View Full Version : Attention Best Buy shoppers

08-09-2001, 04:06 PM
I could use a little feed back from those of you have shopped in Best Buy. More than likely you have bought an item that qualified for our two year product replacement plan, if so did you buy it? If so why? If not why? What did the cashier say or do to sell you on it?

I am at my wits end, I have been having trouble selling these d@mned things since I began, and now I am in a slump that has me doing even worse. And if any of you happen to be salesmen/women I'll gladly listen to anything you have to say as well.

While I personally don't make money off of it, it is still important because the company wants them sold, and right now I just can't do it. So any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

extremely frustrated right now

Dave Lane
08-09-2001, 04:34 PM
First let me state that the reason they love to sell these things is because they make HUGE money off of them, they are a horrible waste of money and something you never want to consider buying (unless its free). I could go on and on about why its such a bad deal but trust me, I used to sell these myself for my Company and loved the extra profit.

Basically there are two ways to sell these ESP (Extended Service Plans). First the assumative sell. Assume that "everyone" buys them. "Oh sir, great this item has the ESP that everyone always gets because of _______ (your best reason) and its on special for only $xxx.xx more. You'll want that."

Second the paranoid sale of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt a favorite of IBM) "Well you know sir we had a unit just like that today that came back defective just out of the warranty and he had to throw it away and buy a new one just 10 minutes ago. (you can vary numbers of course) Or the positive flip side which is we just replaced his with a new one at no charge.

Best shots on these and good luck


Nelson Muntz
08-09-2001, 04:34 PM
Just what exactly are you talking about?
the only thing i buy there are cd's and playstation games

08-09-2001, 04:42 PM
My parent's bought a computer at WORST BUY once...never again...

I don't buy anything there now, since I can get PS2 games at Wal-Mart using my wife's 10% discount, and I can get computer games online for a better selection and price...

08-09-2001, 04:42 PM
I personally have never bought an "Extended Warranty" because that means that I went in to buy the item/s because it was the lowest price and now I need an additional charge to protect that item (aka more money).

I had to sell these things when I worked for Computer City and actually had success selling them because PCs are expensive and I feel it gave the customer further insurance for his/her purchase. The sales people did get a commission for selling it so the motivation was there for the saleperson to sell it.

Selling is an art and the approach to selling the protection plan takes skill. I believe that most consumers feel that the need for such things is ludicrus since most items are backed by a manufacturers warranty and if the item lasts past this warranty then it will probably not give that consumer a problem thus, why buy an additional warranty/insurance.

Circut City is a prime example. I have bought everything from headphones to telephones to vaccuums from this place over the past 8 years and have never bought a warranty or had a bad/defective product. In selling, I can understand if a consumer declines to purchase this extended agreement because quite simply, I would not either.

However, if the salesperson gets something for selling the "protection plan" or whatever you wish to call it then, the motivating factor of more "money" for the salesperson is there to "sell" it.

Bottom line is training. A good training program to teach salespersons or cashiers how to install into the consumer the benefits of purchasing this plan is priority one. Remember, you can sell a million items through your store with 110% customer satisfaction but let one customer "feel" he/she got screwed and brother look out.

~ Hope this helps.

08-09-2001, 05:33 PM
Take a pass on the Extended Warranty! If it's electric and it works for the first 30 days, it will work a long time. Total waste of money. If you want to get the sales person off your back just answer "Are you telling me this product isn't good enought to last more that a year?" "Perhaps I should consider not buying it then?" Shuts them down every time. Same goes for the extended warranty if you are buying a car or truck. (Helpful hint from your board auto broker) Those dealerships pay a small price for those things and have a HUGE mark up when they sell them to you. What's worse is buying on of those "croke and choke" policys at the dealership when you buy a car. You know the line "What happens if you die and the car is not paid for, this will pay it off." Once again, huge mark up and you get hosed. A 100,000 life insurance policy is a lot cheaper!

Clint in Wichita
08-09-2001, 05:36 PM
I never buy them because most products come with a manufacturer's warranty.

If retailers would give you at least a portion of the money back if you DIDN'T use the warranty, I'd consider it.

Also, repairs cost less than the warranty in many cases.

08-09-2001, 07:03 PM
I used to have to sell those damned things when I worked at CompUSA. Man it sucked. It was the only way to make any money because they are PURE profit!!! Well, I'll tell ya what, 20/20 did a show that basically trashed the extended warranty and said that they were worthless (and they are pretty much right) and it screwed us all. I had to start discounting what I sold all most to cost just to pawn off the extended warranty plan.

I come to find out later, that the extended warranty I was selling to people were sooooo crooked, that when you called in to make a claim, they listed all of the options that you could utilize on your plan, EXCEPT... the one to claim on your plan. It was there, but it wasn't listed. So legaly, they could say that they did have that option, but unfortunately the poor sucker that called the phone # wouldn't know what # to push to get the information to get their product fixed. I quit shortly after that. What a bunch of crooks.

08-09-2001, 08:19 PM
I would rather spend another $250 on a "name brand" item (sony, pioneer, Apple, IBM, etc...) than buy a "cheapie" brand and pay an extra $75 for an extended warranty...

Rex's, Best Buy, Circut City, Staples, Wally world, and other similar discount chains sell the same level of crap that you DON'T want to purchase. Wally world occasionally carries the top brands at cheap prices, but the evil that they have brought to this world persuades me from throwing them any more cash than is absoultely necessary.

08-09-2001, 08:32 PM
The replacement plans we offer are supposed to be different than extended warranties, they cover more and you do actually cash in on them if there is a problem (I just had a gal yesterday, and one today replacing items with their plans). I do believe that these are good plans in some cases (I don't agree with the $5 ones on a $15-20 items), and I don't make a dime for selling the things, nobody at Best Buy works on commision. The idea is that if we aren't working for ourselves, than we are working for the customer, but I am learning that isn't quite true. I mean it is, but we are also working for the company, who puts a lot of stock in numbers, making the stores very competitive against each other meaning we push some things on customers when they don't really want it (MSN ISPs are the very best example, but don't get me started on that issue).

And the mark up on these plans are staggering. When i bought my car stereo I got the service plan to go with it, and because of my employee discount (5% over cost:D) what is normally a $40 service plan cost me 6 some dollars (why not get the d@mned thing at that price?). So it is understandable why the company pushes the PRPs and PSPs, the problem is the pressure we have to maintain a certain level of sales. We are expected to have so many dollars worth in PRP's (and PSPs as well, but those are not as big a concern to my department) for so many dollars in revenue, yet they want us to give pressure free presentations, and I can tell you the ones who are doing well with there sales aren't exactly pressure free. So I am in kinda a tight spot right now not being able to sell the things like they want, and not wanting to pressure my customers, because i still think and act like a customer myself. And that makes it very, very tough.

wondering how much longer he will be enjoying that great discount

08-09-2001, 08:57 PM
My parents bought the extended bull**** and they had a problem with their computer. They took it back to be repaired 3 separate times and finally asked if they could exchange it. Best Buy said no...

I took a motherboard out of an old IBM and fixed it for them...

Sorry, but I hate Worst Buy...

08-09-2001, 09:02 PM
How long ago was this? I know that on our service plans we have a no lemon policy were if it has to be brought in 3 times, you are just given a new one. Maybe that is a more recent addition to the plan, or maybe it isn't and they were just trying to keep from replacing it. Beats the he!! out of me.

08-09-2001, 09:13 PM
When they bought the extended service, they were told that there was a no lemon policy. After the 3rd time, they tried to invoke the policy and Best Buy said they had no idea what my parents were talking about and offered to fix it for a 4th time...

08-09-2001, 09:18 PM
Well, I can't say as though I am totally surprised. Business is business, no matter where you go. But what gets me is the total lack of common sense the corporate world has (and not just in this one area), you would think it would be cheaper to replace the d@mned thing instead of continually "fixing" it.

08-09-2001, 09:39 PM
I bought a Pioneer stero reciever in 93 that was $850 at the time...Bought a $750 sony vcr in 94....Both have needed a COMBINED $150 in repairs since(caption motor went out on the vcr, common stuff for an old machine.)

Bought a admiral tv and a GE vcr for the bedroom...both TOTALLY quit in less than 3 years...Warranty was for 2 years...

You get what you pay for....:)

Alton deFlat
08-10-2001, 07:17 AM
750 bucks for a VCR? Damn!! At that price, that sucker should vacuum your floor and wash your car.

08-10-2001, 07:29 AM
I would recommend to everyone that I met, NOT to buy the extended warranty from Best Buy. I bought a TV/VCR combo demo model (last one in stock) and since they gave me a good deal on it I went ahead and bought the extended warranty because the price of the TV/VCR and warranty was still cheaper than the listed price. Since then I have taken it in for work 3 times for the same problem.

I understand that demo models take a lot of punishment and that's not my beef. My beef with the warranty is that every time that I had to take it in it was a very painful experience and the service that I received was extremely poor. I usually had to wait in line for about 45 minutes to 1 hour just to talk to a service guy and leave it with him. My TV/VCR is broken again now and the service people did not even fix the problem that I took it in for this last time.

If Best Buy wants to sell these damn things they should hire more service staff as well as more qualified technicians so that customers do not have to grow old waiting in line to drop off a defective product for repair and actually have their product repaired right the 1st time in for service.

The extended warranty IMO is worthless and I will never buy another one.

08-10-2001, 08:57 AM
Gosh, where should I start.
RH, I went to work for Best Buy back in 1985. Store #13. You wouldn't even recognize the stores back then.
If you think they pressure you to sell these now, they fired you in a heartbeat if you didn't write at least 6% of total sales.
It became very clear to me, that selling these was more important than anything else you did. After about 4 years, I'd had enough.
I would have quit after a week if we hadn't got paid for it.

In 1995 I went to work for Audio King/Ultimate/Soundtrack.
Same thing.

In these companies defense, there is almost NO profit margin on electronics. Especially the low-end crud that 95% of the people buy. They have to make $ somehow.
That's the rub here folks. Everyone wants to buy stuff that's dirt cheap, but then they expect top notch customer service. Doesn't work both ways.

I'm kind of a A/V snob. I don't buy junk. But I didn't get the ESP on my big screen. 5 years of in-home service. I can't carry that into the store if it breaks. (didn't but it from BB)
The only other things I would consider it on would be a digital camcorder, or something over $1000.

My advice, buy your gear from your local Mom&Pop A/V store. Chances are, you'll get better gear, service, advice, and it doesn't cost that much more. (no, I don't work for one)

KC Jones
08-10-2001, 09:17 AM
The only things I buy extended warranties on are the things I abuse. I have a lawn vacum I abuse the hell out of sucking up sawdust, acorns, rocks, you name it. I've had it for a year now and I expect it'll go anytime. Then I'll march back to Sears and get a new one (or they'll fix it).

Anything I don't expect to abuse regularly I take my chances on.

08-10-2001, 09:53 AM
"I have a lawn vacum I abuse the hell out of sucking up sawdust, acorns, rocks, you name it."

KC Jones: It sounds like you and I are on he same vacume program. If it will fit through the hole, it's fair game. I have a shop vac that I have been doing that with for three years and it is still A-L-I-V-E. It looks like it has been through a war, lost the war but just keeps going.

~Bwana may have "accidentally" run over it with his truck so he can score the new model~ :D

08-10-2001, 09:47 PM
Well, I was looking for some help but got mostly people saying don't buy the things (I am sure my bosses would just love to know i started this thread and the outcome of it). But I wanted honesty and that is what I got. Thanks anyways everyone, I have at least learned a little something.

08-10-2001, 11:12 PM
I agree with most of the posts here... but if you want to actually SELL these things... I think Dave Lane had the best advice...

Make the customer believe that you ASSUMED that they would want one...or play on their fears... if a customer is dumb enough to fall for it...owell. Darwinism at its finest.


The Bad Guy
08-10-2001, 11:43 PM

Dave Lane did have the best sales technique you are looking for.

Make the customer feel that purchasing the extended warranty is common practice. Make it feel like it's almost required in some cases.

I think these extended warranties are only good for stuff that is too big to bring back into a store, or for car stereo equipment.

I got screwed at Rex TV last year on my 55' inch TV for my room. The goof salesman told me that the Pioneer model I was purchasing wouldn't reduce in price at all. I come back from vacation two weeks later, and I see that the same Pioneer TV I bought was listed at 200 dollars less than I paid. I freaked out, and called the guy, but he said they only had a 10 day policy that you could get the item at the new sale price for. I explained to him that my family spent over 5,000 at that store in the last two years, but he said it didn't matter. That was the last time I shopped at REX.

But I did purchase the 3 year extended warranty with my TV that cleans the TV's jets and the screen whenever I need it. I also had a mishap and cracked my screen, and REX had to cover the labor for the new screen to get replaced. All I had to cover was cost. But in the end, I got the money back that I was screwed out of.

I know people around me who have big screens, and it's literally 200 dollars every time they have to have a repairman come service it.

I also took the service plans out on my car stereo speakers. I crank my speakers, so I figured another 7 dollars isn't bad to replace them if they blow out.

You just have you use common sense with these warranties. I was at Best Buy the other day, and purchased a scanner for my comp, and they tried selling me a service plan on that. I declined.

But, what I recommend doing instead of buying a warranty plan from BB is taking your product back to WalMart even if you didn't buy it there. I have taken back a Ps2 that I bought somewhere else and they replaced it with no question.

08-11-2001, 12:09 AM
You know Frank that's fraud. Doesn't that bother you?

The Bad Guy
08-11-2001, 01:58 AM
You know Frank that's fraud. Doesn't that bother you?

It would bother me if WalMart wasn't able to send the defective product back to Sony and get new a brand new PS2 to put on the shelves for no extra cost.

The end result is it costs Sony not WalMart.

If I would of dealt directly with Sony, I would of had to pay 110 dollar replacement fee because their product stopped working after their BS 30-day warranty.

08-11-2001, 04:29 AM
NEVER buy the Extended Warranty. The ESP is more money for Best Buy or whomever! The salesman makes for "gip" (gross profit) from the ESP than he does for the actual product, and if you buy a high quality brand (Panasonic, Sony, JVC, Technics, etc), you're more likely to get eaten by a shark than have the product fail. Do your research, get a competitive price, buy a quality brand and you'll have no problems. If worse comes to worst, get the best prices and go to Sears. They'll back up their products for longer than a year, and they usually have competitive prices and products. The best advice I have when it comes to electronics (and I have TONS of stuff and never a failure) is to be careful and never impulse shop!

08-11-2001, 08:05 AM

My wife is a manager at Wal-Mart, and what you did does cost that particular store money. In the end, though, it's always the individual store that suffers, not Wal-Mart corporate. And of course, it affects my wife's paycheck... :(

The Bad Guy
08-11-2001, 11:34 AM

Then the info my friend who works at WalMart in electronics gave me was wrong.

He told me they just ship the defective PS2 back to Sony and they receive a new one at no cost to WalMart.

08-11-2001, 11:51 AM
They should do it that way. That is how the majority of retail stores operate. They get a defective product, the get an RMA (return merchandise authorization) from the vendor and get it replaced.

08-11-2001, 12:04 PM
In most cases that's true, but often times if they can't prove that it was purchased at their store (and in your case, obviously, they can't) they end up having to eat a "restocking fee" which could be up to 10% of the item's cost...

Bishop, most companies only issue an RMA for a product if you can prove that you bought it. In this case, Wal-Mart didn't, and cannot prove otherwise.