Best Buy: Video Games Are Not Toys

Best Buy told Rob that his coupon for 25% off three toys did not apply to video games because video games are not toys. Sad and confused, Rob went home and searched for “toy” on Best Buy’s website. Hop across the jump to see what appeared.
What a coincidence, two video games and a console.

Rob writes:

BestBuy has a rewardszone coupon for 10% of 1 toy, 15% off 2 toys and 25% off 3 toys. See attached coupon. Went to my local Best Buy in Bridgewater NJ and attempted to use the coupon on a Xbox 360 and 2 games for the system. I was told by multiple rude employees that an Xbox 360 is a video console and not a toy. A search on BestBuy’s website for the item “toy” shows Halo 3 as the 1st item. Also further down the list it shows the Xbox 360 unit.

How is a video game not a toy? I called Best Buy corporate office and was told same thing. I was told a doll is a toy. Didn’t know Best Buy was in the doll selling business. Then I was told that if it is an electronic game for a child 12 and under it is a toy. Doesn’t seem like Best Buy has any clue what a toy is. As you can see from the attached pdf file no were in the exclusions on the coupon does it state Video Game Consoles.

Got to love Best Buy making up rules that only suit themselves.

We are fine print sticklers. Companies pay plenty for in-house lawyers trained in the art of strangling consumers with fine print. They don’t cut us a break when we want an item excluded from a promotion. Why shouldn’t we hold them to the same standard? Best Buy may distinguish between games and toys on their website, but the coupon does not define toys or exclude games.

Game Over.


Edit Your Comment

  1. snoop-blog says:

    why do people still shop at best buy?

    • Anonymous says:

      actually if any of you could stop being ignorant for a couple of seconds, you would see that that actually says games and toys not just toys, and video games are not toys by any means, theyre technically considered computers and if you wanna say computers are toys then anyone could consider anything their toy, like their own plasma TV. use common sense and realize that when it says toys it obviously means things like the robots or rc cars or other TOYS like that, dont just go after a company because you want something your way and cant have it that way, go back to being a 5 year old and play with your toys then

  2. Drake Lake: Phase Lunaire says:

    I remember they sold those dog robot music things at one point, at least at the store I went to. Could that be what they consider a ‘toy?’

  3. Kirbytheslayer: In-Kirby XMB says:

    @DrakeLake: If it costs too much, then it is a “Electronic Music Aid Device”, and therefore not eligible.

  4. brilton says:

    I went to their website and it seems to me that there is a category for Gaming + Toys and then another sub-category that is just toys. I was able to access just toys by themselves without any game items at all. This seems to me more like an issue concerning proper website layout.

  5. Hammerfall10 says:

    Huh? Best Buy sells toys?

  6. Tux the Penguin says:

    Hmmm… I have one of those sitting in my coupon drawer right now. I’ve been wanting a PS3. I might go into their store, use their “secret in-store website” and try the same search.

    I’d love to get a PS3 for 25% off. Think about it: get a PS3 and two games for 25% off!

    Now to convince the wife…

  7. nelson714 says:


  8. Scuba Steve says:

    @snoop-blog: Because service doesn’t really matter when you hate shopping in general and you just want the lowest prices with a reasonable amount of hassle.

    Occasionally Best Buy might be that place. Most of the time its screw or be screwed.

    My “Cheap ass” nature forbids me from going there 100% of the time, thankfully.

  9. Erasmus Darwin says:

    Looking at the screenshot, it seems like the search for “toys” pulled up the category “Games & Toys”. If video games were already considered toys, then there’d be no reason to have a compound category name like that. I find it disappointing that both Rob and the Consumerist writer conveniently overlooked that obvious discrepancy in order to shore up their claim that Best Buy is wrong here.

  10. homerjay says:

    So if a toy is defined as “electronic game for a child 12 and under” what am I supposed to call those things my wife and I keep in the beside drawer?

  11. Snake726 says:

    So the coupon is useless? Either man-up and refer to your products as toys, or don’t CALL them toys and then deny it.

  12. snoop-blog says:

    it is very ironic how a place called “best buy” will not give you thee best buy. lol.

  13. snoop-blog says:

    @Scuba Steve: i prefer to be called just ‘snoop’. lol.

  14. arby says:

    This guy is being deliberately obtuse. Obviously the search for “toy” turned up the entire category “Games & Toys,” and obviously Xbox 360 and 2 *game* cartridges (or whatever form they’re in) fall under “games” rather than “toys.”

  15. josh924 says:

    @snoop-blog: “Okay, I won’t shop at Best Buy. I’ll see if EB Games has the game I’m looking for.”

    “Why do people shop at EB Games?”

    “Fine, I’ll try Wal-Mart.”

    *An hour later*

    “Well, Wal-Mart didn’t have that game, either, and neither did Costco or Target.”

    “Oh, that’s too bad. Have you tried looking for it at Best Buy or EB Games?”

  16. girly says:

    So what happens if you go into a Best Buy and say “can you direct me to the toys”?

  17. mergedwarrior says:

    I’d walk over to the “in store computer” and search for “Toys”.

    That’d show them.

  18. m4nea says:

    you’ll notice it says games AND toys.

    The video games are the GAMES,

    and the roboraptors and little handheld electronic scrabble and junk are the TOYS.

    Did you really think you were going to get 25% off an xbox? grow a brain…

  19. Daman3178 says:

    If a game console isn’t a toy then why is it sold at Toys’R’Us? Also could you use this coupon at another store that will honor their competitions prices?

  20. LowerHouseMember says:

    Videogames are not toys. Pretty simple.

  21. Kyte says:

    If it doesn’t say in the fine print, bring it up in the store, instead of complaining on the net. Heck, they have PC’s in-store with the site on them, do a toy search on those with an employee watching. Just argue and argue, especially since fine print is on your side this time.

  22. Manok says:

    fat wallet had a 30 page thread on this subject where some people convinced the managers that video games were toys and got PS3s and xboxs for 25% off. A totaly YMMV coupon. They sell toys at bestbuy because the last time I was in one, they have remote control robot dinosaurs and other small crap.

  23. onomeister says:

    “a toy is defined as electronic game for a child 12 and under”

    SOOOO, BestBuy would consider a Nintendo Wii and DS a toy, since their target core audience is 3-12 years. But since Xbox360 and PS3 core audience is targeted for older age groups, they wouldn’t be considered at toy. Is this correct, lawyers?

    SOOOO, what about Viva Pinata for Xbox 360? Is it a toy? It’s a video game, a game is a type of toy (like a board game is a type of toy), it’s an electronic game for 12 or under… Or is Bestbuy gonna use ESRB ratings to determine which games are toys and which games are ‘adult entertainment devices’?
    Why can’t we just keep ALL video games defined as toys???

    /Ima gonna use this here 25% coupon to go buy me some Ninty games, cos them are toyz…

  24. snoop-blog says:

    @onomeister: so why do people still shop there again?

  25. snoop-blog says:

    @onomeister: whoops not meant for you

    @josh924: so why do people still shop there again? lol.

  26. johnva says:

    @LowerHouseMember: Yes they are, arguably.

  27. Atratyys says:

    It’s simple really, video games are serious business, serious business can’t be toys, thus, video games are not toys :P

  28. SuffolkHouse says:


    It is not a toy, it is an animal.

  29. Atratyys says:

    The items that would fit into this category are probably the items actually in the toy category “All Categories > Games & Toys > Toys & Kids’ Electronics”

    Which is everything in this category which does not include the Xbox 360 or any games for it:

  30. Taco Bell™ says:

    I’d love to say that Best Buy should stop being stupid, but my brain makes sense of video games being “software” and consoles being “hardware”. It’s the same as an anti-virus package being “software” and a car stereo as being “hardware”. It’s not a toy if you can’t really play with it, and if you use it for multimedia entertainment. A toy really isn’t one of those things, is it? Mebe one of those iDogs or whatever they’re called, but something about them really just screams cheap toy. I want to think of a video game as a toy, but the logic part of my brain just won’t let me see it that way.

    Video games are not toys. Unless you attack them to a power brick and make a kick-ass race car.

  31. snoop-blog says:


  32. BugMeNot2 says:

    It says games AND TOYS, smartasses.

    Who in their right mind considers consoles to be the same thing as toys?

    Best Buy sucks for many reasons, but this isn’t one of them.

  33. elislider says:

    Circuit City did this to me. I tried to use a %-off coupon to buy a DS Lite, and they wouldnt let me because the coupon doesnt apply to “video game consoles”. I tried over and over to get the CSRs to explain how a DS was a console and they couldnt, just that it was and therefore didnt apply. If you went to their website page for the xbox or ps3, it says console all over the page. however, if you go the to the page for the DS Lite, nowhere on the page was the word console. I gave up on Circuit City that day

  34. luz says:

    We used to put food in the washing machine all the time when I was a kid. TOYZ!

  35. sled_dog says:

    From American Heritage Dictionary:


    It seems that most dictionaries’ first definition of TOY is “something a child plays with.” However, all also include a definition “An amusement; a pastime.”

    So put some cash in your 12-year-olds hand and let them buy the console. If a child buys it, how could they deny its a toy?

  36. Sherryness says:

    I’m not surprised – stores put tons of very specific restrictions on these coupons and then don’t abide by their own defintions. I tried to use a “$10 off of $10″ coupon at JC Penney just before Christmas. I wanted to purchase a gift set that contained liquid soap, lotion, a holder for the set and a brush.” I was told I couldn’t because the coupon was not good on “cosmetics and fragrances.” I said, “This is foot lotion and soap. It’s not a cosmetic or a fragrance.” Still, I was refused because the coupon was not good on “cosmetics and fragrances.” Very stupid. I let them keep the lotion and soap and bought a “Thinsulate” gloves and hat set for my son instead which was on sale for half price, thus free with my coupon. I think they would have been dollars ahead to have sold me the lotion and the soap.

  37. snoop-blog says:

    @Sherryness: i find that common sense, is not all that common.

  38. rickless abandon says:

    anyone here thinking that best buy is in the wrong or is some how being shady in this particular instance boggle my mind. were this not about trying to sleeze some cash from a corporation, then i bet most people here would say that video games aren’t toys in the common sense of the word.

    video games are more like computers than anything else and i’m sure no one would side up with someone trying to use this coupon to get 25% off of a new laptop. sure, we enjoy our electronics and can even get giddy about them, but they’re not toys. mind you, this is the same crowd that would be upset to hear someone saying that video games cannot be art. clearly you want to have your cake, eat it too, and get it at someone else’s expense.

    as for the website pulling up halo 3 as a “toy,” it’s very obvious that searching for “toy” pulls up anything in the “games and toys” category (which is where video game hardware and software are filed).

    like someone else already said, while there are lots of reasons to hate best buy – this is not one of them.

  39. capraiii says:

    @elislider: Dude, a DS is a console. A portable console. That was your bad on that one.

  40. Homie says:

    Worst store ever.

    They pulled this crap with me years ago when they were distributing a “$5 Off” coupon that was good for many things, among them “videogame software”. I brought a Gamecube game to the counter and was promptly told by the cashier that Gamecube games were not videogame software. When I asked what, exactly, constituted videogame software, the cashier stammered a bit and then said “computer games”. Nowhere on the coupon did it say “computer games”. I told her to clarify the situation by calling the manager, who backed her and also refused to come out and speak to me. I of course left without purchasing the game.

    I later called their headquarters to complain. The custom service rep I spoke to was confused by the concept of “videogame software” and had to ask someone else about it, so they took my name, phone number and the store where I tried to buy the game, and said they would call me later. An hour later I had the go ahead to return to the store and use the $5 coupon to buy a Gamecube game. Though I didn’t ask for it, there was also no apology for having wasted my time. It should go without saying that I didn’t bother returning to Best Buy after that.

    And for those who are interested, this was the Best Buy across the street from UCLA, though I guess you don’t need to go to Westwood to get shoddy treatment. Every Best Buy is like that!

  41. Homie says:

    @rickless abandon: Take a few moments to browse the “toys” on Best Buy’s web site and you’ll find that there are no toys (in the conventional sense), just video games. Because of this, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that BB defines video games as toys, and to expect them to honor the coupon on a video game purchase.

  42. KidU says:

    This has been on SlickDeals all month long. Some BB’s have indeed accepted the coupons on game consoles and games, while others have rejected it. Extremely YMMV on this one.

  43. lordeirias says:

    Search for “computer” on Best Buy’s webpage…. top result was a stick of RAM. Sorry but I do not think of RAM as a “computer” but as a component.

    If you switch it to sort by Price Lowest to Highest it shows Compressed Air Duster. This also does not scream “computer” to me. A search term gives you related results too. Yes “toy” gives you consoles as they are in the Games and Toys section but does that mean every item when you search a term IS what the search term says (oh yay, USB cables and CDRs are also computers).

  44. czarandy says:

    games != toys

  45. Sudonum says:

    I believe Marge would refer to them as “Marital Aids”

  46. guroth says:

    “I tried over and over to get the CSRs to explain how a DS was a console and they couldnt, just that it was and therefore didnt apply.”

    It is a stand-alone appliance that you purchase game cartridges for. How is it NOT a console?

  47. f3rg says:

    Yet another reason to never shop at BestBuy. I won’t even bother going into their stores anymore.

  48. XTC46 says:

    saying an Xbox is a toy is like saying a macbook is an iPod accessory.

  49. Daryl26 says:

    Can Hardware and Software pass as a toy?

    @sled_dog: So, basically, bring a dictionary, show it to the CSR as a Child plays with said items in any way or form, and you’re home free. Flawless! :)

  50. sis says:

    Interesting. I think I will go to Best Buy and convince them that I let my children play with our refridgerator, microwave, and range thus making them “toys” and I can get 25% off.

    Or I can use common sense and realize that appliances, like video games, are not toy, thus saving myself a trip.

    People who act like this are the reason we have the obnoxious fine print on those coupons, warning labels on hair dryers that say “Don’t use in shower”, and coffee cups that say “Warning: Hot”.

  51. Hijakk says:

    I think that the people pointing out that the category is “Games and Toys”, and Best Buy is justified in denying the coupon are missing the big sticking point:
    When you do a search on the Best Buy website for the keyword “toy”, it shows the consoles.
    I generally assume that when something shows up when searching for a keyword, that keyword is an inherent property of said item.
    I tried two stores here in town, and I got accused of coupon fraud at one of them. I finally managed to persuade someone at 1800BESTBUY that they should accept the coupon, so I got my cheap systems, but I’m still pretty unhappy with my local stores.

  52. forgottenpassword says:

    I hate those best buy coupons they send me in the mail….. there are so many restrictions that it is a f*cking JOKE! I think they do it on purpose just to get you in the store.

  53. linoth says:

    You’re doing it again, Consumerist. Sometimes you just pick the WRONG stories. This is crap. The guy was deliberately trying to weedle a deal he KNEW the coupon didn’t cover. Hell, you founded, built, and completed the arguement against yourself IN YOUR OWN ARTICLE!

    “A search on BestBuy’s website for the item “toy” shows Halo 3 as the 1st item. Also further down the list it shows the Xbox 360 unit.”

    “Best Buy may distinguish between games and toys on their website…”

    Why do I still have your RSS feed again?

  54. sis says:

    Also, if anyone cares, here’s a link to the electronic games:


    Basically, those cheap devices such as the v-tech “learning” games, etc. If you were curious what constitutes a toy, just go to the Toys category:


  55. t0fu says:

    so what does best buy sell that is a “Toy”

  56. sis says:

    @Hijakk: That’s a bit extreme. Who knows how the search engine works? If I do a search for Toy, the movie “Toy Story” will come up. Are you suggesting that that should count as a toy?

    I would agree if Best Buy “categorized” video games under toys, but they do not. It’s a sibling category.

  57. pylon83 says:

    I think the OP is/was totally in the wrong here. Common sense tells us that a video game is not a toy in the traditional sense. He was trying to pull a fast one over Best Buy, they weren’t going to fall for it, he got mad, and Consumerist unfortunately decided to publicize it. Shame on Carey for posting this.

  58. Hijakk says:

    @sis: I’d say that finding something with “toy” in the title would be a good argument to not allow it. However, I don’t see any instances of the word “toy” in the title or description of, say, the Xbox 360 elite page on It seems likely to me that, therefore, it is an explicitly added property of the system.
    Actually, at my stores, they didn’t even bother trying to argue if the consoles were “toys” or not, they told me that “Video game hardware is ALWAYS excluded on coupons”. I pointed out that, well, there are *no* exclusions on the coupon.
    This resulted in some sort of feedback loop with the manager, with her insisting that video game hardware is excluded and me trying to explain that there are no exclusions on the coupon. She then accused me of altering the coupon to remove the exclusions.

  59. Comeaja says:

    @Atratyys: “video games are serious business, serious business can’t be toys”

    I think not. You’d better believe that when I bust out my legos everyone puts a straight face on and gets serious.


  60. MercuryPDX says:

    @homerjay: A “Marital aid”? ;)

  61. sis says:

    @Hijakk: OK, so what about the video game version of Toy Story? It’s got toy in the title…

    Anyway, as others have pointed out, the category is Games and Toys, which is likely the property that the search is retreiving. I don’t think each game is tagged as a “toy” as you are suggesting, but instead tagged as “Games and Toys”.

  62. Michael Belisle says:

    @sis: You need a little more specification, since “Kids’ Electronics” is a subcategory of “Toys & Kids’ Electronics”, which is in turn a subcategory of “Games & Toys”. So a toy must be everything that’s in “Toys & Kids’ Electronics”, except “Kids’ Electronics”. Or more logically

    Toy = { x | x ∈ (in) “Toys & Kid’s Electronics” and x ∉ (not in) “Kids’ Electronics” }.

    Or maybe a Venn diagram would be clearer:
    [ Games & Toys ]
    [ [ Games (no) | Toys (yes) | Kid’s Electronics (no) ] ]

  63. sis says:

    @belisle: According to the post, Kid’s Electronics are considered toys by BB:

    “Then I was told that if it is an electronic game for a child 12 and under it is a toy.”

    So this is how I read it:
    [ Games & Toys ]
    [ [ Games (no) | Toys & Kid’s Electronics (Yes) ] ]

    This is clear if you use Best Buy’s categorization to filter products instead of an ambiguous search:

    Best Buy Games & Toys Toys & Kids’ Electronics

  64. bilge says:

    @snoop-blog: For the one or two times a year that I want a CD *right now* and can’t wait to roll it into my next Amazon order.

  65. Michael Belisle says:

    @sis: Maybe they don’t know what words mean. I don’t see how Toy = Toy + Kids’ Electronics, unless Kids’ Electronics = 0.

  66. Michael Belisle says:

    Whoops, I meant to keep using set theory:

    “I don’t see how { Toys } = { Toys , Kids’ Electronics} unless { Kids’ Electronics } = {∅}.”

    That’s better.

  67. wring says:

    aaah I had the same run-in with a coupon that consumerist pointed me to. bf bought an xbox 360 controller and i wanted to use the coupon. apparently the coupon does not exclude the item, but does not include it in the list either so no go. and this was a 10% off coupon. they’re worse than macy’s coupons!

  68. Giantsquid says:

    I’d be the first joining Rob in trying this, but let’s not rationalize our sanity away. We are smart people. We need to approach this as smart, savvy consumerists. Let’s call a spade a spade, and not full ourselves.

    maybe, I think, I don’t see how… Theses statements do not enter into a logical, intelligent solution to a problem.

    I’m no business man. I only have a measly 6 yrs in retail work, but anyone could tell you that you aren’t calling a spade a spade. the search result yielded in the categories “Games and Toys” Games, and Toys people. If you want to be able to battle the big boys, we need to be smarter. If I was a laywer I’d laugh at this. Halo 3 did NOT come up as a toy. It came up under the cats “Games and Toys” which Best Buy reserves the right to categories their stock how they see fit(within federal/state laws).

    As I said. I woulda been right along Rob trying to get this, but when they said no, I would not have had to try to solve this in more than 3 seconds. I liked the article, but I think it needs a lot of work before it should have been printed.

  69. Michael Belisle says:

    To summarize my issue by proof on a Saturday night…

    Best Buy’s website defines the set of Games and Toys. They include as a member of that set Toys and Kids’ Electronics. Since Toys = Toys, Kids’ Electronics can’t be a subset of Toys and must be a subset of Games.

    But, as the CSR pointed out, Kids’ Electronics is considered a subset of Toys for the purposes of this promotion. This implies that it’s not much of a stretch to consider the other members of the set of Games as members of Toys and one could argue similarly that an XBox is a toy.

    Therefore, the promotion is ill-defined, which implies YMMV. (QED)

    (Alternatively, the secret in-store website also uses secret in-store categorizations, which is unlikely.)

  70. coren says:

    Hahah, people had a field day with this at another site which shall remain nameless…

    But people were walking out with 3 PS3s or 360s at 25 percent off each. For a good while you could just order via the website and get them to refund you for the coupon.

    Yes, the coupon was unspecific, but it was basically based on manager discretion because stuff like radios or cds/dvds were coming up under the search of “toy”

  71. ihateauditions says:

    toy |toi|
    1 an object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something : [as adj. ] a toy car.
    • an object, esp. a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult : in 1914 the car was still a rich man’s toy.
    • a person treated by another as a source of pleasure or amusement rather than with due seriousness : a man needed a friend, an ally, not an idol or a toy.
    2 [as adj. ] denoting a diminutive breed or variety of dog : a toy poodle.
    toy with 1 consider (an idea, movement, or proposal) casually or indecisively. • treat (someone) without due seriousness, esp. in a superficially amorous way. 2 move or handle (an object) absentmindedly or nervously. • eat or drink in an unenthusiastic or restrained way.
    toylike |-ˌlīk| |ˈtɔɪˈlaɪk| adjective
    ORIGIN late Middle English : of unknown origin. The word originally denoted a funny story or remark, later an antic or trick, or a frivolous entertainment. The verb dates from the early 16th cent.

  72. AznDevil says:

    It’s best Buy if you don’t call video games toys then what the heck are you suppose to call toys there. I’ve known about this coupon for a while and there have been many Best Buys that have accepted it for like PS3’s and 360’s. I even saw one receipt that showed one guy bought a PS3 and 2 sets of dice so he would have 3 items. Oh yeah and If you read the print of the coupon now it clearly states it expires in the 31st of Dec. last year so it is invalid now either way.

  73. rdwarrior says:

    I don’t see what is difficult to understand about this. When you go to, there are categories.. TV & Video, Audio, Games & Toys, etc.. If you hover over Games & Toys, it brings down a category for XBOX, XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, and many others including a category named ‘Toys & Kid Electronics’. i.e. Those are what are considered toys. Not the video games…

  74. Rachacha says:

    I don’t know…just about everything in Best Buy could be considered a “toy” in my house. My kids have their toys (LEGO, Barbie, RoboRaptor, Wii) and Daddy has his toys (Power Tools, Plasma TV, Video Camera, etc.). Just walk in to the store wearing a T-shirt that says “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys”

  75. keeper1616 says:

    I had a similar experience about a month ago. I had a coupon for $10 off any video game. I was told that Guitar Hero was not a video game, as it was hardware, not software…

  76. Silverhammer35 says:

    Best Buy sells toys like robots and such in there stores, and I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about this the reward zone coupon is FREE okay, and if it does not say VIDEO GAMES on the coupon then the coupon will not work. Oh and by the way the website say games and toys not just toys. If it were to just say toys then yes the coupon should work but it didn’t it said Games & Toy’s. And anyways there is no extra cost or even a cost at all for the Reward Zone card, so be glad that 2% or 4% of what is spent can be used to take off a later purchase.

  77. stevekw says:

    OK everyone repeat after me, with hand on wallet…..”I swear never ever never ever ever to give Best Buy a single penny of my money from here on out. so help me………” (fill in idol).

  78. parse says:

    @Hijakk: Your argument seems persuasive at first, but a little research shows that your reasonable assumption isn’t supported by the evidence. “I generally assume that when something shows up when searching for a keyword, that keyword is an inherent property of said item.” Yet when you search on the Best Buy website using the keyword “camera,” one of the items that comes up is “Kodak Photo Paper Kit for Kodak Easy Share,” which is obviously not a camera. So keywords are not necessarily inherent properties of items that appear pursuant to a seach.

    I’d say the appearnce of video consoles and games following a search using “toy” as a keyword supports the argument that those items are games, but it doesn’t settle it.

  79. balthisar says:

    When did video games stop being toys? They were toys the entire time I was growing up. The original Atari 2600 was certainly sold in Toys R Us. If it’s not a general purpose computer, it’s a toy.

  80. Buran says:

    @pylon83: Not true if you define toy the way many people do, which is “thing played with by children”.

  81. MajorMcMuffin says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily classify video games as toys, but in this situation Best Buy are on pretty shaky ground. Seems the best thing for them to do anyway is just give the gut his 25%, stop this thing turning into too much bad publicity. That said, I’ve never known that to happen in the real world.

  82. girly says:

    I also think that calling the category “games and toys” shows that toys are their own separate type of item apart from games.

    However, I am curious if Best Buy employees can point you to the “toys” and if they are marked so you can shop appropriately with the coupon, without any doubts.

  83. Axil says:

    Of course video games are toys. You play with them, their sole purpose is enjoyment. Just because it’s electronic, doesn’t mean it’s not a toy. News flash, somthing can fall into two categories.

    That’s like saying your GI Joe, is not a toy because it’s an “action figure”. Or your toy submarine isn’t a toy because it’s an “aquatic device”. Likewise, software, which is used solo for the purpose of deriving enjoyment, IS and can ONLY BE a toy. Microsoft office is not a toy, it’s used for word processing. TurboTax is not a toy, it’s utility is in helping out with your taxes. Halo 3, is obviously a toy.

    Common usage also comes into play. Obviously even though you could theoretically exclusively play with your microwave, and treat it as a toy. It’s not made to be a toy, it’s not marketed as a toy, and it’s not generally used as a toy. Thus you’re not going to get a discount. Halo3 however is marketed the same way you market any other *toy* it’s sole purpose is to be used for your entertainment. Try again trolls.

  84. warf0x0r says:

    Lol, hey Bestbuy, my gf and I are buying a new flat screen tv this q1 ’08. Guess where we wont be shopping.


  85. Mariajl says:

    Sooooooooo, the Disney Princess game for Wii would be considered a toy…. but the Wii Play on the shelf right next to it is not?

  86. Naia says:

    Ugh, I hate Best Buy… have had multiple bad experiences with that store. It disgusts me even to READ this article with their behavior… have called corporate a few times too, to complain. I don’t think it actually does anything, but still.

    Best Buy is my second favorite store. My favorite store is any other store besides Best Buy.

    @mergedwarrior: Hubby said the same thing. =)

  87. EnigmaNemesis says:

    You say Toymato, I say Toymoto!

  88. Frostberg says:

    This was a scam posted on
    Toys was supposed to be toys like the toy guitar and stuff. There was a correction notice posted that said the coupon was supposed to specifically what the toys were. There were supposed to only be like 5 or 6 toys to choose from.

  89. Taco Bell™ says:

    @keeper1616: Now that would be something worth getting mad about. Guitar Hero IS a damn video game, it just happens to come with a free controller. Guitar Hero is the game itself, and if a controller comes with it, then so be it. You can buy the game without a controller, but it costs less.

  90. Seph says:

    Future Shop has let me get away with coupon loopholes, and normally they won’t argue with me… But Best Buy is stupid for saying that when they put it up in the Toy section themselves.

  91. coren says:

    @Frostberg: It wasn’t a scam. Most best buy stores don’t have toys and couldn’t point you to where their toy section is. It was open ended, and that’s their problem.

    Sure, they sent out a memo (didn’t post much of anything for people to see) to stores, but even then, it was up to the managers to deal with at their discretion.

  92. Javert says:

    I don’t get what is so hard here…it says GAMES and TOYS. A toy would be the little robot thing. A game is, well, a game.

    @Arby: right on with respect to him being obtuse. Now because of hime my coupon will be a 10 page document defining every term. Best Buy coupons specify video games…why would you think on the one that says toys, they really mean video games.

  93. mungojerry says:

    Dude, they’re just toying with you.

  94. FullFlava says:

    Best Buy sucks but you’d have to be reeeeallly stretching it to think that this coupon would cover games, let alone an entire console. You can’t even point a finger at BB because while the coupon doesn’t explicity say that video games are excluded, it wouldn’t have crossed my mind to think that it applied to games except to think, “hmm, maybe I can pull one over on an unsuspecting store.”

  95. theneilcave says:

    For what it’s worth, I would generally consider a video game a toy (certain titles may be inappropriate). I am 26, and I love video games, but my 10 year old cousin is the one with all the awesome systems, not me. I can also see that Best Buy clearly didn’t intend for them to be included. That said, I think i’ll go see if my local BB will accept it.

  96. Insder says:

    To all those saying they’re gonna try the coupon: It expires December 31st, 2007. Way out of time by now.

  97. Meleelink says:

    Yeah, I have a similar story. I tried to match a coupon from Meijer saying buy one video game, get second half off. But Best buy wasn’t about to let this slip by casually. When i asked to talk to the manager about the situation, she told me that this coupon said “Video Games”. And the PC games that i was trying to buy weren’t classified as “Video Games”, rather they were “Video Software”. So apparently that one word does not qualify me for the discount. I was more than a little peeved at this and went back to the store and grabbed a video game, and the exact replica of that game except in PC form. I asked her why the exact copy of the “Video Game” in “Video Software” doesnt qualify, and she gave me no answer. >.<

  98. girly says:

    @Axil: I guess the generally accepted definition of ‘toys’ might be relevant in that Best Buy was obviously not too clear about what they call ‘toys’.

    Seems like BB sometimes relies on ambiguity (on their part) to use to their advantage.

  99. chocxtc says:

    The more I read consumerist the more I refuse and tell ALL of my friends not to shop at Best Buy. Since there is not clear distinction what is the big deal. After all they are still making money anyway.

  100. ceilingFANBOY says:

    Best Buy is no good for shopping. However, I do like to go there to check out the tvs and play around with the settings a bit, but when it comes time to buy a tv, I’ll go find it cheaper elsewhere. Even using the $15 gift card I got with Guitar Hero 80s Encore, buying Crank on blu-ray was barely cheaper than getting it from Amazon or Wal-Mart. Really, it’s only worth it to shop for things that have a set price that is the same from store to store or something that you don’t think you will find anywhere else. There are those occasions where I will buy a cd or dvd from Best Buy because I couldn’t find them anywhere else and I impulse bought them.

  101. thinkfreemind says:

    Best Buy wins this one on a technicality. I consider all electronics and gadgets “my toys” though. Some people consider their cars “toys”, for me it is things like video games and 51″ TV’s. Oh well.

  102. NautArch says:

    Here is something I found funny. I had a coupon for Best Buy that was $10 off a video game that was $29.99 or higher. I went and picked up The Orange Box for the PC. When I took it to the register they told me that it was not a video game. I told them that it was indeed a video game, but they said to me that it was considered PC software not a game. I thought that was pretty ridiculous. I used the coupon for a different game, but I am not likely to buy games there anymore.

  103. mgyqmb says:

    If not videogames, where are the “toys” in best buy actually kept????

  104. GOLD5 says:

    Why people still expect big corporate companies to not try to break the law and screw consumers is beyond me. They just do as much to scam you as they can until they get caught and the government asks them to stop, and then they don’t. That’s big business. My advice is just to shoplift as much crap as you can when you are in one of these stores. The products are not owned by any person, just a faceless company. The corporation itself is considered a person with rights like a real person has, but almost no responsibility that can be enforced in the real world. The products are not owned by any real breathing living person. These companies have reached a dynasty level of control over our consumer choice, lets take the power back people. Stop expecting fairness from these soulless companies. The big level executives don’t give a rats ass about po’ folk, and the slave wage level peons who work in the stores can’t help you.

  105. redstorm986 says:

    Man that Bridgewater, NJ Best Buy is sure getting alot of press these days lol. Maybe its not just the employees stealing laptops thats the problem.

  106. GOLD5 says:

    @Sephren: Future Shop and Best Buy are both fully wholly owned by Best Buy corporation, just check their website if you don’t believe me. That’s how big corporations make it look like they are not running a monopoly in their area of industry.

  107. redstorm986 says:

    @GOLD5: Future Shop is their canadian branch if I’m not mistaken.

  108. dlmccaslin says:

    @rickless abandon:
    But the best buy site also classifies plug and play games as toys, and many plug and play games are just console-less versions of old video games. What’s the difference?

  109. rockett1 says:

    coupons never worked on video game hardware (consoles), i dont understand what people dont understand. Go to any store, its the same deal.

  110. razorandblade says:


    You beat me to it. Just like when people always say to me when im working. ” I seen this console for 50 dollars cheaper will you price match” Umm no because the prices are price locked by the people that make the system.

  111. marasolo says:

    This is the same kind of corporate thinking that decides that you’re an adult at 11 or 12… such as at movie theaters or restaurants that children are those that are age 3-10 or something.

  112. Etherel says:

    I had a similiar adventure about 3 months back, but with an (eventual) happy ending. BB had the 360 HD-DVD player addon drive on special. It was still its normal price of 179.99, with the packaged King Kong movie, but you also got the HD-DVD version of Heroes S1 ($99.99 value). A few pages later, on their high-def players page, they advertised that if you purchased ANY HD-DVD player, you would get 2 free HD-DVDs. The fine print for that ad said up to a value of $34.99 each.

    I go in, ask an employee about the deal, they tell me I can indeed get the 2 free movies. after spending quite a bit of time making my choice, I head up to the front counter with my HD-DVD player, Heroes, and my 2 free movies. Of course though, the 2 movies don’t ring up, and after a long explanation, she asks a fellow employee nearby, who trys to figure it out. Eventually a manager comes over, and after a third lengthy discussion, tells the cashier to ring them up for me free.

    Then, after its already rung up, and I’m trying to pay, the manager hustles back over and tells us I can’t have that offer-after its already been rung up! I try to argue it, and eventually get 2 managers and a couple employees and nearby geek squad dude all standing around trying to give me BS about why I can’t get my free movies.

    First excuse was that the 2 free HD-DVD’s was for standalone units only. I try to point out that nowhere does it say that, in fact it says ANY HD-DVD Player. Then they try to tell me the movies are packaged into the boxes, so they couldn’t give them to me anyways. To which I pointed out that nowhere in the ad did it say it was restricted, or said which movies. I then added that why would they put a $35 value in fine print if I didn’t get to choose the movies?

    After pointing out all the problems with their logic over and over, I gave up, dropped everything on the counter and walked out. I went home and wrote a somewhat angry letter to best buys customer service website. Amazingly, the next day I got an apology, a written permission to get my 2 free movies, and she offered me a 20$ gift card for my problems.

    In the end, I came up with an HD-DVD player, King Kong, Heroes S1, Serenity, TMNT, 5 free HD-DVD mail-in, and 20 dollar gift card. 8 movies, 1 television series, and enough money to buy a second movie. I figured I could pretty much ebay the movies, and with the giftcard break even the cost of the HD-DVD drive.

    I go back to Best Buy, if only to profit on their screwups. (sorry for the length)

  113. Tracy Ham and Eggs says:

    Should I be so simple as to point out that, since its Best Buys merchandise, they can classify it any way they want to? I mean, seriously, you IDIOTS who decide that they are pulling a scam or breaking the law need to get off the dang edge.

  114. Buran says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Classy. Everyone who dares not agree with you is an “idiot”. In caps no less.

    I’m shocked.

  115. ShadowFalls says:

    Well, according to what they said, if it is a an electronic video game for a child 12 and under, it is a toy. A Xbox 360 can easily be for a child 12 and under and you can buy games for it that kids 12 and under can play so what is the problem here? Besides parents buy their kids games that are rated M for Mature so kids 12 and under can play…

  116. HalOfBorg says:

    If the coupon (or store signs) did not exclude consoles, give em the discount.

    I SO hate those “EVERYTHING 10% OFF!” sales with the little “Excluding everything good we sell” disclaimers at the bottom.

    Go into any Toys R Us – they sell consoles. “Toys” R Us. Xbox, PS1,2,3………. but then ours sells Pepsi 2 liters sometimes…..

    I had something like this at Target. I bought a MS wireless mouse that I ended up not liking, and returned it. They wouldn’t take it back because there are no returns (just exchanges) on ‘software’!

    I had to explain 3 times that it’s a MOUSE. Hardware. Yes – there IS software inside the box as well. Drivers and mouseware. But that is FREE from MS’s site for anyone that wants it.

    I finially got some head-something or other to give in and they gave me a store credit and refunded THAT to me.

  117. jamar0303 says:

    @razorandblade: Which is why I love shopping in Hong Kong. I can actually shop around and find that shops vary in console pricing, which never seems to happen in America (not to the degree that I see it here).

  118. Clarkins says:

    The wife bought a cover for her Ipod at BB the other day. Ok, I can live with that since Wal-Mart doesn’t have as good a selection.
    SHE SIGNED UP FOR THE DAMN MAGAZINE FREEBIE!!!! She did it to help the cashier. I cancelled it the same day she signed up for it.
    I told her to never go to Best Buy again!

  119. MightyPen says:

    Best Buy no good for shopping?

    Hmm, I think not. I’ll continue to purchase cds that are consistently below the prices at target or walmart and not wait the week for amazon et al to deliver. And I’ll continue to take advantage of various blu ray or hd-dvd deals like recent buy 3 get 2 free of any under 35$. While amazon will occasionally run better deals, b1g1s, the selection is very limited and again, I have to wait 1-2 weeks for delivery.

    As far as the op, I am perplexed as to why it even was made into a consumerist posting, and unfortunately highlights concerns that I have with this website, namely that recently its gone from informative and interesting to extraordinarily repetitive and even a bit disingenuous at times. I’ve seen a new price tag story (shock! in store with thousands of items, one might miss getting mislabeled) literally every day, be it an eatery or a retailer.

    I first began lurking here after I found it while researching ATT and naked dsl. That was an informative column, and I read many more after it. This is just another column trying to scam a corporation, and just another hatchet job piece against a huge corporation. Unfortunately there seems to be an “us vs them” mentality on this website with very little room for gray. Corporations are evil, unless they are Tivo, Consumers are lauded for trying to get one over on the evil corporations, even when they are clearly in the wrong, such as the person in this case. This place is becoming more and more tabloidy, which is a damn shame, as its becoming less and less of a tool to help educate people on things like in store website switching, sleazy lending, credit cards, tactics to resolve problems by moving up the hierarchy, etc etc.

  120. girly says:

    I don’t know, is this tabloid-y? I didn’t take it that way. I took it like one of those “consumer annoyances”. (a la Andy Rooney?)

    The classic coupon that is difficult to use.

    What’s a ‘toy’ at best buy? Nothing jumps to mind for me…Best Buy does not seem to clearly tell you.

  121. girly says:

    By the way, it is kind of silly that the person at Best Buy corporate couldn’t cite a specific ‘toy’ item that BB sells for their example of why his coupon didn’t work…

  122. reasonsnotrules says:

    This is stupid, and everyone at agrees.

  123. girly says:

    Funny enough, if you search for “toys” instead of “toy” the right category comes up

  124. Towelie404 says:

    Are you people kidding? Video games are not toys. When you think of a toy, what cames to mind? Action figures, dolls (which some best buys do carry btw), play sets. Certainly toys do not include three hundred dollar computers. As someone stated earlier, the search brought up the grouping of “games and toys” on the best buy website. Clearly the games are in a separate category. Would you go to the computer department and try to pick up a new laptop with your toy coupon? They play video games, yet I think we can all agree a computer is not a toy. An Xbox should be viewed in the same way. No one would consider a computer, a dvd player, or a media extender a toy, so why would you think an Xbox was? Best Buy is not at fault here. It’s the consumer who lacks common sense.

  125. CyberSkull says:

    5 minutes reading the Consumerist and I am scared to death of going near a Best Buy…

  126. dcartist says:

    @Daman3178: “If a game console isn’t a toy then why is it sold at Toys’R’Us?”

    Maybe the same reason that a Leapster, a globe, a microscope, a book, and costumes aren’t toys, but they’re still sold at Toys ‘R Us?

    First off, I hate BESTBUY. They are the worst big name, big box store on earth. The only thing I’d ever buy there is DVDs. However, its illogical to argue that an item listed under “games AND toys” is therefore a “toy”.

    More importantly in this case, the shopper is the one who’s pulling a fast one, while playing ‘victim’ (What, he doesn’t get to take XBox360s from the store at less then cost? poor baby).

    It’s not the store trying to mislead people.

    This reminds me of people who go to the local pizzeria, and try to rip off the store, by throwing a fit when they can’t “buy 2, get 11 free pizzas” like it says on the coupon. They throw a fit, call “your boss”… and you end up having to give them some free stuff just to leave the store and stop upsetting the other customers.

    His last comment in particular, is telling: “Got to love Best Buy making up rules that only suit themselves.”

    The guy thinks this is some kind of game… like the 25% coupon is some kind of federal law handed down, and that Best Buy therefore owes him something. Stupid git. I know Best Buy employees are rude, but if multiple employees were rude to him, its because he was being annoyingly persistent in trying to rip off the store.

  127. joellevand says:

    OP = Wrong
    Commenter who believes DS is not a console = Wrong
    Consumerist, for running this article = Wrong

    This post/thread = full of fail.

  128. HalOfBorg says:

    We’ve owned Nintendo, Sega, PS, Gamecube. I’ve used them all a lot – to PLAY games.

    Sounds like toys to me.

  129. Daman3178 says:

    but still why does toys’r’us sell these if they are not toys!!

  130. ceilingFANBOY says:

    @daman3178: Are you now going to say that batteries are toys or M&Ms are toys because they are sold at Toys’R’Us? Just because it has the word toys in its name doesn’t mean that it can only exclusively sell toys. Tweeter doesn’t only sell tweeters, Bath and Body works sells more than baths and bodies, and Wal-Mart sells more than just walls.

  131. dcartist says:

    Bath & Body Works sells bodies???

    Sign me up! :P

  132. Etherel says:

    Enough bashing people by accusing them of trying to scam “evil” corporations. Is it Best Buys right to create, distribute, manage, and interprupt their own coupons/offers? Yes, it is. When these coupons are vague and misinformative, is it not also our right to criticize them for creating these confusing and vague coupons? Yes it is. Does it give consumers the right to demand open interpretation of an offer (one that didn’t involve money to obtain)? No it does not (nothing wrong with suggesting however). Do those people have every right to criticize and complain on decisions made about the offer, that go against the customers wishes, when the offer is obviously unclear and undefined to a large consensus of people? absolutely.

    You shouldn’t demand people unquestioningly follow the will of the store.

    You shouldn’t demand or expect the store view “the customer is always right, especially my interpretation!”

    You shouldn’t try to prevent people from criticizing poor business choices made by the stores.

    Does that about cover every topic in these comments?

  133. Manok says:

    Best Buy should not cater to scammers trying to take advantage of coupons that clearly refer to the one or two aisles that sell stuffed animals and robo raptors.

  134. ceilingFANBOY says:

    @dcartist: They do and they have a 20% off coupon for live bodies. They pissed me off though when they told me that a body isn’t live just because it has fungus growing in it.

  135. Silverhammer35 says:

    Here is something to think about why would best buy give 10-25% off games anyways, the reason they do this is because they have toys that they sell around the holiday season and after this they have a bunch of them lying around that knowone wants to buy, so they offer this deal to JUST get rid of the remaining products. Oh and by the way why would anyone want to go to circuit city or wal-mart, because best buy does price matches so as long as you have proof (paper copy) of the item advertised then you can get the item for that price. Jezz, don’t blame the company if you don’t know anything about its policies yourself.

  136. dalepmay says:

    The search for “toys” on their website should have been a clue for you. The section where the video games are found shows “Games & Toys” as the title. If “Toys” included games, it wouldn’t say Games & Toys because it would be redundant. That right there should have given you a hint.

  137. Zunnoab says:

    My local Best Buy bent the rules and forced the coupon to work when the Xbox 360 controller didn’t ring up as a computer accessory (which I use it for).

  138. Indecision says:

    @daman3178: “but still why does toys’r’us sell these if they are not toys!!”

    I think you’d better stay away from BJ’s.

  139. Unknownheadfeelings says:

    OK, first thing I wanna say is that store websites suck, no matter how you slice it. I have gotten some pretty bad matches for typing in very specific things. If I can avoid it, I never use them.

    Second, software is software, no matter if it’s on a console or a computer. That should be something BBY shouldn’t dispute.

    Now as for getting 25% off of a 360 and 2 games: You do realize that, in some cases, stores lose money when they sell items? When the PS3 60GB price dropped, BBY lost around $83 per system. That’s why systems never go on sale, and why things like service plans, game deals, and accessories are always offered at competitive prices: They want to get that money back somewhere. You really can’t blame them for trying not to be losing money on every coupon, promotion, and things like that. Now when Circuit City tried to discontinue a coupon a while back because it had no such limitation on it, that was kinda dick. Should have read their own fine print a little sooner.

  140. dcartist says:

    After last Christmas season they had Force FX light sabers at 50% off. I love it.

  141. coren says:

    @reasonsnotrules: Oh shit, not digg! Everyone knows they’re the ultimate authority for anything on the interwebs

    @Towelie404: Something that I play with for entertainment purposes. Which would be pretty creepy if that turned out to be a barbie, to be honest.

    @joellevand: =Wrong

  142. wildmandingo says:

    The search he did on the website for the word “toy” brought him to a section of the website called “games and toys.” The fact that the title of that section of the website is called “games” and “toys” means that they are not one in the same. Read the fine print and pay the extra five bucks.

  143. Last time I checked, video games are not toys. Is that not clear? What’s the problem here?

  144. vastrightwing says:

    Not only does BestBuy distort what a toy is or is not, it redefines wear and tear as abuse. They love to be word smiths by changing basic terms and definitions of things to what best fits their needs. Disregard anything they advertise because the terms are not what a reasonable person assumes. Be AWARE!
    (They stiffed me on a warranty by claiming that normal wear and tear is abuse. Will not cover. Sorry. no refunds either.)

  145. hi says:

    wow a new low in stupidity … don’t even know what a toy is or isn’t? If you’re playing with it’s safe to call it a toy. That includes ‘game machines’. They’re just ‘high tech’ toys. A football is a toy, a ball is a toy, you still play games and make new games with them, but they are toys to play with. Same with consoles, except they don’t bounce. Now of course best buy has a plan to give discounts on certain items, and they don’t want to give discounts on consoles and video games… they probably need to re-word their coupon. But yeh in reality an xbox is a toy even super-computers, cars, robots, etc can be toys.

  146. wcsinx says:

    I got the same coupon, and I actually got my local store to honor it on an XBox360, the HD-DVD drive, and another controller. It took 3 visits and 4 calls to BB consumer relations, but they eventually did it.

  147. wellfleet says:

    Why Why Why Why do people never read the fine print that blocks rebates off of any price-locked items? Why do people still think that even though we would get fined by Apple/BOSE/Microsoft/Sony for selling an item for less than its price-locked price, that they are entitled to manipulate and bully employees for discounts. Go into ANY store that sells electronics with a % off coupon and try to buy a game console. Now see which store sells you the item at a discount. I’m all about helping out a customer who gets a raw deal at my store, and have discounted literally tens of thousands of dollars over a year and a half to do so. I just get very irritated at people who try to play the system.

  148. AlphaTeam says:

    This is one of the reasons I buy from Let’s not forget BestBuy gives nice discount and severely overpriced goods?

    Maybe that’s why Costco is so good ’cause they learned to sell in volume, get repeat customers, rather than rip them off now and hope for the best later.

  149. unklegwar says:

    I went to Best Buy with a coupon for $10 ANY VIDEO GAME.

    I picked up a copy of Elder Scrolls for my PC.

    They wouldn’t honor the coupon because “Computer games aren’t video games”. No I play them with pen and paper.

  150. Kintaro25 says:

    Video games are not toys because if they gave you those three items for 25% off they would have lost money on the deal (like they give it to you for less than they get it for). Not good for business.