Best Buy has announced that it will implement a permanent online price matching policy for all of its retail outlets.
Beginning on March 3, the company’s “Low Price Guarantee” plan promises to offer the same price for “qualifying products” if any competing local retailer or one of 19 online outlets – including Amazon, Apple, NewEgg, and Staples – sells the same products for a lower cost. Best Buy temporarily offered a similar plan over the holidays late last year.
The price matching policy will not only apply to Best Buy’s traditional brick and mortar stores, but to its online storefront, mobile shops, and telephone orders as well.
One caveat of the plan, however, is that the return period for a purchased item at Best Buy will be slashed in half. Previously, consumers had 30 days to return an item, but the new policy will lower that down to 15.
Best Buy hopes that the new plan will put an end to the process of “showrooming.” For the uninitiated, that’s when consumers try out a product in person at a brick and mortar shop like Best Buy only to go home and buy that same product online for a lower price.
Showrooming has been one of the largest contributing factors to Best Buy’s recent struggles, so the Low Price Guarantee policy not only makes sense – it may be necessary to the company’s survival going forward. The plan still forces consumers to do a little work before they can get their goodies on the cheap, but it ultimately does make things more affordable. And that’s usually a good thing.