*Naughty language warning
*Images Blurred So I Can Say I Tried To Protect Identities If Their Lawyers Try And Sue Me For Slander
If you buy or collect movies you probably noticed a new trend lately. Since the retail battleground is fierce and more people are buying online (well, let’s be honest, more people are buying from Amazon) it was only a matter of time brick and mortar chains tried some crafty tricks. That crafty trick was slipping the distributors some extra cash so that they could sell an edition of the film that couldn’t be found anywhere else. The big culprit here is Best Buy with places like Target and Wal-Mart having these exclusive editions. This is why this new practice sucks.
I collect Blu-rays, I take pride in my movie/soundtrack collection. I see each of them as a little piece of me. Creeped out yet? Good. I only buy films that I personally love and must have under my roof so I can enjoy over and over as well as delve into the many hours of special features (so I can impress Ridley Scott with my moviemaking knowhow if I meet him). I want the bestest transfer and the bestest audio to piss off my neighbors. However, I also admit I’m a sucker for special editions, box sets, collectible packaging and all the other glitzy crap studios do to rake in my money. If I know there is a better and more awesome edition of the film I want then you better believe I want it on my shelf even though anyone with money can get that edition also. So, this is where these exclusives come in and ruin things for me.
A true fact of life is that Amazon is the best retailer in the world and Best Buy is absolutely the worst. When I say worst I really mean the deepest darkest anus of existence. Best Buy is pure crap with a lowercase “c”. I hate shopping there because every time (EVERY TIME) I shop there looking for one of their exclusives I have had nothing but misery and pain. What follows are true tales of why I hate Best Buy and their exclusives (thus making a general point about retailer exclusives while shitting on Best Buy as much as possible).
My first experience was when Best Buy announced they would have a 1-year timed exclusive of Planes, Trains & Automobiles and Airplane on Blu-ray. Hey, those are two of my favorite comedies of all-time! Only available at Best Buy you say? Only $14.99 each you say? Sure! I place my pre-order online. Yay! I can’t wait to get these awesome movies! I get an email on release day saying that they are out of stock and backordered. Um, what? Okay, so what. I have no problem waiting a week or two. Well, 2 months go by and Best Buy eventually cancels my order automatically with no warning because they were backordered for so long. I lose my promotional price from when I ordered and now will have to pay full price when they get it in stock (the only reason I didn’t cancel my order in the first place). Fuck you, Best Buy. The result? I wait 1 year to buy from Amazon. True story. Go buy them, Amazon has them now.
Black Friday, 2011. Best Buy tries the online sale to compete with Amazon and they actually have decent items with deep discounts, deeper than Amazon somehow. I pick up 3 Blu-rays and a game. Game order is cancelled because they are out of stock and the 3 movies that arrive at my door seemed to be packaged by the Tasmanian Devil. The cases are cracked and even one of the cover arts was pierced and ripped. Fuck you, Best Buy.
So, a long time passes and I make all my purchases from Amazon like a happy camper. Then, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is released. Cool, special features with composer Michael Giacchino whom I love. Wait a tic, this exclusive bonus disc is only available at Best Buy! Ugh. So I suck it up and drive to Best Buy not wanting to go through the online ordeal again. I walk into the store and look for this thing and find a cardboard stand mixed and matched with the normal edition and the Best Buy exclusive. Luckily the o-sleeve is marked with a sticker and different cover art. I buy it, walk out grumpy but still happy. I drive home, slip off the sleeve, unwrap the Blu-ray and... where’s my bonus disc? I look at the back of the case and don’t see it listed. I flip to the front and see that it’s the basic edition that had the exclusive o-sleeve slipped over it. In a furious rage I drive back to the shit-hole establishment, find the real deal, and wait in line at customer service to switch it. The whole ordeal took me 2 hours. If Amazon had this edition it would be waiting on my doorstep on release day. Fuck you, Best Buy.
Zoom forward a bit and very recently Jaws was released on Blu-ray. Wow, I love that film and would love the digibook edition that Universal has been giving to its most prized films during its 100th Anniversary reissues. Oh fucking shitballs, not again. I have to go back to that awful place again? Well here we go. I couldn’t make it to the store on the street date due to work and other stuff so I waited 3 days after it came out. After work one day I had free time to drive to my local shitbox Best Buy. I merrily waltzed in and to the Blu-ray section. I was graciously greeted by an employee asking me if he could help me find anything. I told him what I was looking for and he seem puzzled and had no idea what I was talking about. He showed me the normal Jaws edition, but I wouldn’t have made the trip to hell for the normal fucking edition now would I? So he took me to a computer and looked it up. Oh darn, we don’t have any in stock he tenderly replies. I ask what other stores do have it. Luckily for me the closest store that has it is 30 miles away... in Los Angeles... how is that possible? No worries he tells me! I can go to customer service and order it and they will give me free 2-day shipping to my door for the inconvenience. Well, hey now! That sounds mighty dandy, I’m in no rush! So I wait in that customer service line and when it’s my turn I explain what I was told and what I want to do. The girl behind the counter consults with her supervisor because obviously no employee knows anything here and they pull shit out their asses. She explains they can’t do that, gives me no explanation, but in a polite way says I’m shit out of luck. Whatever, I drive home and decide to order it on the internet. Screw my terrible online experiences. It says Free Shipping, that’s cool! I “add to cart” and whoops, they’re backordered. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! It won’t even let me place the order. Long story short, I drive 30 miles to get the fucking thing. Fuck you, Best Buy. I live in Los Angeles, not Kansas and shouldn't have to drive 30 miles to get a movie.
I just pre-ordered E.T. The Extra Terrestrial because whoop-de-fucking-doo Best Buy has the same digibook edition it had for Jaws. I pre-ordered at the super expensive price of $29.99, but when ordering I though “it surely will be cheaper when it releases because they are always on sale the first week”. On Amazon I’m accustomed to the pre-order price guarantee where they will give you the lowest price between when your order and when it ships. You aren’t billed till your item ships. I hit order on my Best Buy order and bam there the charge is on my credit card. The full price charged as a pre-order. So now when I get it I will still have to go to the store to do a price match difference refund. Fuck you, Best Buy. Fuck you.
So, I’ve shared my pain with you. I know most people don’t care in the slightest, but hopefully the Blu-ray and DVD collectors out there can feel my pain. While this article sort of turned into a pooping on Best Buy I can’t say they are the only ones responsible for these exclusive sets. For some reason they just happened to get the ones I want and are a terrible store. I haven’t had to trek to Target or Wal-Mart for exclusives... yet. I can’t imagine anything worse than Best Buy though. To solve this problem how about Amazon and all other retailers get to carry these editions as well, because Amazon truly is the best shopping experience you will ever have. If it wasn’t the best then these exclusives wouldn’t be necessary to lure customers. Retailer exclusives need to go, especially if you’re Best Buy and can’t keep your exclusive items in stock. By forcing me to buy something that's exclusive to the store you are already making me hate you. This is not fair marketplace competition and the consumers suffer for it. I'm sick and tired of suffering. But I guess I can deal with Best Buy once or twice a year when I have no choice but to buy from them. Studios should discourage this trend, but they get extra money for it so they won't. Fuck retailer exclusives, but most of all fuck you Best Buy. Fuck you.
So, I bought my Best Buy exclusive E.T Blu-ray digibook and here's what happened. I did in-store pickup to avoid the mess I got into last time, but I wanted to take Best Buy on their offer of taking $5 off by bringing in an old DVD to trade in. I was told to go downstairs to the game area to do this after waiting in line for customer service. The game guy told me to go upstairs and wait in the checkout line. The checkout woman told me to go to customer service (again, an example of Best Buy employees at their finest). Unfortunately their fucking slow-ass system takes 2 hours to update once I pick up my order. So they couldn't do anything for 2 hours. I gave my DVD and got a mark on my receipt to come back tomorrow to get my $5 off. The next day I waited 15 minutes in the customer service line to get my $5. FUCK YOU, BEST BUY!