Fry Electronics selling refurbished items without telling customer?!

determined09

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2009
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Hello Everyone,

My Father was telling me the other the day that when you see items that are only at Fry's Electronics and nowhere else that they are refurbished items. I just thought that they were from a previous generation item. So, does Fry Electronics sell refurbished items without telling their customers?
 

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
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Vilano Beach, FL
Items unique to Frys or Best Buy, or wherever may simple be unique SKUs for that chain. It's a common practice in retail, and it doesn't have anything to do with the products being refurb. I HIGHLY doubt a $2B/year company like Frys would put themselves at risk by secretly reselling refurbs as new.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
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Items unique to Frys or Best Buy, or wherever may simple be unique SKUs for that chain. It's a common practice in retail, and it doesn't have anything to do with the products being refurb. I HIGHLY doubt a $2B/year company like Frys would put themselves at risk by secretly reselling refurbs as new.
Yes. They do custom SKUs to make it harder for people to do price matches.

Also super common for those door buster Black Friday deals. This is to prevent people from buying things early and then asking for the price difference back.
 
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A.Goldberg

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Jan 31, 2015
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As @D.T. stated most big retail chains have chain specific models to minimize cross shopping between stores. It happens or only with electronics, but also appliances and clothing.

If you're ordering online you have to be careful of all these stupid stores that now market 3rd party vendors. You might think you're ordering from Best Buy or Staples or Walmart, but you're actually ordering from someone else through the retailers website. I'm not sure why companies do this. Maybe they're trying to be like Amazon, but they don't seem to be very good at pulling it off.

If Fry's selling refurbished goods as new, that's a big legal issue for them. I doubt they'd expose themselves to that. I doubt there would be enough refurb goods in the world to fully stock a large chain like that without running into serious shortage issues.
 

zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
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What you guys have never bought anything from bestbuy that seemed like it was opened before? I know I have.
 
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BernyMac

macrumors regular
May 18, 2015
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USA
Hello Everyone,

My Father was telling me the other the day that when you see items that are only at Fry's Electronics and nowhere else that they are refurbished items. I just thought that they were from a previous generation item. So, does Fry Electronics sell refurbished items without telling their customers?
Why do we constantly do this on the forum, and we don't do it with our friends and relatives in real life:

Did you ask your father where he got this information and can he cite a source? :D:D:D
 
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determined09

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2009
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Why do we constantly do this on the forum, and we don't do it with our friends and relatives in real life:

Did you ask your father where he got this information and can he cite a source? :D:D:D
I was always told in high school and college there are no dumb questions.

I've had relatives and friends ask me questions about various things. I just figured that they don't know. Because I was also taught that if you don't know answers that you should ask questions for your own understanding.
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
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What you guys have never bought anything from bestbuy that seemed like it was opened before? I know I have.
That's a separate issue than what OP is talking about, which is about unique models sold nowhere else. He suspected that unique model numbers with slight changes were secret refurbs. But in fact they are new items and the unique SKUs allow retailers to prevent price matching, as already mentioned.

It's not always anti-consumer. For example it is also used to sell a product at a lower price than minimum adverted pricing agreements would normally allow.
 
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BernyMac

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May 18, 2015
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Items unique to Frys or Best Buy, or wherever may simple be unique SKUs for that chain. It's a common practice in retail, and it doesn't have anything to do with the products being refurb. I HIGHLY doubt a $2B/year company like Frys would put themselves at risk by secretly reselling refurbs as new.
I believe Best Buy uses Insignia as their house brand. I don't know what brand Fry's uses as their house brand.
 
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Zenithal

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Sep 10, 2009
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My Fry's and ones I've been to in other western states will have a bright colored sticker that says "REFURBISHED" on them and "OPEN BOX" for opened and returned items.


My Fry's price matches to the item name. Never the SKU. That must be an east cost thing. I've been to about 4 Fry's on the west coast and they all price match to name, but it must be sold by a competitor and only that; no third parties. "Shipped and sold by Amazing, Sold by NewEgg, etc." or other stores. If you order online, you must email them with an online listing and wait a few weeks. If you buy an item in store and later find it cheaper elsewhere, like I did last year, you can take the receipt in and a print out or bring it up on your phone or ask the cashier to look it up, and they'll adjust the difference. Often crediting a credit card, even if the item was bought in cash.

This happened to me last September and just last week again. I was distracted and it never crossed my mind why the salesman was so excited to help me out. The up-marking they do benefits the sales person who sells you a high price item. There was a $30 difference last week and last years was around $170 or so.

Fry's, Best Buy, Staples, et al. will carry different named products, though. They will still price match if you can prove it's the same item. An example would be Asus routers. Something like an Asus A95U and an Asus A95R would be the same thing, the U would be Universal and the R would Retail. Call me a dick if you must, but if someone salesman tries to push that they're two different units, I simply tell them "So you won't mind if I contact Asus US and your company's HQ and ask them to resolve the issue, right, [insert name]?"

Usually shuts their trap and they're happy to oblige. It's a PR nightmare simply because they're the same product and a third party examination of the hardware would confirm it. Easier to eat the price difference than loss of business when they get blasted in the press.


Years ago, Best Buy and Fry's, to an extent, had a trick up their sleeve. Best Buy would price match if asked to, but they used an internal site with fudged numbers. This was before smart phones were common place. The bulk of Fry's consumers are prosumer individuals wanting the best hardware and products (your locations may differ). Fry's was there after Radio Shack stopped giving a damn about their specialist customers in the late 1980s. Fry's has since and still picks up the slack other companies can't.
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What you guys have never bought anything from bestbuy that seemed like it was opened before? I know I have.
It does happen. I tend to examine boxes for several minutes on each side to see if anything's wrong. Might be a small crease where one would never be able to produce without opening the box, or misalligned tape where it shouldn't be, incorrect taping not seen with that company's standards, odd looking shrink wrap, tackiness where it shouldn't be indicating previous taped area, etc.
 
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Freddy Junior

macrumors newbie
Dec 29, 2019
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frys does have some refurbished and open box items they sell, as does best buy. however ,there will be no doubt as to the nature of the product when you purchase it. and regardless of refurbished condition they still have to follow all laws that apply to any sale being new or refurbished. but they do not have to include in any sale or discounts.the reciept and packaging will clearly be identifiable of condition. sometimes refurbished branded items are simply just repackaged and have never been used, unless it is open box buy. those items are used
 
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faust

Suspended
Sep 11, 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
Woah, I was so shocked to see this thread come up, and I've been debating responding to it ever since Freddy rose it from the grave like the Necromancer they are. Anywho, hilariously enough, Fry's has legitimately nothing but detritus to sell in Southern California. Their shelves are barren and I've been getting told they are acquiring a new distributor since mid 2019. I'm pretty sure they're going out of business sooner than later.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,588
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^^^Agreed.

Shelves at my Fry's have also been pretty barren. Especially on drives (about only thing I get from them these days), networking. Been probably a year since I bought anything due to no inventory. Best Buy has had better supply and about same prices.