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Best Buy Says It Has Killed 'Showrooming' For Good

Kim Bhasin

Best Buy is confident that its latest policy change will kill "showrooming" in its stores for good.

Starting on March 3, the retailer will price match all local retail competitors, along with 19 "major online competitors" in all product categories, whenever a customer asks for it, the company announced .

“There is no doubt that this new policy ends showrooming for Best Buy customers,”  company spokesman Matt Furman told Bloomberg .

Back during the holiday rush, Best Buy announced a temporary price-matching initiative. This is its permanent version.

Showrooming, the practice of looking at items in a physical store then going online to make the actual purchase, has been a big worry for consumer electronics stores. Customers showroom electronics items more than any other category, according to data from comScore .

Chris Morran at the  Consumerist obtained an internal document from Best Buy  that announces the change and has more details. Here's what it says:

Starting March 3, 2013 Best Buy will price match the current pre-tax price for new, identical, immediately available products from local retail competitors and select designated major online retailers at the time of purchase only. (No subsequent price matching of competitors is allowed)

If Best Buy lowers a price on a product (online or in-store) we will allow price-matching up to 15 days following the original purchase. This applies to all customers including Reward Zone Premier Silver members. Please note: After a transition period for Reward Zone Premier Silver members through April 18, 2013, the 15 day period of the Price Match policy goes into effect (post-purchase – Best Buy only).

There has also been one major change to Best Buy's return policy.

The "Return and Exchange" period is being cut in half to 15 days from its previous length of 30 days.  All returns will still require a receipt and I.D., plus  Reward Zone Premier Silver members will retain their 60-day return eligibility.  

Here is the full list of big online competitors that are included in the price-matching guarantee:

  • Amazon.com
  • Apple.com
  • Bhphotovideo.com
  • Buy.com
  • Crutchfield.com
  • Dell.com
  • Frys.com
  • hhgregg.com
  • HP.com
  • HomeDepot.com
  • Lowes.com
  • Newegg.com
  • OfficeDepot.com
  • OfficeMax.com
  • Sears.com
  • Staples.com
  • Target.com
  • TigerDirect.com
  • Walmart.com

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