For quite some time now, we’ve been using a pretty ghetto vacuum cleaner. I picked it up about 6-7 years ago when I first moved out and it’s since followed me through 5 dwellings and getting married. It’s been on its last legs for some time: Annabelle did a “great” job of destroying all of the useful attachments and Shauna accidentally pulled the hose out a little too far and snapped it. We’ve been relying on ingenuity and duct tape to keep it limping along.
Today was kind of an epiphany that this wasn’t going to do. Our living room was looking particularly bad from heavy dog traffic and the old Dirt Devil just wasn’t doing it for us. Like any good geek, I decided to turn to the power of the interweb to see what vacuums were rated highly and where I could expect to get a good deal. It took us about an hour of research, mainly on Spotlessvacuum.co.uk, but we settled on a Bissell 5770 (you know, that one advertised on TV lately) as our pick. Surprisingly, Best Buy had it in stock and for a pretty good price. Imagine our surprise when we got to the store and found it marked $50 higher than what it was showing on the website.
Thankfully, I had a printout from their website showing the lower price. It took about 10 minutes for the confused girl behind the register to figure out what to do (I mean, who would have to gall to ask them to match their own price), but we ended up getting that $50 knocked off the price. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t the first time this has happened to us. When we went shopping for speakers for our MP3 player, the website showed them a full $30 cheaper than the in-store price. So what gives?
Just ask The Consumerist. Thanks to my daily reads of corporate misdeeds and shopping tricks, I knew that Best Buy does this as standard practice hoping that someone won’t notice once they’re already in the store. Here’s where it gets sneakier. You know those kiosks in the store to browse their website? It takes you to a different website than the one you’d see from home, often with higher prices. Yep, the “check the website” trick might not work unless you bring a printout from home showing the difference.
I usually don’t like going to Best Buy. Their prices are usually a bit jacked up, the service stinks and they’re always trying to upsell. But if you do have to go, you might as well be equipped to get the deal to which you are entitled.