By Jim Donovan: Best Buy says it has authorized its store staffers to match online prices of competitors in some cases as it heads into the holiday season. Notice the words “in some cases”?

Best Buy’s online price matching program isn’t absolute.

Spokeswoman Amy von Walter says it applies to appliances and electronics and will be given on an “if asked” basis at the discretion of Best Buy staffers on the sales floor.

Best Buy and others already offer price-matching guarantees for local competitors’ brick-and-mortar stores. But stores don’t usually match online prices, since those tend to be lower.

But competition from online merchants like Amazon and other discount stores is expected to be fierce during the crucial holiday period — when a retailer can make up to 40 percent of annual sales.

Brick and mortar stores are trying to combat against what has been called “showrooming.” That’s when shoppers look around at the products in the store, but then head online to sites like Amazon to actually buy the product.

Just so that you know, the Best Buy Price Match offer is valid Nov. 4 to Nov. 17 and Nov. 27 to Dec. 24.


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