If you’ve shopped online at Best Buy you’ve probably already browsed through listings on Best Buy’s Marketplace. Nearly 6 years old, it’s a closed online Marketplace with third-party sellers who are thoroughly vetted and approved by Best Buy. Now that it’s been online for over half a decade, it’s a good time to talk about what the Marketplace is, why Best Buy has it, and what type of products you can buy from third-party sellers on Best Buy.
Why does Best Buy have a Marketplace?
Best Buy added a Marketplace in 2016 to provide more choice for Canadians. While Best Buy has thousands of products available in store and online, they don’t have all of the products third sellers can offer. Having such a wide assortment available online gives you more variety when you’re choosing a device, appliance, or piece of tech to bring home.
Why does Marketplace sell refurbished products?
Canadians know that Best Buy is where they can find the latest and greatest technology, but there are also people who are searching for heavily discounted refurbished products.
Online marketplaces have exploded in popularity around the world, especially over the last 18 months. During that time many other Canadian retailers have introduced refurbished products and third-party sellers to their own websites. They see what Best Buy has seen for the past 5 years, and realize that with Marketplaces they win in two ways—customers get great value on refurbished products and the products themselves get a second life so there is a significant positive environmental impact over time.
As more demand is placed on the supply chain and retailers make changes to reduce environmental impact, Best Buy believes the demand for refurbished products and Marketplaces like Best Buy’s will continue to grow. As they do, Best Buy will continue to work to build the best experience for customers.
How does Best Buy vet Marketplace sellers?
As I mentioned before, Best Buy has a closed Marketplace. There are high standards and multiple processes third parties must pass in order to sell on Best Buy’s Marketplace, and these sellers are thoroughly vetted before they are approved. In order to pass the vetting process, the sellers are required to supply extensive documents on the expected quality of refurbished products. They must also have a clear returns policy in place.
If the customer is not happy with how a seller has handled an issue or they are not happy with a seller’s customer service standards, they always have the option to escalate the complaint to Best Buy.
Best Buy also has a Seller Success and Marketplace Seller Compliance team who work hard to ensure seller compliance with Marketplace policies. Sellers have been suspended in the past when they don’t meet Best Buy’s expectations, so you can be sure the compliance team is working to ensure Marketplace Sellers are complying with policies and are set up for success.
How can you tell the difference between a Best Buy item and one sold by a third party?
Marketplace sellers are clearly identified on the listing page and in the product description. On the listing page under the product you’ll see a tiny icon and text that says “Marketplace seller.” On the product page you’ll see a line of text under the Add to Cart link that says, “Sold and Shipped by” with the third-party seller name.
The difference between refurbished and Geek Squad certified open box
When you’re looking to save money on products, Best Buy gives you quite a few outlet product options including Clearance, Geek Squad Certified Open Box, and refurbished. You can see a full breakdown of the differences between these products in the Best Buy Outlet overview, but the main differences between these products are:
- Condition – brand new, like-new, good, or minor imperfections
- Inspection levels
The listings make it clear which items are refurbished and detailed information is provided in the product listings as to exactly what that means for the customer interested in purchasing the item.
What it means to purchase refurbished on Marketplace
Best Buy wants every customer to be 100% happy with what they buy on the Best Buy site. Any product sold on Marketplace, whether that be refurbished or open box, must meet minimum quality standards. To clearly define what the minimum quality standard is, Best Buy uses an industry grading system.
How does Best Buy Canada define ‘A-Grade’ products?
Best Buy only accepts A-Grade products on Marketplace—also commonly graded as 9/10 or above physical condition. Best Buy has a concise definition of A-Grade products so customers know exactly what they will be receiving when they buy on Marketplace.
To achieve A-Grade status any products sold must adhere to the following:
- Go through an actual refurbishing process performed by professional technicians
- Function well and only have minor cosmetic imperfections
- Refurbishing must involve a full inspection of the product for functionality, blemishes, missing parts, damage or blemished parts or surfaces, or a full cosmetic restoration so they look and function as close to new as possible
- If the product has a screen it must meet OEM (original equipment manufacturer) requirements for colour, brightness, and dead or stuck pixels. Pixel requirements are based on the manufacturer’s warranty and are stated as a maximum number per screen
- Any repair or refurbishment must only use legally permitted parts and where available repairs should be done with OEM parts.
- If OEM parts are not available, third party parts may be used provided they do not infringe on third party rights or are equivalent or better in quality, function, and appearance
If sellers want their items listed on Marketplace, they must also self-audit to make sure their products always meet minimum quality standards and grading requirements. Best Buy monitors customer complaints and they have a quality control program in place to perform audits on sellers. If a seller doesn’t comply with the standards and grading requirements, Best Buy will delist that seller.
How do you know if the product isn’t new?
If a product isn’t new and it’s listed on Marketplace, it must be clearly and consistently labeled so customers are aware of exactly what they will receive. How do seller’s label non-new products? They have to include a few key details in the product description.
- Full detailed descriptions and any additional information on the condition of products sold
- The product title is labeled with an approved descriptor at the end with choices being Certified Refurbished, Like New, Refurbished, or Open Box
- Any product like a Macbook, iMac, or iPad must include the model year or generation
- Brief description of cosmetic condition of the item including battery expectation where applicable
- Any other pieces of critical information regarding the refurbishing process that would help customers make their purchase confidently
Here is an example of a Marketplace refurbished product description from BestBuy.ca:
What you can do if you have concerns about your Marketplace purchase
If you have a concern about a product you’ve purchased on Marketplace, your first step is to reach out to the seller. If you don’t get a response from the seller after two business days, you’ll see an ‘Escalate to Best Buy’ option. You can use that option to contact the Best Buy Marketplace Support team and they will reach out to the seller on your behalf.
Best Buy Marketplace offers you more
After five successful years online, Marketplace has served many millions of satisfied customers. Check out a sample of what Marketplace has to offer by taking a look at the More from Marketplace category.