Best Buy: A New “Dual Price” Strategy?

September 20th, 2009 · 8 Comments · LCD Flat Panel, News, Plasma



(Sept. 20, 2009) Best Buy (BB), known primarily as a “brick and morta retailer, appears to be testing a new “online” HDTV pricing strategy. Prices of select Panasonic, Sony and LG HDTVs are as much as $200 less “online” than in BBs latest (Sept 20-Sept 26, 2009) weekly circular.

The HD Guruvisited a local Best Buy and verified that the in store price tags match the circular’s listed prices, and that they are, indeed, higher than the online ones. When asked about the pricing discrepancy, a blue shirted clerk replied that he was unaware of it, adding that he would “price match”’s online prices, if he could verify them. Isn’t that wonderful?

These on-line unadvertised deals are hot: the Panasonic plasmas are at the lowest prices ever at Best Buy are equal to, or just slightly higher than the best prices we found online. You should use the HD Guru Pricegrabber search box (located on the left side column of this page under “Check Prices”) to get the best “online” deals and/or use Best Buy’s on-line blowout prices to help you get a better price from your local retailer, if that’s from whom you choose to buy. For tips on how to negotiate like a pro, go to our article here (Link). Circular prices are rounded up a penny to save space.

Make/ModelÂSizeÃOn-Line   Circular  $Difference

Panasonic TC-P50S1  50″     $999.99    $1200  $200

Panasonic TC-P50X1  50″    $799.99     $900    $100

Panasonic TC-P42X1  42″    $599.99    $700    $100

Panasonic TC-L32C12 32″    $399.99    $450   $50

Sony        KDL-40VE5 40″   $1099.99  $1300   $200

LG           32LH30         32″   $499.99   $530     $30

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Melany

    to Joe:
    I’m looking for somehing on too
    Some times they give very nice prices :)

  • andrew

    What about the dual price strategy of Panasonic!
    A TCP65v10, on their own website for 3.999,95 US dollar,must be paid “6.300” Euro! (9.000 US dollar). Who is making a fiesta with our hard-earned money? Panasonic or the retailers who have a (forbidden) price convention?

  • Joe

    3 or 4 years ago, I saved at least $200 on a Whirlpool washer…couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price online. It was a Monday afternoon/evening. Now, when I’m looking for something, I jump onto on Mondays to check the prices. Try it! I figure they are trying to lure people to their site on ‘off shopping days’, similar to mid week ‘one day sales’ at a physical store…I’ll take the better price any day of the week.

  • Nick

    I don’t think this is new for Bestbuy though. I bought a mouse and keyboard from them in January and the prices in the store where higher than what they had on the website. I had the print out with me from their online prices. They did price match but I had to go stand in the long Customer Service desk line because they could not help me at the register.

  • Kevin

    I work for Sears selling electronics and we’ve seen a lot of these issues comming out of BB driving business our way, especially since our in-store prices were beating the competitions ‘online’ prices before addition discounts. Such as the Panasonic 50″ S1 was 899…

  • Adam

    Best Buy has been doing that since at least when they opened here 7 years ago. The local store started price matching in the last couple years sometime. I avoid the hassle by ordering off their website for instore pickup. I started that before they’d price match to force the lower price onto them.

  • Dan

    The major retailers have been doing this for years. I left the retail sector almost 4 years ago and it was common practice as far back as 8 years ago. I don’t know how this is so shocking today given the number of customer complaints we used to get. Even Circuit City highlighted this practice in their ads last year, claiming that they wouldn’t engage in that activity. Didn’t quite work out for them in the end though :-)

  • andy

    other retailers such as sears are doing the same thing….such as the tcp50s1 for 899 online compared to 999 in store

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