Best Buy preorder experiences?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by shannonbrooke, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. shannonbrooke macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    West Palm Beach, FL
    After having the iPhone 4 for almost two years now, I am so ready to get my hands on the new iPhone and want to get it ASAP - so ofcourse, I want to preorder. I would rather preorder directly from Apple but I have enough money in Best Buy gift cards to cover the whole purchase. Also, earlier this year Best Buy sent me an email saying that if I enter my name and number on their website, I will get a $50 gift card if I upgrade with them in 2012. So that's really my only option. I have never preordered anything before so I want to know how the process works with BB before I know for sure if I should preorder. My questions to anyone who have ever ordered a smartphone from there is this...

    (a) I read that last year Best Buy changed their policy on preorders for the 4S saying it's first come, first serve and having a preorder doesn't guarantee you an iPhone on launch day, then apparently they changed it back? Is this true? How did the preorders go last year?
    (b) Do you have to pick it up from a Best Buy store on launch day or can it be shipped to you?
    (c) Everything I have read about Best Buy preorders talked about people going into the store to preorder. Is it possible to preorder online as well?
    (d) Can you pick up the iPhone from any Best Buy or does it have to be the one you preorder at?
    (e) I have read something about $50 gift cards in relation to preordering the iPhone 4S last year but I'm not sure if I'm understanding it correctly. Do you have to purchase a $50 BB gift card to be put on the preorder list? If this is the case and I have to go out of pocket, I'll probably wait since I am trying to save money for a vacay and the whole point of me getting the iPhone from Best Buy is to use the gift cards and not have to spend anything at all.
  2. nicknicknickh macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2011
    This would be a question that you may good get good(ish) answers on Macrumors, but it would be far more helpful to just call your local BestBuy. I would also call their toll free number and match up the facts your local BB gives you. Because not all staff are going to be 100% positive on your questions.
  3. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    I started a poll asking people where they plan to buy the next iPhone and only 17 (out of 330) indicated a big box store (I.e. Walmart, Target, Best Buy), so good luck b/c you might not get too many responses. :eek:
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I am pretty sure last year it was first come first serve, which you already mentioned. If you have a best buy and apple close to each other and you plan to camp out, I would go to the apple store first and check the line and then head over to best buy if it is long.
  5. drober30 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2007
    It's my opinion that Best Buy is not the best place to preorder.

    Preorders have been handled different from year to year and you are right that last year each store in my area of Michigan heard conflicting information and did not know what was going on.

    With that said, I'm ordering from Best Buy for the same reason you are. I have reward certificates and I traded in my old phones so I have Gift Cards.

    Just hope it goes smoother this year but the best place to order is Apple.
  6. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    During the iPhone 4 launch they did a true preorder. You said what model you wanted and they put you on a numerical list for that model and you received the phone once everyone before you on the list was fulfilled.
    However for the 4S, they change it to phone reserve. Where you are basically only getting them to call you when the phones come in and you may or may not be able to get it that day. I'm not sure how they justified the difference, there were a lot of angry customers last year and lots of confusion for the employees. I know that eventually after many complaints, some store went back to the true preorder model and set up activation appointments like they did for the 4.
    But either way, it seems like taking a chance. Also they were behind on getting white phones and sprint models. The best place to get you phone is from apple or preorder at the corporate carrier store. That's what I'm doing, preorder at AT&T.
  7. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    I've got an exchange so I'm locked into Best Buy for 1 of the 4 phones I'm getting this year. The more stories I read, I think I'll be getting the 1 lower cost phone (whatever the free or $100 iPhone ends up being) from Best Buy.
  8. shannonbrooke thread starter macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    West Palm Beach, FL
    That's why I asked here. I feel like noone at BB knows what they're talking about, and they probably won't know anything right now anyways since the iPhone has not been unveiled yet. Also, I wanted to see if people had good experiences with preordering from Best Buy. That's something Best Buy employees won't be able to tell me. :p


    Trust me, I know Best Buy isn't the "best buy" for ANYTHING, and I wouldn't expect it to be the best place to preorder the iPhone. But with all these gift cards I don't have much of a choice. Everything else I would buy on Amazon. Thanks for your response. Do you know anything about the $50 gift card I've been reading about from last year? You have to buy a $50 gift card to preorder or what...?
  9. meiskru macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2012
  10. shannonbrooke thread starter macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Thanks meiskru, I did end up preordering at Best Buy and it went smoothly so far. I got there 15 minutes before they opened. I was fourth in line, and they let us in and started taking preorders before the store was supposed to open at 10:00. The process was quicker than I expected, however they didn't set up an appointment with me. Sigh. Hopefully I'll still be able to get an appointment on Friday. But...last year you say you went to Best Buy three hours before they opened to pick up your phone? Why is that necessary if your phone was reserved for you? Am I missing something?
  11. pdutta2000 macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2008
    I Pre-ordered from Best Buy. I didn't get an appointment either but I'm figuring they'll call to schedule one once the stock comes in. They did say that putting the Pre-order in guarantees you a phone from their initial allocation. That only helps though if they get enough phones to get to you. If you're number 20 and they get 10 phones it's not happening. I look at this as a backup plan. I'll still hunt around on launch day and see what happens. Everything at best buy can be cancelled/returned so no harm if find a phone somewhere else.
  12. bsquared397 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2012
    Check this forum out!

    So I preordered from BB as well and I have been asking questions on this BB thread: I suggest checking it out, and a BB employee has been answering everyone's questions. From my understanding, on launch day, they take all the preorders for a specific model and put them aside with your name on them. You then have 3 days to pick up the device. All of the rest in the batch will be sold to the public. Also, the employee was saying that Sprint had contract issues with BB last year, and that there should be no delay for Sprint iPhones in Best Buy store. Read the thread, and good luck!
  13. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    I had issues with my pre-order of the 4s last year where they didn't call me, but they contacted my friend who ordered after me at the same store for the exact same model. I had to wait for the next shipment and got a gift card out of it because they messed up.

    I went ahead and pre-order the 5 and will see how it turns out. I noticed that I got an e-mail confirming my pre-order and was told that if I didn't receive an e-mail confirming my phone's arrival by the 21st, then to call the store that day. We will see how it goes, but it looks to be better this time around.
  14. HazyCloud macrumors 68030


    Jun 30, 2010
    I preordered the 32 White AT&T version last year at my local BB. I was second in line to preorder and when launch day came around, they didn't even get my model in. I ended up driving 20 minutes to another location that had one 64 White in stock and purchased that one.

    This year I wasn't willing to take that risk again so I just ordered it from Apple. Of course YMMV, but it seems preorders at BB aren't guaranteed.
  15. meiskru macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2012
    Last year when I was searching online regarding how Best Buy's preorder process worked, I found that different stores were saying different things to different people, and didn't want to take the chance. Some people were saying that the preorder only guaranteed a phone from the second shipment, and the first shipment was for the people standing in line. So release day, those with preorders in line got them first, then those hoping to buy one on the spot. Then, when the second shipment came in, those with "reservations" would get a phone. So, just in case that was true, I went and waited in line. But I'm sure different stores have different policies--was just lucky that my store had a process in place that made sense.
  16. mzd macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2005
    i went in today and this is what i was told as well.
  17. appswipe macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2012
    Last year was a disaster for many people when stock didnt come in on time (I ended up having to go to the Apple Store), but this year should be much better...maybe.

    Anyway, Im doing Best Buy again for a few reasons:
    1) 60 day return policy for Reward Zone Silver (30 for regular)
    2) 2yrs to pay it off on BB credit card
    3) Reward Zone points (enough to buy Avengers in 3D)
    4) Shorter lines than Apple Store (but less competent teenagers)
    5) Best Buy Trade In is fairly competitive considering how flooded the resale market is.

    Im trading in two 4S 32GB. That should just about be enough to cover two iPhone 5 32GB + Activation Fees. So im hoping they dont screw it up again.
  18. shannonbrooke, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    shannonbrooke thread starter macrumors member

    May 4, 2011
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Thanks, that helps with the confusion. Sounds great to me considering I was 4th in line and ordered a popular model (white 16GB AT&T), looks like I'll be getting one on launch day. :D

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