Announced on Best Buy’s site earlier this week, management at Best Buy has made the decision to price match a collection of online competitors starting during early March 2013. The revised version of Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee is designed to quell the trend of “showrooming,” an act in which consumers preview consumer electronics within retail outlets before purchasing the item online at a lower price point from a different retailer. For instance, when Target carried the Amazon Kindle, consumers would demo the device within Target and purchase a Kindle eReader or tablet on Amazon. This was part of the reason Target stopped carrying the Amazon Kindle during May 2012.
The online retailers listed in the new policy include Apple, Amazon, B&H Photo, Circuit City, CompUSA, Crutchfield, Dell, h.h. gregg, HP, Home Depot, Lowes, Newegg, Office Depot, Office Max, Rakuten (formally Buy.com), Sears, Staples, Target, TigerDirect and Walmart.
However, Best Buy will not price match products offered by third party vendors on retailers like Amazon. Best Buy also won’t price match products during exchanges or returns. In order to successfully match a price on a specific product, customers will need to supply the URL of the retailer’s site and Best Buy employees will verify the price.
Best Buy has been testing this new policy on a variety of qualified products since the start of the new year. In addition to retail stores, customers will be able to take advantage of the new policy on BestBuy.com. Beyond the permanent change in the price matching policy, Best Buy is also decreasing the period in which customers can return an item from thirty to fifteen days according to Bloomberg. Customers that want to take advantage of online price matching for price adjustments will need to visit a store prior to the 15-day expiration date. However, Best Buy will continue the policy of not charging restocking fees on returned merchandise.