Is Best Buy Really The Best Buy? You Bet It Is!

I stopped shopping at Best Buy about 6 years ago. Best Buy was floundering in a world that had embraced the internet and shopping on the internet was exciting and new to most of us.  They couldn’t or didn’t want to compete with internet merchants, wouldn’t compete with the big box stores like Costco and frankly wouldn’t really price match anyone as stated in the fine print in their ads.  Returns were a horror story.

They usually charged a 15% restocking fee on just about any item, including expensive electronics like computers, TV’s and audio equipment.  That meant $150 return fee on a $1,000 purchase, insanity to say the least. I stopped shopping at Best Buy and continued to shop online. I of course always continued to shop at Costco and other retailers that had the best deals on items and liberal return policies, after all I am a frugal shopper and love to get the best deals I can.

I Rediscovered Best Buy


I was in the market for a new refrigerator and found the one I wanted on their website.  Their price  was $100 lower than Home Depot and even Lowe’s on as similar model from the same maker.  I visited their store in Holmdel and found the model I wanted was discontinued and they had an identical one from the same maker for a bit more.  I decided to give them a try because they really seemed to want my business.

I explained that Home Depot and Lowe’s gave me a 10% military discount on the item and ask if they could do the same. Although it is not a Best Buy policy, they would still match the discount on this item.  They could also deliver in a few days (something Home Depot couldn’t do) and they assured me if anything was wrong, they would make it right.  I quickly went online and ordered $650 worth of Best Buy pre-owned gift cards from which offered me a 4.5% discount. The 10% military discount and now the Cardpool discount brought the cost in just right.

Defective Refrigerator

FridgeThe new stainless steel Frigidaire came in and it was defective.  It just wouldn’t get cold and everything in the freezer was defrosting. Lucky we have a back up freezer in the basement or all the food would have been ruined.  I returned to the store and they couldn’t have been nicer and apologetic.

“We can deliver a new one in a day or two, or if you prefer we can take it back and refund your money” they told me.  Wow, this was not the Best Buy I had remembered.  I decided not to take another chance on this particular model and arranged for them to pick it up and refund my gift card credit and a partial credit card payment I made for the balance due on this transaction.

Since they didn’t have another model to fit the space I had, I was able to get a similar model at Lowe’s who delivered a new one in a couple of days.   Best Buy picked up the defective unit, a day later and all was well.  I now realized I had bought $550 of Best Buy Gift Cards online and couldn’t get a refund from, so I needed to find something I could buy now at Best Buy to use that credit.

My New Camera


I had been interested in purchasing a new Nikon D7200 camera for all the work I do for my other publication IMPress Magazine and for the Hazlet News.  It wasn’t available yet, but would be in stores in another week.  I checked the prices online for the camera and B&H Photo had the best price $1,197, with no sales tax.  I decided to once again find their assistant store manager Gian Carlo who I had worked with on the refrigerator deal.

I asked him if they could really match or beat B&H Photo and Video in New York, he said they could.  I explained that B&H shipped to New Jersey and their was no sales tax plus they offer a 2% Bonus on the amount of the purchase.   Best Buy would have to not only match the B&H sale price, but would also have to come in  9% less than the B&H Photo price to offer me the same cost if I were to buy it at B&H.

Best Buy Wants Your Business

No wheeling, dealing was really necessary.  Gian Carlo agreed to lower the price of the camera by 7% that covered the difference in the sales tax.  Instead of 2% bonus dollars, he offered me 5% using their “My Best Buy” bonus program (see below for more info).  I of course signed up immediately for that program so I could earn the rewards.

Not realizing they had this reward program I made a mistake purchasing pre-owned gift cards.   I didn’t realize that you don’t earn points when redeeming Best Buy gift cards, only when you buy them.  So purchasing additional gift cards online at a 4.5% discount from face value, actually was not the best deal.  If I had simply paid for the items with my credit card, I would have earned enough points in the My Best Buy Program, to save me 5%.  Not a big difference considering I saved 4.5% online, but something to be aware of.  You only earn Bonus points at Best Buy when you pay in cash or credit card, not in gift cards. The difference for me was about $5,50 net.

Click Image To Visit The Program


My Best Buy Program

Best Buy replaced their old Reward Zone program with the improved My Best Buy program.  You can find out more by watching their short video and start to save even more.  If you or your company gives gift cards to customers, clients, friends and family, you should consider purchasing their Gift Cards so you can earn another 5-6% on your Gift Card purchase.  There are a number of other benefits offered by this program so be sure to check it out.

Click to Enlarge


Other programs to save you money are also available, but usually you can’t combine them as I had originally thought.  This in the trade is called “Double Dipping”  Now to most of us Double Dipping is an act where a person at a party with snacks, dips a chip that he has already taken a bite out of,  into the dip a second time. In the world of coupons, it means using more than one coupon to purchase the same product.  At Best Buy you can’t Double Dip, but you can select the bonus program you want to use for your purchase.

shopkickNow there is another app for your  iPhone called Shopkick.  Shopkick rewards you for walking into participating stores, for scanning certain items in those stores and for purchases.  So you earn points in three ways.  Stores like Best Buy and many others are part of this plan and you will find that certain days, when traffic might be off at these stores, your app will show you that just walking in the door will earn points.  Points can be redeemed for a number of different gift cards and this is an app you might want to check out.  So cool, so many ways to save money too.

Bottom Line

I will be receiving my new camera in a few days.  I bought my gift cards and saved 4.5% off my purchase, rather than 2% B&H Photo would have given me.  I did lose .5% by not using the My Best Buy, but still saved an additional 2.5% or $27.50 net over ordering the camera from B&H.  I like the idea of doing business with a local retailer.  It helps our community by putting people in our neighborhood to work. I can go back to the store and speak to one of their staff and ask questions, I can see new products in the flesh and make returns when necessary.

Best Buy Is Now The Best Buy For Me

I am happy to report about this new Best Buy. They told me their policies began to change over 5 years ago and they do want to get your business, even if it means they won’t make much on the sale. Meeting competition on the internet and other retail stores and offering a Costco like return policy makes Best Buy a place I want to shop.

They treat their customers as friends and truly value your business and they don’t try to hard sell you, which I liked.  So go price an item you want to buy and than go to Best Buy and have them earn your business, I think you will be as surprised as I was and will also become a loyal customer.  Be sure to tell them you read this article and say hello to Gian Carlo, my new best friend 🙂

Did You Know now charges New Jersey sales tax on your online orders?  Yup, they opened a warehouse in New Jersey so they now have to collect sales tax in our state.  Think about this when ordering from them and compare it with Best Buy and all their perks.

I think you will be as surprised as I was and find that Best Buy is the best buy and is right in your own town so you are able to look, feel and try the products you are thinking of buying…I miss that and am happy to find stores that actually do have the items I want in their stores.

Best Buy
2130 State Route 35
At Laurel Ave
Holmdel, NJ 07733

Phone: 732-671-7123
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About lenrapp

I am the president of the International Press Association and the publisher of IMPress Magazine. As a working photojournalist and videographer, I cover many events in the New York and New Jersey area for our publications. I am looking forward to our newest publication the Hazlet Times that will be a publication meant to showcase the things I love in Hazlet and those that might need some improvements.

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