Tag Archives: Best Buy

Five Things I Didn’t Know

In Miami, I recently saw the future of Best Buy, if they do survive. It was in a mall and they called it Best Buy Mobile. The store was about the same size as a typical cell phone store in every mall: Displays down both sides and a counter at the back. All the apple and phone products, ear buds, and the 90% of gadget stuff that fits into your hand. No more 35,000 square feet stores…

Singer Nicki Minaj recently had her social security number hacked and posted online. The rapper’s credit score dropped over 100 points almost immediately with a wave of inquiries into her credit report. Your credit score sets your borrowing interest rates. If you apply for credit at a bunch of places for different things, it’ll drop your score a lot and then your current line of credit or credit card rates may go up as a result.

At least some of the banks aren’t playing the delay game anymore with making online bill payments. They used to take two or three days to forward the money to the company you were paying. But recently I made a payment to Amex one night and had their email confirmation of receipt before 8 AM the next morning. Now if they could just cut down the average two weeks time it takes them to transfer out investments and RRSPs!

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. When you’re that big, you measure efficiencies in pennies and seconds. I was in the U.S. recently and had my credit card out while the cashier was still ringing up my purchases. She told me to swipe my card. But she hadn’t rung everything through! I didn’t matter. In order to avoid the two or three seconds it takes to make the connection and get the approval on the credit card, their system does the connecting before they have the total amount. When the cashier hits the total button, the system just needs to match the amount without the wait for the swipe and connection. Yes, to Walmart – seconds matter at millions of transactions an hour.

Considering buying an electric car? If so, hold off. I hadn’t considered that a few years ago, there was a huge wave of leases to boost sales. Those leases expire next year so you’ll be able to get an incredibly great deal on a three-year old!

And the best ‘I didn’t know” has to be the stupidity level of some crooks.In Jacksonville, Florida, a crook went into a bank to cash a cheque for $368 billion. Yes – billion! Imagine his surprise when they called the cops, instead of handing him maybe a hundred suitcases of cash…

More Retailers Go Bankrupt and You Still Want To Own Gift Cards?

Last Saturday, without notice, Future Shop ceased to exist. Best Buy, the parent company, closed 66 or so stores immediately, and about the same number will be closed for a week, then reopen as Best Buy. Two days earlier, the parent company of Ricki’s, Cleo and Bootlegger filed for bankruptcy. The week before, XS Cargo went under, and Mexx, as well as Jacob’s closed operations in Canada, in addition to the bankruptcy of Target Canada.

These companies going under isn’t something they are going to advertise in advance. So, once again, I’ll ask: Why on earth do you want to own or give any gift cards? You’ve given them your cash which never goes bad, in the hope that store will still be around when you or the recipient of that gift wants to use it? How many more scares do you need to realize gift cards are not your friend. You’re turning cash that can be used anywhere and anytime into an IOU for one specific store, and it’ll be wiped out when those businesses go under.

If you have Target gift cards, you may want to try using them online with Target US. With XS Cargo, Jacob’s, Mexx, Ricki’s, Cleo and Bootlegger you’re out of luck. Since Best Buy didn’t go under yet, the Future Shop gift cards can be used in their stores, so you dodged a big bullet for now. Make this a big heads up to gift cash that doesn’t expire, has no fees or restrictions and doesn’t go bad. Don’t stick someone you’re gifting with something that may be worthless when they want to use it! If you absolutely have to gift a piece of plastic, make it a prepaid Visa or Mastercard. It’ll have an upfront fee of $2 or $3 but that’s buying peace of mind it’ll be good next week or next year!

One more quick thing:

Good bye Suze Orman. She won’t have her CNBC television show anymore. I’m not a fan, but that’s a personal opinion. I lost a lot of respect for her being spokesperson for one of the fastest depreciating vehicle lines in North America. Plus, telling callers to diversify their investments, buy mutual funds, etc. when personally she only has Municipal Bonds as investments. There’s a great Slate Magazine expose on Orman from a few years ago.