7 Reasons Why Best Buy Won't Be Around In 7 Years - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 04-30-2012, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/04/...6pLid%3D156394


Oh well.



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post #2 of 50 Old 05-30-2012, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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You decide.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/05/...6pLid%3D165340



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post #3 of 50 Old 05-31-2012, 04:20 PM
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lets try the biggest reasons.....

1. 8 Billions in debt
2. way too many locations
3. base prices cannot match online retailers (see above 2 reasons as to why)
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-31-2012, 11:14 PM
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I think it sucks so many folks wish for their demise.

What the hell is left? I buy my speakers at specialty shops so not affected there but I did pick a set of monitors up this weekend at BB for my bedroom. When I need a cable I can just pop in. If I want a blu-ray on a spur of the moment on a Saturday I can pop in and pick it up.

I value viewing quality and I'll me damned if downloads are even close to media in terms of audio/video quality not to mention new releases not available. The choices at Netflix to download suck.

All my local Blockbusters are now gone. Spending more on media than I should cause I can't just pop in to Blockbuster and pick up a movie on a whim.

I think what also is killing them are returns but I could be wrong. I did this this past weekend and it does bother me. I know not others. Go into the video forums and listen to how many folks return displays. I see a dead pixel in the upper right corner of my screen when I watch Bambi. Oh my god. Got to return it. I read about some people changing displays five or more times? Really?

I did make a mistake of picking up a pair B&W M1 satelites and an el cheapo Marantz to drive them for bedroom only. I just couldn't get past them after a day or two and returned them for a small monitor and then of course the little Marantz would not power them properly so that had to go back too. Nothing wrong with either just I screwed up on what I wanted and I am usually very certain in my purchases. I really did feel bad as I know their financials.

So I hope they make it. I buy a lot of my stuff on-line but I still have many needs where I want/need to pop in on a weekend and pick something up.

Wait till the day comes when you pay tax on everything on-line no matter your state (it's coming), heavy re-stocking fees are put into play and mfg minimum pricing are set on most items. Then many will wish they could just walk into BB...

Rick
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post #5 of 50 Old 05-31-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I think it sucks so many folks wish for their demise.

What the hell is left? I buy my speakers at specialty shops so not affected there but I did pick a set of monitors up this weekend at BB. When I need a cable I can just pop in. If I want a blu-ray on a spur of the moment on a Saturday I can pop in and pick it up.

I value viewing quality and I'll me damned if downloads are even close to media in terms of audio/video. The choices at Netflix to download suck.

All my local Blockbusters are now gone. Spending more on media than I should cause I can't just pop in to Blockbuster and pick up a movie on a whim.

I think what also is killing them are returns but I could be wrong. I did this this past weekend and it does bother me. I know not others. Go into the video forums and listen to how many folks return displays. I see a dead pixel in the upper right corner of my screen. Oh my god. Got return it. I read about some people changing displays five or more times? Really?

I did make a mistake of picking up a pair B&W M1 satelites and an el cheapo Marantz to drive them for bedroom only. I just couldn't get past them after a day or two and returned them for a small monitor and then of course the little Marantz would not power them properly so that had to go back too. Nothing wrong with either just I screwed up on what I wanted and I am usually very certain in my purchases. I really did feel bad as I know their financials.

So I hope they make it. I buy a lot of my stuff on-line but I still have many needs where I want/need to pop in on a weekend and pick something up.

Wait till the day comes when you pay tax on everything on-line no matter your state (it's coming), heavy re-stocking fees are put into play and mfg minimum pricing are set on most items. Then many will wish they could just walk into BB...

Rick

I agree with much of what you have written. In particular, there is a really unfair advantage given to companies such as amazon with respect to local taxes.

I doubt returns are really a major problem as there are agreements in place with most manufacturers. I guess there may be a problem with the type of products they have been selling. People can only buy so any TV's and such.

If Best Buy does fail and people are forced to buy online that will be a major shift. I suspect most won't like it. Certain products are best handled in person.

The times certainly are changing.

Philip
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post #6 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 05:04 AM
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well I just hate worst buy.
The people that work there are lazy, stupid and if they open their mouth its a lie.
TALK ABOUT ARROGANT, when I went there they acted like they were gods and everyone should listen to all their lies and go WOW they sure know.
Now they are failing and trying to put up another front or something.

Returns, I purchased a video card and it would not work, I went back to exchange it, we don't have any more. OK give me a refund, we can't. WHAT???
UHHHH our computers are down. BS you just gave that person a refund. BUT UH here is the manager. WTF IS GOING ON. you see our refunds are on another computer system and you need to call Tulsa and get a refund there, it will get to you in 10 business days.

F WORST BUY THE CRAP HOLE OF THE UNIVERSE

I will NEVER go into that store again...GO OUT OF BUSINESS >>>>G O O D
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post #7 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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The internet has opened the opportunity to buy at discount prices, not to mentioned the convenience of ordering on line, which is fine when you know what you want. It has really hurt the retail business in general when it comes to consumer electronics, not just Best Buy. 6th Ave and Circuit City have already gone and there is more to come, but on line services don't allow you to browse and you just don't get that personal touch. I was the regional manager for a once very successful car audio franchise that specialized in high quality custom installations and products. Because of internet sales and car companies getting in bed with the audio-video manufacturers, we finally just bit the dust.


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post #8 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 01:25 PM
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Part of their downfall is their utter unwillingness to compete in the market (which now includes online retailers). I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a best buy and told the sales guy/manager that I want to purchase from them, but they have to match the price I can get it for online. They refused and went on about overhead costs, blah...blah....blah... I explained to them it was money in my pocket lost and I would buy elsewhere. In their arrogance, the best buy guy declined to take my sale. I was just asking them to match the base online price, I would have paid taxes on top of it to "support a local business". Oh well.
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post #9 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Part of their downfall is their utter unwillingness to compete in the market (which now includes online retailers). I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a best buy and told the sales guy/manager that I want to purchase from them, but they have to match the price I can get it for online. They refused and went on about overhead costs, blah...blah....blah... I explained to them it was money in my pocket lost and I would buy elsewhere. In their arrogance, the best buy guy declined to take my sale. I was just asking them to match the base online price, I would have paid taxes on top of it to "support a local business". Oh well.

I have never had a problem with them matching prices. They won't match everyone. They have to have similar return policies, include shipping costs and so on. They have always matched Dell for example.

When all the local stores are gone and you can't browse for products we will then see how attractive Amazon seems.

Philip
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post #10 of 50 Old 06-01-2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by etrin View Post

well I just hate worst buy.
The people that work there are lazy, stupid and if they open their mouth its a lie.

Perhaps you had a bad experience. They seem fine to me. Haven't noticed much difference between the employees there and elsewhere.

If you don't like the place then don't shop there. Do all your shopping online or wherever. No reason to go off the deep-end about them.

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post #11 of 50 Old 06-27-2012, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Will going private help prevent the future demise of Best Buy? We'll see.


http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/06/27/best-buy-buyout-why-founders-bid-may-be-retailers-best-bet/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl12|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D173694




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post #12 of 50 Old 06-28-2012, 10:37 AM
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In the beginning of the hi-fi age (way back in the Fifties), there were just big department stores selling audio equipment. Then, as the industry grew, we got independent hi-fi shops. Before long, the department stores gave up trying to deal with the market altogether, and it was small, independent stores that flourished in the Sixties and Seventies. After that, bigger, hi-fi chain stores like The Good Guys and Circuit City drove most the little shops out of business because the chains could buy in volume, carry more products, and offer them cheaper. Then along came the hi-fi super stores like Best Buy and Fry's Electronics and drove the medium-sized Good Guys and Circuit City chains into the ground, for the same reasons as above. Now, on-line stores like Amazon are providing lower prices and even more products. Big and cheap will always win for the average consumer. Like many other folks more interested in quality than price (within reason), I have also continued to buy important items (like big-screen TV's and floor-standing speakers) from the few remaining independent shops, but for the occasional small item where I know exactly what I want (like, say, a Harmony One remote), I go on-line. Times change. People don't.

By the way, I have nothing against Best Buy except the penchant of their sales staff to ignore me completely when I enter their store. It's as though I've suddenly become invisible. Maybe I don't look rich enough to buy anything expensive, but I've had Best Buy sales people walk right by me while I'm saying "Excuse me, excuse me, could I get a little help here?" without so much as a look in my direction. smile.gif

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post #13 of 50 Old 08-24-2012, 06:19 PM
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This bums me out as well.
I can remember not too long ago how much fun it was going to Tower records here on the upper west side in NYC and picking up new DVD releases. They would be packed and the lines were long. Tv show season sets were big sellers. and then almost overnight- no one was buying DVD's anymore.
It is had to believe all those people buying DVD's back then are now all downloading or streaming. Oh well.
The Tower record store is gone and and now an Apple store sits one block away.


I also can not imagine making a big $$ purchase on a 50 or 60 inch plasma online.
Amazon should partner with Best Buy otherwise,
If Best Buy goes away Amazon might have to open their own showrooms.
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post #14 of 50 Old 08-25-2012, 07:56 AM
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The problem is, no one wants to buy TVs and refrigerators from Best Buy anymore when they can get a better deal on thiose things elsewhere. They have these huges stores, when really all that sells now are phones and tablets, which could be sold in a Kiosk in the mall - and actually often are...by their competitors.

Best Buy really needs to downsize to their bread and butter items: portable electronics and car stereos/alarms/remote starts.

TVs and computers have too little margain for such a big piece of real estate and the movie, computer software and CD sections are becoming wasted space as people either buy that stuff online or switch to non-physical discs.

Their best bet to draw in customers is to get people that really know their stuff (not just how to sell Monster Cables and extended warranties) and hold workshops every weekend on using computers, smart phones, tablets, home theater gear, etc. The Home Depot does similar things with painting, plumbing, tiling etc. and the classes are very popular arounf here.

If you draw people in to show them how to properly set up a TV to watch HD and Blu-ray or connect a Roku or a game system, you potentially get sales from people who come back feeling armed with knowledge of what they need. When people feel overwhelmed, they tend to walk away if it confuses them - or they get the wrong thing and hate the store for it.

They had the right idea with the Geek Squad, but executed it poorly. The method Staples uses having that desk right in the middle of it all reminds people that there's someone who can fix it or set it up for them.
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post #15 of 50 Old 08-25-2012, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Best Buy really needs to downsize to their bread and butter items: portable electronics and car stereos/alarms/remote starts.

Portable electronics would be fine for a small retail setup like Radio Shack. As far as the car audio business is concerned, it's just not profitable. Competition from auto manufacturers, sinking profit margins, along with installations that have become very difficult and expensive, especially with newer vehicles, have turned the 12 volt service into a nightmare. That's why I'm not in it anymore.

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TVs and computers have too little margain for such a big piece of real estate and the movie, computer software and CD sections are becoming wasted space as people either buy that stuff online or switch to non-physical discs.
Their best bet to draw in customers is to get people that really know their stuff (not just how to sell Monster Cables and extended warranties) and hold workshops every weekend on using computers, smart phones, tablets, home theater gear, etc. The Home Depot does similar things with painting, plumbing, tiling etc. and the classes are very popular arounf here.
If you draw people in to show them how to properly set up a TV to watch HD and Blu-ray or connect a Roku or a game system, you potentially get sales from people who come back feeling armed with knowledge of what they need. When people feel overwhelmed, they tend to walk away if it confuses them - or they get the wrong thing and hate the store for it.
They had the right idea with the Geek Squad, but executed it poorly. The method Staples uses having that desk right in the middle of it all reminds people that there's someone who can fix it or set it up for them.


You make a interesting point, but I'm not sure, that like hardware, consumer electronics education and support would work in a Home Depot like setting. The Boomer Mcloud franchise I help develop was based on the Ace Hardware model. Competitive pricing and support. Many of my larger dealers also sold home theater products and were very knowledgeable. They weren't just sales men they were consultants, but like the Best Buys of the world, many have gone out of business or they just don't get much traffic anymore.


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post #16 of 50 Old 08-25-2012, 10:52 PM
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Portable electronics would be fine for a small retail setup like Radio Shack.
I think the problem with Radio Shack is perception. While they've come along way toward being a place to turn for phones and small electronics, people still think of at least a half a dozen other stores before they step into a Radio Shack. Right now, they're still caught in that purgatory between their roots as an electronic parts store and becoming an electronic device store. They've abandoned a lot of the former and still haven't achieved the latter.

However, I think they're in a better position to become that small device store that Best Buy likely is too late to the game to become (they have plans to downsize that way) if they can hold their ground and capitalize on the woes of the big box store.
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As far as the car audio business is concerned, it's just not profitable. Competition from auto manufacturers, sinking profit margins, along with installations that have become very difficult and expensive, especially with newer vehicles, have turned the 12 volt service into a nightmare. That's why I'm not in it anymore.
It seems like it must be for Best Buy around here. They seem to have more people staffing the car accessory installation department than anything else. I know there's no shortage of kids around here wanting a $5000 audio system put in a $3000 Honda.
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post #17 of 50 Old 08-26-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I think the problem with Radio Shack is perception. While they've come along way toward being a place to turn for phones and small electronics, people still think of at least a half a dozen other stores before they step into a Radio Shack. Right now, they're still caught in that purgatory between their roots as an electronic parts store and becoming an electronic device store. They've abandoned a lot of the former and still haven't achieved the latter.

I beleive many people today shop on-line for parts anyway. There's not as much to choose from locally, and the prices are lower. When it comes to devices, if you think about it, unless they're located in a popular mall setting, Radio Shack doesn't have the traffic, nor does it offer the discounts of lets say a Target or Wallmart, which also provides the convenience of one stop shopping.

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It seems like it must be for Best Buy around here. They seem to have more people staffing the car accessory installation department than anything else. I know there's no shortage of kids around here wanting a $5000 audio system put in a $3000 Honda.


I'm not surprised. New England is where the Boomer Mcloud car audio franchise had it's roots, but competition from the big box stores was one of the reasons for it's early demise.



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post #18 of 50 Old 08-26-2012, 10:11 AM
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I beleive many people today shop on-line for parts anyway. There's not as much to choose from locally, and the prices are lower. When it comes to devices, if you think about it, unless they're located in a popular mall setting, Radio Shack doesn't have the traffic, nor does it offer the discounts of lets say a Target or Wallmart, which also provides the convenience of one stop shopping.
That's my point: they've essentially bailed on the parts business, so they've all but lost those customers for everything but the most common components but they haven't yet convinced the average shopper they can be a source for general consumer electronics. People still think of the as a source of house brands, like in the days of Tandy, Realistic, etc and still think of them from back in thedays where the only item in stock was the display model - and not at a discount, either.

It's the same public perception problem that all but wiped out the Howard Johnson's restaurant chain.

I'm lucky in that everywhere I've lived, I've always had a real electronics store somewhere nearby. Right now, it's Cables and Connectors. When I need a spool of wire or some component in the middle of a project, I'm not willing to wait on it being shipped.

Quote:
I'm not surprised. New England is where the Boomer Mcloud car audio franchise had it's roots, but competition from the big box stores was one of the reasons for it's early demise.
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The flaw in the Boomer Mcloud strategy was trying to do the right thing and provide a quality product with the guidance of a knowledgeable staff to help customers choose the right stuff. That's exactly the opposite of what the primary audience wants. The kids want a booming system on the cheap with as many brand names plastered on it as possible and they don't care what kind of a rats nest of wiring it takes to accomplish it. Further, they don't even care if the car's electrical system can actually support it or not, as long as its loud - and has blue Neon or LEDs all over it.

A classroom situation at Best Buy could work, because there are actually cutomers out there that would like to be shown how to use stuff. The kid buying the latest smart phone is a lost cause, but someone wanting to buy a computer to chat with their grown kids and view photos and videos of the grandkids would have endless potential for repeat business if they like the treatment they receive.

Actually showing people how the can achieve home automation, security, multimedia access in any room and communication with people anywhere is a huge way to upsell them to new devices and services once they understand how they can benefit from them.
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post #19 of 50 Old 08-26-2012, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually showing people how the can achieve home automation, security, multimedia access in any room and communication with people anywhere is a huge way to upsell them to new devices and services once they understand how they can benefit from them.


Harvey electronics tried that strategy and failed. But then again they catered to high end products only. The Home Depot concept is intriguing and a subject worth discussing. Thanks for your comments and reviving this thread.



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post #20 of 50 Old 08-26-2012, 10:37 PM
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Harvey electronics tried that strategy and failed. But then again they catered to high end products only. The Home Depot concept is intriguing and a subject worth discussing. Thanks for your comments and reviving this thread.
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In the case of Best Buy, they've got the foot traffic already in the store. They just need a way to make them stay, buy and come back for more instead of walking out and buying it online after using the store to test drive stuff.

The longer and more often people are there, the more chance they'll see something they want to buy.
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post #21 of 50 Old 08-27-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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In the case of Best Buy, they've got the foot traffic already in the store. They just need a way to make them stay, buy and come back for more instead of walking out and buying it online after using the store to test drive stuff.
The longer and more often people are there, the more chance they'll see something they want to buy.


The one by me is always slow. I can't even remember the last time a sales associate came over to talk to me.




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post #22 of 50 Old 08-27-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I think it sucks so many folks wish for their demise.


What the hell is left? I buy my speakers at specialty shops so not affected there but I did pick a set of monitors up this weekend at BB for my bedroom. When I need a cable I can just pop in. If I want a blu-ray on a spur of the moment on a Saturday I can pop in and pick it up.


I value viewing quality and I'll me damned if downloads are even close to media in terms of audio/video quality not to mention new releases not available. The choices at Netflix to download suck.


All my local Blockbusters are now gone. Spending more on media than I should cause I can't just pop in to Blockbuster and pick up a movie on a whim.


I think what also is killing them are returns but I could be wrong. I did this this past weekend and it does bother me. I know not others. Go into the video forums and listen to how many folks return displays. I see a dead pixel in the upper right corner of my screen when I watch Bambi. Oh my god. Got to return it. I read about some people changing displays five or more times? Really?


I did make a mistake of picking up a pair B&W M1 satelites and an el cheapo Marantz to drive them for bedroom only. I just couldn't get past them after a day or two and returned them for a small monitor and then of course the little Marantz would not power them properly so that had to go back too. Nothing wrong with either just I screwed up on what I wanted and I am usually very certain in my purchases. I really did feel bad as I know their financials.


So I hope they make it. I buy a lot of my stuff on-line but I still have many needs where I want/need to pop in on a weekend and pick something up.


Wait till the day comes when you pay tax on everything on-line no matter your state (it's coming), heavy re-stocking fees are put into play and mfg minimum pricing are set on most items. Then many will wish they could just walk into BB...


Rick

+1
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post #23 of 50 Old 08-27-2012, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I think it sucks so many folks wish for their demise.
In my case, I don't wish for it, but I can see where Best Buy could have been more proactive to possibly prevent this situation. They went too long merely assuming people would come to them to buy stuff.
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I think what also is killing them are returns but I could be wrong. I did this this past weekend and it does bother me. I know not others. Go into the video forums and listen to how many folks return displays. I see a dead pixel in the upper right corner of my screen when I watch Bambi. Oh my god. Got to return it. I read about some people changing displays five or more times? Really?
Doesn't Best Buy charge a restocking fee for stuff like that?

Further, there's no excuse for a TV to have a dead pixel in the viewable area. I would make no bones about returning one that did. It's one thing if people are simply returning TVs to test drive models (which does happen), but a far different thing if it's defective.

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I did make a mistake of picking up a pair B&W M1 satelites and an el cheapo Marantz to drive them for bedroom only. I just couldn't get past them after a day or two and returned them for a small monitor and then of course the little Marantz would not power them properly so that had to go back too. Nothing wrong with either just I screwed up on what I wanted and I am usually very certain in my purchases. I really did feel bad as I know their financials.
Well, based on your argument above, you should have kept them...unless it's only OK for you to return stuff.
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Wait till the day comes when you pay tax on everything on-line no matter your state (it's coming), heavy re-stocking fees are put into play and mfg minimum pricing are set on most items. Then many will wish they could just walk into BB...
Well, in the case of a place like Amazon.com, I'd still buy from them even if I did have to pay sales tax. That's way down on the list of reasons I buy from them.
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post #24 of 50 Old 09-02-2012, 05:23 PM
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There was a time and place for Best Buy. That was the 90s and early 2000s. Back in the 90s, they were awesome. It was the place to go for computers, electronics, etc. But now, they are about to become a casualty of changing times.

Online shopping has replaced big box stores. Comp USA was the first major casualty. Next, Circuit City went bye bye. Now, Best Buy is on it's last legs. The only way to be sucessful as a big box store is to have prices which are as low as or only marginally higher than online. This slot is filled by Wal Mart and to a lesser degree Target. Sure, I'd prefer to buy locally so that I don't have to wait. Especially since it takes Amazon a week to ship to an APO. But when a Blu Ray costs $10-20 more in a store versus at Amazon, I'm willing to wait.

As far as the intelligence / integrity of the employees at Best Buy, like all things, it depends on who you talk to. But yes, they do push Monster Cable whether through ignorance or through pressure. (A bit of both, really). In the past I've worked for Office Max, Future Shop, and Best Buy. When a sale was rung up, the profit wasn't coming from the $2000 computer. It was coming from the surge protector, cables, and various other accessories.
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post #25 of 50 Old 09-03-2012, 07:19 AM
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There was a time and place for Best Buy. That was the 90s and early 2000s. Back in the 90s, they were awesome. It was the place to go for computers, electronics, etc. But now, they are about to become a casualty of changing times.
Online shopping has replaced big box stores. Comp USA was the first major casualty. Next, Circuit City went bye bye. Now, Best Buy is on it's last legs. The only way to be sucessful as a big box store is to have prices which are as low as or only marginally higher than online. This slot is filled by Wal Mart and to a lesser degree Target. Sure, I'd prefer to buy locally so that I don't have to wait. Especially since it takes Amazon a week to ship to an APO. But when a Blu Ray costs $10-20 more in a store versus at Amazon, I'm willing to wait.
As far as the intelligence / integrity of the employees at Best Buy, like all things, it depends on who you talk to. But yes, they do push Monster Cable whether through ignorance or through pressure. (A bit of both, really). In the past I've worked for Office Max, Future Shop, and Best Buy. When a sale was rung up, the profit wasn't coming from the $2000 computer. It was coming from the surge protector, cables, and various other accessories.

That's true and unfortunate. If they go away, I have nowhere to demo my purchases. But i do buy all my stuff there except cables and such as long as they price match. Since they price match just about all my purchases they've made me a loyal customer, so vaccum cleaners, bd's, computers etc are purchased there. Plus i'm a big proponent of buying local.

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post #26 of 50 Old 09-03-2012, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DanLW View Post

As far as the intelligence / integrity of the employees at Best Buy, like all things, it depends on who you talk to. But yes, they do push Monster Cable whether through ignorance or through pressure. (A bit of both, really). In the past I've worked for Office Max, Future Shop, and Best Buy. When a sale was rung up, the profit wasn't coming from the $2000 computer. It was coming from the surge protector, cables, and various other accessories.
Honestly, my biggest beef was always the hard sell on the extended warranties, which is where they really get their money. You say no and the cashier tries at least twice more to extoll the virtues of paying $20 to protect a $100 Blu-ray player.
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That's true and unfortunate. If they go away, I have nowhere to demo my purchases. But i do buy all my stuff there except cables and such as long as they price match. Since they price match just about all my purchases they've made me a loyal customer, so vaccum cleaners, bd's, computers etc are purchased there. Plus i'm a big proponent of buying local.
This really begs the question:

What's the definition of "buying local"? Is it a national big box chain like Best Buy? If so, doesn't that fit the definition or Walmart - which started off as a single 5 and dime type of store in middle America?

If you buy from Amazon in a state that has a distribution center, is that buying local? After all, those employees there all live in the area and you still pay sales tax. What about the independent sellers? Some of those guys are small shops that are essentially "Mom and Pop" style stores.

Does the salary the people working there make them more local? Does someone working in an Amazon distribution center make less than a college kid at Best Buy or Walmart?

This sort of thing comes up with hardware stores, too. Home Depot started off as a single store outside of Atlanta. On opening day, they didn't have enough money to get enough merchandise to fill all those shelves in such a big store, so they put packing crates in the middle of the piles to make it look like they had more than they really did. Their fist ads were low budget local bits featuring a cartoon mascot named Homer (no relation to the other Homer we all know).

People blame Home Depot for the demise of the local hardware store, but what if that local hardware store was/is actually an Ace Hardware store - a national chain of small stores? Are they really "local"? Is it better to be a franchise owner of a local shop employing a half a dozen people for $6-$10 an hour or the manager of a Home Depot employing dozens of people at $6-$10 an hour? Is it better for the community to have the property tax from a small store or a large one? Is it better to be able to buy in bulk to be able to sell the same item cheaper?

Getting back to Amazon.com, what people forget is the stuff that happens outside the web sales. Those UPS guys that deliver those millions of packages from them are all private franchise owners that own their own trucks and routes. Plus, Amazon's order fulfillment center uses all kinds of high tech stuff developed by electronics companies that benefit from the need to ship things faster and more accurately. Heck, there's a box company out there that likely has a very profitable contract making all those boxes with that little curved arrow on the sides.

In the end, I guess it comes down to the item: is it any different online than in the store. That DVD in Best Buy, Walmart or Target is the same "stamped in China" DVD you can get at Amazon. If Amazon can get that same DVD to you for less, shouldn't the customer have the right to choose them instead?
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Honestly, my biggest beef was always the hard sell on the extended warranties, which is where they really get their money. You say no and the cashier tries at least twice more to extoll the virtues of paying $20 to protect a $100 Blu-ray player.
This really begs the question:
What's the definition of "buying local"? Is it a national big box chain like Best Buy? If so, doesn't that fit the definition or Walmart - which started off as a single 5 and dime type of store in middle America?
If you buy from Amazon in a state that has a distribution center, is that buying local? After all, those employees there all live in the area and you still pay sales tax. What about the independent sellers? Some of those guys are small shops that are essentially "Mom and Pop" style stores.
Does the salary the people working there make them more local? Does someone working in an Amazon distribution center make less than a college kid at Best Buy or Walmart?
This sort of thing comes up with hardware stores, too. Home Depot started off as a single store outside of Atlanta. On opening day, they didn't have enough money to get enough merchandise to fill all those shelves in such a big store, so they put packing crates in the middle of the piles to make it look like they had more than they really did. Their fist ads were low budget local bits featuring a cartoon mascot named Homer (no relation to the other Homer we all know).
People blame Home Depot for the demise of the local hardware store, but what if that local hardware store was/is actually an Ace Hardware store - a national chain of small stores? Are they really "local"? Is it better to be a franchise owner of a local shop employing a half a dozen people for $6-$10 an hour or the manager of a Home Depot employing dozens of people at $6-$10 an hour? Is it better for the community to have the property tax from a small store or a large one? Is it better to be able to buy in bulk to be able to sell the same item cheaper?
Getting back to Amazon.com, what people forget is the stuff that happens outside the web sales. Those UPS guys that deliver those millions of packages from them are all private franchise owners that own their own trucks and routes. Plus, Amazon's order fulfillment center uses all kinds of high tech stuff developed by electronics companies that benefit from the need to ship things faster and more accurately. Heck, there's a box company out there that likely has a very profitable contract making all those boxes with that little curved arrow on the sides.
In the end, I guess it comes down to the item: is it any different online than in the store. That DVD in Best Buy, Walmart or Target is the same "stamped in China" DVD you can get at Amazon. If Amazon can get that same DVD to you for less, shouldn't the customer have the right to choose them instead?

A hard sell from BB? Those kids don't know the meaning of hard sell!

I'm talking local employees in my town. These 20 year olds that work there are all from the town, that's local to me. If BB goes away, there is less tax base and many kids out of a job. BB is good for my town, as is walmart, all the supermarkets etc.

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post #28 of 50 Old 09-03-2012, 05:16 PM
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I was thinking about local shops. Potentially the only small shops that can really compete are the ones with a great location, or the specialty (often boutique) stores.

There are many a small hardware store which will be around for a while because they are in a small shopping center in the middle of a large residential district. These stay alive by all the local customers who don't want to drive all the way to the big box. Their advantage is they are small enough to fit into the little strip malls, whereas you would have to bulldoze dozens of houses to put in a big box store. And so they get business for convenience sake. It also helps if they are on a road which is "on the way" for a lot of people. So mom and pop shops can succeed, if they have the right location, location, location.

Then there are the boutique stores. These are the stores which carry the brands which are too high priced for big box stores. They get their business mainly from people who already have a good idea of what they want. (Otherwise they'd be shopping at Best Buy) For example, if you want a pair of speakers, you go to Best Buy and get a pair of low-end speakers. But if you want something mid-range or higher, you usually have to go to a small boutique shop, especially if the brand you're looking for doesn't have brand recognition because they don't make low-end stuff. (therefore you never see them at Best Buy) For example, if I want to audition a pair of Klipsch RF-7II or Paradigm Studio 100 speakers, I know I'm not going to find them at Best Buy. That's where the boutique dealer comes in. (never mind that Best Buy is a horrible environment for critical listening)
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post #29 of 50 Old 09-04-2012, 03:26 PM
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You know, it's funny how people can pick and choose when it comes to "survival of the fittest" (not responding to anyone in particular here).

Over in the HD thread, people will claim that channels should stand up on their own and either succeed or fail based on demand. If they fail, then so be it. Let the marketplace decide.

On the other hand, those same people will likely lament the loss of a small shop in the face of competition from a larger one, or a larger one in the face of competition from the internet.

"It's not fair - they can't compete".
"Big box stores are ruining retail"
"The internet is killing local stores."

We ought to do something about that, right?

The thing is, things evolve. We used to go to soda shops, now we hit up the grocery store or vending machines. Instead of the guy at the gas station checking our oil and fluids and topping them off as needed, we pay to have the car put up on a lift where they run through a checklist based on manufacturer mileage specs to see what else other than oil needs attention. At the end of the process, some of those places will vacuum out the car, too. In some cases, those places can connect up your car to diagnose an electronic issue you might be having. The gas station is unlikely to be able to do that, even if they still have a garage.

On the other hand, in New Jersey, a guy still pumps your gas for you and the gas is often cheaper than surrounding areas. Go figure.

Downtown shopping districts have languished as suburban shopping centers offer plenty of parking and one stop shopping for a wide variety of products. Why pay to park, then walk up and down blocks of stores when you can park for free and find light bulbs, a flat screen TV, a grill and frozen pizzas under one roof at Target? Isn't that better for consumers? The local storefront may be great for those unique gifts that aren't mass produced, but why should I go out of my way just to pay more for a mass produced book or movie? After all, the bulk of that money goes the same places: the publishers and studios. They're getting theirs.

Maybe it's bad for the small business operator, but why do we need to care? Are they charities? Is it our responsibility to make their business model viable? Shouldn't the burden be on them to make their store evolve with the times, such as expanding the way the Home Depots and Walmarts of the world did or creating an online shop to sell to more than just the local population?

Shouldn't the model be B&H, not Smith & Son?

Further, if the brick and mortar big box stores, who are blamed for killing small shops, are being killed by the internet, isn't that simply business karma taking place? Doesn't it stand to reason that a place like Amazon, if it fails to evolve with the times, can easily be the victim of the next evolution in retail? Will anyone care if the price is right?

I like shopping at my local hardware store, but if I need lumber along with screws and paint, I'm not going to make two trips when I can go to Home Depot or Lowes and get it all in one shot. On the other hand, I bought some hard to find pegboard accessories the local places (including Home Depot) don't stock through the Amazon Marketplace that happens to be my local Ace Hardware. That's evolution.

My guess, if Best Buy goes under, they'll be remembered for about as long as CompUSA or Circuit CIty, which are nothing more than online storefronts from a holding company now.
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post #30 of 50 Old 09-04-2012, 04:21 PM
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I went into my local BB last Friday and needed help finding a sound card. Three separate times I spotted an associate across several aisles and headed toward them, and three times they rapidly headed off in another direction as I approached. Each was positioned in a way that they could have easily determined that I needed assistance if they cared about customer service even a little. There were very few customers in the store, so it wasn't about being too busy.

It reminded me of the way I used to be treated at Home Depot before they got religion. I hated going there for anything and would pay a premium price at Ace hardware, because they were always there to help. Looks like Home Depot figured this out, because now when I go to Home Depot it seems like someone is asking me if I need help around every corner. Now the tide has turned and Ace will have to work on their pricing since they can't use customer service as a discriminator any longer.

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