You know you do it. Walk through any big-box retailer and look around at your fellow consumers, or at yourself in the mirror: now and again you're checking out a product in person, sizing it up and making a decision -- then jumping online with your iPhone to price (and probably buy) that same item online. The practice is called showrooming, and it's hitting traditional retailers right where it hurts.
Although the showrooming trend is likely to hit housewares giant Bed Bath & Beyond the worst, says survey company Placed -- BB&B's products tend toward the bulky and infrequently purchased, but require "hands-on" shopping -- consumer electronics shops are also on the ropes. Best Buy's plan to combat showrooming is simple: if you see a price online from one of the electronics chain's storefront-free competitors, it gets matched on the spot. The new deal, announced in mid-February, goes into effect this Sunday, and Apple's online store is one of the matched sites.
The Consumerist has the full list of matchable websites, and aside from Apple and Amazon there are plenty of heavy hitters: Newegg, Target, Amazon, TigerDirect, HP and Dell's sites are all among the price match contenders. Note that Best Buy will not match mobile phone plan pricing, refurb pricing or bundled offers. Of course, Best Buy is matching the pre-tax retail price; if you're in a state where Amazon doesn't charge sales tax, you're still going to come out ahead with the online deal -- except for shipping cost and having to wait to get your goodies.
Does Best Buy's move make you more likely to shop, and buy, from Big Yellow? Or is it too late for the electronics retailer to clutch back your dollars? Let us know in the comments.