Best Buy, Where A Used TV Without A Remote Is Worth $20 More Than A New TV

If you’re looking for a bargain on a 55″ TV, you might think that choosing an “open-box” item would be less expensive than a brand new one, especially since the used TV lacks a remote control or owner’s manual. But then you might never have looked at the shelves at your local Best Buy.

Eagle-eyed Consumerist reader E. spotted these two Samsung 55″ LED TVs at Best Buy and noticed that while both versions were significantly marked down from the original $3,199 retail price, the brand new TV is on sale for $20 less than the one that’s already been played with and for which you’ll need to supply your own remote.

“Sounds like a steal to me,” writes E., presumably before looking online to buy the TV from some other retailer.

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  1. evilpete says:

    I wonder if Best Buy has an employee just to monitor consumerist.com

    • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

      Why? So Best Buy can improve their practices and make things better? Buwahahaha that’s funny!

      :o)

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      Obviously not. Or they’re also like us, sitting back and appreciating the entertainment value of each post that comes our way.

    • Jawaka says:

      Likewise I wonder if Consumerist has a employee just to monitor Best Buy.

    • SegamanXero says:

      They probably loosely monitor it. I am unsure how much that Best Buy corporate monitors it.

      I know line level Best Buy employees do check consumerist, but they are most of the time to scared to post anything related to work without being anonymous. As they can loose there job.

    • Bob A Dobalina says:

      Employees are only allowed to access the fake Best Buy web page

  2. sqlrob says:

    Not that much of a surprise. I’ve seen other stores that carry used items mark down the new and not do the equivalent markdown on the used. Usually corporate doesn’t think of things like that.

  3. icerabbit says:

    Just one of the reasons I call the Worst Buy and don’t shop there.

    CompUsa always had these specials where they’d have a limited stock of most everything they stold and then the last of a particular item; either a store demo or sometimes just an item on display in a glass case; would be full retail price. No box, no manual, no cables, no whatever …

    We quit going there after a few of those instances.

    • incident-man stole my avatar says:

      I miss CompUSA and all the weekly deals….software or blank cd-r’s for free after mail in rebate.. never bought anything else from them

      • icerabbit says:

        I’ve gotten many a black friday deal years ago at CompUSA, Staples, etc – heck even Best-Buy – back when they all used to lure you in with a few super discounts or had essentially-free-after-rebate items.

        Some of those things I discovered were however not good quality products, or in the pipeline for immediate replacement. Some rebates were a pain to get. So, as my general paper, cdr and dvdr supply grew; deals dwindled and some chain stores really started to go down hill; I haven’t really bothered with tech stuff on BF.

    • sqlrob says:

      Or the game that had the special Manager’s Discount to $44.99.

      Sure the MSRP was $49.99 a while ago, but it’s been $19.99 for a while.

  4. laurakat says:

    I know I expect minimum wage employees to spend their time checking all as-is clearance items to make sure they get re-priced every time items go on sale. Wouldn’t you just buy the in box item or just ask for a further discount on the clearance item? Is this, like, a thing?

    • lyontaymer30 says:

      On this site they don’t go with common sense as a consumer, they would rather send pics to consumerist complaining than actually getting someone in the store to fix it.

  5. sparc says:

    seems ok to me. My guess is that the sale price that week went lower than the open box item price. The regular price they use could be near $2k.

  6. kevinroyalty says:

    um…both of those photos are the same. i see no differences in pricing.

  7. someg says:

    I don’t think Best Buy realizes how many knowledgeable customers they have alienated themselves from. I know so many people who purchase tech items on a regular basis who have learned to never go back to Best Buy to purchase anything. They seem to force their salespeople to push unwanted service and replacement plans onto people who don’t need them. If they end up under new management I hope they change they way they do business and get all of that lost business back. It would be a shame for stores to close and all those people lose their jobs.

  8. Budala says:

    Not sure what the problem is? The item is on sale, that doesn’t mean that open item prices get automatically reduced too. Whoever wants to buy the item what you need to do is find an associate and ask for a better price.

  9. Overheal says:

    I assume the Eagle-Eyed Reader didn’t bother to ask an associate: SOP states that when the original item price goes down (eg, during a sale. In this case a TV went on sale from $3199.99 down to $1699.99) that the “License Plate” (A unique tag made for each open item) is to be updated with the sales price reflected.
    It just happens that the process by which every Sunday new sales tags are scanned and printed is not the same process as for License Plate items. Oftentimes a situation will arise, especially on busy Sunday mornings, where the LPs aren’t refreshed in a timely manner.

    In this case all you need to do is tell someone you’re wanting to buy it, and they will update the price to reflect the present sale.

    Pretty simples.

    • Jawaka says:

      “I assume the Eagle-Eyed Reader didn’t bother to ask an associate”

      Of course not, he was too busy raging and taking pictures for Consumerist to do that.

    • MuleHeadJoe says:

      I’m glad to see that a BB employee has so graciously educated us consumerist masses on how shyte works there … like as if you expect that anyone who *doesn’t* work for BB would have any idea what a “license plate” is, or what BB’s “SOP” is? Gimme a break … I would NEVER ask an ASSociate of any store to lower the price on a tagged item … if the price on the tag is stupid, I won’t buy the item. If ASSociates are allowed to negotiate prices on an individual basis, that means that the system is rigged, seeing as how that the store does NOT tell consumers that they can negotiate prices. In case you missed the flyer, we don’t live in some 3rd world country and BB is not a casual bazaar where haggling over purchases is considered “normal”. In the civilized world, we don’t do that for stuff you buy in stores.

      • cactus jack says:

        You sound angry. Why?

        Common sense would be to at least ask about the pricing in this instance. Has nothing to do with the third world shopping experience or civility.

      • lyontaymer30 says:

        Why not if the tag is clearly listed as opened item etc, and you see it’s higher than the regular price, common sense has to kick in at some point

      • wize_guy123 says:

        I didn’t realize that oneself is an ‘ASS’ for choosing to work at a retailer. Let alone, simply have a job. The associate isn’t allowed to negotiate a price, but simply update it. If the eagle eye reader kept reading the sign, he may have noticed that the price tags were printed during 2 separate weeks. Says it right on the tag. Sadly the pictures aren’t clear enough to prove this.

  10. bishkumak says:

    A worse offender of selling used merchandise higher than new is Hasting’s. They regularly price a number of their used console games much higher than MSRP.

  11. sqeelar says:

    Why doesn’t Best Buy just charge $150 admission. Then everyone at the store would get the same benefit as actual customers.

    • Bob A Dobalina says:

      Best Buy shoppers could save a lot of time by just opening the door and tossing their money inside

  12. SegamanXero says:

    It is supposed to be %10 off the current price of the new in box. Someone isn’t managing their open box tags. Personally I wouldn’t buy it without the remote or anything missing, it will cost more than the %10 to replace the part through the manufacturer.

    I mean I was bored one time, and decided to look up the remote for my Samsung TV… Found out it was $70 to replace it. It isn’t even some sort of fancy remote like what Samsung includes now with qwerty keypads on the reverse. It is just a simple remote.

    • wize_guy123 says:

      You’re correct that the standard practice is 10%, but that usually is only used when items have all parts. When parts are missing, additional discounts are applied. The only sad thing is now that Best Buy doesn’t want to upset their customers, they take back items with missing parts. The real culprit here is the buyer who thought it’d be okay to return the item without everything it came with.

  13. GriffonJames says:

    That’s easy to explain. The open box item probably isn’t eligible for an extended warranty. If I were the salesperson, I’d never update the price on the used items such that they were more likely to sell than the new items. Gotta’ make my numbers! :-)

    • wize_guy123 says:

      Open items are completely eligible for the Geek Squad Protection, as if purchased brand new, within 30 days of purchase