For years we ridiculed them because they just didn’t get it. Oh sure, we found the occasional good deal at BestBuy.com. But more often than not, the fact that they had the best price on an item became pointless when they asked us to pay for shipping at checkout. Too often, a $100 discount on an HDTV was nullified by $99 in shipping costs. Often their deals were on the brands made exclusively for them (Dynex, Rocketfish etc…), and as such we could not compare them to other sites and know whether we were looking at a good price or just another marketing gimmick. Even the few hot deals on video games at the site disappeared within an hour or less, leaving us to scramble to “Expire” the deal at Crazytowndeals.com. Add to that the commonly held opinion that the quality of customer service was, to put it kindly, lacking, and it was clear to us that Best Buy was hardly a major player in the online shopping game.
To top it all off, they seemed too stubborn or perhaps arrogant to change, and we expected them to sit idly by as Amazon, Walmart, and countless others took them to the proverbial woodshed, hung them by their feet, and shook the loose change out of their pockets. The only exception to this apparent lack of interest in growing the online side of their business was the annual Holiday Season. Finally, after more than 10 months of lukewarm deals, we would see some free shipping, competitive prices, and what appeared to be a willingness to unload some merchandise through their site. Then, in January, the status quo returned and the deals mostly disappeared.
We received a pleasant surprise when the beginning of the 2012 Holiday Season brought the hottest deals we have ever seen at BestBuy.com. We were even more shocked when we saw discounts on the most popular video games, electronics and even HDTVs. And everything shipped for free! We thought, of course, that this was simply a better version of their annual “we have to make money now, Christmas is coming” push, and that it was all too good to be true, too out of character to last, and that it would all end soon. We’re happy to report that it looks like we were wrong.
In one of the most drastic changes we have ever seen from an online retailer, Best Buy has truly stepped up their game in a way we never expected. January came and the deals were still popping up in our Mail on a daily basis. Happily, many of the best deals were on the good stuff. iPads and iPods, Blu-Ray movies, the Xbox 360, and a load of HDTV deals made this a great month to shop at a site once known more for being a convenient place for the “Big Box Store” to unload surplus merchandise, than a place to actually find a good, shipped price on something you might actually want to buy without heading to a store.
Surely in February things would return to the dreariness of “normal”, at BestBuy.com, right? Not in the slightest. The newly revved up site began this month with a “Winter Doorbuster Days” Sale which features Apple Macbooks at some of the best prices we’ve seen anywhere, great deals on Home Theater Receivers, killer prices on hot Cell Phones and much more. Even the HDTVs, with competitive prices on Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic models and more are shipping for free every day, and actually saving folks not only time, but money. Real money. Even their Deal of the Day features not one, but several great deals on everything from electronics to appliances, all shipped for no additional cost.
Is this a permanent change? As the Online Retail market grows ever more competitive, we think Best Buy will continue with their newly discovered competitive practices, and continue to direct more focus and effort toward their online business. According to the company, this change began as a way to capitalize on the practice of “showrooming”, in which customers view the item at a Best Buy store, then purchase the item (at a lower price) from another website. Whatever the reason, we love the way it’s working out for our customers. We love that Bestbuy.com is now a real competitor in the incredibly fruitful business of selling things on the web. We love that we can offer our customers the best price on the WiiU without having to remove it 15 minutes later. We love finding the best price on the a Tablet or Vaccum there, and we especially love it when we don’t have to pass on posting the deal on our site because shipping killed the deal. For affiliate sites like us, this is a change we could really get used to.