30 Ways to Save Money at Best Buy, online and in-store
If you are spending money at Best Buy, there are plenty of ways to save your money (and time) when shopping. We’ve put together a list of thirty Best Buy-specific shopping tips to take advantage of when online at BestBuy.com or in a Best Buy store. Check it out:
1. Check during the week for aggressive, 4-Hour Flash Sales
These online sales typically occur on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at BestBuy.com. Timing is always the same, a four hour period between 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET) and 1 p.m. PT (4 p.m. ET). Best Buy likes to theme these flash sales around events like the Super Bowl, thus the product selection will be geared toward that event. (Ben’s 4-Hour Flash Sale Listings)
2. Check Best Buy’s Deal of the Day section for 24-Hour discounts
These online sales are often hit-or-miss (according to the Deal Editors on Ben’s Bargains), but you can occasionally find a deal that’s better than other online retailers. These four to five deals are typically refreshed at 10 p.m. PT (1 a.m. ET) each night. (Best Buy’s Daily Deals Section)
3. Check Best Buy’s eBay store for sales not listed on BestBuy.com
On occasion, Best Buy will aggressively discount products on eBay, usually in order to move a significant amount of product. These sales are often good enough to pop up in eBay’s Daily Deal section, In addition, you can ship to a Best Buy store for free in-store pickup, even if you purchase the item through eBay. (Best Buy’s eBay Store)
4. Check the Best Buy Online Outlet for discounts on items that aren’t new
There are four types of classifications for products that end up in the Best Buy Outlet store:
- Clearance: Items are usually brand new, just not being sold by the manufacturer anymore.
- Open box: Items are nearly brand new, but recently returned by a customer.
- Refurbished: Items that were broken in some fashion, but have been repaired to work correctly.
- Pre-owned: Items are in working order, but will show signs of use from previous owner.
Just be sure to check the warranties that come along with each product as well as the return policy. Of course, you will see a hefty discount off the MSRP in the Outlet store. While more risky than purchasing a brand new item, money saved will be significant. Just FYI, Cowboom has recently been integrated into the Best Buy online outlet, opening up the potential for even more discounts. (Best Buy’s Online Outlet)
5. If you are in college, take advantage of the Student Discounts section
Assuming you are currently enrolled at a college and have a .edu email address, you should be able to qualify for additional student discounts. Products typically discounted for students include laptops and tablets as well as anything that would be used in a dorm room like small appliances or audio gear. (Best Buy’s Student Discount Section)
6. If you play video games, consider Best Buy’s Gamers Club
There are two levels of the Gamers Club, free membership and and a 2-year membership for $30. The free level lets you earn points on purchases and game trade-ins that can be used on future purchases. The premium level adds a 20 percent discount on new games, a 10 percent discount on pre-owned games, a 10 percent bonus on trade-in credit and a couple exclusive coupons. (Best Buy’s Gamers Club page)
However, if you already have Amazon Prime, you may want to skip the premium level of the Gamers Club. Amazon already offers a 20 percent discount on pre-ordered games for all Prime members.
7. Look for free shipping promotions during the holidays
For the past couple years, Best Buy has run a free shipping promotion around the holiday shopping period. Recently, it ran between October 25, 2015 and January 2, 2016. Of course, when free shipping isn’t available, consider free in-store pickup instead. You won’t have to pay a dime for shipping, just for the gas to get you to the store.
8. Avoid purchasing overpriced accessories at Best Buy
This basically goes for any item that Best Buy marks up considerably. Products like HDMI cables (this $1.095 cable for instance), smartphone cases, power strips and power adapters. Margins on these items are huge for Best Buy, thus they attempt to push these items when you purchase electronics. Avoid this at all costs and pick up these accessories for a fraction of the cost on eBay.
9. Don’t get talked into buying the Extended Warranty
In general, the odds of you needing the extended warranty are really low. Brand name electronics usually have a very low failure rate, thus spending more money on a Best Buy warranty is silly. Best Buy also has very low consumer ratings for their warranties, ranging from people complaining about repairs not being covered to repairs that take forever to complete.
FYI, you can extend your warranty with a good credit card. For instance, American Express extends manufacturer warranties by an additional year on all of their credit cards. Other cards from Visa and Mastercard offer a similar extension.
10. Check for Online Coupons, but be Wary of the Limitations
When Best Buy releases an online coupon, it’s usually limited to a specific product category and includes limitations to products that aren’t on sale. This can be frustrating when shopping online as most coupon sites don’t include those details with the coupon. Of course, you can also sign up for Best Buy’s mailing list, only because they occasionally mail out paper coupons.
Price matching at Best Buy is fairly straightforward. It has to be the identical item and is limited to one match per customer. All you need to do is speak with a store associate to show them the price difference and get the adjusted price. Here are several tips for getting your price match every time.
11. When price matching Amazon, be sure it’s sold by Amazon
One point of contention that you may run into when getting a price match is that the price listed on Amazon is from a third party seller, not Amazon itself. While it can be somewhat YMMV on the manager’s decision at your location, most Best Buy’s require the actual Amazon price, not a price from “Joe Sixpack’s Amazon Store.”
12. Besides Amazon, check the six other online sites Best Buy allows
Those sites include B&H Photo Video, Crutchfield, Dell, HP, Newegg and Tigerdirect. Be aware that the price has to be readily listed in the details section of the page. If the price is hidden by the retailer you want to price match, Best Buy may not honor that. Also, any product that’s being sold by a re-seller on one of those sites will not be honored for price matching.
13. Use a price checking app to save time
One of our favorite apps for price matching in the store is ShopSavvy, specifically because it allows you to scan the barcode to get competitor prices in the area.
Of course, there are mulitple options for price matching. Here’s a list of 9 price comparison apps to help you find the lowest price before you talk to a Best Buy associate.
14. Check local warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club
Outside of the usual suspects like Walmart and Target, don’t forget to check the prices at your nearby Costco, Sam’s Club or other warehouse clubs. Warehouse clubs often have discounts that are more aggressive than other retailers, only because savings are exclusive to people that pay for memberships. Of course, the product has to be in stock at your local warehouse club to get the price match.
15. Double check all model numbers and SKUs
This has popped up as more of a problem in the last ten years. Electronics manufacturers are building specific models for a single retailer, thus making it impossible to price match at a different retailer. This occurs often at warehouse clubs as well as the major retailers. Make sure the model numbers are identical before requesting the price match, otherwise it will be denied.
16. Make sure local competitors are within 25 miles of your Best Buy
This is a specific rule in the terms and conditions of the price match. If the store you want to price match isn’t within 25 miles, Best Buy won’t honor it. Of course, you can always drive to a different Best Buy store that’s within the 25 mile limit.
17. Don’t expect additional discounts on top of the price match
If you have a 10 percent off coupon and expect to get that discount on top of your price match, you will be sorely disappointed. When a price match is approved, that’s the only discount that you will get. The same goes for financing options and any other service that Best Buy offers.
18. Keep your receipt as Best Buy will match up to 15 days after purchase
Ideal for saving money after your purchase, be sure to check competitor prices for the next couple weeks. If a competitor’s price drops before the Best Buy price, you can go back to the store for a price adjustment. Just bring your receipt to the customer service counter and show an associate the retailer that you want to price match.
Negotiating for a Better Price
While Best Buy certainly isn’t a flea market, it is possible to negotiate discounts on products depending on certain conditions. Here are some tips for getting the best price possible during negotiation.
19. Shop at the end of the month for increased negotiation power
Usually during the last few days of the month, store managers will be more lenient with discounts. This is due to the monthly sales metrics that those managers have to report back to their district managers. The greater the sales volume, the happier the district manager is going to be. This could translate into an additional 5 to 10 percent off the price you would have negotiated at the start of the month.
20. Ask for more aggressive discounts when bundling items
Let’s say you are purchasing a new Ultra HD, 4K television. Perhaps you also need a 4K capable receiver as well as a 4K media player to go along with it? If so, this is a great time to negotiate a discount on the entire bundle of items.
We recommend starting at 15 percent for two items and 20 percent for three or more items. It’s likely that you will negotiate to a minimum of 10 percent off the price of the entire order.
21. Ask a salesperson which brands are more negotiable
While a good salesperson will subtly direct you to the products that Best Buy sales managers want moved off the shelves, you can also just flat out ask them. These products are usually getting ready to head to the clearance section or have been overstocked by the store. This means that discounts on those items will likely be approved (and usually at a higher percentage than other products).
22. Keep an eye out for those Open Box items
Similar to the Best Buy Online Outlet, open box items in the store will be discounted significantly. In addition, sales managers have been approved to offer higher discounts on open box items. This also goes for floor models that are being sold without the box. We recommend asking for a 20 percent discount on open box returns and a 30 percent discount on floor models. It’s likely you will end up with an additional 10 to 15 percent off.
24. Use Price Codes for an extra edge in negotiating
Like Walmart and Target, Best Buy uses pricing codes to identify items that are being discounted. Specifically, any price ending in a .99 is usually full price or just a slight sale. Prices that end in .96 are matching a local or online competitor price and prices that end in .92 are usually being phased out at a price that’s close to Best Buy’s cost. You can also look for the letter “C” on the tag, usually in the lower right corner. That identifies a clearance item. (See Price codes at other retailers)
Using My Best Buy Rewards
If you haven’t joined the My Best Buy rewards program, you should. It’s free and offers up a $5 gift card for every 250 points earned. (It was previously called Rewards Zone.) Here are some tips for getting the most out of the rewards program.
25. If you spend more, the bonuses will increase
At the regular level, a rewards member earns 1 point for ever dollar spent at Best Buy. This metric increases to 1.1 points for each dollar spent at the Elite level and 1.25 at the Elite plus level. Of course, you have to spend lots of money at Best Buy to reach these levels. Elite status kicks in when you spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy during a calendar year. That figure jumps to $3,500 for the Elite Plus level. (Details on Rewards Program)
26. Look for point bonuses / discounts on specific products
Best Buy frequently offers additional discounts or opportunities to earn more rewards points if you purchase specific products. Other offers include the ability to earn gift cards that can be used on future purchases. You can check out each month’s offers on this Best Buy page.
27. Take advantage of the Free Shipping perks
At the base level, all My Best Buy rewards members get free standard shipping (3 to 7 business days) on orders that meet a $35 minimum threshold. At the Elite level, the $35 minimum is removed and free shipping is applied to all orders. At the Elite Plus level, shipping continues to remain free and is upgraded to the expedited level (2 business days).
28. Return periods are extended for Elite members
While the standard return period is 15 days for any Best Buy customer, that period is doubled and tripled depending on your Elite member status. Elite members get 30 days to return items and Elite Plus members get 45 days to return an item to Best Buy. Both of these groups also get a dedicated customer service line, ideal for getting someone on the line quickly when a problem pops up.
29. Reviewing products can earn you additional bonus points
Rewarding up to eight reviews per calendar year, rewards members can earn 25 points for each review submitted to Best Buy’s site. That’s a total of 200 points per year if all eight reviews are submitted. It takes up to 20 days before those reward points will be credited towards your account.
30. Consider the My Best Buy credit card for an additional 5% off
Similar to the Amazon Prime store card or Target’s store card, Best Buy offers a 5% return in rewards when you spend money at Best Buy. This is a solid deal, assuming you pay off the credit card every month. If you do not, you will be financially punched in the gut by the ridiculous 25.24% APR that comes with the card.
Interestingly, Best Buy is currently offering 10 percent rewards on your first purchase on the card as well as a bump to 6 percent rewards indefinitely if you are a Elite Plus member. You can also choose no-interest financing if that’s preferable. Just be aware that store cards often add up all interest over the entire billing period of the no-interest period and hit you with a giant balloon payment at the end if you don’t pay it off in time. (Details about the My Best Buy Card)