little old K-mart in our town but had some good buys and a loyal customer base. Why? The manager walked around the store and changed the clearance prices to actual good deals and would keep lowering them often to get rid of them.

  43. TVGenius says:

    According to BB’s site and printed ad, all MS accessories, including mice, are on sale this week. On their site, that mouse is on sale for the price on the peg, which is $7 off the normal price. Notice that there appear to be sale dates above it, and that you can see another price tag behind it?

  44. m4nea says:

    hollywood is right on this one.

  45. Why are the people that are bitching about these kinds of stories still posting in them? Wouldn’t it be a waste of your time? (maybe not)

  46. karmaghost says:

    I’m no fan of Best Buy, but these posts continue to baffle me with their stupidity. The first or second sightings made me go “Huh, that’s funny,” but now it’s just “right, they do that a lot, get over it.”

  47. jstimson says:

    Sigh, also agree with those that find this particular type of post repetitive and pointless. As mentioned by others, open box gets discounted a bit, a sale happens, and there is a perceived incongruity. Whoop de doo.

    I went in a while back to buy an LG DVD player on sale. They also had an open box item that was at the same price as the sale price. Guess what? You ask nicely, and they do something about it. For me, they knocked $20 off the open box item and I was happy. This was at a Best Buy in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada).

  48. realist.com says:

    @renilyn: right stop pretending, half of these “best buy sucks” people shop there, they have great prices, who cares

  49. BugMeNot2 says:

    @FujiwarKazuko:

    Because we are consumers of this site. The whole reason for this site’s existence is to give voice to the consumer. As such, we use that voice to point out where we feel the product offered to us could be improved.

  50. RvLeshrac says:

    @Pro-Pain:

    You obviously fail to understand the hell that one must go through to print a new clearance sticker when there are piles of new merchandise every day that must be clearanced.

    Why waste time and money re-stickering every old piece of merchandise *every week* when the sale items change?

  51. RvLeshrac says:

    @freshwater:

    Because unfair criticism doesn’t belong here. There are PLENTY of things to hate about Best Buy without watering them down with Stupid Customer stories like these.

    People see stories like this and are more likely to go “Well, they obviously just have it in for Best Buy. I doubt there’s anything wrong with the company.”

  52. Deusfaux says:

    Look the only time the customer has a legit issue with this, is if they asked an associate to update the Open Box price and were REFUSED.

    Otherwise just FINDING an OB price higher than that of a regular item price is nothing special.

    There will always be some amount of time between when a regular price is changed, and associates have to go around and find all the OBs that also need changing.