I think lots of people think about this. BestBuy does require that you work there for a certain amount of time before the discount takes affect. I think it's either 1 or 2 months. But TV's are marked up pretty high, so it may be worth it. I would also recommend that you make absolutely sure you've found the exact one you want at BB. My fear with that idea would be that I would find something I liked much better that BB didn't carry, but I'd feel obligated to purchase the product from BB because I would have a hard time jusifying not using my discount.
I think I would rather stake out a BB and become friendly with an employee there. Then ask him if he could buy the TV for you and you'll slip him some of the difference. Might even make a new permenant friend.
Having worked at Circuit City in the past, it is really dependent on the model. The higher the price tag on the item the larger the mark-up. Generally speaking for a $2000 television, you will probably get $400-500 off the price. You are looking at %20-25 off the price on most television purchases. This actually could be a signigicant amount on certain plasma sets. The bad thing was that when items went on clearance, that was generally the price employees got without any extra discount, so it was hard to come by any fantastic deals.
Their discount used to be better before corporate came up with a resoning that employees were abusing the discount and also began including the shipping costs from the central warehouses to the physical store onto the price employees paid, lowering the overall discount.
In the end, you would probably be better off purchasing your set off the web once you couple the low wages paid by these stores with the time before you get a discount (1-2 months), the crazy hours you may have to work, and the pointless training you are subjected to as a new employee.
I did this, but not at a Best Buy. I used to always go to a local High end store and kept talking with the same guy for years. He knew my budget was low and offered to buy the stuff for me on his discount. I ended up getting Paradigm Studio 100's, ADP's, and CC. All at dealer cost.
I think in this situation, it really depends on your current career and situation. For example, if you're a Web developer making $65.00 per hour, why would you work at Best Buy for $8.00 per hour to get a discount? See if you could free-lance doing some other Web work for other clients to make some $$ to fund the purchase - even if it is at the marked price.
Again, though, it really depends on what your day job is.
I am an engineer and get paid very well but I always look for a deal too. If I can make a couple of bucks selling stuff I like and save a bunch of money on new equipment and presents then why not? I'm not in it for a career move for sure. Just a couple of months.
My brother worked there last summer and at Christmas. Their policy at the time was 30 days. The discount was wholesale cost +5%. He is in the process of being rehired so we should find out soon if the discount has changed, but that is what he thinks it is.
The time frame on the discount for the Christmas time frame was much shorter, as they were trying to attract seasonal help. You may be able to get a discount sooner if you wait until a holiday season.
Calvin, I suggest using your time in a different. Count the hours you'd have to spend working at BB to save $400, then consider whether it would be more enjoyable to just buy the TV now and spend that time enjoying it instead of working at BB.
Or, if you really want a deal, pursue freelance engineering consulting. You'll get paid a lot more and it will be better for your career in the long run.
Or see if you can work overtime at your current job to make some extra bucks. Same effective discount on your TV and you're not bothering with getting hired, working, quitting, etc.
By the way I have done some side consulting in the past. It's sometimes fun to do brainless work. The discount would be about $500.00 but I would also get paid while working so figure the total savings for two months work and discount to be more like 2k?
Best Buy doesn't sell XBR's so you would not be getting a discount there. You'd be better off working at a place that sells it like Circus City(err Circuit) or one of the other chains like Sound Advice or Tweeter or Good Guys depending on which neck of the woods you live in.