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Tech Watch: Best Buy Ramps Up Competition With Online Retaliers

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Best Buy store in Colma (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Best Buy store in Colma (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Amid fierce competition between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers, Best Buy will reportedly price match Amazon.com and other major online outlets. Notorious for excluding online retailers from its price match policy, Best Buy’s latest move may deter consumers from using it’s stores as simply as a “showroom.”

So, how do Best Buy’s prices stack up to Amazon.com? Here are a few price comparisons:

Monster HDMI cable:
Best Buy: $60
Amazon: $11

Samsung Smart TV:
Best Buy: $1,000
Amazon: $998

Audio-Technica headphones:
Best Buy: $71
Amazon: $40

Playstation 3 controller:
Best Buy: $54
Amazon: $44

Although the savings will not always be dramatic, consumers may run into significant savings on items like cables and other accessories. Items like televisions and computers, which have a smaller profit margin, generally have uniform pricing across most retailers.

As you take advantage of retailers’ price match policies this holiday season, consider these shopping tips first:

-Research before heading to the store. Use Web sites like PriceGrabber.com to compare prices among Best Buy, Amazon, and other online retailers. Although Amazon is famous for being the least expensive retailers, other outlets may have better deals. Once you find the best price, bookmark the product page on your smartphone to have proof on-hand when you’re ready to price match in-store.

-Ensure that the model numbers are the same. This is where things get tricky. Many times, one product will be assigned unique model numbers and SKUs for different retailers. In this case, the retailer may refuse to price match on this factor alone. Double-check the model numbers before requesting a price match.

-Check prices after purchasing. Best Buy (as well as many other retailers) offer price adjustments for the duration of your return period. Remember this, and be on the lookout for cheaper prices — if you find a better deal, bring proof to the store and request and adjustment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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