- Best Buy offers some of the most competitive prices when it comes to electronics big and small.
- Knowing how and when to find the best deals can be just as good as knowing when to skip an item entirely.
- We spoke to personal shopping and money-saving experts to determine what’s a great deal and what you’re better off buying somewhere else.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For gearheads, gamers, and tech geeks, the experience of going to Best Buy is the equivalent of a kid walking into a candy store.
But while Best Buy remains one of the most competitive retailers around, there are some things you might want to think twice about before checkout.
One of the best things you can do is download the Best Buy app to get real-time deals, coupons, and discounts on items ranging from laptops and cellphones to major household appliances. Another consideration is to join the My Best Buy membership to receive exclusive member-only offers, get early access to the biggest sales.
Though Best Buy offers some stellar deals on electronics, the retailer definitely isn’t a one-stop shop. According to Andrea Woroch, consumer savings, personal finance, and smart shopping expert, it’s better to look for bargains on household items like furniture, hair care products, and phone cases elsewhere.
“You just need to know where to look to find those savings and a little bit of research can go a long way in terms of smarter shopping,” Woroch said.
We consulted the experts and price-matched across the internet to see what items you want to buy and what you should probably skip on your next visit to Best Buy.
Best Buy offers very competitive and comprehensive price matching on their MacBook prices, according to Woroch.
“They also have a great price matching policy and even offer discounts on open-box merchandise,” Woroch said. “This means you may be able to score a brand-new MacBook for a lower price because someone else returned it after opening the box even though it was never used.”
Skip: Patio furniture
- Lauren Mowery/Fodor’s
Woroch advises waiting until the end of the season for deals from retailers with a larger selection of outdoor furniture such as Target or Home Depot.
“Otherwise, sites like Overstock offer bigger discounts on outdoor couches, chairs and tables,” Woroch said. “Before buying new though, I recommend looking at what’s available secondhand through local online listings. You can save up to 80% by purchasing used instead.”
Buy: 4K TV
- Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
There’s never been a better time to buy 4K, and from LG to Samsung to Vizio, Best Buy’s got you covered. One of the best deals we found is on the Samsung 65-inch LED 7 Series for $699.99 (originally $899).
“Batteries sold at retailers like Best Buy have high markups since they are more of a convenience item,” Woroch said.
“You may need double-A batteries for the remote that goes with the new TV you just purchased, for instance. You can save big bucks by waiting to get your batteries from big box stores like Target or Walmart. However, the best price per unit is available when you buy batteries in larger quantities from warehouse stores like Costco.”
Buy: Dyson AM07 tower fan
- YouTube/ XALIRATE
It’s hot out there right now and this bladeless Dyson tower fan features high-velocity airflow along with remote is a great deal now that it’s $120 off of its original price, making it a great deal you don’t want to miss out on.
Skip: Hair care products
“These types of products are cheaper at big box stores like Walmart and Target,” Woroch said. “You can also save on hair care products from drugstores like CVS by using coupons available through their ExtraCare loyalty program.”
Buy: Samsung Galaxy S10
Best Buy’s got the Galaxy fans of the universe covered. According to Tom’s Guide, Best Buy offers some of the most competitive monthly plans on the S10c, Galaxy S10 and GalaxyS10+ for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint users.
Skip: Gift cards
“You can actually buy gift cards at a discount from sites like Cardpool and GiftCardCastle,” Woroch said. “Otherwise, check out deals on gift card bundles from warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club, where you can often save 20% off.”
Buy: DJI drones
- REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Best Buy has one of the widest varieties of drones out of any major retailer (Amazon aside). From a Phantom 4 Advanced Quadcopter for $1,199 to a DJI Spark Quadcopter for $399, the bonus of buying in-store is talking to an expert sales associate who can better guide your decision based on price point and value. It doesn’t hurt if you have gift cards or membership rewards to burn either.
Buy: GoPro HERO
- Gordon Tarpley/Flickr
Best Buy’s price match guarantee makes buying a GoPro HERO 7 at Best Buy a solid option, especially if you have questions when it comes to the difference between cameras. Geek Squad representatives know their stuff and will be able to tell you everything you need to know, from how to set it up and sync it to the various functions.
Buy: External hard drive
Best Buy offers a wide range of external hard drives both from a price point and storage perspective. They also offer “only at Best Buy” deals on the WD Easystore external hard drives as well as a free item with purchase.
Skip: Universal travel adapter
Travel adapters might seem like they’d be a good deal at Best Buy, however, we found a better variety of products and competing prices on Amazon and Target.
Buy: Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR camera
- Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Another residual prime day deal, Canon’s EOS Rebel DSLR is currently on sale at Best Buy. Featuring a 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in Wi-Fi, and full 1080p HD video capture, it also comes with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens that’s good for everything from landscape photography to close-ups.
Skip: Car accessories
“Try to get these accessories for free when negotiating a new phone deal from the wireless carrier,” Woroch said. “Otherwise, look online to save at Amazon.”
Buy: Apple Watch Series 4
Now on sale for $379, there’s a savings of $50 off of the Apple Watch Series 4. Down from $429, this price makes it one of the best deals out there.
Skip: Camera bags
This is another accessory that might be tempting to pick up when you’re in store, however, more likely than not you’re going to be paying full price. Better to hold off and buy from an online retailer like Amazon.
Buy: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
The newest model of Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is on sale for $799 (down from $1029), which saves you $230. The lightweight laptop features a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage, and comes with a keyboard and the Surface Type Cover (Surface Pen sold separately).
Skip: iPhone cases
- Shutterstock/Marko Poplasen
“Screen protectors and cases (for) smartphones are overpriced at most electronic retailers, including Best Buy,” Woroch said.
“Before you buy any accessories in-store, do some comparison shopping online. Not only will you find cheaper prices, but coupon codes are abundant at popular deal sites. You can usually find cheaper prices at online retailers like eBay and Amazon.”
Buy: Wireless speakers
“Just make sure to compare prices to see if Amazon or Target are selling it for less,” Woroch said. “Best Buy will match competitor prices.”
Skip: Ink cartridges
- WUTTISAK PROMCHOO/Shutterstock
According to Woroch, trying to purchase ink in most places is difficult because it is one of the most overpriced consumer goods.
“Consider buying re-manufactured ink cartridges which utilize repurposed parts of other cartridges and are generally much cheaper than buying new ones directly from the manufacturer,” Woroch said.
“You can find remanufactured ink online at sites like InkGrabber. They also have brand name ink at a discount which you can save even more by using coupon codes. Otherwise, look for generic options from stores like Staples to save.”
Buy: Headphones, earbuds, and speakers
“You will likely see several deals around back-to-school and back-to-college time, so look out for those sales on things like headphones, earbuds, and speakers,” Woroch said.
Skip: DVDs and Blu-ray players
- Susumu Toshiyuki / Reuters
“Most people are streaming their video content these days and aren’t using DVDs or Blu-ray discs as frequently,” Woroch said. “This means there’s a big market for secondhand DVDs, CDs, and Blu-ray discs which you can find online or even at yard sales for a discount.”
Buy: Amazon devices like Kindles and Alexas
“I found the prices at Best Buy and Amazon to be comparable, so if you know what you want, buy where it’s most convenient for you,” Trae Bodge, a shopping consultant and writer, told Business Insider.
“But, if you’re curious about the sound quality of the speakers or want to test out the different Kindles to see which e-reader appeals to you, it’s worth heading to a Best Buy store to check them out in person.”
“I’ve found Best Buy’s selection of TV’s to be very competitively priced,” Bodge said. “In addition, they qualify for the Best Buy’s Price Match Guarantee, which means that Best Buy will match the price if you find that item at a lower price at a ‘designated major online retailer’ or ‘local retail competitor’s store.'”
Skip: Geek Squad Protection Plan
While there’s comfort in knowing your new computer or cellphone is protected under a warranty, the Geek Squad Protection Plan, is an easy upsell and generally overpriced, considering most big-ticket items come with a warranty already.
Buy: Laptops, computers
“If you’re a student and not quite sure what you want, use Best Buy’s helpful Student Hub, which will not only help you find the laptop that right for you, but will also suggest other tech items you might need,” Bodge said.
“In addition, Best Buy offers special student discounts on select items, including select computers. From what I can see, most computers also qualify for Best Buy’s Price Match Guarantee.”
Skip: Anki Cozmo robot
These adorable little Anki Cozmo Robots are said to have a “big brain and an even bigger personality,” and while they are on clearance at Best Buy, there are better bargains to be found elsewhere including Amazon and Target.
Buy: Large appliances
“Best Buy offers competitive pricing on large appliances, particularly around popular sale periods, like three-day weekends and Black Friday (or) Cyber Monday,” Bodge said.
“I ordered an appliance on Bestbuy.com recently and appreciated that a suggestion for necessary, additional parts was automatically suggested. Best Buy will also install your appliance and haul away your old one for a nominal fee.”
- Rachel Askinasi/Business Insider
“Best Buy has invested more deeply in the toy category since the demise of Toys ‘R’ Us, but they still have a ways to go,” Bodge said. “Walmart and Target have a much broader selection, and are therefore a better bet for your toy shopping. From what I’ve seen, the selection on Bestbuy.com is larger than in-store, so if anything, browse BestBuy.com and purchase only if you’ve found the lowest price.”
Buy: Insignia CD Boombox
- Wikimedia Commons
CDs are kind of a thing of the past, but if you’re feeling nostalgic or maybe looking for a “throwback” gag gift, this Insignia CD Boombox with AM and FM radio is kind of a classic. You’ll find it in the clearance section on the Best Buy website, on sale now for $23.99.
Buy: Electric toothbrushes
Best Buy has some of the most competitive prices on electric toothbrushes, including Philips Sonicare, which are considered top of the line and range from $49.99 to $279.99.
Skip: Electric toothbrush accessories
- Craziest Gadgets
While electric toothbrushes are a good deal, you might want to look elsewhere for accessories and refill brushes. A five-pack of Philips Sonicare Simply Clean replacement toothbrush heads at Best Buy sell for $39.99 compared to $29.85 at competing retailers like Walmart or $19.50 on eBay.
Buy: Fujifilm Instax mini camera bundle
- Avery Hartmans/Business Insider
This Fujifilm Instax is not only adorable in mint green, but comes in a bundle that’s only available at Best Buy and includes the camera, case, batteries, wrist strap, and package of film for $99.
Skip: FitDesk bike desk
- Flickr/Benny Wong
This FitDesk Bike Desk may be the definition of killing two birds with one stone, but save yourself the trouble and find a better deal elsewhere. At $227.99, we found far better deals and more variety on competitors’ websites including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
Buy: Ring alarm starter home security kit
Only available at Best Buy, the Ring Alarm Home Security kit is a great buy at $299 and includes one base station, two keypads, three contact sensors, one extender, two motion detectors, and an installation kit.
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