Best Buy Increases Web Prices When In The Store?

from the sneaky,-sneaky,-sneaky... dept

We were just saying how people tend to freak out when they realize that stores practice differentiated pricing online. Most people apparently believe incorrectly that the process is illegal. It's not at all illegal -- and, in fact, can be quite efficient in economic terms for the companies. The problem, however, is perception. Since people really hate it, it looks extremely bad if you're caught doing it -- and it sounds like Best Buy may have been caught which could result in a PR nightmare that outweighs any of the advantages of such a program. In this case, it sounds especially sneaky. The Best Buy website has one set of prices that tend to be cheaper than the in-store prices. However, if you use an in-store Best Buy kiosk to surf their website, the higher prices show up, rather than the lower ones. Store managers have apparently been told to give people the lower price if they complain. And people get upset at those who shop in stores, but buy online...

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  • identicon
    bestsquirrel, 6 Jun 2005 @ 3:13pm

    how much time did it take them to do it the screwe

    instead of just being reasonable? If they URL's serve up a different set of pages to browsers from inside the stores, that is amazing, in that it takes a bit of rigging to verify the browser and target of every query all the way from the web server into what I'd assume is an SQL server and back out with a different set of prices.

    what a bunch of idiots to waste time doing such a thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jun 2005 @ 4:17pm

      Re: how much time did it take them to do it the sc

      > what a bunch of idiots to waste time doing such a thing.< br>what a moron who types an incomprehensible title and then proceeds to have an equally incomprehensible message composed of a run-on sentence.
      Stop shopping. Pick up a book and read.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nonuser, 6 Jun 2005 @ 6:13pm

    Dell does the same thing

    They send these catalogs with prices that look terrific, then you punch in the codes and - surprise! The price is several hundred dollars higher. That's because it turns out the advertised systems are lacking "options" that are pretty basic. You could probably get the original price but it wouldn't be a system you'd want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    princessfrozen, 7 Jun 2005 @ 2:09pm

    well i've known them to be a bit shady in the past

    This article comes as no surprise to me. A while back, I interviewed at Best Buy to be on the Geek Squad. I wanted a little saving money in addition to the paycheck I was receiving as IT at a Fortune 25 company. When I was in the interview, I let the interviewer know that I was interested in a Geek Squad position (which I thought did not require sales) just working with computers and their owners. His response left me with a very poor perception of Best Buy. Apparently, after Best Buy acquired the Geek Squad, it found that GS wasn't as profitable as it liked. So they tasked all the technicians with going out on the floor and selling product. Not a big deal...but then he told me about sending techs to peoples homes, armed with product in the back of the Geek Mobiles to sell in the home too. If their computer was just fine, sell something anyway. If they needed Anti-Virus software, tell them to upgrade their OS too. If they needed something like RAM, push them into buying new hard drives and processors as well. I wasn't very keen on the idea of selling things to people that they didn't need in the store however, going into their home to do so was downright appalling. Best Buy proved to me then and there that they will do anything for profit. I'm all Fry's now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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