After matching internet prices during last year’s Christmas rush, Best Buy has decided to make its online price matching a permanent part of their policy. This new customer perk is an attempt to steer clear of the showrooming effect in which window shoppers browse a store’s selection and then return home to order the product online at a discounted price. Best Buy hopes are that the new permanent guarantee will convince bargain hunters to make their purchases at the company’s retail locations.

Holiday Shopping Black Friday

Price Match Policy

The online price matching began experimentally, to see if it had an impact on sales within the brick and mortar locations. Apparently the plan has made enough of a difference to convince Best Buy to stick with it.

Best Buy will, from now on, price match merchandise from any local retailer as well as from 19 major online competitors. Some of these competing websites that Best Buy will permanently price match are Walmart.com, Target,com, Sears.com, HomeDepot.com, OfficeMax.com, Amazon.com, Apple.com and Dell.com. Best Buy’s Low Price Guarantee, as the company refers to it, will match products from every department and nearly all in-stock merchandise.

Will the guarantee be enough to retain customers?

Of course, Best Buy’s staff is not going to just tell you which online distributor has the best deals. You must first do your research, then request the price match and provide proof to a sales associate of the product’s online sale price.

And there are also a few exceptions to Best Buy’s price matching. Any pre-orders, refurbished products, products from Marketplace vendors on Best Buy’s site, or exclusively online music, movies, mobile phones and digital downloads will be excluded from the price matching policy.

The store will also not price match during the return and exchange process. However, this process currently lasts a period of thirty days, but will soon be shortened to just 15 days. This could be a risky move for Best Buy considering the fact that many of its competitors are keeping with the thirty-day return policy.

[Image via dydacomp]