I was excited late last week when I found out about a new social media promotion that would reward me for doing things I would normally do anyway in return for sacrificing what I'm sure is an absurdly creepy level of personal information. I write a blog and post videos to YouTube, so clearly I don't have that many reservations about sharing.
Anyway, Amex, which seems to be focused on maintaining a lead in social media linked promotions, is at it again. After successfully linking my Amex card to both Foursquare and Facebook (and getting at least ~$75 in value so far), it was Twitter's turn.
So the deal is, if you link your card to your account and tweet a certain hashtag, boom, statement credit. It's already worked once for a new pair of running shoes I ordered from Zappos, earning me $10 just for spamming my 30+ followers (it might have given me more pause if I had more followers, which I'm guessing works against what Amex is going for, but anyway).
I tweeted another couple retailer specific hashtags, including one for Best Buy.
The deal was a $10 credit for a purchase of at least $10 at a Best Buy. Seemed pretty simple to me. There's a Best Buy store 2 blocks from my apartment, so it looked like a slam dunk. After all, there are a couple things I could certainly use that Best Buy should sell, specifically a new pair of workout headphones and a new bumper/case for my iPhone.
I figured, I just need something cheap, nothing fancy given the amount of use I put on those things.
So I went over to Best Buy and checked out their headphones. There were certainly some crappy ones to choose from, on the low racks far away from the Dr. Dre Beats gigantic headphones and other premium stuff. Unfortunately, all the crappy headphones were at least $14-$15. That struck me as odd, and seemed quite expensive for what literally must be the crappiest headphones available.
OK, so headphones were out, I could just order them on Amazon. Then I moved over to the phone accessories.
I've been using the free bumper Apple issued during its whole antenna-gate issue. I've never been super happy with it and it's been wearing out. Again, time for something in the minimalist style. Just keep it from breaking, that's all I'm looking for.
And again, there were several cheap bumpers to pick from.
I looked over the various options, and again, was amazed.
Nothing, not one case, was under $15.
Seriously? I know they have these elsewhere for half the price.
I soon realized why I hadn't been in a Best Buy in several years, and hadn't bought anything from one in several more years. Their prices are absolutely ridiculous.
I'd get it if they had some reason for premium prices, like educated salespeople providing great service (note: no one talked to me the entire time I was there, although that's honestly what I'd prefer). Clearly theirs is not a service-based model. So it seems like one based on providing no-frills access to goods at premium prices.
No wonder they're struggling.
The only things I could use my $10 discount on seemed to be either bargain basement DVDs (a dead technology, can't tell you the last time I watched one), or on several movie theater boxes of candy they have near the register.
If they have Mike & Ike's, then I'm all over it. I'll get the electronic stuff from Amazon.