I saw the headline a few days ago “Best Buy will Price-Match Holiday Retailers” This includes Amazon, New egg and a handful more.

When I first read this my heart sank a little. See, I can’t wait for Black Friday– I plan to be in my comfy chair, laptop in front of me, chat windows open, helping people find the best camera at the best price – which has always been online and often at Amazon. The idea that folks can walk into Best Buy and get those great prices and be sold whatever the 17 year old in blue wants to sell  depresses me. So I started poking around a bit, wondering if this was going to be similar to the price match fiasco they were involved in a few years back. Or that other time they created a separate internal only website to fool customers into thinking they were getting a good price. Well it turns out out the fine print yields some interesting information.

  • Best Buy will only match a list of 20 retailers and it does not include third party sellers on Amazon
  • Best Buy not be price matching the week of Black Friday through Cyber Monday
  • Best Buy Customer service reps must validate the price difference on the spot (meaning they look it up online) and it is at their discretion to honor the policy at all
 This makes me happy – for several reasons
  1. The number of horror stories I have read and heard about Best Buy concerning cameras and other electronics is frightening – Cameras sold as new when in fact they were quite used.  Boxes full of pens instead of a $500 camera and restocking fees out the wazoo.  I have had to return things to Amazon but the process has always been easy and the couple of times I have had to talk to customer support has been painless.
  2. As you can tell  I am not a fan of their business practices and just about every time I have talked to a camera rep in their store – they have shown a frightening lack of information about the cameras they are selling and photography in general.  I know this must not be true of all Best Buy sales people – I am sure there are smart and fair folks out there – I just haven’t run into them yet and I hate when people end up with a camera that is not best for them.
  3. I make a small percentage off each amazon purchase when visitors use my link – it isn’t quite enough to let me give away a Canon T4i but I do hope that near or just after the holiday season I can give something away that is bigger than the 40mm f/2.8 that I going to give away on Black Friday!

What will you be shopping for this holiday season?


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  1. Toby,

    Based on your reply about lenses not going often going down in price from another post, can you let us know what are typical Black Friday DSLR camera and/or lens deals? Being new to DSLRs, I have never followed the seasonal deals and do not know how good they can get.

    Having already purchased a body, I am only interested in lenses, but I suspect that most deals involving lenses are ‘package’ deals requiring the purchase of body.


    • The short answer is – not so great. The longer answer – Both Canon and Nikon have implemented minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) policies this year, Canon’s just went into effect yesterday. This means that most lenses and DSLRS will have a bottom limit that an authorized dealer can sell for – similar to Apples policy and why we don’t see any GREAT sales on Apple products. But what we can and will see are the bundles – sadly most of those will be body and lens combos- rarely are there just lens deals. The other items – bags, tripods, and various accessories that you may or may not need – often great deals especially during Amazon’s lighting deals that last just an hour or too.

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