3 Questions Amy Poehler Should've Asked Best Buy

"Hi, may I answer any questions?" a Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) store employee asks Amy Poehler at the start of the consumer electronics chain's Super Bowl commercial.

Poehler then goes on to rattle off more than a dozen.

  • "What's LTE? Is it contagious?"
  • "What makes a smart TV so smart?"
  • "What's the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now?"

It's a lighthearted ad, though it's reasonably effective in pointing out that Best Buy reps are commission-free, knowledgeable, and can fend off comedic advances.

However, it would have been more effective if real questions -- and not the type that anyone with an Internet connection these days can figure out for themselves -- would've been asked.

Yes, I have a few. It's funny that you should ask.

Why aren't you price-matching Amazon anymore?
The superstore operator moved to match prices with Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) ahead of the critical holiday shopping season, hoping to nip the showrooming trend in the bud. Well, according to Best Buy's website, the retailer is now back to only matching prices offered at a local retail competitor's store. Maybe margins got crushed this holiday season, and that's something that we'll see later this month when the struggling retailer reports. It's still interesting to point out that Target (NYSE: TGT  ) decided last month to price-match Amazon all year round. What scared off Best Buy? As more and more of its customers buy smartphones and tablets, it's not as if Best Buy can hide when it's being underpriced elsewhere.

For someone who knows all the answers, why do you ask so many questions?
I guess it's been awhile since I last went shopping at Best Buy. I have never seen the fashionable paper bags that Poehler's walking out with at the end of the commercial. My experiences always ended with bland plastic bags. I'm also not sure why she's walking through the sales floor after her purchase. Every store that I have been to has the registers at the front. However, what really gets me is that one of the reasons I have avoided shopping at Best Buy is that it's usually the sales reps and cashiers who wind up asking too many questions. No, I don't want extended warranty protection. No, I don't want a Geek Squad plan. And please tell me that they got rid of that "buyback" insurance from the Super Bowl ad two years ago.

Why didn't you sell to your founder when you had a chance?
Richard Schulze -- the guy who started Best Buy before being dismissed in the wake of Brian Dunn's scandal -- proposed buying out the company between $24 and $26 a share last summer. The board balked. It wanted more time. It asked Schulze to wait until it asked a new CEO in place. It blew it, essentially. Best Buy wound up overpaying for a French executive to take the helm, reportedly shelled out retention bonuses for executives without performance objectives, and rattled off ugly quarter after ugly quarter. There may still be a buyout of Best Buy. Schulze's pride is at stake, and he will want to take Best Buy private. However, it will be at a fraction of his original offer. Unfortunately for Best Buy, there's no price-matching policy that covers greed in retrospect.

Price check
The brick-and-mortar versus e-commerce battle wages on, with Best Buy caught in the middle. After what might have been its most tumultuous year in history, there are now even more unanswered questions about the future for the big-box electronics retailer. How will new leadership perform? Will old leadership take the company private? Will a smaller store format work out for both the company and its brave investors? Should you be one such brave investor? To help answer all these questions, The Motley Fool has released a new premium research report detailing the opportunities -- and the risks -- in store for Best Buy. Simply click here now to claim your comprehensive report today.


Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (1)

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  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2013, at 6:32 PM, Varchild2008 wrote:

    Interesting article from someone biased against bricks and mortor stores and in full on love affair with the cloud.

    Too bad my Avenged Sevenfold Music CDs are more expensive on Amazon versus Best Buy to purchase.

    Too bad the APPLE IPHONE 5 sells for LESS at BEST BUY than it does right now at AMAZON.

    BEST BUY $699.99

    Cheapest available at AMAZON? $699.00 + $25 shipping fee.

    No shipping fee at Best Buy cause I can just go over there and pick it up. They will help set it up for you as well, port all of my contacts from my SIM card to the new phone and etc.

    No Price Matching at Best Buy?

    Maybe AMAZON should think about Price Matching BEST BUY for a change.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0097CZBH4/ref=dp_olp...

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Apple%26%23174%3B+-+iPhone%26%23...

    Is this a bad time to mention the $50 gift card when you make a purchase of a mobile phone this year with activation? I don't want to hurt Rick's feelings or nothin.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2013, at 6:35 PM, Varchild2008 wrote:

    I had to go THIRD PARTY in order to locate the cheapest price at Amazon of $699.00.

    The AMAZON price you get on the home page of the particular phone, which says 1 in stock,

    is actually $728 and ships/sold by a company called Mobile Deals.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2013, at 6:54 PM, Varchild2008 wrote:

    3 Questions RICK MUNARRIZ should ask Amazon.

    1) Why are you selling Damaged Goods and still labeling them as NEW?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003OF3R0S/ref=dp_olp...

    Seller: funkadeliconline

    Seller Rating:97% positive over the past 12 months. (96 total ratings)

    In Stock. Ships from MI, United States.

    Domestic shipping rates and return policy.

    Still in original shrink wrap! Side of case has notch taken out! Free upgrade to First Class shipping with Delivery Confirmation included!

    2) Why Aren't you price matching Best Buy when they have the cheapest prices on electronics, and music right now?

    3) Why is your website still so confusing when buying a Computer?

    http://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-p6-2120-Desktop-Glossy/dp/...

    If you look carefully, on top it says the computer is a DUAL CORE..... Towards the bottom if you scroll it says its a QUAD CORE.

    Care to make the purchase? When its not clear what the heck you are even buying?

    Bottom:

    "Specifications

    ProcessorAMD Quad-Core A6-3620 Accelerated Processor

    "

    TOP

    "Product Information

    Processor 2.2 GHz A-Series Dual-Core A6-3620"

    Spin me right round...baby right round....

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2013, at 9:12 PM, Ryan429 wrote:

    Fact check: Best Buy is still matching Amazon as long as it is sold and shipped by Amazon (same as they were during the holidays). Irresponsible journalism strikes again.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 12:08 AM, SnappleJack wrote:

    Um. Best Buy still matches Amazon. Not only that, but it also offers 2% back in Rewardzone certificates, you can have it shipped for free or pick it up at a local store. If you don't like the TV you bought, Best Buy will pick it up. You don't get a designer bag at Best Buy, but you don't get one from Amazon either....and on and on.

    Such irresponsible journalism or graffiti on the internet.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 4:59 AM, Varchild2008 wrote:

    I guess I shouldn't have taken Rick's facts for granted on Best Buy price Matching.

    It is looking like Rick would make a great weather man. You can be wrong and still employed.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 11:35 AM, dfenn58 wrote:

    Terrible article Best Buy beats Amazon on a ton of prices and you can usually pick it up same day in store and ask questions about it in store good luck shopping at Amazon and finding an answer to your questions

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