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Old 11-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #21
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I don't have anything against Showrooming.

As a customer, it's in my best interest to to look out for me, since nobody else will. I will shop around for who has the best deal.

If one of my friend's has a shop, I may shop there to support him...otherwise it's the rule of the jungle.

And like Nord's alluded to...they will have to adapt to survive and get business. Life and business is not static.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:37 AM   #22
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I don't recall going out and checking something out in a store and then buying the same online. I've always enjoyed researching purchases online, and then either buying that something in a local store or online.

That said, I don't see how Best Buy can price match with online competition and carry that brick and mortar cost of doing business. Its a nice store, and I'd hate to see them disappear.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:41 AM   #23
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If I'm in the store and the price is anywhere near competitive with online I'll buy it in the store. But it isn't really much of an issue for us since most of what we buy now is simply replacements for what we have that wears out.

We are also aware that we have accumulated more than enough stuff so always in the back of our minds now is "is this something we want to have to move later on?" For example, the corner desk my computer is on will have to be disassembled just to get it out of the room.

So most of what we buy online is either specialized stuff not available locally (i.e., photography gear) or books from Amazon that the local stores charge way too much for if they even have them, or planned gifts for the grandnieces when time isn't an issue anyway.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:05 AM   #24
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Another reason I prefer to buy something at a local store is that if something goes wrong with the item, it is easier to deal with it and get a refund or exchange in person. For example, I bought a new toner cartridge for my laser printer back in August from a nearby Staples store. It did not work well and I had to exchange it a few days later. It was no problem going back to the store (being an early retiree, I can go to the Staples store at an off-peak time when the employees outnumber the customres LOL!) and swapping it for another new one which has worked just fine. Had I bought this on line, I would have had to mail it back (at my expense, probably) and wait for another one to arrive, assuming I was not given a hard time on the exchange. Doing the exchange in person, I was able to show them a sample printed page with the highly visible flaws. I was printing a lot of pages that week so it would have been a major PITA to be without a working printer for a few weeks.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:31 AM   #25
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I experienced the opposite of "Showrooming" last summer. I needed a new pump for our swimming pool. So I jumped on the internet and searched until I found a replacement that would fit into our system without having to modify the existing plumbing. I then called the local pool shop, the one where I've yearly purchased our pool chemicals, and asked them if they had one in stock. They didn't; however, they offered to order me one. When I asked the cost, their quote was a little over twice the cost of the same pump, delivered, from the on-line pool supply shop that I'd used to first ID the correct replacement. I told the local pool shop that I was more then willing to pay $50 over their cost for the convenience of picking it up and to continue supporting their business. No way they countered, they couldn't afford to do that!

Seems to me that $50 for a phone call and a few minutes of paperwork was a more then a reasonable profit for them. So I ordered the pump on-line and received it within 72 hours.

Since then I've started buying my chemicals from a locally owned ACE Hardware as their price is more competitive then the pool shop and their staff is extremely helpful.

So I view the "Showrooming" complaint with mixed feelings now!
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:56 AM   #26
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I experienced the opposite of "Showrooming" last summer. I needed a new pump for our swimming pool. So I jumped on the internet and searched until I found a replacement that would fit into our system without having to modify the existing plumbing. I then called the local pool shop, the one where I've yearly purchased our pool chemicals, and asked them if they had one in stock. They didn't; however, they offered to order me one. When I asked the cost, their quote was a little over twice the cost of the same pump, delivered, from the on-line pool supply shop that I'd used to first ID the correct replacement. I told the local pool shop that I was more then willing to pay $50 over their cost for the convenience of picking it up and to continue supporting their business. No way they countered, they couldn't afford to do that!

Seems to me that $50 for a phone call and a few minutes of paperwork was a more then a reasonable profit for them. So I ordered the pump on-line and received it within 72 hours.

Since then I've started buying my chemicals from a locally owned ACE Hardware as their price is more competitive then the pool shop and their staff is extremely helpful.

So I view the "Showrooming" complaint with mixed feelings now!
They apparently have a adequate number of customers that cant be bothered to do it themselves or can't do math.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #27
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Brick-n-mortar is at an unavoidable (cost) disadvantage, that will kill them off in many retail sectors. In some cases, poor service may be a result of the cost disadvantage they face. That could reduce costs (or at least slow cost increases) for consumers. Showrooming, a questionable practice, is hastening the demise of brick-n-mortar retailers. Consumers won't miss the brick-n-mortar option in some sectors, but in some cases consumers will unwittingly kill off brick-n-mortar in other sectors where they remain desirable - but they'll be gone. Not sure how that will ultimately be reconciled, maybe remote sources via phone/chat/websites. The landscape is going to change more quickly than many people realize IMO...
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #28
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Another reason I prefer to buy something at a local store is that if something goes wrong with the item, it is easier to deal with it and get a refund or exchange in person.
Well, it depends. I've had a few recent online experiences that were actually very easy to deal with.

I ordered a headset on Amazon and the return was very easy and at their cost. Just filled out the form, printed out a UPS sticker and drove down the UPS and sent it in. Very easy.

Another time I sold a phone on Amazon (you can sell your used electronics and get an Amazon gift card). I sold 2 at one time and quickly got my credit on one but on the other it said I never sent the phone. Well, they were sent in the same package so if they had one they had the other. I wrote in, expecting a big argument (we are talking about something that was fairly expensive) but they immediately gave me a credit. No issue at all.

Recently I bought a notebook from Falcon Northwest and had it custom painted at an extra charge of about $350. When it arrived the paint color was not remotely close to how it looked on their website (basically with heavy photographing lights on it it was beautiful but in a normal room it looked black). I complained they agreed to replace the case with a different color. I did have to pay shipping back to them but they switched out the case and overnighted the computer back to me. Very fast and very good customer service.

On the other hand, when Best Buy recently fried and ruined my almost new SSD drive due to their error when doing some work on another computer they wanted to argue about replacing it. They did end up replacing it eventually but the experience was so bad DH said he would never buy another thing at Best Buy unless he had to.

I'm one of those who will pay a slight premium to buy now at the bricks and mortar store. But last night I was shopping for a new gaming mouse. Amazon had the mouse at a good price. I looked to see if the local Best buy had it in stock and they did. But it was a 26% price premium. I order it from Amazon.

I do wish there was just a product showcase for everything that, say, Amazon sold. Since there is often an advantage in seeing the actual item. But, except for clothes, the advantage is often not so great that I'm willing to pay a substantial mark up to get to see it. I would rather have the lower prices. I really think that electronics stores are going to find it very, very hard to survive as people don't need to physical try on electronics like they do with clothes. Even clothes are going more online with easy returns.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:44 AM   #29
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I think showrooming is the least of Best Buy's problems, although it certainly makes a convenient excuse for their executives to whine about.

Any showrooming tactics can be overcome by actual customer service.
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Agreed.

Twice in the last month I tried unsuccessfully to shop local.

1. Went to the Microsoft store to try out the new Windows 8 touchscreen I wanted. Excellent machine, but it was more of a showroom situation. They had no stock and told me to order it directly from Dell.

2. Went to Cartridge-world to return a year's worth of empty toner cartridges for recycling. That went great, but they didn't carry the toner for my printer because they couldn't beat online prices. So I went to Amazon.com

There are some bright spots when it comes to brick vs. digital. I just downloaded the Kobo e-reader software to my iPad. Because I signed up through our local mom-and-pop bookstore, they get referral fees for every eBook I purchase.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #30
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Another reason I prefer to buy something at a local store is that if something goes wrong with the item, it is easier to deal with it and get a refund or exchange in person. For example, I bought a new toner cartridge for my laser printer back in August from a nearby Staples store. It did not work well and I had to exchange it a few days later. It was no problem going back to the store (being an early retiree, I can go to the Staples store at an off-peak time when the employees outnumber the customres LOL!) and swapping it for another new one which has worked just fine. Had I bought this on line, I would have had to mail it back (at my expense, probably) and wait for another one to arrive, assuming I was not given a hard time on the exchange. Doing the exchange in person, I was able to show them a sample printed page with the highly visible flaws. I was printing a lot of pages that week so it would have been a major PITA to be without a working printer for a few weeks.
Agreed. This is the primary reason I still prefer to buy from a brick-and-mortar store - return of a defective item. Although you can also do that with online places.....imo it is just too much hassle.

With that said, I have ordered from Amazon and a few other places from time to time when it made sense. But I prefer to do it if there is a local store nearby I can deal with if there are issues (ie BB, Walmart, Staples...)
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:36 PM   #31
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I am recapping some thoughts from one of my blogs from the year 2000... Re: Showrooms.
In the early 1980's I was involved in a think tank study of retailing for the future. One of the major parts of the study was analysis of the Walmart warehousing/JIT strategy. (Circling a metro area then minimal stock daily replacement).
In essence, the blog looked to a future of central random access warehousing for all businesses in the skeletal remains of the Malls of today. This accomplishes economies of scale... offering not only major retailers, but at the ultimate efficiency of allowing manufacturers direct access to their customers.
At the time, the concept was "store within a store".

Think the strategy of Service Merchandise, on a giant scale. if you have ever been to a convention center for specialty items, such a elecronics, auto, boats, household goods, sporting goods, this is the model. Instead of stocking multiples of an item, one... Instead of one or two thousand stores each stocking a one to six months supply of an item, 70 mega warehouses, servicing retail store clusters.

Instead of wasted man hours of stocking, displaying and managing a one store inventory of $10 million, an inventory of $1 million, or even $500 thousand.

Savings at every level... manufacturing, transportation, Inventory, rent, management, training, display, spoilage etc. And of course savings at the customer level, not to mention the convenience of see, touch and compare. Possibly 500 to 1,000 or more "showrooms", in the space of a 100 unit Mall.

This does not even begin to address the effect on the economy. Energy, infrastructure, even government oversight and regulation.

A manufacturer can become a retailer.Middlemen are eliminated at every step in the chain.

If you were designing a more efficient structure for 300+ million consumers, how would you do it?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:07 AM   #32
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First Circuit City, will Best Buy follow? Article says Radio Shack & Game Stop are on the ropes too.

Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco and EBay for consumer electronics, sound good? Or will showrooming kill off all the brick-n-mortar options? Last time I looked, WalMart, Target & Costco didn't have any of the "good stuff" in consumer electronics, mostly the cheaper and off-brand televisions, computers, etc. - but maybe I'm out of date.

Best Buy: Is This the Last Public Gasp? - Forbes
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:11 AM   #33
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Honestly, I've really wondered how Radio Shack has stayed in business all these years......
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #34
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I think Best Buy is in a tough place. The only thing it has going for it is the get it today factor and perhaps seeing something in person. But really the seeing something in person part of this is very overblown for electronics. I want to see clothing in person. I'm OK buying my monitor sight unseen.

The article is sort of laughable in that the best defense it gives of Best Buy is knowledgeable sales staff when, frankly, I find them mediocre at best. For just about anything I want to buy I do online research and usually find a forum where people run rings around the sales staff at any store.

It is fun to just go in and window shop a bit and be able to impulsively buy something and take it home that day. However, that isn't good for the budget so I tend to avoid doing that in any event.

I'm pretty much OK using places like Amazon and newegg from the comfort of home....
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #35
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I think Best Buy is in a tough place. The only thing it has going for it is the get it today factor and perhaps seeing something in person.
And they don't have much with "get it today". I've ordered from newegg and sometimes get it the next day with standard shipping. Amazon a lot of times 2-3 days with standard shipping.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #36
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:43 PM   #37
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A lot of the old fashioned attitudes such as "the customer is always right" that seem to have been dropped in our lifetimes, could have saved some of these bricks and mortar stores, IMO. People will pay for expertise and service, but only if they actually get it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:14 PM   #38
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I think Best Buy is in a tough place. The only thing it has going for it is the get it today factor and perhaps seeing something in person. But really the seeing something in person part of this is very overblown for electronics. I want to see clothing in person. I'm OK buying my monitor sight unseen.

The article is sort of laughable in that the best defense it gives of Best Buy is knowledgeable sales staff when, frankly, I find them mediocre at best. For just about anything I want to buy I do online research and usually find a forum where people run rings around the sales staff at any store.

It is fun to just go in and window shop a bit and be able to impulsively buy something and take it home that day. However, that isn't good for the budget so I tend to avoid doing that in any event.

I'm pretty much OK using places like Amazon and newegg from the comfort of home....
+1 on all of the above....I'm somewhat skeptical by nature, and have no assurance that the random sales associate that is waiting on me knows a hill of beans about the answer to my question - either biased by prospect of a commission, just a half-assed attitude, or enjoys saying anything in response to any situation and doesn't care of it's the truth or not.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #39
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Honestly, I've really wondered how Radio Shack has stayed in business all these years......
Me too. I've shopped there a number of times over the past couple of years, but always <$10 for a connector or cable. Not a lot of people in the store, and quite a bit of floor space dedicated to cell phones.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:17 PM   #40
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Honestly, I've really wondered how Radio Shack has stayed in business all these years......
You're not the only one! (Note: From The Onion)
Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business

(in part--also contains "the CEO's" theories on how the chain survives.)

Quote:
FORT WORTH, TX—Despite having been on the job for nine months, RadioShack CEO Julian Day said Monday that he still has "no idea" how the home electronics store manages to stay open.FORT WORTH, TX—Despite having been on the job for nine months, RadioShack CEO Julian Day said Monday that he still has "no idea" how the home electronics store manages to stay open.
. . .


"Even the name 'RadioShack'—can you imagine two less appealing words placed next to one another?" Day said. "What is that, some kind of World War II terminology? Are ham radio operators still around, even? Aren't we in the digital age?"
"Well, our customers are out there somewhere, and thank God they are," Day added.
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