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Better Shipping Practices For Video Games & Collectibles

Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎10-24-2021 09:54 AM

From standard release video games shipped between two glued pieces of cardboard to expensive limited release games shipped in bubble mailers, Best Buy's shipping practices have made it difficult to justify buying games through bestbuy.com.

 

I'm not alone in this observation. You can find many other customers complaining about this issue in other threads on the Best Buy Forum, posts on third-party forums, and in the reviews of select products (particularly those for collector's edition items).

 

Generally, it's the seller's responsibility to make sure an item reaches the buyer safely and undamaged.

 

  • Standard video games should be shipped in a high-quality, slightly oversized padded mailer or a sturdy, well-padded box.
  • Orders containing two or more games should always be shipped in a sturdy, well-padded box.
  • "Collector's Edition" releases should always be shipped in a sturdy, well-padded box.

 

By "well-padded," I mean more than "lob a single air packet in there and hope for the best." These items should be protected on all sides. They should not be able to slide or bounce around. They should not be able to come into direct contact with any of the box's inner sides.

 

Regardless of whether shipping is "free" or paid, there's no excuse for poor packing practices. I understand that, sometimes, unfortunate things happen and an item will have a really rough go en route to its destination. This isn't what I'm talking about.

 

I'm talking about easily avoided product damage through packing practices and use of materials that are appropriate for the item(s) at hand.

 

The solution shouldn't be "just order for in-store pickup." That's not always possible, and with that logic, why even have the option to order for shipping at all? Suggesting in-store pickup as the solution to bad shipping practices is disingenuous and completely ignores the real issue: Items are not being packed adquately for shipping.

 

I shouldn't have to feel apprehensive about making a purchase through bestbuy.com. Knowing that my purchases are packed well and will arrive in the same condition they shipped out could easily make Best Buy my primary destination for video games and related collector's items. Many other retailers are guilty of negligent shipping practices; this is one area of opportunity for Best Buy to really step up and stand out.

 

I'd love nothing more than to see this change, and I'm sure there are others out there who feel the same way.

Status: Acknowledged

Thanks for the feedback! I can assure you that we consistently do a review of these aspects of our business.

Comments
by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎10-26-2021 08:58 AM
Status changed to: Acknowledged

Thanks for the feedback! I can assure you that we consistently do a review of these aspects of our business.

by Valued Expert
on ‎10-26-2021 09:29 AM

The profit margin for games is very small.  In 2017 Game Stop reported that the profit margin is 22.9% which on a normally priced game is only $13.74

 

The extra handling and packaging would serve to lower that profit margin.  Boxes are not that expensive ¢32 to ¢65 per box. But add to that tape, bubble wrap,  extra time, extra postage you are going to cut into that $13.74.

 

So they would have to charge extra for special handling. Just like any other business that does so. 

 

Your idea is the reason why I pick up all my special edition games in store. However, I have the benefit of having one across the street from my office and another 5 miles from my home.  

 

 

 

 

 

by
on ‎10-26-2021 10:30 AM

As mentioned in my suggestion, store pickup is not always an option. Whether it's a matter of a personal issue or because the item simply isn't available for store pickup during checkout (like, literally not selectable), there are numerous reasons why someone may not be able to purchase an item for pickup at their nearest Best Buy store.

 

The suggestion that packing material costs and slim margins are the reasons we can't have things shipped properly is, in my opinion, absurd and disingenuous. Limited releases and collector's items typically have a higher margin. Likewise, it remains the seller's responsibility to ensure items reach the buyer safely.

 

On top of that, there are costs associated with accepting returns of damaged items. Not all returns are placed in store, so eating return shipping costs is something to consider. Losing consumer trust is a further issue with measurable consequences. If this is about shipping costs, Best Buy is burning loyalty to save some money on packing materials that are purchased in bulk.

 

That seems crazy to me, and the whole matter strikes me more as a "training and best practices" issue than a "saving money" one. I suspect that the teams responsible for sending these items simply aren't taught the proper way to pack them for shipment. Other possibilities include high pressure from above to get things out the door as quickly as possible or simply not being paid well enough to care how things are packed for shipment.

 

I don't have insights into the current inner workings at Best Buy shipping warehouses, but I do know that these current practices are unacceptable and need to change.

 

If retailers have to charge for shipping, fine. I'll pay it. I do pay it with some retailers who actually ship things properly. However, that's not even an option with Best Buy at the moment.

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