Best Buy’s New $ 200 / Year Membership Locks PS5, Hot Holiday Items Behind Membership
If you’re still in the market for a PS5 and you’re a Best Buy customer, your ship might just have arrived, that is, if you’re willing to spend an extra $ 200 a year on to access.
That’s because the big-box electronics retailer is blocking a stock of high-demand holiday items, like Sony’s console, behind joining its new Totaltech program. The expensive customer service package was recently rolled out nationwide.
The $ 200 annual service, which offers perks such as 24-hour technical support, up to two years of protection on Best Buy purchases (including AppleCare + insurance, which can cost him $ 200 only) and reduced prices for members, offers exclusive benefits. access to “the season’s hardest to find products” as a bonus holiday perk, the company said in a statement. Best Buy’s retail site had the $ 500 disc player model available for Totaltech members to purchase Monday morning, with the consoles closed behind an “exclusive access event” payment wall. Instead of instantly selling out, its inventory lasted anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours, a relatively freezing selling pace compared to the insane demand for the material that consumers have faced since it hit stores last November.
VIP … scalping fees?
While the PS5 listing page directly stated Totaltech membership exclusivity while the hardware was still available, its seemingly unrelated VIP purchasing privileges are nowhere listed on membership benefits. and the program’s FAQ pages. We wouldn’t be shocked to see other highly sought-after products affected by the chip shortage following the Totaltech lawsuit, particularly high-end PC GPUs and Xbox Series X / S consoles.
The service replaces a “Best Buy Beta” program that was tested in select markets from April. The beta seemed to target a more generalized range of benefits rather than one focused on tech support and protection, and it notably didn’t offer special member-only events to purchase electronics in limited stock. The company’s free My Best Buy membership, which sometimes includes exclusive discounted sales, is not affected.
For some consumers, the Totaltech package could be a worthwhile investment. In addition to its 24/7 Geek Squad technical support and private concierge services, it offers a number of other bonuses. These include free shipping and installation (maybe useful if you’re looking for multiple wall-fill high-definition OLED TVs), a 60-day extended return and exchange window for purchases, and Access to “Member Monday,” a weekly Amazon Prime Day-style discount event that begins October 18 and runs for “select weeks” until the holidays.
Since the AppleCare + extended warranty includes coverage for two accidental damage every 12 months, service discounts and coverage all Apple device purchased through Best Buy, customer mileage may vary based on technological taste. However, if at the end of the standard two-year contract you wish to extend this insurance service, it will not be covered by membership in Totaltech. Buyers now take responsibility for its recurring payments.
There isn’t much precedent for categorically preventing average customers from purchasing discounted consumer electronics. In 2017, Amazon offered an exclusive edition of Motorola’s Moto E4 Plus mobile phone only to Prime members. However, this was just a variant that added ads to its lock screen in exchange for a reduced price. Customers can also still purchase an unlocked, ad-free Standard Edition of the device from the retailer without a Prime subscription.
Likewise, GameStop is offering early access to purchase a PS5 or Xbox Series X with its $ 15-20 annual subscription to PowerUp Rewards Pro. But these packages, which typically cost around $ 700, usually come with a selection of two games and an additional controller for the same price as the Totaltech subscription plus a PS5 disc model.
But for anyone who isn’t interested in support services and just wants to buy a PS5 or possibly one of the hottest tech products currently impossible to find, Best Buy’s new program arguably gives it looking slightly better than a corporate scalper.