Open-Box is the Best Buy

Best Buy Open Box
  • Best Buy’s Open-Box deals are the truly the best buys, especially on top of a sale or clearance, as the discount is even deeper.
  • Online¬†Open-Box deals at offer free shipping, which is sometimes an option in case the open-box item is not at a store near you.
  • “Certified” or “Excellent” condition open-box deals are almost like new and represent the best value.
  • We cite some examples savings of up to 36%-45% from original retail.
  • Tips for snatching these open-box deals: Quantities are limited. Timing is everything, so act fast. Add to shopping cart and checkout immediately. If it does not meet your expectations, you can return the item to your local Best Buy store for a full refund within 15 days.

Shopping for a new computer? A new home theater receiver? You don’t want to pay full price, and love a bargain? So we’ve got something in common, ha! If you like buying from Best Buy either in-store or on-line, you’ll like this…

In our experience, we have found that at Best Buy, the Open-Box deals are truly the best buys. Here is an example: a previous-year model iMac 27″ all-in-one desktop computer originally retailed for $2000. A brand-new iMac in a factory-sealed box is on clearance/sale for $1500 (25% off), while an open-box “excellent” condition is only $1275 (total of 36% off). In comparison, Amazon was offering it for $1800 (10% off) with free shipping.

iMac 27"
iMac 27″ open-box deal is $725 off or 36% below original retail price

Here’s another example: a previous-year’s model MacBook 12″, originally retailed for $1600, is on clearance/sale price for Labor Day 2017 for $1100 (31% off). The Open-Box deal is for $880 (an unheard of 45% off for an almost new Apple product!). See the screen shot below.

iMac 27" deal at Best Buy during Labor Day 2017
Apple MacBook 12″ laptop Open-Box deal at Best Buy during Labor Day 2017.
What Is Open-Box Merchandise?

Open-box merchandise are items returned by customers for various reasons. Most often, it did not meet their needs or expectations. These non-defective items are then “put back on the shelf” so to speak at a discount, usually about 10%-15% off from the new retail price, depending on the item, brand, etc. In terms of condition, Best Buy rates their Open-Box merchandise as follows.

Best Buy Open Box ratings
Best Buy Open-Box ratings

We find that Open-Box “Excellent” deals to be the sweet spot. We have not noticed much difference in condition between Open-Box Excellent-“Certified” vs. just “Excellent”. It seems like a fair amount of care was taken to re-package the “Excellent” merchandise as would the “Certified”. Maybe more testing and cleaning went into the later.

We usually shy away from “Satisfactory” or “Fair” condition merchandise. Usually when the merchandise comes back from the previous customer that way, it is usually not a good sign that it was well cared for during its first “tour”. We would stay away from from these items, as their could be hidden issues.

What Should You Expect in an Open-Box Deals?

First, all Open-Box merchandise come with the manufacturer’s original factory warranty, starting from the day you pick it up in-store or the day it arrived if shipped from an online purchase. This is just like a new product in a factory-sealed box. Nice.

Limited quantities. Sometimes there are a few items. Many times, there is just one item available at the “Excellent” condition. So you will have to act quickly.

Color choices, or lack thereof. When a product is offered in multiple colors, chances are the color of your first choice is not available as an open-box deal. If you’re flexible with color choices, you’ll increases your chances of securing a great deal.

For the “Excellent” condition box, expect the factory box seal to be broken. After all, the previous customer did buy this, took it home, and opened the box. All of the original packaging are usually intact and in its proper place as if new. The plastic bag covering electronic item has been re-packaged, not factory fresh. Power cord/adapters have been opened and the cord may not be re-packaged perfectly as new. All parts and accessories that come with the original product should be included. There may be a few fingerprints, especially on component surfaces that are fingerprint magnets. A simple wipe with a slightly moist microfiber towel will take care of it. Otherwise, does the cosmetic condition really matter, over the long term, especially if the full factory warranty is still valid?

Tips for Snatching These Deals

If you enjoy the discount, and don’t mind the extra effort of “the hunt” associated with great deals, here’s how to maximize your chances of success:

  1. Be the Early Bird: You know what they say, “the early bird gets the worm”. As open-box deals are limited to re-packaged returned merchandise, quantities are very limited.
  2. Navigate to the item you want, if there are open-box items available, Next to the yellow “Add to Cart” button, there is a red font “OPEN-BOX” Buying Options. Click on that. The page will scroll down and expand to show the Open-Box deals available.

    Step #2. Click on the OPEN-BOX offers.
    Step #2. Click on the OPEN-BOX offers.
  3. Look for the Open-Box “Excellent” deal. If available, it will either offer you “Free Shipping” from the store that has the open-box merchandise, or “Check Store” if it has to be picked up in person. The latter will require you to confirm your zip code so it can check inventory if nearby stores. If merchandise in “Excellent” condition is not available, the deal won’t even show up.

    Open-Box buying options
    Open-Box buying options – look for the “Excellent” condition deal
  4. Add it your cart, and checkout immediately. Don’t ponder. Don’t continue shopping for other items Check. Out. Immediately! Why? Because, another customer can snatch the open-box deal right from under you if they checkout and pay for it before you. It’s first come, first to check out. Many times, Best Buy only has a few or just one item for that price across the nation. Trust us, as we have learned the hard way. We dilly daddled and left the open-box item in our shopping cart for too long. Without warning, the item shown in our shopping art unilaterally changes to the next open-box deal available along with the higher price. In our case, the “Excellent” open-box item was replaced with a more expensive deal for a “Certified” open-box item, and on occasion, to a brand-new item priced accordingly. What did we say in Tip #1? Be the Early Bird.
  5. Do You Homework Ahead of Time: It helps if you know what you want already and have already done your research. Because of the very limited quantities, you will not have time to do research in real time.
  6. Return Policy: Best Buy’s standard return policy applies to open-box merchandise. For most items it is 15 days. The clock starts ticking when you pay and pick up the item in-store, or the day it is received if shipped from an on-line purchase. Be sure to save and print out the emails that show your purchase and shipping received dates in case you need to return the merchandise.

If you act, chances are you’ll be able to secure a great deal. While you want for the item to arrive just day dream about the savings.

Personal Anecdote

We have bought numerous Apple products
as open-box items from Best Buy.
These include two MacBook Pro 13″ laptops
and one MacBook Air 13″ for our three kids for college.
And just a few months ago, we bought a iMac 27″
for ourselves – the first open-box example cited above.
Sorry, if you were looking at the same time,
we were the ones who took that item off the market. ūüėČ

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