Best Buy, TV Darryl and Vendor Choice

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Before Best Buy dominated the retail electronics universe, they were a fledgling Minnesota upstart and I was a child of the 80's lucky enough to have TV Darryl on my side.

Best Buy and the Table of No Return

“Put that back… those returns never work.” An early lesson received from my father at the Best Buy “open box table.” Items were discounted 20-50% because the box was open or sometimes missing altogether. The products would carry notes such as “missing antenna” or “scratched screen.” Anecdotal evidence backed up my father’s theory that purchases of these Walkmans and FM stereos would often result in disappointment.

TV Darryl
My father has always had great “connections” and TV Darryl was our electronics repair savior in a time when things didn’t “just work.” They teamed up together at Unisys (and Sperry) as technicians but Darryl had the knack for fixing more than just old mainframes. He kept our TVs, game systems and a VCR going for years. I never did meet him, but I was sure he wore a cape and had some kind of geeky-cool electronics logo on his chest (or at least a sweet Maxell t-shirt).

To my brother and me, the day our first VCR arrived at home was on par with any historical event of that decade. Within a couple of weeks though, it would no longer record the “Friday Night Videos” that I wasn’t old enough to stay up for. “TV Darryl will take care of it,” and of course he did… again and again. They finally retired the silver relic just a couple of years ago.

Vendor Choice
So why does this matter in 2006, particularly in regards to Vendor Choice for used IT hardware? The answer is that it matters a lot. If TV Darryl ever went entrepreneurial and resold repaired electronics, I’m certain that he would have been our exclusive vendor – even at new prices. Trusting your vendors will always be important.

When choosing a partner, buyers need to make sure the vendor has their own version of “TV Darryl” who can take care of anything after the sale. If you’re purchasing refurbished equipment, it’s crucial that they’re capable of ensuring the systems work from the get-go.

The fear that Best Buy’s equipment wasn’t properly tested was enough to keep me away from their returns table. Remembering this experience, I’m always proud to explain to clients how thorough our testing processes are and that everything is guaranteed. Our technical staff holds numerous certifications and they have years of experience.

Of course, a lot of our techs are just crafty in general. I know my son will someday appreciate the “connections” that I now have here, such as “iPod Eric” and “Xbox Jason.”

Thanks in advance guys.

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