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Best Buy Complains About Walmart's iPhone 5 Holiday Sale, Claims $65,000 Profit Loss in One Day

The Wall Street Journal notes that several retailers including Best Buy and Toys "R" Us have complained to attorneys general in a handful of states about advertising practices of Walmart. Generally, the complaints stem from comparison ads by Walmart in which competitors assert that Walmart is using inaccurate pricing or non-equivalent items to claim that it offers the lowest pricing.


But Best Buy also alleges that Walmart was deceptive with its iPhone 5 holiday sale in which it dropped pricing to $127, although the article quotes $150 pricing.
Best Buy said it lost about $65,000 in profit the day Wal-Mart's promotion first ran on Facebook, because it was compelled to match Wal-Mart's advertised $150 price, even though it concluded that Wal-Mart didn't actually have a sufficient number of iPhones available.
Walmart claims that it did have sufficient stock of the iPhone 5, quoting 98% availability at its stores carrying the device. Walmart had noted as the sale launched that it was working closely with Apple on the promotion and was securing significant numbers of iPhones, but that the sale was first-come, first-served with no rain checks offered at stores where the device was out of stock.

Best Buy had already been selling the iPhone 5 for $149.99 when Walmart announced its own sale, but it is unclear if Best Buy used the $73 difference from regular price or $23 difference from Best Buy's sale price in calculating its profit loss. Assuming the latter, Best Buy would have price matched on approximately 2800 iPhone 5 sales in one day.

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
Sounds like a bunch of whining to me.
Rating: 42 Votes
24 months ago
awww Poor Best Buy

NOT

Bunch of clueless goof balls run Best Buy. Trying to sell Monster cables and Bose junk. And their extended warrantee.

The sales reps have no idea what they are actually talking about, and considering their geek squad is run by idiots, I don't like BB.
Rating: 30 Votes
24 months ago

Wish amazon would put BB out of business already.


They won't have to, BB is bleeding cash and losing customers every month now.

The founder is trying to buy the company and go private but the board thinks BB is worth a lot more, so as BB bleeds and becomes devalued, the founder is getting the company cheaper by the month, however they can not compete with Amazon and Apple directly. I have never heard one good Geek Squad story, and I warn people not to get it.

They have become a showcase for people to look and see the products and then buy them online or somewhere else cheaper.
Rating: 17 Votes
24 months ago
We are suppose to care because...

Besides 68,000 is a drop in a bucket of multi-billion dollar gouging sales during the year
Rating: 16 Votes
24 months ago
um... Best Buy, you are apparently allowed to be called BEST BUY. As your name. All the time.
Suck it up!
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Great job, Walmart!
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Wow....I NEVER thought I'd see the day where MR users were running to Walmart's defense of discounting Apple products.....or maybe it's just the fun the mob has piling on whoever the target of the day is.

When the original Walmart post came out, it was filled with smarmy remarks about Walmart customers and how they were unworthy to sell your beloved Apple products.

Now some of you are championing competition....even though Apple clearly envokes strict price controls on almost everyone who sells their equipment.

The hypocrisy of this site is a trip.....

If we want competition, then truly open it up and let resellers sell Apple gear for any price they choose. Otherwise spare me the economics lessons Best Buy needs to learn about competition.
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Best Buy needs to concentrate on remaking their business or they won't be around to see 2014.
Rating: 14 Votes
24 months ago
Wish amazon would put BB out of business already.
Rating: 13 Votes
24 months ago
As if Best Buy never advertises items for sale they only have 1-2 of?

Oh please. And Best Buy decided to price match during the holidays with their new policy. No one forced them to.

Maybe if Best Buy provided superior customer service people would still buy there.

As for Toys R Us - they are a complete mess. They should worry more about their infrastructure, customer service and empowering their employees vs a sale on iPhones.
Rating: 13 Votes

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