Retail of yesteryear might stand a chance because employing buyers who actually curate merchandise to be sold will become a value add again.
They even do price guarantee if you contact CS which Amazon discontinued.
B&H have been sued several times, most recently by the Labor Department, for discrimination in treatment of employees. Even I have heard about that, in the UK. They have paid out at least $8 million to settle the cases.
Instead I'd recommend keh.com
Franky I'd be more suspicious of a business of their age and size that didn't have a few lawsuits against them. Also look at some of those lawsuits - remember it costs nothing to file a lawsuit, especially when fishing with lawyers on contingency :/
Also been noticing a lot less companies allowing amazon as a "trusted online merchant" for returns.
> Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.
There may be a case for introducing information like this when a company is recommended, but the comment would need to be worded with more civility than that one was.
B&H is now collecting tax for sales to customers in states that have post-Wayfair tax laws enacted, which is around 3/4 of the states.
Most of the states that have not yet done so will be doing so soon. California's goes into effect 2019-04-01, so those of you from California have until then to get your tax-free online shopping done.
Here's a page with the status for each state . Here's another useful page  with per state info.
In a few others they do not charge but they warn you that they report the sale to your state's tax authority, which could make it hard to avoid paying your state's use tax.
I find myself shopping in person more and more. Shelf space in San Francisco is expensive so it’s usually full of good stuff.
Also why product reviews are a whole genre on YouTube
After I worked on a project for BB, the best way I can describe what they sell is "high-end crap".
I buy electronic components like diodes etc..from small Shopify stores and pay shipping only once for all items packaged together.
Item cost : 20 cent
This is where AliExpress sucks too, no way to combine shipping on small sub dollar cost items.
This is for India.
Used to work there during college.
If we didn’t sell enough PSPs (extended warranties), we were not allowed to leave at our scheduled time.
Also, we moved all the laptop inventory to the back of the store, so if a customer wanted to buy a laptop that was in stock, but did not want to purchase an extended warranty, we were instructed to lie to the customer and say it was out-of-stock.
Also, the whole incentivized FBI Geek Squad informant deal was a bit immoral, too, IMHO.
1. I had no issues with not being allowed to leave on time. Of course we were incentivised to sell GSPs with as many products as possible, I was never not allowed to leave on time if I didn't sell enough.
2. Never had to give up a sale just cause I didn't attach GSP or accessories.
3. Agreed here.
Unfortunately, I think you had bad management. With my manager, I never felt like I had to resort to scummy practices to get decent numbers. And maybe it was a district-wide thing, cause all my friends at other Best Buys (whether big box or mobile), had the same perception.
I still have many friends who work there, and to this day recommend it to people who are looking for a part-time job.
Also, trying to push Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated subscriptions on people who just wanted to buy a damn printer in peace. Not to mention that they bought a $39 printer and a $29 USB cable, then found out that half the time the printer came with a cable.
I responded a similar comment to the parent comment, but this has never happened to me, must be a specific location or something? Or are these just really old practices I was fortunate enough to avoid? I live in Florida, and have never seen some of these things at Best Buy. The extended warranty has been useful for me in regards to computer monitors, mine went bad, then they refunded me the money, and when the replacement went bad I was refunded the money as well and bought a monitor that outlasted the previous two for a little bit extra (I upgraded from a roughly $160 monitor to a $299 Dell monitor).
Corporate pretty much let DM's run things the way the wanted and, and most DM's let store General Managers do the same (to a lesser extent). That combined with corporate providing tools to make it easy to drill down into meaningless metrics, and you ended up with employees encouraged to walk low margin customers in some stores, while in other stores that would get you fired.
Employees can provide helpful knowledge to customers in exchange for a wage. The ones who hawk PSP warranties are probably the worst customer advocates, yet aren't the ones being fired....
The helpful employees and loyal customers lose, corporate wins....
Whenever I end up at another Best Buy, I'm reminded how much I used to hate them because the others haven't changed.
It sounds like you worked at one of the many bad ones, and that sucks.
So what you're telling me is if they ask me about an extended warranty, say yes then change your mind at the register?
One technique was to speak w a manager prior to purchase, and make a deal where the manager, who would discount add-on accessories for the major purchase if you were willing to buy the PSP.
The customer would come back a day later and demand a full refund for the PSP, while keeping their add-on discount.
This did not happen often, though.
One of the things you were ranked on was PSP (extended warranty, but they beat it into your head never to call it that) attachment percentage. When a measure becomes a target...
Occasionally there was a loss leader sale item, and in those cases if someone wanted to by it without any attachments, it might have made short term financial sense to pretend we didn't have it, but I don't think the company could get away with that on a large scale.
Source: I also worked there during college. First in customer service, then as a Geek Squad supervisor at a new store, and I was sent to training at HQ up in Minnesota.
I proposed a counter solution--we just move the laser sensor on the door a bit higher, so that short people wouldn't trigger it.
In my store, on busy days, the manager would occasionally "greet" customers at the door for 10 minutes at a time. Coincidentally, the spot he would choose to stand would block the sensor, so instead of 20 customers coming in in 10 minutes, it looked like only 1 had come in.
The “team meetings” before and after every shift showed you the numbers from the previous day and your goals for the current day.
If your department didn’t hit their numbers, you’d get your hours cut or manager would get canned. Promotions went by how well you could sell, but you weren’t on commission.
They pushed for us to sell 2 black and two color ink cartridges with ink jet printers. Plus two packs of photo paper and two packs of regular paper.
They had a folding table setup at the front of the store w/ a PC running Excel, and every 15 minutes over the PA, each departments percentage of sales with extended warranties were read aloud.
The CompUSA I worked in in college was like a scaled down Enron. Bonuses were paid for hitting those percentages, period. At the time (late 90s), BestBuy was better, mostly because they were more diversified.
For constrained product, it makes sense to play some games. You can 10x your margins with the right customer.
I had it replaced and/or fixed at least 4 times. Was worth it for me.
Odd, I never get asked if I want that till after the employees are checking me out. Must be that particular location then maybe? Sad.
Besides that, the prices are competitive, not that it matters because they price match. Sometimes you can score a deal on open box items, which are conveniently listed on their site. Returning something to BB has been painless. I recently returned a monitor without the box for a full refund. I’d at least have had to find a box, pack, and ship that at my own expense w/ amazon which is a huge hassle.
Prime’s 2 day shipping on nearly anything is great but more than a few times I’ve had things lost in the mail. Amazon waits 3-5 days PAST the delivery date to consider it lost while you wait in limbo, and then you have to restart the order. It’s really frustrating if you need the thing quickly and it ends up taking more than double what it should to arrive. IME Amazon is not generous in compensating for these inconveniences.
Also, Prime's 2 day shipping doesn't mean nearly as much when a lot of products don't ship for 2-3 days after you order a lot of times now. I'm not sure if it's just gaming the system, but seems to be the case a lot these days. Not to mention co-mingling inventory makes me feel less certain on whole classes of items.
My latest gripe is in how they'll change or merge listings after an item ships so when what you order isn't what you get, it makes it look like you ordered the wrong thing in the first place.
The order confirmation they email to you forces you to click through to the site instead of giving you a static copy of your invoice so you have no proof to contest it either.
Recently I am needing to replace my failing 15 year old color laser printer and I've been trying to find a local store that has them models I'm researching in stock (want to print Tabloid for woodworking drawings - so not a large number of stocked options).
Both Staples and Office Depot had the printers, but none of them had ink in them and the store managers refused to install ink. This was frustrating because I wasted easily 2 hours between both stores waiting for the manager to even be available.
Best Buy had only 1 printer model but it had ink cartridges installed at least, but had no paper. A store associate helped fix that, but apparently the printer wasn't printing with black despite showing it had black ink. The associate kept wanting to demonstrate the printer not by printing a nice mixed content page but by copying a sales tag.
Needless to say I haven't been able to get print samples from any local retail establishment and I'd pay (reasonably) more than Amazon prices to get an good idea of the output quality before buying plus the instant gratification of being able to take a new printer home immediately. Hell since it's an ink jet I'd probably even buy the PSP/Extended Warranty without a fight.
All of these retail business are blowing their primary advantage by not having well working demo units available.
I may still end up buying from Best Buy or Staples but only because I can return to the store instead of having to ship back and pay for that return shipping like with Amazon.
If you were buying 100 business printers I bet they would be happy to give you a demo.
PCMag has actual reviews describing the output relative to other models but no photos of the output.
I’ve been considering dumping my Prime account and one of the reasons I’d feel confident doing so has been my good experiences with Best Buy as of late.
In Atlanta and thereabouts Home Depot is a minimum-wage job ($8/hr?) with no real benefits or employee discounts so you just get bodies to stock shelves. I've had much better luck in California ($15/hr?) where most of the employees seemed to be ex-contractors or otherwise experienced.
A few months later I bought a second TV and it was best priced at frys. It's funny how these things go.
Is there any national retailer other than Walmart that has not been forced to reduce their labor budget as a response to Amazon? None that I've looked into.
It isn’t empty Mon-Thurs either.
Poor inventory, mislabeled items, disinterested staff.
I happily shop with New Egg simply because of they stood up to patent trolls: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/newegg-fought-it...
As for Newegg, I really want to like them but they have a habit of cancelling my orders because they think it's fraudulent. I just opt to order elsewhere and not waste time calling in to try to prove it's legit.
The staff act like robots. Their responses and behaviour both when you ask for help and when you go to checkout seem scripted, while at the same time they give off a tired air of mildly annoyed indifference.
A lot of US chains are like this, really. Everyone just seems so downtrodden, even surly or hostile. I'm sure the staff is paid little and not treated that great, but still, I've never encountered this in Europe, where I'm from, and I can't imagine that conditions are much better there, so it might be a cultural thing.
My disappointment with newegg is they now are a store front for third parties a lot like Amazon, and it's an extra step to select newegg as the seller.
I once bought a laptop from BestBuy. It was over $2k. I came home, unpacked it and to my horror, there was a scratch. I immediately went back and BestBuy gave me a new one. In the case of Amazon, I ordered a furniture. They shipped the wrong color. Since I didn't want to deal with the hazzle of returning, I asked Amazon to give me the price difference (the color I got was cheaper than what I ordered). No. The only option Amazon gave me was return it and order again. Had to wait for another 10 days to get my color.
I came back to India and ordered a surge protector from Amazon. The item I got was not only poorly packaged, it looked like Amazon just shipped me something that someone else returned. It still had a previous shipping label (though I couldn't read it), was very badly packed with cello tape, and the plastic body had somehow got the green color from the Belkins packing. Thankfully, Amazon refunded me and I found it cheaper in a local store.
Recently, I bought my MacBook there. I also purchased a gaming headset from there.
I think the main thing is - what if I get my headset out of the box and one ear has no sound - easy fix with Best Buy. Same with the MacBook. In fact - I actually ended up returning my original MacBook to Best Buy within 14 days of purchasing it to get a slightly upgraded model - no questions asked, nothing lost but about an hour of time.
As other posters have mentioned, there's also the 'knock-off' chance on Amazon as well (or at least me, the general, uninformed consumer thinks that there is). I can't be certain that even Apple-branded products from Amazon are actually Apple products. But at Best Buy, my assumption is they are legit Apple products.
Some of that convenience stuff is so ridiculously over-priced(even compared to Walmart) and so restricted in choice(only option is the Best Buy brand) it must be integral to their business strategy.
Another time, I needed a 3.5mm headphone to Bluetooth transmitter for my Nintendo Switch. I checked Fry's, Central Computer, and Best Buy; Best Buy had it, so I got it from there.
In both cases, the choice was partially convenience, and partially not wanting another box (or padded envelope) being used up.
So, did you drive there? That's also an environmental impact. Just saying.
An HD capable portable radio. (ended up buying Sangean HDR-16 from Amazon)
A keyboard synthesizer (I know they carried these in the past).
I upgraded three car stereos and they didn't have anything I wanted in stock. (Ended up buying one from Amazon and two from Crutchfield).
An unlocked Samsung cell phone. They did not have the lower cost "J" ones (this was a year ago- even now on their website I see that only a few stores display them). I think we ended up buying from Microcenter- we are very lucky to live near one.
Unless you watch it on a smart TV. It's a shame you can't get the features of a modern TV without content tracking.
FWIW, I have an extremely good system and I've always thought that streamed audio sounds great. I honestly wonder if I've been missing out on the next tier!
It's super obvious side by side, at least on my setup. Streaming is more-or-less DVD quality at best in my experience.
The actual bitrate after decoding for a 24-bit 2-channel song with a 96kHz sample rate is 4.39mbps. With 5 channels, that's 10.975mbps (higher than a DVD for both picture and sound combined).
BluRay is still a great purchase at times. I like the 24p film editions for classic movies, and in general, get best quality over most streams.
And no connection hassles.