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How to Hack Best Buy’s Inventory Bug

As you may know, I downgraded to the LG EnV2 because I hated the touchscreen on the Voyager. In any case, the headphone jack on the EnV2 (and probably all LG) is 2.5mm, and not the 3.5mm for normal headsets.  This means that I need a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter to use a headset to listen to my music on the LG.  I decided to take a look on Amazon to see what was available.

The list below shows what pops up on Amazon when you search for “2.5mm 3.5mm.”  Some items were only $2, up to around $12, but with shipping, it would be more like $7 to $19 or so.  And of course, I’d have to wait for it in the mail, which I wasn’t in any mood for.


Next, I did a search on Fry’s website and got the following list with the same search.  On here, they have adapters from 99 cents up to $5. Of course, the problem with Fry’s website is that there’s no direct connection between the online items and what’s available in their stores.  You can call them, but sometimes it’s very hard to find out if something is in stock at the store.  There’s no Fry’s close to me so I decided to keep searching.


Next, I did the same search on Best Buy’s website and came up with the following list.


As you can see, Best Buy’s search sucks big time. It lists 4 items which have nothing to do with what I was looking for.  For that matter, I couldn’t figure out how my 2.5mm search was matched with those items.  If you have any online store, rule #1 is to make sure that your searches work properly so people can find what they want.

In any case, being the Internet savvy guy that I am, I googled Best Buy’s website by using the search “site:bestbuy.com 2.5mm 3.5mm” and came up with the following list:


As you can see above, the top item on google’s list is exactly what I wanted.  I clicked on it and found the following item below on Best Buy’s website:


Interestingly, the item is under “Car & GPS”, then “Antennas & Adaptors.”  Sure.  I would have easily found this.  NOT!  Unfortunately, this item comes with a bunch of other adapters that I don’t really need, along with the one that I do need.  But since Best Buy is close, and they do have the “pick up at store” option, I decided to go ahead and pay $15 for the conveinience.

This last decision turned out to be a big mistake.

The closest Best Buy did not have this item in stock.  However, all the other ones did.  So I ordered it for pickup at the second closest store in West LA. The following email came back 20 minutes later telling me the store did not have it in stock and that I would have to call their 888 number.


After going back on to the Best Buy website and figuring out that there is no way to cancel the order, or to even change it for pickup at another store, I was forced to call their toll free number. After going through their bot, the nice lady on the phone changed my order to the Culver City store, which is the 3rd closest.

After another 20 minutes, I got another email telling me the Culver City store was out of stock.  OMG!  Now, I’ve already spent almost an hour with this crap. I could have almost driven to Fry’s and back in that time.

Once again, I call Best Buy and this time, another nice lady answers the call but she can tell that I’m getting pretty frustrated by now. She tells me that the online inventory is separate from the in-store inventory and that she will check the in-store inventory for me.  After a few clicks, she tells me that the West LA store does indeed have 6 in-store and that I can simply go to the store and pick it up.  So she cancels my online order, and out the door I go.

So next time, I’m just going to call the toll free number and ask for the in-store inventory instead of using their stupid website.  That’s the lesson I learned here.

I wish my story ended here but it goes on a little more.  When I got to the store, I decided I wanted to test the in-store people to see how smart they were.  At the entrance, the cell phone section had 3 live clerks helping people. I went to the first one and asked if they had a adapter for my LG EnV2 so I can use a headset. She told me no.  So, I showed her the SKU number for the item I was looking for.  She told me to ask the second guy there.  So far, this is a fail.

I go up to the second guy and ask the same question. He types in the SKU number but it doesn’t come up because unknown to me, I wrote it down wrong. He does a search on the Best Buy website and comes up with the same stupid list that I got. BWAHAHA!  I tell him how to use google to find it and he’s amazed how well google works.

He sees the item on his computer but can’t figure out exactly where it is. We walk to the MP3 area and it’s not there. He asks the Geek Squad guy walking by and he knows that it’s in the car adapter area.  He walks me there and finds the item.

Basically, this last guy is the only person that really helped me find my item. The online store pickup, didn’t help me, except to tell me to go into the store.  The first lady at the store didn’t help me. Only this last guy helped me.

Most people would have given up BEFORE the second call to Best Buy.  That should be an indicator to Best Buy that something is wrong with their setup and they will soon be on their way holding hands with Circuit City if they don’t do something about it.

Dont’ say I didn’t warn you, Best Buy.


  1. Great post. It’s surprising how bad Best Buy’s site is. I’ve done in-store pickup with Office Depot and Border’s, and they both worked well.

    • This is about the 6th time I’ve done store pickup at Best Buy but the first time the online store told me they have it in stock (at first), then told me they didn’t have it after all (twice).

      The kicker is, the product turned out to be crap. I’ll write about that in my next post.