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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Best Buy or Best Bust?

I recently decided to upgrade my 1990’s, 40 pound, slower than molasses on a cold day laptop and set out to do some comparison-shopping. So I went to the home of the geek squad – yes, I know Best Buy tends to be the most expensive store but who better to get information from then…the computer geeks?

My partner and I arrived at the store and the nice people wearing blue shirts welcomed us as we entered the electronic abyss. Ah, that feeling of being surrounded by so much technology took hold and for a brief moment, I felt giddy. I regress- this was a gathering information only, run.

As I wait for a sales person, I wander the aisles looking, and there it is, illuminated by a majestic warm light, I see an Acer 5516, 2GB DDR2 memory, 160GB hard drive, 15.6 wide screen, DVD +-RW/CD-RW drive, notebook. The price $279.99 and a chorus of Hallelujahs erupts in my head. She is beautiful and for that price, I must have it!

4 hours and 30 phone calls later, the sales clerk tells me that no one in Texas has this laptop.

“Okay, I’ll take a rain check. “ I said.

“No rain checks allowed on this product.” She responds.

“I’ll buy the display.” I countered.

“Can’t sell the display, the ad is still active.”

Wait a minute! Does that sound reasonable? Texas is completely sold out, and she said, that it may take a few months to receive more Acer’s like this one, but they can’t sell the display because the ad is still running?

Then she said to me, “All the stores received at least 4 laptops.” As if, that should make me feel better. “We have a comparable laptop for $399.99 if you want to see it.”

Do I look stupid? I know I’m not the best with math, but $279.99 and $399.99 is not comparable in my book. Upset and frustrated, I asked to speak to a manager, and they turned out to be as elusive as the Acer laptop I was trying to buy.

I called five other stores, not Best Buy Stores, who promptly told me the same thing and were willing to sell me a comparable $399.99 and up laptop. I want the calculators they use.

Saturday came and went. Sunday arrived with the promise of a new day and new ads both in the paper and online. The elusive Acer is listed, but I don’t fall for that ploy again. Instead, I focused on two Toshibas. One is a 2GD Memory, 160 GB hard drive for $299.99, the other is a 4GD Memory, 160 GB hard drive for $499.99. I called my brother-in-law who lives in Florida and is a genius with computers, and he sets me on the right path.

I bought the cheaper Toshiba, turned around and bought 4GB of memory for $35.99 and walla! I have a 4 GB memory, 160 GB hard drive for $335.98 and saved $164.01, Now that's a Best buy.

I sure do love a good deal!


Tamsyn said...

Hey, that's a line often used by shops to sell other items. They use a "lure" to hook you and once you are caught, they try to sell you other "comparable" goods! Clever of you not to fall into their trap.

jennifer said...

thats just bull! how can they advertise a sale then not have any in. i would have been mad :) I think thats y i do more and more shopping online.

Lynn Crain said...


You think like I do...LOL!

Good shopping, lady, good shopping!

Yeah, I have purchased some kick-ass things in my time too. The machine I am typing on is a top of the line DELL, 6 gigs on the mother board, huge flat screen and a 320 gig hard drive. It also has quad processors. You heard me right, quad. It is fast. It came loaded with software for $889. Not

So then I like you decided I needed a more lightweight travel model computer since my old laptop is huge and weights a ton too! I found a $257 Acer which is one of those tiny little things which weighs less than a pound. And since I had a $200 voucher from the store from a return, I got the thing for only $57 bucks. It too came loaded with software and with a $20 carrying case, I have a machine I can take anywhere!

Still, I so agree with you that it is crap what those places do to get you into their place. They almost never have the item in stock because a lot of times they let the employee put them back for their own purchase when the sale comes up. Yeah, a kid who works there told me that...and it sucks!


Erin Sinclair said...


Best Bust! It's called Bait and Switch and it's one of the oldest advertising tricks in the book. Companies lure you in with the promise of a new and shiny something at a whopping good price, but Oh so sorry it's out of stock BUT we have super duper shinier model for just a few dollars more, hence the reason they wouldn't allow a raincheck.

I don't even bother and move on. I want what I want when I want it for the price your company said it was in your ad, period, bottom line end of story.

Oh well, the only thing the consumer can do is arm themselves with knowledge to allow for good shopping!

Erin Sinclair
"For love that's out of this world!"

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