Also over the weekend Best Buy said via Twitter that it's no longer charging a restocking fee for most of its products. Now Best Buy's return policy states that a "25-percent restocking fee applies to Special Order Products, including appliances, unless you are a Reward Zone Program Premier Silver member, the item is defective, or the fee is prohibited by law."
I'm confused, restocking fees only apply to opened products, yes? How many people out there open a product and then decide they don't want it? True, I've purchased a network card that didn't work in FreeBSD and had to return the otherwise perfectly working product, but restocking fees are supposed to prevent people from "buying" a big screen TV a week before the superbowl, and then "deciding" that it just wasn't for them. I'm all for minor restocking fees to help keep people honest. If, on the other hand, you just don't want that present grandma got you, DON'T open it, and you should never have to worry about a restocking fee.
Still, what constitutes a "special order product", something they don't have in stock, or something they don't normally sell at that store?
There's only one special occurrance where a restocking fee is applied: The item has to be open, you have to be returning it for a refund (and not an exchange for another item), the item has to be fully functional / not defective, and you have to NOT be a "RewardZone Premier Silver" member (which you get for spending 2500+ a year at Best Buy). If any of that stuff applies... no restocking fee for you.
Special order products, if I'm understanding correctly, is an item they don't normally have. So if you're ordering something that's not carried by Best Buy in your area, and then return it after you open it, just because you don't want it... then yes there is a 25% restocking fee. 15% applies to other stuff.
Kevin, thanks for writing an article that begins to focus on the downsides of restocking fees at Best Buy, but doesn't tell the whole story.