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Overhaul Purchase Pre-Order Process

Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎08-14-2019 08:18 AM

Team, let's talk. Much of this is going to focus on game pre-orders, but parts hold true for almost all pre-orders from the company. Over the years, I have been an avid Best Buy customer. I bought into the Gamer's Club Unlocked program (discontinued), have maintained Elite Plus status in the rewards program, and have tried to make every reasonable effort to make pre-orders and purchases for most items (not just games) at or within physical stores.


That said, this process has become increasingly difficult and significantly less rewarding over time. Let's focus on games. If I want to pre-order a PC game, Best Buy is often one of the last retailers to list it (if it even lists the game at all; often times, console versions are listed but the PC game is never made avaialable for pre-order/purchase, forcing me to aquire it elsewhere). Take Cyberpunk 2077,  Best Buy was one of the last to list the PC version of the game. Additionally, there are a myriad of issues/hurdles the pre-order presents:


  • I am being sent a physical box with a code in it (there is no option for simply having the code emailed to me digitally). This has got to cost the company in stocking physical inventory, shipping costs, manhours etc. not to mention physical waste as many people will simply toss the empty case. All of these could be mitigated if you simply allowed for digital pre-orders.
  • There is no information on the item page for which service the digital code is for (i.e. Steam, GOG, Epic Games). That is a deciding factor for me. I don't particularly want 10+ different game launchers to juggle.
  • You do not accept Apple Pay for pre-orders. This is especially bad now that Apple is offering 2% cash back on their credit card when used via Apple Pay. Best Buy gets paid the same; it is the same card number; I get charged the same...I cannot think of any reason to disallow that other than to push me elsewhere to a site that will allow me to capitalize on this incentive. While one game might not be a big chunk of cash back, it adds up over time or when I pre-order higher dollar value items. More and more, this will push me to other retailers.

On top of all of that, I have very frequently had issues with receiving shipped items arrive damaged. This got so bad that I have refused to purchase collector's editions unless I have the bandwidth to walk into the store and do a physical pickup. If I don't have that bandwidth, I order elsewhere. What happens is, I'll end up getting something damaged, reach out to Best Buy for a replacement, and then get told there is no available stock to resolve the issue because the item is sold out and was produced in limited quantities. This is not a one time thing, but typically the norm.


To recap, with the death of Gamer's Club Unlocked, late or nonexistant product postings, postings with missing pertinent information, lack of Apple Pay support, inability to pre-order a simple digital code, and poor shipping standards (which I am forced to use due to lack of digital purchase options)...I have found myself shopping elsewhere with increased frequency. Overall, it seems the company is insisting on incurring significant unnecessary costs and is inentionally driving away customers who want to support the company. Frankly, the only thing that is currently keeping me coming back is the rewards program, though that is not providing enough value to make up for the headaches.


While a long read, I would love to see some of these ideas implemented. Unsure how much of this is beyond the immediate control of Best Buy, but I feel if these could be implemeted or at least worked towards, it would streamline the business, reduce cost, eliminate customer headaches and begin adding value for customers to continue picking Best Buy above the competition.

Status: Acknowledged

Thanks for reaching out to us on this. We truly appreciate your feedback.

by Emerging Expert
on ‎08-14-2019 12:37 PM

I hear you as a PC gamer. Unfortunatly a few of the points you  bring  up are being controlled by the game developers and the clients.  As more and more computers do not have DVD drives and connections are getting better there is less and less need to produce hard copy games. 


It all comes down to big money.  A game retails for $59.  


The publisher does not make $59.  They have to sell it to Best Buy at a low enough of a price to make it worth while for BB to sell it.  GCU really cut into that profit margin for BB.  The buyer would take it home, put in the disk(s) and install.  They connect to a client somewhere along the line.  The client, Steam for example, also gets a cut, I had read something like 10 to 15%. 


Well with digital games, the publisher can cut out BB, sell direct to Steam and make a lot more money. 


And it is simply stupid that we are buying games and all they contain is a code.  



by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎08-15-2019 04:11 PM
Status changed to: Acknowledged

Thanks for reaching out to us on this. We truly appreciate your feedback.

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