Sunday, September 22

Has Best Buy heavily liquidated their DVD stock through wholesale auction?

So yesterday I visit a small local flea market yesterday and one of the usual suspects, a troll-like dude by the name of Frank with a persistently lazy eye and a huge shark tattoo on his right arm, informed me that he's just acquired a bunch of new movies for sale and I get first dibs for being one of his best customers over the years. Frank is a wholesale hound who buys movies and music in bulk at auction houses and storage lockers to only flip the lots at his vast stand guarded by what seems like dozens of old webcams without wires (???).

He leads me to toward the back and pulls away a blanket, hasn't had a chance to "sort them", to reveal crates of DVDs for four bucks a pop. Probably a good four hundred or so all lined spine up comprised of a random mix of genres, some newer/some older in terms of DVD release year, and from a wide variety of studios. As I'm flipping through I notice they're also all factory sealed and look so new that their pristine plastic wrap seems hardly touched.

Another thing is how there's Best Buy price stickers on all of them. To my knowledge, there hasn't been some big BB heist in my area so I can't help but wonder if the chain purposely liquidated sometime recently to scale back their DVD business model. I'm unsure how things look around the country, but here in Maryland every location I've been to for the past few years has been drastically reducing their selection.

As Blu-ray crept in as its own section and then assimilated with DVD, Best Buy mostly threw out the practice of maintaining a back catalog. Nowadays it's generally only the latest releases and hugely popular catalog titles with the Horror section particularly lucky to get shelf space only slightly wider than a breadbox. So hooray, I got a solid deal on all the discs above (eighty bucks after haggling), but it's also sad to see the death of the catalog at brick-and-mortar chain stores. Well, unless your mall still has an F.Y.E. or Suncoast Video and wish to spend well over everywhere else.

This idea of Best Buy liquidating in such a way is purely anecdotal and probably not reality; however, Wal Mart actually does this on a small scale, but only with damaged stock that they first UPC-deface to prevent retail resale. So I have no idea, just throwing it out there, but they've definitely cut way back on the retiring format in-store. If they are selling off old stock, be on the lookout, those still hanging on and disc collectors that religiously patrol flea markets could be in for a big windfall. Maybe in this case some maniac hoarder amassed a huge, unopened collection and immediately sealed them away from handling and even dust until now?


R.Sterling Carody said...

Interesting point. I remember back in the early 2000s, before my home town had a best buy, we would drive to Atlanta just to go to Best Buy for their horror section. I remember finding Dead Alive there and being amazed.

Anonymous said...

Best Buy has been doing the "Upgrade and Save" promotion a number of times in the past two years. They let you turn in 5 DVD's for five $5 off coupons for Blurays. None of the minion at BB could tell me where the turned in DVD's were going. Maybe some of these are them?

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, dude... you've got some real gold there for the price.

On that note, whenever there's a shift in format (and I think blu-ray has been around for nearing on 8 years), most stores start selling off stock as quickly as they can. Let me put it this way: if you go to a Wal-Mart and look at the $5 area, you're seeing movies that came out only two years ago. I can only assume that Best Buy is going the same route. BR owners also sometimes get perks over the SD-DVD owners, such as different cuts of the film, better extras, special packaging, etc.

On that note, I don't ever remember the local Best Buy (forty or so miles away) having anything special of a horror section... rather they were trying to cater to [i]every[/i] audience. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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