Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Last time, you read of my lack of compassion for Circuit City. Here are some examples of why I appreciate Best Buy.

1. Reward Zone program: I shop there already, and they have some of the best prices around, among the brick and mortar stores (giveaways with DVDs and games are bonuses). Why not join a program that gives you store gift certificates? I was a part of the program when it started in 2003, when it was pay-to-join, though I have never had to pay, as it was always comped for me (it’s free now, but the minimums are higher).

2. Private shopping events (for members): These are gimmicky, meant to get you into the store to buy something, usually big items like HDTVs, which I doubt anyone buys during these events. To entice members to show up, they give away stuff and gift cards in a raffle.

I attended my first event in August, not looking to buy anything, but as a way of killing a couple of hours one evening. I managed to score a pen and safety flashlight. Then right as I was about to leave, the Logitech representative found me and gave me a t-shirt, saying she wanted to find me and give me her last shirt because I was the only person to stop and talk to her. Everyone else just grabbed the shirt off the table and kept walking. She liked that I didn’t even try to take the free shirt the first time that she felt I deserved it. She was nice and said that my name is one of her favorites, but she was already taken.

The second event was a week ago. I got a free emergency battery-powered charger for showing up (first 50 people, but there weren’t even 40 people there), the kind with multiple tips for cell phones or other small electronic devices that can get a boost of emergency power from a single AA battery. Then I won a $50 gift card in the second raffle of the night (30 minutes after walking in). Since I didn’t want to buy anything at the time, I left, as there really couldn’t be any better result (no cute company reps were at this event). I already knew of three things to buy in the very near future.

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