Is Best Buy Really Trying To End Showrooming? HD GURU Investigates
Best Buy’s acting CEO Mike Mikan announced on Thursday the chain is working to end the practice of “showrooming,” when a customer goes into a brick and mortar store to decide which product to buy but then buys online for a better deal.
But are they really? Do their TV prices in-store match their own prices online, or Amazon’s prices? HD Guru set out to investigate.
We checked the price of 15 top selling HDTVs by combining the top eight top-selling HDTV models for Q1 2012 carried by both Amazon and Best Buy and the current seven top selling HDTVs sold by Amazon. Q1 data was provided by consumer electronics industry research firm Quixel Research, Amazon data was supplied by Amazon.
The verdict? Contrary to the what Mikan said, Best Buy continues to charge a higher price in-store than on bestbuy.com or Amazon.com for same HDTV! Here’s how it broke down:
When we compared Amazon prices to our local Best Buy store prices, 9 out of the 10 models carried by both were priced lower on Amazon, with Best Buy in store customers being up-charged from $10.83 to $405 more for the same HDTV. One model was priced the same.
We compared prices on all 15 models available at Amazon and bestbuy.com. 4 models were priced lower on Amazon. 8 of the HDTVs were priced within a dollar of each other. The 3 remaining models were priced lower on bestbuy.com
It should be noted, Best Buy charges shipping for HDTVs (under 46-inches) sent to your home (its free, if you elect in-store pick-up). This was not factored into the listed bestbuy.com prices. When the Best Buy home delivery charge was factored into the price, only 2 of the 15 HDTVs sold both bestbuy.com and Amazon was still priced lower at bestbuy.com.
Best Buy’s brick and mortar store surveyed carried 10 out of the 15 models on our list. All are priced higher in-store than at bestbuy.com. The price difference is between $21 to $406! Best Buy does offer to price-match its own on-line price if you bring the discrepancy it to the salesperson’s attention prior to checkout.
All 10 HDTVs sold in store at Best Buy were priced higher than the same models sold by Amazon.
Readers should note: Only the states of Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington currently collect sales tax on Amazon orders. All Best Buy stores within states that charge sales tax collects it, adding to the final price paid at checkout. We did not factor this into our survey.
Below is the list of top selling HDTV in the survey, with prices labeled as follows:
Make, model number, and screen size
Key: A=Amazon Price; BBO=Best Buy online; BBS= Best Buy in store; NA= not available in Best Buy store.
The 8 Top selling HDTVs for Q1 2012 carried by BB and Amazon (not in any particular order)
Toshiba 32C120U 32-Inch $249.99A-$249.99BBO-$289.99BBS
Philips 32PFL3506/F7 32-inch $282.71A-$299.99BBO-NA BBS
Magnavox 32MF301B/F7 32-Inch $255.00A-292.33BBO-NA BBS
Sony BRAVIA KDL32BX330 $298.00A-$297.99BBO-$329.99BBS
Samsung UN22D5003 22-Inch [2011 model]$209.00A-$219.99BBO-$249.99BBS
Coby TFTV3229 32-Inch $219.99A-$229.99BBO-NA BBS
Toshiba 40E220U 40-Inch $399.99A-$399.99BBO-$399.99BBS
Samsung LN32D403 32-Inch LCD [2011 model]$299.99A-$299.99BBO-$327.00BBS
Current top selling HDTVs, data supplied by Amazon
Panasonic TC-L42E50 42-Inch $599.99A-$598.99BBO-$699.99BBS
LG 47LM6700 47-Inch $894.99A-$893.99BBO-$1299.99BBS
LG 42CS560 42-Inch $428.99A-$448.99BBO-$499.99BBS
LG 47LM7600 47-Inch $999.99A-$999.99BBO-NA BBS
Samsung UN32EH4000 32-Inch $338.14A-$329.99BBO-$349.99BBS
Samsung UN32EH5000 $428.99A-$428.99BBO-$479.99BBS
Samsung UN26EH4000 26-Inch $249.99A-$246.99BBO-$299.99BBS
All listed HDTVs are linked to Amazon. Amazon and bestbuy.com prices listed were obtained on 6/22/12 and may change at any time, bestbuy store prices were obtained on 6/23/12. All Amazon listed TVs prices above include shipping. Amazon prices listed are offered by Amazon direct or one of its participating dealers under their respective policies. We listed whichever Amazon seller has the lowest price. We recommend and affiliate (we may earn a small commission on referred sales) with Amazon because they have among the best HDTV policies in the industry. Amazon direct offers 14 day low price guarantee and 30 Day returns with free return freight. They stand behind their sales. Note: prices are correct as of posting and may change at any time, please verify with our links; Most states do not collect sales tax on Amazon orders with the exceptions of [CO, KS, KY, NY, ND & WA]. You always must pay sales tax (in states that collect it) when buying at a brick and mortar store. Should you buy an HDTV from on-line or from a retail store? Learn all the pros and cons in our article here.
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