1. Watch the register ring up your sale items to be sure that they ring up at the sale price, because they often don't. If you're not paying attention, you might end up overpaying.
2. Sign up for RewardZone and use the card not just for your purchases, but for the purchases of anyone else who is with you as well (who doesn't have their own RewardZone card, of course). RewardZone is Best Buy's customer loyalty program which tracks the amount of money you've spent at their store. Each time you reach $250 in purchases, you get a gift certificate for $5. That's only 2% back, but I'm a firm believer that every little bit counts, and this is easy free money, so you might as well take it. RewardZone is particularly useful if you buy often or buy expensive items. If you don't shop at Best Buy very frequently, it's unlikely to do you any good. You can get even more cash back by signing up for a RewardZone credit card, which is not a bad card. It gives you 4% back on Best Buy purchases and 1% back on everything else. If you spend enough money at Best Buy and always pay your credit card balances off in full each month, this card might be worth having.
3. Get even more cash back on your purchases by using Ebates to purchase your items through BestBuy.com. Even if you want to purchase your items in the store, just choose Best Buy's store pickup option. This way, you'll get another 1% cash back on your purchases.
4. Another good use of the store pickup option to hold low priced items for you so they don’t sell out before you make it to the store.
5. Take the current week's Circuit City advertisement to Best Buy with you to get price match discounts. You don’t NEED the paper to get the price match—they’ll actually call the store for you and confirm the lower advertised sale price. Obviously, this takes a LOT longer, though. Bring the ad if you can, but if you forget it, remember that you can still get the lower price.
6. I often find that the non-new sale items listed in Circuit City's weekly ad will be hard-to-find at Best Buy, as if they pull them from the shelves intentionally when Circuit City’s paper comes out to avoid having to price match. My ideas to combat this: if you can anticipate what items will be on sale (sometimes you can, by watching what goes on sale at Amazon), you can hide items in the store and go back for them when they're on sale; if you can’t anticipate, then you can buy via the Best Buy website using the store pickup option, and pick up your item on Sunday (the day the paper comes out). Then when you pick up your item, get them to price match.
7. When a new release movie has a really large inventory, it might be better to wait a few weeks to buy it—often it will wind up being a part of a 2-for-$20 sale or other deal later on, which will save you a few bucks. It takes some practice to figure out which movies will do this, though, and you won't always be right.
8. Check Amazon, DeepDiscountDVD, Circuit City, Target, and any other retailer that you like before buying at Best Buy. Despite their name, they don't always offer the best deals.
9. If the prices at Amazon and Best Buy are the same, buy from Amazon (as long as you get free shipping) because they won’t charge you sales tax. Of course, you'll have to wait a while to receive your order. Best Buy usually has a better price than Amazon the first week an item is released (during the sale), but after that the price will often be the same at the two stores.
10. Don’t try to run the scam of buying something cheaper someplace else and then exchanging it at Best Buy for a higher amount of store credit/exchange value. They won’t take the item if you can’t prove it was bought at their store. Save your receipts!
11. Another reason to hold on to all your receipts for a while is that Best Buy will retroactively price match for a couple of weeks if the price goes down at Best Buy (or other places that advertise it) on something you bought. Also, sometimes DVD companies will offer a deal where if you buy multiple discs, you get a special rebate or free DVD—and you need the receipts for that.
12. If you can’t find that sale item you were hoping to get at Best Buy, ask an employee to see what nearest store does have it in stock. You can also do this on your own using Best Buy's website. Simply act like you’re buying something with the store pickup option, and you'll be able to see what stores have it in stock.
Store loyalty cards, store credit cards, price matching, and shopping through Ebates or Fatwallet will help you save money at many stores. What additional tricks do you use to save money on your retail purchases?
Photo by pmilg