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When it comes to electronics, there aren't many stores that offer better deals than Best Buy. The company has outlasted rivals such as Circuit City and Radio Shack by retaining a vast selection of quality products while maintaining reasonable prices. Those prices are still a bit higher than they could be, though. Use the ensuing techniques and you'll be able to secure the best possible deals at Best Buy.
In an effort to attract more customers, Best Buy overhauled its rewards program in 2013 and called it "My Best Buy". It now has a variety of benefits that make it worthwhile to join ... especially since it's free for the basic membership.
You can either join My Best Buy in store or you can register for it when you create a BestBuy.com account. The only information required to create an account is your full name, email address and phone number, so it's pretty painless. If you've joined in store, there will be a place for you to enter your member ID when you create your online account.
Once you are a member, you get access to a few distinct perks, the three biggest of which are as follows:
Rewards Certificates: Every $1 you spend at Best Buy or BestBuy.com (not including taxes, fees and service charges) equals one point. When the 250 point threshold is reached, you will be sent a $5 Rewards Certificate. There is an option for you to change your settings to wait until you reach the 1,000 point threshold and then you'll get a $20 Rewards Certificate, but that's the maximum reward you can receive before the points reset. Points get applied to your My Best Buy account 15 days after purchase and expire after one year. Rewards Certificates function much like coupons. For example, if you have a $5 Rewards Certificate, you can redeem it for any item that is at least $5.01 and it will be taken off as a discount applied to that item.
Member Only Exclusives: Best Buy gives special offers that are only available to members. These can range from 15% off a particular product to bonus My Best Buy points when you purchase specific brands. You also get notified first of upcoming sales and are given early access to special promotions and store events.
Free Standard Shipping on All $35+ Purchases: This benefit can pay significant dividends if you plan on making a couple of pricey purchases that come with hefty shipping costs such as laptops and small appliances. Unfortunately, scheduled delivery items like refrigerators are excluded.
While basic membership certainly has its advantages, Best Buy does offer an Elite and Elite Plus option for its most loyal shoppers. In order to become an Elite member, you must make at least $1,500 worth of purchases at Best Buy in a calendar year. In order to become an Elite Plus member, you must make at least $3,500 worth of purchases at Best Buy in a calendar year.
Here are the benefits of being an Elite or Elite Plus member:
Extended Returns & Exchanges: Elite members have 30 days to return or exchange items instead of the standard 15 days. Elite Plus members have 45 days to return or exchange items.
Point Banking Option: Unlike basic members that are capped at 1,000 points and a $20 Reward Certificate before the cycle resets, Elite and Elite Plus members can bank their points and build towards higher Reward Certificates. These banked points also never expire, unlike basic member points that only last a year. Bear in mind, however, that if you fail to meet the Elite and Elite Plus spending requirements in any given year, then you'll be stripped of your Elite or Elite Plus status and your banked points will be immediately cashed out.
Point Bonuses: Elite members get 1.1 points for every $1 spent and Elite Plus members get 1.25 points for every $1 spent. Put in simpler terms, basic members get back $5 for every $250 in purchases while Elite Members get $5 back for every $227.27 spent and Elite Plus Members get $5 back for every $200 spent.
If you are really into the My Best Buy program and shop regularly at the store, you might want to consider getting a My Best Buy credit card. My Best Buy credit card holders get 5% back in points with every purchase (as opposed to 2% for basic members) OR interest-free 12 month financing on store purchases of at least $399. It's also easier to become an Elite or Elite Plus member as the $1,500 and $3,500 spending requirements are for any purchases made on the credit card, not just purchases made at Best Buy.
Taking a page from Amazon's Lightning Deals, Best Buy has created a Deal of the Day section on its website. It also runs regular clearance sales both in-store and online.
Thankfully, the Deal of the Day concept if very straightforward. Best Buy reveals a huge discount on a new product every day. The deal expires at the end of the day and a new deal is announced the next day. There are occasionally Bonus Deals of the Day which feature other products that Best Buy has decided to drop in price for a 24-hour period. The discounts for Daily Deal products regularly surpass 50% off and almost always at least 25% off.
Supplies are limited for Deal of the Day products, so some of the best products are liable to get sold out. For this reason, it's prudent to sign up for the Deal of the Day email newsletter, so you can get notified of all the latest offers.
Best Buy is a pioneer of sorts, at least among major brands, when it comes to bringing the concept of outlet shopping online. It gives bargain shoppers a great opportunity to find amazing deals.
The Best Buy Outlet is a section of the website that includes a combination of clearance, open-box, refurbished and pre-owned items. The site is very user friendly and you can shop either by category, by brand or even by savings level. Best Buy also allows free in-store pickup for Best Buy Outlet orders and permits Outlet products to be returned or exchanged.
Here is an explanation of how Best Buy determines whether a product is sold in the online Outlet store:
Clearance Items: These are items that have either been discontinued by the manufacturer or are no longer in stock.
Open Box: These are products that have been returned, but are practically new.
Refurbished: These are repaired products that have been restored as if they were new.
Pre-Owned: These are used products that have been restored and passed tests to make sure they are as good as new.
Manufacturer warranties apply to all clearance and open-box items sold at the Best Buy outlet, but pre-owned and refurbished products don't necessarily still have valid warranties. If that's a concern, you should ask customer service about it before making your purchase.
Loyal Best Buy shoppers stand to benefit greatly from the price match guarantee, because it means they can shop confidently at their favorite store and not have to be concerned that they missed out on a better price elsewhere.
Best Buy's Price Match Guarantee is actually fairly extensive, especially among electronics retailers. Not only does Best Buy pledge to match any local retail competitor's in-store or online price for like items, it will also match the price for any identical product sold at online-only retailers Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, NewEgg.com and TigerDirect.com. Best Buy will also honor any BestBuy.com price and vice versa.
There are a few notable exceptions to the price match gaurantee. Products sold by third-party marketplace sellers on BestBuy.com are not eligible for price matching nor are third-party sellers on other sites like Amazon. Likewise, mail-in rebates, clearance items, coupon offers and flash sale prices are also excluded. Outlet items, including open-box, refurbished and pre-owned products are ineligible as well. Visit BestBuy.com for the complete list of exclusions.
Don't try to price match during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Best Buy explicitly states that it does not match any sale items from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, even if the offer came from another Best Buy.
Cardpool.com is a site that offers discounted gift cards for a wide array of stores, including Best Buy. They have an especially attractive deal for Best Buy cards, selling them at a 5.5% discount. Used strategically, these cards can provide significant savings. Best Buy allows up to 10 gift cards to be applied to a single purchase, so the savings can add up quick. As an example, you could buy eight $25 Best Buy electronic printable gift cards from Cardpool at a cost of $188.96 to use toward a $200 purchase and you'd save $11.04. If that $200 purchase was for a sale item that would usually cost $250, you can really start to see how much the savings accumulates.
The cheapest electronic printable gift card for Best Buy on Cardpool.com is valued at $20, but if you are willing to have a physical gift card mailed to you (shipping is free) then you can get one as small as $10.