Basically, I work at a Best Buy, and I'm one of the employees milling around the floor helping people with stuff! I've been at Best Buy for just over two years, and I work anywhere from 10 to 40 hours per week. I also do computer programming and such.

My Proof:

EDIT: Add more information!

Comments: 1867 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

Dripp_e423 karma

Why is it that when I'm just browsing, I have 15 sales associates ask me if i need help, but when I actually need help I can't seem to find a single employee?

photonicgeek350 karma

That, my friend, is Murphy's law.

EvilPhd666142 karma

Why doesn't best buy carry any upper end AMD products and only display and offer relatively few lower end models?

Beyond AMD just about every time I go into a Best Buy they rarely ever have what I am looking for. It seems like they are dedicating more floor space to phones every year. I buy a new phone like once every 5 years. Do you think Best Buy is focusing too much on phones?

photonicgeek271 karma

It is because Intel has some sort of deal with Best Buy where it is better for us to sell Intel stuff. We do have some A10's and FX's, but nothing to get excited over.

And with mobile devices, yes, phones are a really big revenue source, thus more space. In our store, the computer department actually tends to go way over our sales goals more than any other department. Honestly, if I had a choice, I'd take out appliances and make Build-A-PC area. Like Build-A-Bear, but with desktops!

EvilPhd66682 karma

I think they should do that build a PC thing.

Just hate to see what amounts to the only local electronics store where I can get my hands on things go the way of Radio Shack, which became mostly a cell phone outlet itself before it croaked.

That deal with Intel is feeding it's monopoly and when you have so few choices the consumer and the seller suffer. AMD is suffering in large part because of those practices.

Sighs, shakes head, walks out of store demoralized and empty handed yet again. Thanks for answering though.

photonicgeek14 karma

It is rather unfortunate. Though we are starting to carry a nice selection of AMD GPUs now! With price matching it's pretty nice!

Slowfrost97 karma

Which do you prefer, working at Best Buy or computer programming?

photonicgeek140 karma

I love doing my programming work! Bestbuy is just for money in a field that I know well. I like dealing with computers, not people!

Slowfrost45 karma

Haha, I don't blame you. Have you ever had to deal with some really horrible customers? The Best Buy 45 minutes from me get some nasty people.

photonicgeek95 karma

Oh, plenty! I've been insulted personally because we didn't have a router that was discontinued 5 years ago. I've had people come in that didn't buy their computer at our store, don't have Geek Squad tech support, don't have anything, but they demand that the salespeople (us, the least qualified to preform sevicing) help them for free!

Slowfrost34 karma

Lol, wow. I remember some woman yelling at a clerk because of the price of a laptop. She tried to bargain with him.

photonicgeek68 karma

People love to try that. We can't just lower the price. ESPECIALLY on Apple products!

bwlflnvl21 karma

Haha. I work for AT&T. I love that people think they can negotiate the monthly recurring prices on their bills with me. I have no way to change that. Or people want discounted pricing for's not gonna happen 99.99% of the time (100% never in my department) and especially NOT on Apple products.

photonicgeek20 karma

It's the reason Costco didn't sell Apple stuff for a while. They were discounting the stuff too much!

ItsJustReeses84 karma

Will you please price match this 32in TV? Its totally a Walmart brand but its still a 32in and doesn't matter right? <3

photonicgeek141 karma

Totally! We'll also match this pair of dollar store headphones to these Bose headphones for you too!

Trustmeimnice79 karma

Is the discount still cost plus 5%? I ran the pcho department at a best buy until '09 and furnished my entire condo for about $4,000 bucks... Major appliances all the way down to books.

photonicgeek50 karma

Yup! It's pretty nice...

AllGloryToHypno-Toad14 karma

Can you still walk up to any register (the ones on the floor were good for this) and look up an employee discount with employee ID "1"?

Did this once or twice after I quit to see what their cost was on something.

photonicgeek7 karma

I haven't tried it on the new POS systems, but I figure it does! "1" is actually a real employee's number!

lord_christoph69 karma

Former Best Buy employee here (5 years).

What's the most fun department to work in at your store? At mine, it was Inventory. We got away with murder. We blasted music as loud as we could without it making it's way to the sales floor, made cardboard suits of armor and generally just dicked around all the time. Does your store have a department like that? If not, then why? WHY?

photonicgeek57 karma

The whole store is pretty laid back. they aren't too strict on sales goals and everything. if it is slow, we'll play music from the speakers in the computer department where I work. I know inventory seems to have a lot of fun in the back room sometimes!

kyle186753 karma

How awful are the customers usually? I worked at staples for 5 years running the technology department and I feel like retail made me lose a lot of faith in humanity.

photonicgeek57 karma

It's mostly neutral customers. A small percent are truly happy, and a large part are just plain unpleasant.

NoblesseOblige348 karma

What is the weirdest comment or question that you've received from a customer?

photonicgeek195 karma

"Do you think this computer would be good for Skype? I have my bride coming in from Russia soon, and I want to be able to video chat with her."

I'm not kidding...

wwoodrum88 karma

I had a redneck ask me how much horsepower a laptop had..

photonicgeek57 karma

You need at least 30 horsepower for it to run properly!

adrianmakedonski42 karma

Is technical knowledge a job requirement?

photonicgeek104 karma

Unfortunately, not really. Sales skills tend to be higher valued than product knowledge.

adrianmakedonski34 karma

That is unfortunate

photonicgeek38 karma

Generally you can find one or two people like me that actually know what they're talking about at a given Best Buy. Not nearly enough of them though.

Wagasee11 karma

As a very "technologically literate" customer I've noticed this. I usually use the sales associate when I can't find something just to save some time. Always helpful at my local store and never try to hoodwink me.

photonicgeek12 karma

And we're just fine with showing you where something is!

irregularcog41 karma

What happens if you pricematch something you weren't supposed to?

photonicgeek61 karma

Well, they aren't a fan of price matching to places outside our list, but on occasion, we can. (though it is TOTALLY up to the salesperson and manager) The manager has to approve price matches above a certain amount even from approved places, so they know what we can and can't do. Though if we match something incorrectly somehow, we get talked to. If it happens too much, we can be fired.

imforit39 karma


photonicgeek50 karma

We do get fraudulent returns, but we've become very good about regulating them. I don't know why they refused to return it, however. If it had no receipt, or was outside of 15 days, that would be the reason. If you ever have problems like that, try a different store if one is available. Sometimes they can be very weird about returns.

jnmxcvi7 karma

What do you guys do about fraudulent returns? Example I buy X item and then next year I buy X item but newer then I return the old X item.

photonicgeek9 karma

We try to judge to product's condition when returned. If it looks excessively worn, or has a slightly different model number or barcode, we'll refuse it. There are more checks than you might think.

jman11198336 karma

What has been your most frustratingly ignorant customer?

photonicgeek155 karma

Well, we get a bunch of people in all the time that have the whole "these people work at best buy, they don't know anything about computers" idea in their head. So i get people questioning me all the time. One time in particular however there was a woman that came in and wanted a high end gaming laptop for her son for his birthday and she came in with a list of games and settings he wanted to play them at. (all of them just said "ultra") Anyway, I told her for the things he is wanting to play, she would need a gaming laptop for a bit over $1000. she said that it wouldn't be necessary, and that he'll only play games on it, so it doesn't need to be powerful. There was a bit of back-and-forthing, telling me that I'm trying to rip her off and sell her more than she needs. defeated, I let her get the $300 laptop she was dead set on. She came back in a few days later and the manager called me over saying I sold the wrong computer to her, and that it can't play the games. I explained the situation to him and we returned the computer after a lot of yelling and accusing us of crippling the computer because she wouldn't spend more money. She left eventually and we haven't seen her since.

Xerouz60 karma

I worked for Best Buy for almost two years. I once had a customer come in looking for a computer to play games on. But she also wanted to edit videos on it. Bug to her, it wasn't anything too bad for a computer. So she figured the 250 dollar Toshiba would handle it just fine.

photonicgeek54 karma

People don't know what they need. You need to tell them what they need.

mudclog43 karma

This is retail. "The customer is always right" couldn't be more wrong. I hated it.

photonicgeek39 karma

It should be "The customer is told they're right so they don't leave a bad Yelp review."

ForObviousReaons28 karma

To be fair (and you clearly don't fall into this category), I have run into plenty of Best Buy employees who tell me things that are flat out wrong about hardware--trying to push me into pricier-but-not-necessarily-better options--and often without the real knowledge to back up their claims. It really rubs me the wrong way, coming from a computer repair & software development background because it's easy for me to see through these shoddy sales tactics whereas a less technical person could very easily be duped. To also be fair, I have met folks like yourself at BB that can have an honest conversation about a product.

photonicgeek12 karma

Some people do try to do that. We try discourage it if there is no need, because otherwise computers are returned more often.

iammandalore7 karma

I went to BBY with a gift card once with my wife, to get her a laptop. We ended up settling on a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga. The gift card was for $250 I think. We stood in line for a while, then, because it was taking so long, got shuffled to another line.

We stood behind this couple trying to buy an Apple laptop, not sure of the exact model. They argued and argued with the sales associate and manager. They were getting a student discount on the laptop, I believe, as well as a percentage off for signing up for a BBY credit card. I want to say this ended up bringing the price of the laptop down from about $1000 to $750 or so, and the manager knocked another $50 off just for kicks and giggles. Despite the steep discount, they continued arguing about how the laptop should be cheaper.

We got shuffled back to the first line and did our best to be polite, despite the huge wait time at that point. The manager brought us to the line personally and told the associate to give us another $50 off the laptop we were getting. The manager ended up handling our sale when the girl looked a little unsure how to do that. he also made sure we got Office 365 with her student email address and he threw in a $50 gift card.

And that's the story of how we got an $800 laptop and several movies for $500. As we left I'm pretty sure I heard the manager telling the couple that they were getting $300 off an Apple product and that was all they could do, and that if they thought they could get it cheaper elsewhere they were welcome to try.

So... I guess the moral of the story is: I'm sorry for people who work in retail.

photonicgeek3 karma

As long as you're nice to us, we're ok! :)

techknowAthena33 karma

So my friend worked there but was a rep for some specific company, and made commission selling those specific products (it was either Samsung or Apple, can't remember.)

  1. How can I tell between regular employees and people paid to push a certain brand on me?

  2. Are you guys required to talk to every costumer you see? I swear I can not go in there without every employee offering to sell me things or make me suggestions. (I'm very introverted so this 99% of the reason why I hate Best Buy lol)

photonicgeek50 karma

Regular employees have the shirt like in my verification photo. Dark blue and a silver name tag. Generally any other colors are brand specific people. Some don't even work for Best Buy! If they have their name stitched on to a dark blue shirt, they work in the back and they won't be able to help you much. Black shirts are the projects team, and they install display systems. They will ignore you if at all possible.

And yes, everyone is required to talk to every customer that comes in! Don't worry though. We don't bite!

fezir10824 karma

Also dress shirts and ties with name tags are worn by folks in the Magnolia high-end home theater department.

photonicgeek24 karma

Oh, right. I forgot! We don't have a Magnolia at our store.

DanzaTastic28 karma

Why does the geek squad take so long to have one small task done? I took my computer there a few years ago just for a diagnostic test, it sat for 2 days running with nothing done and they still charged me, it's irritating

photonicgeek47 karma

Depends on the store, and what they thought the problem was. Admittedly, Geek Squad isn't always the greatest at determining problems. For example (and I'm just using this to illustrate), if you brought it in for what seemed like a driver issue, but it was a problem with installed software that only happened occasionally, they would think they fixed it. The reason it takes a while is because they can have up to 20-30 computers in line in front of yours.

chiefos15 karma

This coupled with deep hardware scans taking 8 hours and diagnosing software problems can take 2 minutes to 5+ hours... Then running final virus scans and updating can take forever. Nowadays hopefully aju makes things better and it's easier to keep computers connected, but in my day there were a lot of doosies.

photonicgeek24 karma

A lot of people seem to think that they are the only one with a computer there, and that it should be done by the morning.

jedijew6926 karma

Im going to college as a freshman. Whats the best back to school laptop?

photonicgeek40 karma


  • Mac or PC
  • What do you want to use it for (web/email/gaming/etc)
  • What's your price range?

EDIT: Formatting

CynicalTree21 karma

Is it true that the markup on TV/Laptops is miniscule? I got a TV on sale on boxing day. It was marked down to $650 from $800. I was third in line and they didn't have the TV advertised in the flier do they marked it down to $400. Was that actually a really good deal?

photonicgeek39 karma

Definitely! Margin on laptops, desktops, tablets, TVs, etc. is tiny. Best Buy makes most of their money in accessories and such. Thus is the reason for $15 cables and $50 laptop bags.

Xytakis19 karma

A friend who used to work at Best Buy says y'all get to buy a lot of stuff at store cost. So hypothetically could you buy hdmi cables and then resell them for a profit?

photonicgeek42 karma

Yes, but you'll be fired if you're caught. Possibly sued. It's in the employment contract NOT to do that.

PogingPinoy19 karma

As an associate, what was the most weird customer experience that you had?

photonicgeek48 karma

I had two mail-order Russian bride customers. One was buying a laptop so they could Skype, and so he could learn Russian. The other brought her to the store to pick out her own $1000 computer. She didn't know English, and he didn't know Russian, so it was a pain getting through that sale.

intbah13 karma

Didn't know Washington is big on human trafficking

photonicgeek9 karma

Huh. I did not...

wwoodrum9 karma

I worked at Best Buy for over four years in Best Buy Mobile when it was considered a "Store within a store". There was a ton of favoritism there. I was the number 1 associate in profit, and GSBT attach rate in mobile in the district. Very often, I would clutch number 1 associate in the company.

I have seen some crazy shit there, for example: transferring media on porn star's mobiles, meeting a ton of celebs (baseball players, rappers, and country singers - I worked at two locations one being near Nashville, TN :D)

I was also called a racist and my general manager was black so I was forced to do a job I wasn't comfortable with. There with a guy who would scout local college campuses and pay students 100-200$ per phone to open new cell phone lines on a family plan. The students would get 3 lines, always the "free" iphones, and then never pay for the plan. They sell the phones to the guy who scouted them for some quick easy cash. I would refuse to service these students when they walked in the scam artist. When I refused he called me racist and my manager made me service them, although it hurts the company in the backend.

My questions for you would be:

1) Is there favoritism at your store, and how do you deal with it? (At my old store, managers dated or hung out with people that worked under them and then they end up getting promotions.) I understand it is against "HR" policy but when contacting HR they don't act.

2) What is the craziest customer you had in a store and howl were they handled?

Free advice: I turned down an internship with a large comapny to work for Best Buy full time because I thought the money was better at best buy. Don't be afraid to take chances, I took the second internship offer I had with a different company and while it was an initial paycut, I got a ton of experience and it landed me a full time career with the company I am with today as a Systems Engineer. Good luck friend.

photonicgeek6 karma

We don't really have favoritism here that I've noticed. Some people are preferred over others, but nothing of any consequence.

We had a customer harassing a man in a blue shirt and black pants thinking he worked at the store, but he didn't. He had to be escorted out by our big 6' 5" AP guy!

Thanks for the words of advice! I'm working on getting certifications I need to advance myself, as well as college!

russianheat8 karma

Have you met any celebrities?

photonicgeek52 karma

Not really. We're a smaller Best Buy, so not many people of high status come in.

EDIT: ACTUALLY! There was a developer from Bethesda that came in, and I asked about Fallout 4, my favorite series. (This was about 6 months ago) He said to "get ready". And that was it!

nc863id5 karma

Shaq came into my store once for some earbuds. His handler did all the talking.

I sold some gaming things to Dean Roland one time, which was cool because Collective Soul was one of my favorite bands growing up. I think they were for his nephew?

Oh, and Carl's dad (Coral!) bought a fridge from me. We got Walking Dead folks in all the time at our store. Probably still do, I just wouldn't know anymore.

They're just customers.

photonicgeek3 karma

We are in too small of an area to get big celebrities, unfortunately...

pollorojo8 karma

I'm a GS Home Theater Installer. Been with BBY almost 10 years (WAY longer than I expected). What state are you in?

photonicgeek9 karma

Washington state!

Ishuun5 karma

I actually just got hired as a beat buy merch specialist. Could you tell me as far as discounts I get and when I would get them? Since no one at my best buy likes to tell me anything. Not even my schedule

photonicgeek4 karma

it SHOULD be 30 days from when you start. That, and might help you...

roma16255 karma

Does anybody who works at Best Buy get commissions?

photonicgeek23 karma

Nope! All hourly pay! Except Managers. They're salaried.

rabbitburger11 karma

Plus bonuses for exceeding your sales goal.

photonicgeek7 karma

Those can be pretty nice!

roma16255 karma

Do you think that's good or bad? And why?

photonicgeek25 karma

I like hourly pay. It means a steady paycheck, and it means you guys aren't really pushed as much to get an expensive device you don't need.

Syberz6 karma

Double edged sword though, at my BB the staff knows that they get paid no matter what so they don't give a crap. Also, they don't feel like they need to know their products since their pay checks don't depend on it.

photonicgeek4 karma

The lack of product knowledge can be frustrating sometimes...

vNoblesseOblige4 karma

Do Best Buy employees make commission on items? Was in there to buy a camera last week and some dude was really really pushing us to buy a Canon over a Nikon. Bought the Nikon anyways, but later on he approached us and said Nikons not bad either

photonicgeek3 karma

Nah, no commission. He may just prefer Canon over Nikon personally.

daninacan1004 karma

what is your history on Counterfeit Coupons at best buy? Have people been fired over accepting these?

photonicgeek6 karma

I've never actually had a coupon while working at Best Buy, mostly because Best Buy doesn't really HAVE coupons. The ones we do have are a one-time use with a unique code for that specific customer.

ESO_Playdo3 karma

Do you work off a commission structure or get bonuses for sales?

photonicgeek14 karma

No comission, just an hourly rate. If we go over our sales goal for the store, we do get small bonuses.

legoing3 karma

Any fantastic sales going on that we should know about?

photonicgeek10 karma

if you have a .edu email, go to and they have some decent sales on stuff! Including $100 off a Mac, which is a really rare thing! Look for clearance laptops too. They're going to be cheap to make way for the Windows 10 Laptops, but they'll still get Windows 10 just the same!

Gimlet_son_of_Groin3 karma

apple store offers education pricing in store and online. not so rare.

photonicgeek6 karma

Yes, but this stacks on top of us matching apple's education discount. Apple offers a mac for $899.99 from $999.99? Add the coupon and make it $799.99. Bam. $200 off a Mac.

legoing3 karma

Very nice. Thank you for the info!

photonicgeek3 karma

I'm here to help! :)

Rhythmdvl3 karma

From a salesperson's perspective, what's the best way to receive a compliment? A letter to the store or to corporate? Quick paragraph with just the basics or a longer, more detailed letter?

photonicgeek5 karma

The surveys they send are generally the easiest because it is read by anyone at the store. Otherwise, just asking for the manager to tell them you had a good experience is great!

Lurkin_My_Gherkin3 karma

When I worked at the buy, 3 interactions made me immediately hate the person I was dealing with;

"What can you tell me about (product x)"

"What's the deal with this?"

"There's no price tag on it, it must be free"

I assume you still get those?

photonicgeek3 karma

Oh god, yes. It's awful. I also dread when they say "Can you help me with this?" "Yup!" and they just go silent till you make them tell you what they need.

Sovereign_Curtis3 karma

Over the average day, how often do you think to yourself "This is like working in a Blockbuster two years ago, I better update my resume..."?

photonicgeek4 karma

Best Buy is actually doing pretty well for itself! In large part due to the price matching we do now!

lenyung093 karma

  1. What is the most frustrating part of your job?
  2. What is something you have to constantly tell shoppers?
  3. How is work on a Black Friday sale?
  4. What was the worse crime that happened in your work place?
  5. Is working at Best Buy fun?
  6. What are the perks from working at Best Buy?
  7. Finally, why did you decide to work at Best Buy?

photonicgeek4 karma

  • Dealing with rude customers
  • Yes, there IS a reason you need a more powerful computer to run photoshop
  • Not all too bad, actually! at least at our store. Nobody expects help, we just point in the direction of stuff and they're on their way!
  • Just a bunch of theft. There was a $2500 Mac that went missing and we don't know what happened to it...
  • Not really. The best part is really the employee discount.
  • The employee discounts! Sometimes vendors will have a special "Get this $100 item for $25!" deal if you take a 5 minute training on it.
  • I decided to work there because it is a job to provide me with money while in college, and it was closest to the field I'm interested in.

alphabetcereal3 karma

When I drop off my old electronics to be recycled do they actually get recycled?

photonicgeek5 karma

Yup! They get boxed up and sent to a third-party that shreds it and sorts them into glass, metal, plastic, etc.

TastelessQuestion2 karma

What advantages do I have, when I buy an HDMI cable for $60 at Best Buy. Over the ones i can buy for $5 everywhere else?

photonicgeek3 karma

Nothing really. We make no money on tvs, computers, tablets, etc. we make money on accessories.

Rujumpin2 karma

So I guess you would consider yourself the Best Guy? (I have been waiting to use that one for literally 4 years)

photonicgeek1 karma

Here's you coat. Please show yourself out.


Wildkarrde_2 karma

What happens with merchandise that has been sitting on the shelf a while and needs to be replaced by new models?

photonicgeek3 karma

It used to be where we could sell the display model, but now if they're marked as "Live mocks" in the yellow tag, we can't sell them. They have to be sent back to the manufacturer.

Ashtok1 karma

Whenever I go into a Best Buy and need to speak to someone it's like every employee in the store is hiding from me. I will wander around and around and not find anyone. What's up with that?

photonicgeek1 karma

It depends on what time of day it is, and what day of the week. if it's a Tuesday in the middle of the day, it's possible that there just aren't many people scheduled at that time.