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Thread: Best Buy

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    Best Buy

    I often wonder why I hate Best Buy so much. I remember as a teenager driving from Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids just to go to BB. Is it that my tastes have improved or has BB just gotten worse?

    About once a year I'll go into BB to grab something I need. I was in the WDM one a few months back and I nearly threw up in my mouth listening to some of these guys in blue shirts. I was only in the store for 5 minutes and here are the two things I heard.


    "Yes, the cable is $70 but it's Monster. You may as well not even buy a good TV if you don't buy Monster cable and one of these power conditioners"


    "We get all kinds of returns on these DVD players so I would recommend you purchase a warranty"



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    Re: Best Buy

    I love the place, but the prices of some things are downright insane. The warranty they have on my compuer has been well worth it though...I've only had to use it a couple times..



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    Re: Best Buy

    I appreciate what Best Buy brings to the table, but if you walk into that store without doing research beforehand, you get what you deserve. If you walk in knowing what you want, it's a perfectly fine place to go.



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    Re: Best Buy

    I love BB. I become an informed buyer before I visit their website and then if the deal is right, I go into the store for the purchase.. or use their online store. Since the commission sales reps left (I was one in the early 90's), you CANNOT use them for information on buying any product. I treat them as a place to buy something I am informed about ... nothing more or less. If you keep that in mind, you will love BB as you get the most out of them and they won't even know it.

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    Re: Best Buy

    I bought my plasma TV from buy.com for $899. The exact same tv (same model #) at Best Buy was $2199.

    The HDMI cables were even more ridiculous. Best Buy was something like $70-80, buy.com was 12.99 for the same Belkin cable.

    FYI, don't fall for the "monster cable will give better picture/sound" on HDMI cables. This is because it is a digital signal, and doesn't require the electrical noise protection of analog cables.



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    Re: Best Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by herbicide View Post
    I bought my plasma TV from buy.com for $899. The exact same tv (same model #) at Best Buy was $2199.

    The HDMI cables were even more ridiculous. Best Buy was something like $70-80, buy.com was 12.99 for the same Belkin cable.

    FYI, don't fall for the "monster cable will give better picture/sound" on HDMI cables. This is because it is a digital signal, and doesn't require the electrical noise protection of analog cables.
    They can POTENTIALLY be better, but only over long distances and high bandwidths (1080p or more, generally).

    If you're going to do a LONG HDMI run (20 ft or more), you really do need good cables. If you've got less than 6 feet or so, it really doesn't matter.



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    Re: Best Buy

    I love best buy. I buy all of my stereo components there. I love my bose wave radio, and accustomast system, it is the best system money can buy, bar none! I have it all hooked up with gold monster cable, and you can totally hear the differnce. I challenge anyone to show me a better system than what I have!


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    Re: Best Buy

    For 9 products out of 10, Best Buy marks up prices to hilarious levels. Like herbicide mentioned, I can always find the exact same product online for less than half the cost, especially with big-ticket items. The only stuff they sell at the same price as everyone else are movies and video games, but the internet still trumps all B&M places. I bought an Insignia 20" TV a couple of years ago (BB store brand), and exactly one year later, 24 hours after the warranty expired the sound completely died on me. It still sits on my dresser as a decoration, if only because I can't stack papers there while the TV sits there...

    Basically everything that BB sells falls into one of two categories: overpriced or trash. Sometimes it's both. The only decent thing I buy there are 50-packs of Dynex (BB store brand) DVD-Rs for $9 each. I'm a big fan of those. Other than that, I avoid the whole chain because I can get way better prices online.


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    Re: Best Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by ornryactor View Post
    I bought an Insignia 20" TV a couple of years ago (BB store brand), and exactly one year later, 24 hours after the warranty expired the sound completely died on me. It still sits on my dresser as a decoration, if only because I can't stack papers there while the TV sits there...
    That's strange, I think I got an Insignia TV about the same time, and now that the warranty has gone, the blue light out of the RGB spectrum completely went out so that all images on the TV have a yellowish hue.

    I agree with the rest of the board, though. Best Buy is great when it comes to DVDs, video games, and music, but everything else should be avoided unless you know what you're looking for.


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    Re: Best Buy

    One of the things I used hate about Best Buy was their gosh-darned (pardon the harsh language) checkout lines. They would only have 2 out of 20 registers running, lines to the back of the store, and about 25 blue-shirts just standing around.


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    Re: Best Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    I often wonder why I hate Best Buy so much. I remember as a teenager driving from Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids just to go to BB. Is it that my tastes have improved or has BB just gotten worse?

    About once a year I'll go into BB to grab something I need. I was in the WDM one a few months back and I nearly threw up in my mouth listening to some of these guys in blue shirts. I was only in the store for 5 minutes and here are the two things I heard.


    "Yes, the cable is $70 but it's Monster. You may as well not even buy a good TV if you don't buy Monster cable and one of these power conditioners"


    "We get all kinds of returns on these DVD players so I would recommend you purchase a warranty"
    I worked at Best Buy, and even in the department you are refering to. I will say that most of these people are not salesmen to nature. They are just some student needing a job. So how the "word" things is not always the slickest way to go about it.

    Even so, thats how everyone is trained. You are told that to sell this and sell that. Go for Monster, lean them towards DLP (this was when we only had two or three). So the employees go the the length of saying some ridiculous comment that really hurts them more than helping them.

    About three months ago I bought a T.V at Best Buy. Spent about 30 min. checking them all out and making my own decision without even discussing it with them. I will go there if they have a good deal, but don't rely too much on their expertise if you will. I see exactly where your coming from, but its just the downfall of Big Box stores. If I would buy a T.V. and needed advice, I would just go to Travis Auido & Video, or a place like that.


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    Re: Best Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    I love best buy. I buy all of my stereo components there. I love my bose wave radio, and accustomast system, it is the best system money can buy, bar none! I have it all hooked up with gold monster cable, and you can totally hear the differnce. I challenge anyone to show me a better system than what I have!
    You might have a good system but I can guarantee you that you over-paid about 40% by going through Best Buy (fine because you get convenience) and that scientifically it's been proven that Monster cables are nothing more than brand. There are lots of brands that have premium quality but Monster is one of the only that feels the need to mark their prices up about 300% higher than the others. Generally the cables fall into three tiers - cheap or OEM quality, excellent and then overpriced. Usually the overpriced have the same exact makeup as the excellent ones at around 300% of the price (and sometimes they are of only good quality). Most of the time the two upper tiers are made on the same exact assembly line with the same components but different labeling. There are very few ODM companies that make computer parts and it's usually only the marketing that varies on some of the more commodity items.

    I have no problem with people buying things at Best Buy (heck I do if I can't wait for a delivery or find a good deal) but to say that you can only get quality by spending a lot of money is BS. I look at BOSE and Monster as the Cadillac of AV equipment - they use the same exact bodies and parts as the Saturns but markup the prices by 3 fold. It's much the same reason why you see Toyota and Nissan doing so damn well while the US car makers falter - it's no longer something you can get away with in cars and the same will be true for AV equipment once people start doing the same type of research.

    It has been scientifically proven through numerous studies that there is no benefit of using Monster branded cables and it's also been proven that a vast (very vast) majority of consumers would never notice any difference between BOSE and Sony components, let alone 720p, 1080i and 1080p. It's all marketing and it gets people to pay a premium for nothing more than bragging rights. For TV's under 50-inch for example, the difference in viewable quality between the three standards is below negligible. The salespeople will tell you differently and your brain trying to rationalize the purchase will tell others differently but the human eyes and ears have certain limitations that they forget to mention.

    I used to work in retail management and it was always interesting to see boxes come in from the same manufacturers with different brands and labels on the products and see people pay literally 300x more for one product than the other. The same product off the same assembly line with the same exact components and people would swear one was far better than the other.

    NOTE: I'm not calling you out or anything - it's just a pet-peeve of mine to have places try and take advantage of consumers.

    I have all name-brand components like Phillips, Sony, Toshiba, etc but I know that even among those some of the parts are the same. You might be interested to know that APEX and Insignia, two of the generic brands, actually share many components with Sony and others. The screens in most of the generic brands are actually Sony made and the only difference in some cases is styling, support and warranty.


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    Re: Best Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by ketchupnmustard View Post
    One of the things I used hate about Best Buy was their gosh-darned (pardon the harsh language) checkout lines. They would only have 2 out of 20 registers running, lines to the back of the store, and about 25 blue-shirts just standing around.

    There is a reason that the TV show Chuck's 'Buymore' parodies Best Buy so well.



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    Re: Best Buy

    Excellent post Jeremy - very accurate. The only things of significance I've bought from Best Buy in the last 4 or 5 years have been on their website and doing the in-store pickup. Most of the stuff in their store is greatly overpriced.

    They're still in business because there are enough people that are ok with overpaying.



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    Re: Best Buy

    Here are a couple of quotes from electronic engineers that post on a different site that I frequent...

    Having been in the cable design and manufacturing business dating all the way back to 1986 as the co-founder of 2 cable companies, I can say that yes differences in materials and manufacturing will affect performance, especially at higher speeds, BUT quality cables do not cost much more than a lesser quality cable as much as some of the "high end" suppliers would have you believe. Monster does make quality products, but so do alot of other companies. Our customers were all the major OEMs, Sun, HP, Compaq, Apple, Sony, Avaya, Cisco etc. and I guarantee they do not pay for perceived quality based upon price. Belkin would probably be a good baseline for quaility products at a reasonable price. Most of Monster's cost is in packaging and marketing... not materials or manufacturing.
    I am a 25-year veteran of the broadcast and audio/visual industry. I've been observing the deal with Monster Cable, ever since it came out. The answer between me and my colleagues is simple: People are stupid...and no matter what you tell them they will continue to be stupid. I remember back in the early 90s, when Monster made only their overpriced speaker cable. I colleague of mine who had a pretty heavy-duty electronics shop in his business. They did a very complete "sweep" of the cable and they found that any difference in quality was neglibile, and essentially nullified by commonly bad installation, lousy equipment, poor signal management, and improper use. It's prettymuch the same way today.
    Monster resorts to a commonly used practice known as "specs-manship". If you can prove on paper that your product performs in a certain way, under certain circumstances (usually in a laboratory environment), you can claim superior performance and a resulting premium market price. Total nonsense. Lordargent made an accurate statement in the prior posting: "Who uses 33 feet of cable?" Most people need about 5 feet. I recently outfitted my masterbedroom with a nice Sharp Aquos 1080p LCD with all the trimmings. I balked at the non-sensical price of Monster Cable. Instead, I purchased some $7 HDMI cables online. They work perfectly. No artifacting...no dropouts. Oh yeah...and for anyone who talks about Monster having greater "clarity", tell them to get their head examined! Just as we discovered in the 90s that Monster speaker cable produced frequency performance advantages that were beyond the physical capabilities of most people to hear, if you can see bit-related errors from an HDMI signal, you need to get a job with the circus.
    All kidding aside, here is my advice. Go to a retailer, buy the cheapest one, if it doesn't work, take it back and get the next better product. (For HDMI cables at Best Buy, this means you have three levels of pricing choice for the same type of product.)


    A program isn't built on one player and it doesn't succeed because of one player, thus a program won't fail if it doesn't get that one player.

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