Earlier this year, Best Buy debuted a new paid membership program similar to Amazon Prime with exclusive perks, including unlimited Geek Squad support, free delivery, and a 60-day return window. Unfortunately, it looks like they want to use it to become a PS5 and Xbox Series X scalper, as the company is hiding product inventory behind that paid membership.
The program is now called Best Buy Totaltech, which costs $200 a year. And while it does offer a slew of helpful benefits, the company touts that it also provides members “exclusive access to popular hard-to-find items” like the PS5.
As we all know, inventory for next-gen consoles is extremely low, and scalpers everywhere are marking up the price and buying all the stock. As a result, the PS5 has been almost impossible to find.
Now, Best Buy wants a piece of it. If you want to have any luck at buying a PS5 or other hot items this holiday, you’ll need to pay the store an extra $200 a year. Gross! Best Buy has essentially marked up the PS5 to $700.
Best Buy Totaltech is priced at $199.99 for a yearly membership, and here’s what that’ll get you:
- Free Geek Squad tech support, available 24/7/365 on all the technology in your home, no matter where you bought it.
- Totaltech Expert Access, a VIP service with access to dedicated phone and chat teams.
- Up to 24 months of product protection on most Best Buy purchases during active membership, including AppleCare+ on Apple products.
- Free delivery and standard installation.
- Exclusive Totaltech member prices.
- 20% off labor for repairs and advanced services and 10% off labor for custom installations.
- Extended 60-day return and exchange window on most products.
- Free haul-away on most product replacements.
Now don’t get me wrong, that is a pretty decent list of additional perks, but is it worth $200 a year? I guess that’s up to you and your situation. But, for those simply looking to get holiday shopping done, buy exciting new items, or find a PS5 in stock, that’s a lot to ask.
On Monday, the $500 disc drive model PS5 was in stock at Best Buy but hidden behind an “exclusive access event” paywall, a Totaltech membership. So instead of selling out in a matter of minutes, the device ended up being available for nearly two hours. So while you might have an easier time getting a PS5 or Xbox Series X from Best Buy — it’ll cost you.
We’ll have to wait and see what other “hot items” Best Buy ends up hiding behind this paywall, but this is pretty user-hostile if you ask me. With this move, Best Buy just became one of the biggest PS5 scalpers.
via Ars Technica