You Can't Get A Package Delivered On Thanksgiving, But Somehow, A Bunch Of Wiis Will Show Up At Best Buy

from the grinch-came-early dept

While the first batch of Playstation 3 and Wii owners are getting settled into their new systems (or nursing their injuries from standing in line), demand for the machines remains high as retailers look ahead to “Black Friday”, the traditional shopping-heavy day after Thanksgiving. But now, after some people struggled to find consoles online, it appears that some bricks-and-mortar retailers aren’t making things easy, either, by holding back in-stock units of the Nintendo Wii. Reports say that Best Buy stores in the US and in Canada aren’t restocking their shelves until Friday, so that they’ll be able to “fulfill” Friday newspaper ads featuring the console. This is hardly surprising, since retailers are pulling out all their tricks to capitalize on the popularity of the new systems. It does seem a bit odd, though, that Best Buy is now so apparently focused on driving people into their stores on Black Friday, and is even disclosing what will be in their newspaper ads — when they’ve used bogus DMCA claims to try and get copies of their ads off the web already this year.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “You Can't Get A Package Delivered On Thanksgiving, But Somehow, A Bunch Of Wiis Will Show Up At Best Buy”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jon-Paul Fegan says:

False Advertisements

There is no marketing scheme behind holding back stock of the wiis, it all has to do with advertisement laws, the Best Buy ads will state a minimum quantity available of certain items in their ads, and according to law they have to have that minimum available for sale on the day stated in the ad.

Chris says:

Re: False Advertisements

There is no marketing scheme behind holding back stock of the wiis, it all has to do with advertisement laws, the Best Buy ads will state a minimum quantity available of certain items in their ads, and according to law they have to have that minimum available for sale on the day stated in the ad.

Stores aren’t required to have a minimum number of anything in stock unless it explicitly says so in the ad — and there’s no way in hell Best Buy would publish an ad that required them to have a fast-selling item like a brand new video game console in stock in every store. They just want to boost Black Friday sales. Trust me, I work in the same business, and Black Friday is to retail what the sweeps are to TV networks — everyone is going to pull out all the stops to get customers that day.

Geren (user link) says:

Re: Re: False Advertisements


Best Buy, and other stores, routinely advertise how many of a “doorbuster” item they’ll have on hand. Best Buy, at least in my area, has been doing it since they opened the doors. I know. I worked there.

The Thanksgiving ad for my area doesn’t list the Wii at all, but it does list the Xbox 360 Core. It very specifically states “Minimum 30 per store. Limit 1 per customer. No rainchecks.”

The Saturday ad lists the Wii, and specifically states that there will be a minimum of 15 per store, and that they are doing a “lottery” for the available units.

Wal*Mart also advertises the minimum number they’ll have in each store, especially when they’ve made a special buy, and there won’t be any rainchecks.

Dam says:

Re: Re: False Advertisements

You’d be incorrect. A retail store that advertises a product must have a “reasonable quantity” on hand to meet expected demand. Lawyers hate the word reasonable and this is why. What’s reasonable – 5 units, 10, 50?

Of course, supply plays a big part of the availability too. The manufacturer will ship what they have based on their allocation and it’s up to the store to comply with the law.

Read the ads more closely. They often state “minimum quantity per store – x”.

To not do so would be a violation of bait-and-switch laws and would create unfair competition.

B.B. says:

Not exactly true.

Best buy isn’t holding the Wii’s for black friday, they are holding them for the sunday after (the 26th). The Wii will be advertised on the 26th as guaranteed in stock that day and all stores are being told to hold any product that they receive from now on to be held for that ad.

Just a minor correction 😉 (hope this don’t get me fired)

Lutomes (user link) says:

Consumer Protection

Don’t know what the laws are like in the USA, but in Australia if a store puts something in the advertisements they are required to hold “sufficient stock to meet demand”. Of course a lot of the time stores just claim the demand they got was so unexpected it baffled them. I’m not sure if its a legal requirement to advertise how many per store (or total across the chain) they have in stock, but some do.

When I read the catalog sales each week if there is something I want on sale I always call the store the day before the sale starts. I ask how many of the item they have in stock, and if they have extra units that will be added for the sale. Half the time the staff don’t even know there will be a sale on that day!

What really annoys me is when they advertise something and don’t have ANY stock. I know they didn’t have it because I was first in line. Yet sometimes they try and refuse to give a raincheck so I could come and buy one at that price when they do get stock in (which would be illegal if they don’t supply it here). But there isn’t much you can do here apart from file a complaint with the ACCC on the Trade Practices Act that protects us consumers here in Oz.

Armando (user link) says:

Not happening here

I just happened to walk into Best Buy today hoping to find a Nintendo Wii waiting for me and instead I got a pleasant surprise that they have 15 PlayStation 3’s available and I was lucky enough to snag one. 10 minutes later they were gone. I’m glad that I went there instead of Circuit City. So I’m not sure about everywhere else but maybe they release a small stock today and are saving some for Friday. That might be a stretch too though because the stores around my area didn’t many in stock during the launch so it may be store discretion

Anonymous Coward says:

Because PS3's are sold out

How much you wanna bet this is going to be a disaster for returns because the PS3 is sold out, so when parents who don’t know anything about consoles go post-Thanksgiving Day shopping and they know their kid wants *one of those newfangled next-gen consoles* (and they actually have the money to buy it and not go broke), since they can’t seem to find a PS3, they’ll see “Oh, but there’s plenty of this one in stock, I’ll just get them this instead – oh and plus its cheaper.”

I know people mean well to at least try and get something video-game related instead of a sweater or socks, but sometimes it’s better when people say a specific thing and not the rival product, then when you can’t get the right one – it might be better to just not buy anything for the time being…

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's another tidbit...

By the way…people are talking like Best Buy is actually losing money by holding the Wii for Friday or Sunday. Several posts have complained about Best Buy turning away sales. So here’s that little tidbit. On the average Wii or PS3 sale, Best Buy makes aproximately $8—yes EIGHT dollars. If you happen to purchase an extra controller or a couple of games, they might make another $20-40 off the entire purchase. So in essence, by turning away a few sales…they’re not really losing much. It’s not as if the entire $300-400 sale for the Wii or $600-800 for the PS3 is profit. And by the way when you add in cost of business (like paying the employees to sell you the things, or opening early and having to pay utilities on a 10,000-40,00 square foot store, shipping TO the store and advertising), there isn’t a whole lot of profit in these game systems. The purpose is to bring you into the store so you purchase OTHER THINGS.

Maybe this clears things up a little…maybe it makes people mad. Take your pick…

ched (user link) says:

Typical Best Buy

Seems to me “business as usual” for Best Buy. Skirt the legal issues, ignore the moral issues, and make a buck any way they can. From first hand knowledge I’ve found they often refuse to honor their warrenties, rebates, and advertised deals. (at least at our local store). This is why I discourage any of my clients from shopping there.

Wolf says:

The best buy ad

Almost all best buy ads have items that they say they will have a minimum amount in store. They have to, its a company policy and as stated before it has to do with advertisement laws. Yes they make jack on the sell and yes they us ad items to get you into the store to buy more things, thats retail. Everyone does that.

I have worked retail for what seems like forever and every year its the same thing with a different product. People are pissed cause they can’t get one for Timmy and blame the big bad retail chain for lack of production by manufacturers or following standardized advertising laws.

There are tons of Wii’s coming, you will get one.

Patience is a virtue.

Perspectives says:

Feed the need, I haven’t seen such craze by so many belly achers. In these 3 world countries where workers assemble and manufacture these toys, on average can’t even dream of playing with the same thing that they “make” because the average salary they get in a month is less than what the average person in the states spends on gas in a month. For many of us the biggest decision of the day is what franchise or mall to drive to and consume to our hearts content and belly ache about how fast or pleasantly we get the service or product. The choices and freedom we have are astounding yet, we complain about the smallest of things…

Sam says:

Maybe not Friday so much...

as Sunday.

Here in MD, all the Best Buy employees are saying Sunday. I was at Best Buy today and they only had 15. They didn’t even put it in their sales ad.

15 doesn’t sound too strong, so I’m hoping Sunday will be. I know the store had around 120 on launch, so it’s obviously a big store, but how much would that equate to now, 30? 50? hopefully a lot is all i can say. If anybody actually knows, reply away

Ben says:

Wii's in Houston, TX

I live a little south of Houston in Friendswood, and the EB Games, GameCrazy, and Toys R’ Us in our area did NOT get their shipments in time for the 5am opening of the stores. This leads me to believe that Circuity City, Best Buy and Target might not have had any units on hand either (in my area.) But because it was Black Friday, there was no way in hell that I was going near Best Buy…

Toys R’ Us was officially saying either Saturday or Monday is when they expected to have the Wii available to sell, but really wasn’t too sure. Realistically, that one shipment could come just about anywhere between today (Friday) and Sunday. Just to toss numbers around, there were 90 Wii’s and 8 PS3’s available for their respective launch days.

EB Games was just as unsure, as was GameCrazy.

Fat lot of good it did my brother and I, being 10th in line at 3:30am in front of Toy’s R’ Us.

Megan says:

Re: what about nintendo

You really think they can make enough to meet the demand? ALL game consoles are limited at launch. Hell look at Sony they promised X amount of units to my gamestore for launch then 2 days before launch they call and let us know that we are only getting HALF of what was promised. So instead of bitching at Nintendo for UPHOLDING how many they said they would have out at launch, lets talk about how dumb sony is.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

In Line

Let me tell you a story. I went to Best Buy Saturday and asked about the Wii. they said that they didn’t have any and they didn’t know when they were getting any. They just show up in a UPS truck in the morning.

I knew they were lying so I stayed in the lot all night. The next day I got in line for a Wii (5th out of 18) Never did see a UPS truck.



Hello everyone i just wanted to say that for my christmas presents this year i have 2 choices(if u want to call them that). My dad is willing to buy me both a wii and xbox 360 but i only get the xbox 360 if there aren’t enough wiis. My dad is the department manager at kmart and can reserve a wii for me if i need it. But personally im hoping that there aren’t any since i want an xbox 360 more. But im happy with whatever i get.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...