The Tech News Blog

November 28, 2014

Best Buy Website Hit by Black Friday Outage

Generic Black Friday-Best Buy

The IT guy at Best Buy is probably not having a very good day.

On Friday morning, went offline and displayed a "We're Sorry, currently unavailable. Check back soon" notice. Website outages do happen, of course, but today is Black Friday, typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year, so any downtime likely means millions down the toilet.

As of press time, the site had been down for at least 30 minutes. On the @BestBuySupport Twitter feed, the account frantically tweeted a message at people discussing the outage: "We are aware of this issue and working to correct it asap. Please check back in a few minutes."

As the outage downtime grew longer, however, Best Buy started urging customers to "check back later" rather than "in a few minutes."

Best Buy Black Friday OutageBest Buy shoppers on Twitter reported being in the process of checking out when the outage hit. Some tried calling customer service, but that is unsurprisingly jammed at the moment.

Last year, Best Buy's holiday revenue was down slightly compared to 2012. In January, Hubert Joly, Best Buy president and CEO, said that those revenues were negatively impacted by aggressive Black Friday campaigns from rivals, supply constraints for key products, a decline in store traffic as the holiday season went on, and a disappointing mobile market.

This is not the first Black Friday gaffe for the company, though. In 2011, the store failed to deliver online orders made in November and December, including some Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday deals, in time for holiday gift-giving.

UPDATE: Best Buy tweeted around 11:30 a.m. ET that its site was back online, after approximately 1.5 hours offline.

November 11, 2014

Best Buy Black Friday Deals Previewed

Best Buy Black Friday Like other big box retailers, Best Buy doesn't mess around on Black Friday.

A day after Target tipped details of its 2014 Black Friday promotion, Best Buy has followed suit, announcing deals on iPads, TVs, Beats headphones, GoPro cameras, and other hot gadgets.

More than 1,000 Best Buy stores in 47 states will officially open their doors to holiday deal hunters on Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m. local time. Nearly all the stores will stay open until 1 a.m. on Black Friday (Nov. 28).

Stores will then re-open at 8 a.m. local time on Black Friday and close at 10 p.m. that day. The electronics retailer will begin selling "doorbuster" deals at 5 p.m. on Thursday before offering a second set of different doorbusers at 8 a.m. on Friday.

"Customers have already begun lining up outside of some Best Buy stores in preparation," the company said in a news release.

Best Buy's Black Friday deals include:

  • A Best Buy exclusive Samsung 55-inch LED Ultra HD Smart TV for $899.99.
  • Panasonic 50-inch LED 1080p HDTV for $199.99, a Best Buy exclusive
  • $100 off on all iPad Air 2 models
  • Beats Solo headphones for $79.99, a savings of $90
  • GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition action camera for $249.99, a $50 savings
  • Nest Learning Thermostat for $199.99, a savings of $50
  • The Dyson DC44 origin cordless stick bagless vacuum for $219.99, $180 off the regular price of $399.99.
  • Select PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games will be 50 percent off and available for $29.99, including NBA 2K15, Madden 15, and FIFA 15

Note that Best Buy stores in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will not open until Black Friday because of laws in those states. Stores in Maine will open at 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday, while those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will open at 1 a.m.

If you don't feel like braving the crowds, Best Buy will also be running online-only doorbusters all day on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Meanwhile, Target is also running Black Friday deals on some of this season's hottest gadgets, including the Apple iPad, Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4, and GoPro Hero 3+.

June 11, 2014

Pebble Steel Coming to Best Buy June 15

Pebble Steel

The Pebble Steel smartwatch will arrive in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile retail stores in the United States on June 15, as well as being made available on

Pebble also partnered with Best Buy in 2013 for the first retail availability of its original, eponymous smartwatch. Now Pebble Steel, which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, will also be sold by the big box electronics retailer starting Saturday, in either a Brushed Stainless or Black Matte finish with a black leather strap and priced at $229.

Brushed Stainless and Black Matte Pebble Steel watchbands will be coming to Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores at a later date as accessories for the premium smartwatch, Pebble said.

"Pebble's first smartwatch, which was launched exclusively at Best Buy, made a big splash with consumers last year. This is technology that people want to test and try before buying, so we're happy to partner with Pebble again and bring the same exclusive opportunity to our customers for Pebble Steel," Best Buy spokesperson Carly Charlson said in a statement.

April 13, 2014

Dell, Microsoft, Best Buy Offer XP Trade-In Discounts

Dell Inspiron 3000-series

If you need to upgrade from Windows XP, but don't want to jump to Windows 8 just yet, Dell has a deal on a Windows 7 desktop.

As part of an Easter Sale, Dell is offering the Inspiron 3000-series with Windows 7 pre-installed for $599.99, after $150 on-site instant savings. Add coupon code HDB?TLKS7SXTMM to get another $50 off for a final price of $549.99 and a total of $200 (27 percent) in savings.

This Inspiron 3000-series sports a fourth-generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 1TB hard drive with two memory slots. The minitower desktop comes pre-installed with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium and MY Dell, a support tool that continually provides valuable information about the PC. Other features include an Intel HD integrated graphics card, tray load DVD drive, and an integrated 8-in-1 media card reader.

November 18, 2013

Best Buy, Sprint Offer Students Free Year of Service

Best Buy Samsung Experience Shop

If you're a student in the market for a new phone, Sprint has an early holiday gift for you.

The carrier has teamed up with Best Buy to offer students 12 months of free talk, text, and data. The promotion, which offers a savings of up to $70 per month for smartphones and $50 a month for basic phones, is available exclusively at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide staring today through Jan. 4.

To qualify for the deal, you'll need to buy a qualifying Sprint phone at the Student Activated Price with a new line of service on an Unlimited, My Way plan. The list of eligible phones includes the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for $749.99, 16GB iPhone 5s for $699.99, LG G2 for $599.99, and HTC One for $599.99, among others. Besides the cost of the phone, you'll be responsible for a one-time $36 activation fee and monthly taxes and surcharges.

The plan includes unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data for smartphones or unlimited talk and text for basic phones and does not require a two-year agreement on student lines. If 1GB isn't enough, you can upgrade to unlimited data for $10 per month.

November 13, 2013

Best Buy Reveals Black Friday Deals on iPad, Kindle, More

Best Buy Samsung Experience Shop

Earlier this week, Best Buy announced that it will open at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day, and now the big box retailer has provided a sneak peek at what will actually be on sale.

Best Buy promised three waves of doorbuster deals: 6 p.m., midnight, and 10 a.m. on Black Friday. Midnight mystery doorbusters will be posted online at 10 p.m. on Nov. 28. Tickets will be handed out to those on line up to two hours before doors open.

What can you get? According to Best Buy's Black Friday circular, the new iPad Air (16GB Wi-Fi) will get a $50 discount. Buyers can also save $100 on the iPad 2; get the 16GB Wi-Fi version for $299 (the same price as the first-gen iPad mini).

Best Buy is also offering $50 off the 32GB fifth-gen iPod touch, $15 off the Apple TV, and a $20 discount on an Apple AirPort Extreme Wireless Base Station. The new iPhone 5c will also get a $52 discount to $48 with a two-year contract on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.

November 11, 2013

Best Buy ‘Black Friday’ Deals Begin at 6pm on Thanksgiving

best buy 275

Better chow down early on Thanksgiving if you want to take advantage of Best Buy's Black Friday deals. The big box retailer plans to open at 6 p.m. local time on Nov. 28.

More than 1,000 Best Buy stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving in 47 states and remain open until 10 p.m. local time on Black Friday, Nov. 29.

Laws in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island mean stores in those states will not open until Black Friday. Stores in Maine and Massachusetts (and Puerto Rico) will open at midnight, while Rhode Island stores will open their doors at 1 a.m. Stores located in malls, meanwhile, might have different opening times based on local laws, so it's best to check with your store before wolfing down your turkey and stuffing and heading out to shop.

The 6 p.m. opening time is six hours earlier than last year's midnight opening. "Last year, millions of people made it clear that they wanted to shop on Thanksgiving evening," Best Buy said in a statement. "Given this trend, the company designed this year's holiday plan with a variety of shopping options, including multiple doorbuster deals throughout the night on Thanksgiving and into the morning on Black Friday."

October 11, 2013

Get Free iPhone 5c With Best Buy $100 Trade-In Deal

iPhone 5C

Starting Saturday, Best Buy will be offering a limited-time trade-in smartphone deal for a free iPhone 5c or $99 iPhone 5s on contract.

The deal is running at all Best Buy stores and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores in the U.S. from Oct. 13 to 19, with select Best Buy Mobile stores kicking off the offer today.

Customers who bring in "any working smartphone" will be eligible for an upgrade and receive $100 of in-store credit towards a 16GB iPhone 5c or 16GB iPhone 5s with contract. Those with phones valued at more than $100 will receive an additional amount in the form of a gift card, Best Buy said.

Eligible phones "must power on, be free from water damage, and screen cracks," the retailer said. Best Buy currently sells the 16GB version of the iPhone 5s for $199.99 with a carrier contract, and the 16GB iPhone 5c for $99.99 with a contract.

If stores don't have the desired model of Apple's new smartphone in stock at the time of the trade-in, Best Buy said it will offer rain checks.

October 4, 2013

Buy iPhone 5c at Best Buy, Get $50 Gift Card

iPhone 5C

If you've got your eye on Apple's colorful iPhone 5c, you might want to head over to Best Buy this weekend.

The big box retailer is offering a free $50 gift card when you buy an iPhone 5c with a two-year carrier agreement. This 5c costs $99.99 for the 16GB model while the 32GB version is $150.

If your eyes just lit up, you better act fast to take advantage of this offer. The deal started yesterday and runs through Monday, Oct. 7.

The promotion is only available when you purchase the device in one of Best Buy's physical retail stores, or use the in-store pickup option, according to the fine print. The gift card sadly cannot be put towards the iPhone 5c purchase, but can be used for future transactions at Best Buy.

The deal comes after Best Buy slashed the price of the iPhone 5 in half during the Labor Day weekend for customers trading in a working iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

August 29, 2013

Best Buy Serves Up Half-Off iPhone 5 Trade-In Deal

iPhone 5

Best Buy is slashing the price of an iPhone 5 in half for customers bringing in a working iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S during a promotion this Labor Day weekend.

The retail giant's trade-in deal starts on Friday and runs through Monday, Sept. 2. Best Buy is offering "at least 50 percent off" the standard purchase price of both 16GB and 32GB iPhone 5s to customers bringing in their older models to trade in, Best Buy said.

The hitch—customers will have to sign two-year contracts with either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon to take advantage of the deal.

Apple is expected to unveil its next iPhone on Sept. 10 with signs pointing towards Cupertino's latest smartphone being released in the U.S. on Sept. 20, so Best Buy may be getting a jump on clearing out its iPhone 5 inventory in anticipation of the next device arriving.

Customers purchasing a $199, 16GB iPhone 5 after trading in an iPhone 4 or 4S will receive a "guaranteed minimum $100 trade-in credit," dropping the price to $99. Those opting for the $299, 32GB version get at least $150 knocked off the price when they activate their new phone, meaning they'll be paying $149 for the handset.