For me, the closest Best Buy is a good 25-minute drive, and there are very few things I absolutely need today that can't wait for two-day shipping. But sometimes, most often for video games, I "need" something that day, so visiting Best Buy becomes an option.
Here are some tips for getting the most for your money at Best Buy.
1. Take advantage of Price Match
Do you need something today but want to pay the lowest prices possible? Use Best Buy's Price Match Guarantee.
Best Buy will match the prices of their local and internet competitors on a variety of products. They will match any local retailer if you bring in proof of pricing as well as a list of online retailers including Amazon.com, Newegg.com, TigerDirect.com and more. There are product exclusions, like contract phones and special sales like Black Friday after Thanksgiving, but otherwise the program is solid.
If price matching to Amazon, make sure the product is being sold by Amazon, not a third-party seller, and not on backorder. If the pricing is for a third-party or not available, Best Buy will not price match it.
2. Check the Open Box deals
People return things, and when they're resell-able, Best Buy puts them back out in the store in a special Open Box area. The products in this area have all been tested and work properly, but they're on big discount since they've been opened and technically used. You can get the biggest savings on the highest-dollar items versus smaller accessories, and they're covered by the same warranty.
3. Join the loyalty program
When you join the store's loyalty program, called My Best Buy, you get a $5 certificate for every $250 you spend. You can use these rewards online and at the store.
You also get free shipping on online orders of $35 or more, plus additional savings on member-only offers, special sales and the like.
As you move up the tiers, to Elite and Elite Plus, you get additional benefits. Elite and Elite Plus earn bonus points on spending, get free shipping with no minimum spend, as well as other benefits like extended return and exchange periods (30 and 45 days, respectively). Elite is awarded after $1,500 in purchases each calendar year. Elite Plus is awarded after $3,500 in purchases each calendar year.
Best Buy also offers a Gamers Club, which costs $30 for a two-year membership. In return, you get discounts on new and used games, bonus points on purchases and trade-ins, and other exclusive offers.
4. College student deals
If you are a student or still have your .edu email address, take a look at Best Buy's College Student Deals. In addition to the special deals on that page, you'll also get emails with coupon codes for additional discounts that you can use online and in the store.
5. Buy discounted gift cards
You can purchase Best Buy gift cards at a big discount on gift card marketplaces. GiftCardGranny, one such marketplace search engine, has several listings for Best Buy gift cards at a 5 percent discount to their face value. Five percent, plus the 2 percent in points you earn on purchases, means your purchases are now 7 percent off. If you're buying games and are part of the Gamers Club, your savings are magnified.
Remember, there are plenty of ways to save big without feeling deprived. While each piece listed here may not be impressive on its own, when you stack each one together, it can result in significant savings.