Shopping for electronics can be time-consuming, especially for bigger-ticket items. There are usually a ton of options to choose from, and each one requires some research.
We’ve assembled a cheat sheet to ensure you score the best deal the next time you hit up Best Buy.
About Best Buy
Best Buy, which specializes in electronics, sells a wide range of such products, including home appliances and health and beauty gadgets. Its main competitors are Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target.
Best Buy offers steep deals on a consistent basis. You can sign up for deal alerts, which are daily emails announcing the best deals of the day. It also doesn’t hurt to know when big sale events are happening:
- Major holidays. Take Memorial Day, Labor Day or the back-to-school season, and chances are that Best Buy is having a sale. Check the retailer’s website before an upcoming holiday to see what kind of discounts will be offered.
- Black Friday. Black Friday — the big shopping event the day after Thanksgiving — is a yearly savings bonanza from Best Buy and other retailers, especially the electronics-focused ones. Start looking for discounts before the holiday on such items as laptops and TVs as well as kitchen appliances and cell phones.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday in July. Big sales aren’t reserved for the holidays. Best Buy has held one- or two-day events in the summer with discounts on computers, TVs, speakers and more.
- College student deals. Best Buy will email students who sign up exclusive coupon codes that offer discounts on laptops, printers, accessories and more.
- Best Buy Outlet. Best Buy has an outlet section on its site that offers clearance, pre-owned and refurbished items at lower prices all year round.
My Best Buy (formerly Reward Zone), Best Buy’s rewards program, has three tiers:
- My Best Buy. The basic level, My Best Buy, is free to join. Consumers currently receive 1 point per $1 spent, but it will change to 0.5 point starting Aug. 28.
- My Best Buy Elite. In order to qualify for My Best Buy Elite, you must spend at least $1,500 in purchases per year. Elite members currently earn 1.1 points per $1 spent, but effective Aug. 28, they will earn one point per dollar.
- My Best Buy Elite Plus. You must spend a minimum of $3,500 in purchases per year to join My Best Buy Elite Plus. Top-tier members earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent.
Accumulating 250 points yields a $5 reward certificate that can be used at the store. Other advantages of the rewards programs include free two-day shipping on qualifying items bought online (with a $35 minimum purchase required for basic-level members) and access to special sales and events.
Best Buy price matching
The Best Buy Price Match Guarantee says the company will match the price of its products with that of key local retail competitors and major online retailers, including Amazon and Newegg. To price match qualified products at a Best Buy store, speak to an employee. To price match items purchased from BestBuy.com, call 888-BESTBUY (or 888-237-8289). The retailer offers one price match per identical item, per customer. Some restrictions apply.
Shipping and returns
Best Buy offers free shipping on online orders totaling at least $35, but some restrictions may apply. You can make returns or exchanges within 15 days for a full refund on most items. For mobile phones and other devices with carrier contracts, Best Buy allows returns or exchanges within 14 days for a full refund. Best Buy Elite and Elite Plus members receive an extended period of 30 or 45 days, respectively, for returns and exchanges of most purchases.
NerdWallet takes you shopping
Best Buy is a good resource for all your electronic needs. Sign up for the chain’s Daily Deal email alerts and My Best Buy rewards program to maximize your savings. And check its website to see if a big sales event is coming up.
Updated Aug. 11, 2016.