Best Buy Refuses To Stop Misleading Customers With Secret Website

Once again a reader contacts us to complain about Best Buy misleading their customers with an in-store only website that looks identical to the “real” website—except for the prices.

From kevinq2000’s livejournal:

I had read that this happens ( has been following this for a while) but I had never had it happen to me. I had gift certificates, and my eye had recently been drawn to a certain single-serve coffee maker, so I decided to buy one.

I looked up the price online, and sure enough, it was on sale. (About $7.50 cheaper. Not a fortune, but about the cost of extra coffee, so why not.) Knowing that Best Buy pulls these shenanigans, I printed off the page from their website showing the price:

See: $142.49.

I went to Best Buy, looked around for the coffee maker, and couldn’t find it. So, I looked it up in their kiosk. Lo and behold:bestbuydotcom.jpg
Back up to the $149.99.

Those sons-of-bitches. So, prepared for battle, I eventually found the one I wanted, stacked near a wall, grabbed one, grabbed the accessories I wanted, and headed to the register.

Sure enough, guy rings me up, the coffee maker comes up at the higher price. I say, “That’s on your website at a lower price,” he says, “Do you have the website?” I pulled out the printout I had made at home showing the lower price. After scanning the printout and the item’s box (trying to find a loophole?), he knocks $7.50 off the price, I pay and go home, happy to have my coffee maker, but slightly upset that they tried to rip me off.

So, lesson for the day: If you are going to buy something from Best Buy, check their website for prices, and print out the item you are looking for, showing the price. Keep that with you, and when they ring out out, watch their scanning, and show them the printout if they try to rip you off, too.

It’s a deceptive practice, and they said they were going to stop it, but they haven’t. Protect yourself – be an informed consumer.


Kevin goes on to say that there was “no indication to the consumer that the web pages are different.” Despite the fact that some readers have reported notices informing customers that the kiosks display “in-store” prices, here at least we see a screen shot of a Best Buy kiosk in which the warning is not visible.

Has Richard Blumenthal, the Attorney General of Connecticut who first sued Best Buy over this deceptive practice finally met his match?

Best Buy Lies – Evidence

PREVIOUSLY: Best Buy Still Embracing Deceptive In-Store Kiosks


Edit Your Comment

  1. hhole says:

    best buy = assclowns

  2. ExPatBrit says:

    Deliberate deception like this really gets under my skin. As a direct result of all Consumerist’s reporting on this practise (I am new to the site – wish I’d found it months/years ago)I cancelled the orders I had previously placed with Best Buy, refusing to give them my money any more. There’s far more worthy retailers out there that deserve it.

  3. RAREBREED says:

    For the first time ever, an Employee at Best Buy told me that I had to have the print out in order to prove the price was different last week! I looked it up on Amazon on my phone, and it was way lower than their other print ad. He told me, “Nice, now print it out.” what a jerk.

  4. sven.kirk says:

    OK already. This story was a just up here on the 23rd. If anybody actually cared here, they would have gathered up proof and contact Best Buy corporate offices. If that goes nowhere, call you local news channels. They love this kind of stuff. Still not action, then contact your local District Attorneys office. Complaining just to the store manager does absolutely squat to get the problem fixed.

    So will anybody here actually do any of the above? Highly doubtful.

  5. maximeyocks says:

    I hate hate hate Best Buy. But my husband remains unconvinced. God I hope nothing gies wrong with the new TV we bought from them. Sadly, the price we purchased it at is still hundreds HUNDREDS less than every other place known to the internet or to a physical retail facility. Darn those evil people!!

  6. jwissick says:

    Anyone who spends $140+ for a ONE CUP coffee maker and bitches about $7.20 is the real ass clown.

  7. Cyco says:

    @jwissick: Yeah, but it was a SPECIAL EDITION 1 cup coffee maker. It’s gonna be worth money in the future. he just made an investment, that’s all. I mean, why buy a 1 cup coffee maker that was 100 bucks less if it wouldn’t raise in value over time, right?

  8. gsmumbo says:

    Wait, so let me get this straight… When you wanted to price match your item, the cashier asked for proof? How dare he! And then to further the situation, once you showed him the print out he… he… discounted the product! Stupid Best Buy and their deceptive policies!

  9. woah, $150 for a COFFEE MAKER!?!1

  10. GothamGal says:


    Are you serious? Why is it the consumer’s responsibility to prove the price that is advertised on the internet? They should match – period. I won’t go back to Ulta because they wouldn’t price match their internet prices, and I will never buy anything at Best Buy.

  11. gsmumbo says:


    Are you serious? The customer came in to the store. He did not order it online. The store is one place. Online is another. Most retailers have online only sales. In all reality price matching is a privledge. The sale was offered online. It should be ordered online. Best Buy here is saying “you know what, to make it easier on you, we will change the price in store that way you don’t have to wait for the shipping and such”. The store actually takes a hit for it. So of course it is the consumers responsibility to prove the price.

    Otherwise I could go in a store and say that this computer is $100 cheaper online. With your logic I would get away with it. Next time say it is $200 cheaper. Then later say $300. Why the hell would the cashiers have every single online sale memorized?

  12. scampy says:

    How many times do we have to go throught this until people finally realize that Best Buy and ARE TWO SEPERATE COMPANIES which is why there are 2 different prices. Like its been said in the other 10,000 threads about this same thing just buy the damn thing online for in store pickup or dont buy it!!!

  13. Hawk07 says:

    Best Buy knows that 95 out of 100 customers would end up paying the $150 price. Plus, if you’re buying a lot in a single transaction (i.e. Christmas shopping) you’re even more unlikely to notice.

    I know BB PR probably reads this website. I used to be a BB regular and made several purchases a month until I got fed up with their business practices such as this and I discovered the joy of online shopping. No upselling and I can compare the prices of several merchants instantaneously. Also, I’ve easily saved several thousand dollars by shopping around over the last couple of years.

  14. Hawk07 says:


    Oh please. They’re the same store. They may be two separate entities legally (I’ll take your word), but they live under the same roof. It’s like a marriage.

  15. Alexander says:

    I just find it interesting that as rip-offed as people feel because of Best Buy’s deceptive ways, they still buy the product from them! In the end Best Buy still wins even if they knocked off $7.5 from the price.

  16. Leiterfluid says:

    @scampy: Because they’re not two separate companies. They’re separate sales portals for the same company. The products all come from the same warehouse and distribution centers.

    What I don’t get is why these people don’t just order online, and do the in-store pickup. If they decide they don’t like it, they can return it unopened on the spot.

    Plus, you have an opportunity to save $10 if they don’t give you your order within a minute.

  17. BlinkyGuy says:

    I have been a consumer activist for years and have successfully brought suit against many companies engaging in unfair practices. I mention this because I do not understand the complaint here.

    Stores sell goods competitively. When you are on the web, just a click away from the competition, of course they offer a better price. You have not invested the time and effort to go to their store and have many options open to you. If you order on-line and pick up at the store, there would be no problem. However, if you just check the price on your computer and do not order the item, they are not obligated to give you the price if you show up at the store. That price was designed for a different venue where they were head-to-head with the competition and not having to maintain a brick and mortar storefront to complete the sale.

    They state quite clearly at that they will match lower in store prices on-line, but I don’t see where they say that they will lower in store prices to match their website.

    It’s the 21st century, folks, you can’t equate an on-line store with a newspaper ad anymore. The web changes how we do business.

    I think the solution is not a warning on kiosks in the stores, but a clear statement on the website that the stores do not have to honor the on-line price if the item was not ordered on-line.

  18. Sucko-T says:


    I don’t care if they have different prices online.

    Barnes and Noble doesn’t have the same prices in-store as online sometimes but they don’t the have internet kiosks that only serve to confuse consumers and make it seem like the internet and store pricing is one and the same. If Best Buy just got rid of the kiosks it would be easier for people to accept the fact that the prices are different

  19. Buran says:

    @jwissick: So it’s the victim’s fault.

  20. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Best Buy is getting lazy. They won’t do a competitor price match unless you bring on a copy of the ad. They won’t even call the store to confirm the price, even if it’s down the street.

    Whatever. I’m not a real customer anyways. I only go there to buy discounted DVD’s. I buy most of my electronics from Amazon or Fry’s.

  21. ReverendMike says:

    Yeah, but this baby makes a nice single cup of coffee time after time after time! You should have bought it at Bead Bath & Beyond with one of those 20% off coupons they send everyone and their brother.

    As for the $150, you save tons on wasted partial pots with this maker. I can make a cup of Kona, a decaf for my wife and hot tea for my son one after the other in no time. And, the selection of available coffees is fantastic. I got one for Christmas last year and it’s the best damn present I ever got!

    Best Buy is just setting themselves up for bigger legal issues with this type stuff. With the mass movement of customers away from Circuit City, they don’t need to do this type stuff anyway.

  22. Karl says:

    Staples’s web site might be just as shady. They ask for your zip code before showing you any results. Although I have no proof that they do this, they might adjust the prices based on where you live, and possibly what your local Staples charges.

  23. Frostberg says:

    It is a lot cheaper to pay for computer servers than to pay the rent for physical buildings, electricity, employee wages and all those other bills to run a business.

    All you have to do is ask to get the price, its not that hard.

  24. gsmumbo says:


    Wait, so the kiosks that have a giant banner stating that “THIS KIOSK DISPLAYS IN STORE PRICING – WHICH MAY DIFFER FROM NATIONAL INTERNET PRICES” are meant to mislead?

  25. Rando says:

    Here is how companies get away with this. They say their .com website is a separate company. By doing this they can have different prices. I can’t count how many companies/websites do this, but there are tons.

  26. Rhyss says:

    I just had this happen at Target. The internet posted end of year clearance prices and it said the item I wanted was available in store, so I hopped in my car and went to my local Target, which had no markdown, and said that they didn’t know why the internet stated the price and said it was available in store at that marked-down price. I can be slow sometimes, does anyone have any suggestions?

  27. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    It’s funny – if Best Buy put as much money into actually keeping customers happy as they apparently put into having employees shill for them whenever a negative news story pops up on the net, they might actually be less hated.

    Of course, I doubt they give a flying fuck about how well liked they are by the educated consumers, as long as the Barrys, Jills, and Buzzes keep the bottom line growing.

  28. LTS! says:

    What kind of moron does not just purchase it online for in store pickup and then go get it? See, it obviously made more sense for you to get in your car, drive to the store, hunt for the item, and play a game with the employee. You could have just clicked in store pickup, walked in the store, grabbed your coffee maker and go home.

    I truly don’t understand what people are complaining about. Online sales in store sales. They are separate, plain and simple. For all those assclowns clamoring for the lower price in store, it won’t work that way, you’ll get the higher price online.

    Rather than complain, just purchase it from the place that says it costs $X. How hard is that?

  29. LTS! says:

    @LTS!: I see, using the less than and greater than for “does not equal” doesn’t work.. so it should say “online sales do NOT equal in store sales”.

  30. EnderVR46 says:

    I’ve gotten to where, if I’m browsing the isles of a store, I’ll find what I want and go home to order it on-line. I’ve yet to see something in a store for cheaper than I can get it on-line, and if it’s not much different or I need it that day. I then order it site-to-store. There’s a Best Buy or whatever on almost every corner so it’s no big deal to go back.

    Though it’s rare that I’m browsing isles anymore. I really just research and find the best price at home, and either order it or buy it for in-store pickup. No fighting for the best price that way. When I get to the store, if it’s cheaper on the shelf I have them price match it.

  31. EnderVR46 says:

    @EnderVR46: Meant to add up there, I was caught out once a few years ago at Fry’s. Used their site to look up a price, and went to the store to get it. They would not honor that price and gave me the line about being a different company from their on-line persona.

    I’ve never tried that again, and only do what I said above now.

    Fool me once… and all that.

  32. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Hey, Scampy: learn to spell and someone might listen to you. Then again, your information is wrong, so maybe it wouldn’t matter.

  33. char says:

    The issue isn’t that the prices are different. The issue is that Best Buy is being deceptive about the price differences. “hey this is cheaper online, but if YOU try to check it here you’ll see it costs more.”

    It’s bullshit any way you cut it, and an absolute sham that they keep this piece of shit running.

  34. ihateauditions says:

    Lesson of the day: Don’t shop at Best Buy.

    Secondary lesson of the day: Consumerist is full of broke-ass uppity losers who are incapable of recognizing that the Best Buy fake website is a ludicrous scam.

  35. XianZomby says:

    How many people are really “unhappy” with Best Buy? So many complaints. And with Comcast too. In a complaint forum you might even think the whole world thought these companies were just the worst. I’ll bet its like 5 percent that are really unhappy, though. Probably less.

    Should Best Buy pay for more knowledgeable sales people and change their sales tactics to accommodate the less than 5 percent of people that can’t function in our capitalist society or negotiate the brick and mortar world of retail? Probably not. Will those malcontents threaten to boycott and “go to Egghead?” Probably. But really it would cost Best Buy more to cater to your special needs than it does in the sales lost when you go somewhere else. So they are actually saving money if you don’t go there again. Adios.

  36. flackman says:

    It’s unfortunate that people believe this is somehow devious. Oh well, I guess there’s no accounting for the amount of ignorance roaming the internet these days.

    Wow, a “secret” website which shows a local price. Scary. Here’s a shocker, prices vary by region!

    Capitalism is not a very difficult concept to understand. The seller attempts to sell a product or service for as much as they can, the buyer attempts to buy it at the cheapest price they can.

    Imagine the confusion and doubt proliferation Best Buy would be accused of if they had one character difference on their website. Never mind the huge yellow banner “warning”.

    Wow, a 45 second exchange, “Your website said…”. “Oh, ok.” These are the same people posting “deals” stacking 3-4 coupons and “YMMV” lies and somehow that’s not devious.

    It really puts a smile on my face when someone thinks they are getting “ripped off” by a merchant charging a higher price for an item. Either buy your $150 coffee maker or don’t.

    With that logic, Best Buy rips me off every time I don’t use one of their 10% off coupons they send out all the time.

  37. KevinQ says:

    @LTS!: What kind of moron does not just purchase it online for in store pickup and then go get it?

    Well, me. I had some x-mas cash that was going to be part of the purchase, and last time I checked, most online stores don’t take cash over the internet.

    The problem is not that Best Buy (brick and mortar) sells things for a higher price than It is that they’ve designed an in-store system for telling customers “No, our prices aren’t cheaper online.”

    There is no reason that their in-store kiosk has to look (exactly) like See, for example, Border’s Books and Music, which has very different kiosks and website. It’s purposefully misleading.

    I will say, though, that no employee lied to me while I was there. I didn’t give them the chance. I thought about asking them to look it up online, and then using my printout to prove them a liar, but that would have been a cruel joke to play on a (probably) innocent employee. It was enough for me that there system is still designed for deceiving customers.


  38. erratapage says:

    I think there are plenty of people who are like me. I go to Best Buy, find what I want, and then go elsewhere to buy it cheaper or with less hassle. Best Buy is just no fun. And it’s infuriating to see them be such idiots about customer service and pricing issues, because it employs half my home town (it seems).

  39. Synth3t1c says:

    that picture is less than acceptable. for all i know, that could be his monitor. that sliver of “in store menu” could be anything.

    i am not down with the scamming, but this just screams fake.

  40. humphrmi says:

    @gsmumbo: If they were actually price-matching (like, matching CC’s or some other store’s price) I’d buy your argument. I don’t agree with saying that a Best Buy store selling you a product that they advertise at at the online price a “price match”. The opposite, however (advertising one price and then only offering a higher price in-store) does have a name: Bait and Switch, and most states outlaw it.

  41. Synth3t1c says:

    @Leiterfluid: Why do you think that? They have their own warehouses. I work there, and know this for a fact.

  42. dreamcatcher2 says:

    I don’t have a problem with Best Buy doing this – they’ve got to protect in-store margins somehow while remaining competitive online. If you’ve come to their store, then you’re making use of their expensive land, displays, and labor, so they are justified in trying to protect the higher margins that BY NECESSITY come along with those expenses. Running an electronics website is much cheaper than running an electronics store. If you want the online price, order it online.

    Is it deceptive? Mildly. They make it 5% harder to find out that you can buy it for a few bucks cheaper after you’ve come and used their expensive store space that they need to pay for somehow. I don’t blame them.

  43. smbfl says:

    Some stores have higher overhead than others and BestBuy needs to charge more for the products in those stores to be profitable. The kiosk should show the in store pricing as you are in the store. What’s the big deal?

  44. tmed says:

    I am annoyed by this as well, but isn’t the easiest solution to buy it over the web and pick it up at the store.

    This should also cut down the browsing and impulse buying, which in turn should cut down their desire to alter the pricing.

  45. DjDynasty says:

    Everytime I buy something from best buy, I search their website for the pricing thing, because you and I BOTH know it’ll be higher on the in-store website. Then I right click on that page, select edit in whatever HTML editor I need, and lower the price myself. I’ve knocked $100 off of computers, and my personal favorite. Sirius had a buy a $50 gift card, get a free radio. I made the gift card 1/2 off, and changed the radio model to a much better one. AND The kicker is I ordered the origional amount on the web for in-store pickup. When they handed me the radio, I informed them it was the wrong one :-)

  46. ObtuseGoose says:

    I have no problem with Best Buy having different prices on their website than at the store. If the website doesn’t say they’ll price match at the store, then you shouldn’t expect it to happen. The only thing I expect to be the same is their weekly printed mailer and the store prices. Which, when I’ve gone there, have been the same.

    My issue is with the kiosks. It’s clear from reading past articles that they’ve used the kiosks to convince people that the item they want to purchase is not on sale. For that, they should be financially punished.

  47. macgyver314 says:

    To all the people that say Best Buy and are the same company and should charge the same price: All companies that large vary their prices from location to location. A McDonalds in Ashland, VA is not going to charge nearly as much for a Big Mac as one in New York City because the economies are completely different. Likewise, not every Best Buy location is going to charge the same price for the same merchandise. If the website was going to charge the same price as the stores, then every Best Buy location would have to have the same prices, even ones that are not in the same country as one another.

  48. blkhrt1 says:

    Have you morons not gotten the concept of “cost of living”. A 2 bedroom apartment in New York City is going to be a hell of a lot more expensive than one in Texas. That’s because of property values and such.

    Here’s my issue. Best Buy, like every other corporation, is divided into territories, districts, regions, etc. ALL of which are different. Best Buy (the store) and are different entities, therefore are competitors. So, if you find it cheaper online, the store is NOT trying to rip you off, it’s trying to tell you that the normal cost is what you see in the store, but the sale price online is a company price so they match it.

    Stores have sales goals and revenues to meet every day, so they have markup. Simple economics. Now if the smart shopper does research, they can get a better deal. But instead, they write this site to whine about $7.

    Hope that coffee is worth the bitching you’ve spent here.

  49. Maverickewu says:

    @macgyver314: Bad example there. McDonalds is a franchise company. Each location or multiple locations are owned by different people, and therefore subject to mostly different whims when it comes to pricing. Best buy stores (and online) are owned by corporate. The reason that this is a problem is because best buy has the whole “buy online, pick up in store” philosophy, and they practically advertise that there’s no difference to them if you buy it online or in store, it’s all the same, save for the online only sales or in store only sales that occasionally run.

  50. Elle Rayne says:

    Admittedly, I love Best Buy so I’m biased, but what’s so shocking about this? So the prices differ…it’s no different than in-store prices not matching an ad flyer. The in-store website is obviously meant to reflect the current prices, and if the regular website doesn’t catch up it’s not a “deceptive practice.” I can’t believe anybody’s actually sued Best Buy for this. Aren’t there better things to do with one’s time?

  51. dapuddle says:

    I always feel dirty after dealing with Best Buy. Don’t know why, I just do.

  52. GEli says:

    @blkhrt1: Be that as it may, I have come to expect that a brick and mortar store and its website both represent the same store. This is because this is how every other website and store combo works. If the corporation wishes for and the local Best Buy retail store to be seen differently, perhaps they should consider starting a new store by a different name and leaving the website to represent the Best Buy retail store like normal corporations do. Like they already have with Future Shop in Canada.

  53. loueloui says:

    Man that sucks. BTW that is a kickass coffee maker, especially for me since I need a cup of coffee to make a cup of coffee. Way better than my old pod setup.

    I just happened to get the same one this year, however it’s only $129.99 at Costco with 108 bonus K-cups.

  54. 8abhive says:

    Wow, does anybody else get the feeling we made one of BB’s employee sites?

  55. Benny Gesserit says:

    @RAREBREED: Yes, he was a jerk for putting it that way, but he likely needed the printout. Just before Xmas, I got Staples to use their “price-match + 10%” policy against FutureShop (Canuck version of BestBuy) for a wireless router. Saved $22 – SWEET

    I’d brought a hard copy of the web page and he was very appreciative as he had to staple (no pun intended) a copy of the cash receipt to my printout and leave it in the till. That way it wouldn’t look like he’d overridden the price because I was his bud.

    Still though, the asshat you were talking to could have been a little more helpful.

  56. crankymediaguy says:

    Funny, the other day when there was a similar story on Consumerist, the postings were greatly in favor of the customer. Suddenly, with this story about Best Buy, we see many posters defending B.B.

    Um, Consumerist folks, could you possibly take a look at the posters on this thread and see how many of them just registered in the past two or three days? I suspect we have an influx of B.B. trolls here.

  57. HOP says:


  58. LTS! says:

    @KevinQ: There is no reason that their in-store kiosk has to look (exactly) like See, for example, Border’s Books and Music, which has very different kiosks and website. It’s purposefully misleading.

    Sure there is… why should Best Buy pay to have a completely different interface created to perform the exact same function? If you had cash, just charge the coffee maker and put the cash in the bank to pay the charge.

    @crankymediaguy: Why dpn’t YOU check rather than just take pot shots from the peanut gallery.

    @ObtuseGoose: The item they want to purchase IS NOT ON SALE at the store. That’s the entire point here.

    Finally, everyone look at DJDynasty’s comment. This would be the EXACT reason as a company I would not just accept a printout of a website as proof of anything. It’s easy enough to modify the page.

  59. SpenceMan01 says:

    @GEli: You hit the nail on the head. I worked at BB when they launched their site. There was a TON of branding going on and a HUGE push to equate both site and B & M as one entity. They KNOW that consumers view them in that respect.

  60. KogeLiz says:

    I just order online.
    Or get in-store pick-up.
    I don’t expect Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc to have the same prices as they do online. especially since they have multiple online sales constantly.


  61. kc2idf says:

    A little perspective may be in order….

    It’s $5.

    Unless you make something close to minimum, you spent more time on it than it’s worth.

    …and if you do make something close to minimum, then why are you buying a $150 coffee maker when there are $30 coffee makers?

    Now, I don’t disagree that this behaviour on BB’s part is bad and wrong, and that they need to get spanked, but for an amount of money that is less than the sales tax, you may want to consider where else to put your energy.

  62. vastrightwing says:

    not only do they mislead you with prices: they mislead you with their so called “warranty” and “abuse”. They won’t honor most warranty claims and they get out of covering your claim by saying normal wear and tear is “abuse”.

    Isn’t Best Buy also the store that sold the poor kid a phone book inside an XBOX box?

  63. TheOtherJen says:


    Obviously it’s the principle of the matter he cares about, duh! Plus he said “it’s not a fortune” anyway, so it’s not like he’s being a cheapskate. And if it was me, I’d be pissed, seven bucks is a lot of money to me! It’s still money!

  64. LVP says:

    Best Buy also does not put out sale signs for items that are on a post Christmas sale!

    I was shopping for a computer at BB a few days after Christmas a year or two ago. Liked the price but wanted to sit on it after a day. Came back to BB the next day and the price went up, it had been on a post Christmas sale but no sale sign or end date! Luckily I had a Circuit City print out with the old price so they matched it.

    Yesterday I was looking at a camera at BB. I asked a blue shirt if it was on a post Christmas sale as there was no sale sign. She looked it up and said yes. I peered over her shoulder and noticed the sale for the item ending on the 29th.

    I know sales are listed in the flyer but I am sure they don’t mention everything that is on sale. I’m glad Dad always told me to ask if it’s on sale or if there is a discount no matter what. The worse someone can say is “no”… or “get the fuck out of my store” but they don’t really do that in chains.

  65. theblackdog says:

    I know where that Best Buy is thanks to the address shown in the pictures. I would have thought that stuff was supposed to be blacked out in these pictures Consumerist.

  66. LVP says:

    @RAREBREED: Don’t they have bluetooth printers? Find a demo one and have it recognize your phone.

  67. godai says:

    @Those who think BB is in the clear because online/store is different:

    The problem is when they provide the computers to check “online” and use that as proof that the price is the higher one.

    This is the brick store pretending to be the online store to avoid a price match.

    I agree if you are trying to price match a different store chain then you should have proof aka a print out.

  68. just_paranoid says:

    hello people this isn’t peoples court. this is the consumerist. where the ‘consumers bite back’. if you don’t believe that store need to quit using deceptive practices, then what are you doing on here? go to aol message boards with all the rest of the negative a-holes.

  69. Curiosity says:


    There seems to be a misconception here about corporate sales (the term corp. is used loosely) and where they do business.

    The idea that there is a difference between online sales and in-store sales I would buy if the corporation did not actually do business in the state or made an effort to disentangle their online business with their brick and mortar business through a separate trademark or trade dress and a distinction in their logistics. This has to do with the legal term of “doing business”.

    It is somewhat hard to argue that if a store has a physical presence in a state it isn’t doing business in the state irrespective of the means which it does business by. In this case even though a consumer may order a product and expect it to come interstate, it really comes intrastate. What this means is not only the business defrauding the consumer as to why there is a difference in price (greater efficiency by internet sales, or a lower price in one region and therefore taking advantage of the price differential), but also defrauding the consumer as to what the “market” is.

    To be clear a market is usually defined by the consumer – where do the majority of consumers who are interested in products shop? In this case a corporation is misleading the consumer to whom its competition is and perhaps more importantly that the customer can legitimately shop for a better price by expanding their search within the market but outside of the region that the corporation has decided to fix the price within. Simply put the corporations are trying to stop people from enjoying the ability to take advantage of the capitalist system by going outside what the corporation is trying to fix the market as.

    This applies here b/c while price matching is a privilege, it is first and foremost a privilege for corporations not the consumers b/c it allows the corporations to be competitive without the consumers instantly denying them the opportunity to sell the consumers (perhaps b/c of things other than price). Without price matching, there is no reason to go to some stores either online or in brick and mortar. The fraud here occurs in the stores misrepresentation of the market. It is one thing to say yes we will match an online store with our own online delivery system and you can come to our brick and mortar to price match (and the stores would benefit by drawing ppl in like the business model for gas stations), it is quite another that you deny that you are the same corporation when you deliver in the store, and when there is little difference technically to paying with a credit card online (which ironically you could do at some stores) and paying in the store via an Amex or Visa machine.

    But wait there is one difference – taxation. Ironically here there is a bit of sketchiness too, but it is not my argument but state government’s gripe. That “Courts have ruled that if a business has a physical presence in a state, states can require them to collect taxes for remote purchases made from people in that state.” This highlights the fraud of the fiction of two separate businesses and I suggest that people take a look at it: [] .

  70. darkened says:

    @XianZomby: I try my hardest to not shop at best buy after they refused to honor my purchase using a credit being an authorized signer but not having my name on the card. They acted like I had stolen the card even though it was even my fathers with the same last name! Needless to say best buy has lost $100s if not $1000s of business from me as I always choose to shop at circuit city if i shop brick and mortar.

    The only rare times Bestbuy ever gets money out of me is when they have some elaborate rebate that gets me an item for less than cost of buying OEM from the internet or have 50 DVD+Rs for $5.

    But on the Comcast part I’ve had them for half a decade now and they’ve never once let me down. I feel so bad for people that don’t have such great service i do. My only complaint is long hold times for support when my cable went out, but even now the last time i called i think i only waited 10-20 minutes, not the 45-90 minutes i waited after originally getting comcast many years ago.

  71. sven.kirk says:

    Best Buy (store) Store Price Guarantee

    Look at the last 3 paragraphs.

  72. sven.kirk says:
  73. snoop-blog says:

    a place called best buy, purposely tries to not give you the best price? ironic.

  74. guevera says:

    Bought a video game from bb this month. 40 online, 50 in store. When I asked about price match they asked me how much it was on-line…

  75. blkhrt1 says:

    @GEli: Well you may think that, but Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Bob’s Hardware, Jim’s Glass Shop, Ronnie’s Book Store…it doesn’t MATTER what store it is. The simple truth is that every store has a website to REPRESENT that store, not substitute for it. Hell yeah prices online can be cheaper because local tax, state tax, and other various fees can’t be charged to a warehouse item. I find it hilarious that they price matched the item, but the customer still complained. Find something else to complain about. Best Buy is here and isn’t going anywhere and will still be better than anyone reading this.

  76. blkhrt1 says:

    @guevera: you were given the price match? *GASP* What a shocker!!!


  77. kalikidtx says:

    whats the old expression, retail is for suckers? well retail stores are for suckers too, circuit city and bestbuy are great for looking at a product, then goto amazon and buy it there, its 100% worth the few extra days you might wait to get whatever you want….

  78. Counterpoint says:

    Those kiosks aren’t made for price-matching lookups – they’re made for customers to order out-of-stock store items. That is why the prices are changed to the local store’s prices. Unfortunately a lot of under-trained / inept salespeople don’t understand that the kiosks aren’t the “real” bestbuy website.

    @ a couple of you – just because people don’t drink every last drop of Consumerist kool-aid for every story, it doesn’t make the bestbuy employees / shills. Believe it or not, but some people can actually think for themselves.

  79. geognerd says:

    I usually browse products online to see who has the lowest price, then I go to the brick-and-mortar store to buy the product with the printout in hand that lists the product’s online price, model number, product number and so on. I do that in case the store has a different price than the website, and if the product isn’t out on the sales floor. When buying a DVD box set at Best Buy, I noticed they were selling for something like $4 more than online. I showed the cashier the printout and he did the price match without any problem. The interesting thing I saw was that on the register he entered Best Buy as the competitor for the price match. Before Christmas, I went to Circuit City to get a product that was $34 online. At the store it was $50. I figured I was OK, since I had the printout of the online price. Well, there was only one cashier and eight people in line. I said screw this, and went back to my office to order the thing online with in-store pickup. I’ll be doing that from now on. I doubt the in-store price will ever be lower than the online price, so I might as well order online to begin with.

  80. Elle Rayne says:

    @just_paranoid: Because an element of realism is needed. The question is, which “deceptive practices” need to be stopped? Nobody here is saying stores should deceive customers, but nobody here can stop them from doing it. And as some people here have pointed out, in this case, the in-store price dif only seems deceptive to the person who’s disappointed.

  81. BSides27 says:

    Yeah, I used to work at one of these places. Make no mistake they can access the normal Internet site from ANY of their PCs so don’t let them BS you with that. They also have access to competitor sites. I’m pretty sure I got fired because I would willingly look up other websites for people and get them the lowest price. Trust me their HR practices are not much better than their customer service.

  82. commorancy says:

    Did anyone notice that the physical printout says “On Sale” with a check mark? The in-store snapshot does NOT say “On Sale”. Clearly, the differences in price are the difference between the sale price and the regular retail price. That, however, doesn’t make it any less deceptive for a consumer. But, the fact that the web site has the item marked as “On Sale” automatically indicates a lower price.

    I agree, you should always print out what you see on the web and carry it into the store to ensure you get the price that you see. I’ve gotten lots of discounts from Circuit City by using this tactic alone. Circuit City always matches the price of their online store at the retail outlets.

    Not to defend Best Buy, but this looks like the in-store database doesn’t get updated with the same sale pricing as the web site database (clearly they are separate databases). Best Buy needs to resolve this issue so that both are using the same data and both sites will show the same pricing.

  83. chattwriter says:

    If you guys really have a question about the prices online, as an employee. Tell them to log in to their Employee Toolkit. On there we have 2 options – – Local and – National. Tell them you want to see the national one. Also, it is GM’s discretion on whether to match prices. Ours usually does.