Best Buy’s Gamers Club Unlocked membership program has been a huge success by helping to identify the company as a go to place for game purchases and has caused some gamers like myself to completely quit shopping at other outlets such as Gamestop.
The membership costs only $30 for two years and comes with a lot of appealing incentives such as:
- 20% off all new video games
- 10% bonus trade in credit
- %10 off pre-owned games and more.
Also, you are constantly earning points for every purchase you make that over time converts into in store credit which can be used to lower the price even further on your purchases. While these are great incentives that have earned my business, I have found that Best Buy still lacks in a lot of areas when it comes to satisfying the needs and desires of gamers. I would like to point out three areas I feel that Best Buy desperately needs to improve if they hope to effectively retain their existing customers, attract more business, and continue to compete with gaming outlets such as Gamestop.
Preorder System Needs an Overhaul
When you preorder a game at Best Buy their system is not set up to allow you to add money towards the purchase of that game over time. I rarely preorder games so I recently discovered this issue when preordering the special edition of Uncharted 4. I put my money down in order to reserve my copy and when I went back a few weeks later to add more money to it I was told by the associates that they are not able to add money to preorders. They informed me that once you put your money down the next time you can pay on it is at the time of pick up of that item. There was another occasion at a different Best Buy location where I was able to add money to a preorder, but they had to jump through hoops and hurdles to get the system to add my money to my game.
The problem I have with this is that it is very helpful to add money to your purchase like a layaway program that way you have the ability to chip away at the overall total so there is not a huge outstanding balance at the time of pick up. Every consumer is different, some may not feel like this is a big deal and there are others who would like to manage their expenses by adding to their purchases over time. It would be in the best interest of Best Buy to give the consumer more options in this area.
No Midnight Releases!
So you’ve preordered your game at Best Buy and the time of release is fast approaching. You anticipate picking up your new game at midnight so that you can play it right away. Well that’s most likely not going to happen at Best Buy as I recently discovered that they do not host many midnight releases at all. I was informed by the associates at my local Best Buy that they only host midnight releases for “major” games such as Call of Duty. Seriously Best Buy?
My local Best Buy did not even host a midnight release for Uncharted 4, one of the biggest games to release this year which was frustrating to no end. If that is not enough, Best Buy does not open until 10am in the morning. This means I had to wait even longer before I could get my hands on a game that I was so hyped for that I preordered it. To be fair I can see why Best Buy does this to an extent. It is because they have not had major turn outs for previous midnight releases, but I feel that they need to expand their definition of “major” game releases as they are out of touch if they think Call of duty is the only game worth hosting a midnight release for. If they promote and are consistent, the gamers will come.
Having a limited stock of games is the biggest turn off. We as gamers typically know what we want and when we want something we want it now. So when we walk into an outlet that sells games we expect to walk out with what we want. A few months ago I went into my local Best Buy to purchase a copy of the game Dying Light Enhanced Edition. I was immediately faced with disappointment when I was told by the associate that they have not received any copies. Not that they were sold out, but that they never received any copies! Seriously, Best Buy? You have to ensure that you have all of the latest games day one of release. This can be seen as a big turn off for many gamers and they will walk away from that experience feeling as if Best Buy is not reliable.
Overall Best Buy continues to be my number one outlet for game purchases because the pros ultimately outweigh the cons. However, if they do not clean up a few of these issues I can see myself utilizing another outlet to suit certain needs such as when I want a game at midnight. I have communicated to my local Best Buy that by cleaning up these issues they could easily close in on the market and become a much stronger force in the gaming retail space. But I am but one lowly gamer, it will take a lot more than me to get this machine operating efficiently.
How has your Best Buy experience been? Have you experienced any of this issues I’ve stated?
Express yourself in the comments below.