To shop online or just go to the store? Larry Downes at has written a long story on why Best Buy is slowly killing its own business. Of course, Amazon comes up in the analysis because it's so easy to go to their site and buy the same things for less money. Or is it that easy? You can't inspect the items you want to buy on Amazon. You have to wait to get your items in the mail.

On the other hand, Best Buy doesn't have tons of user reviews, and they often have a smaller selection of items due to limited space.

Downes weighs these same arguments, but mostly he attributed the erosion of Best Buy's business to terrible management. He does also give an anecdote about how awful the service was on a recent trip to his local store. Perhaps the Best Buy salespeople are overworked and underpaid, but Downes especially said he disliked the sales tactics the young worker employed. Shameless and thinly veiled no doubt, these types of sales pitches are now so common at Best Buy that customers venture there at all for just a few specific reasons: if something is much cheaper than online, they can't wait for the item to arrive via mail or if it's extemely convenient to get the item and get home.

Downes is right, though, about Best Buy management dropping the ball. People have become more informed about electronics in part because of online shopping, and their Amazon experiences often reinforce this. Amazon makes buying and returning items very easy, and Best Buy does the opposite. Basically, people go to Best Buy now only as a last resort. As in, 'oh I can't wait two days for my new mobile phone charger. Guess I have to go to Best Buy.'

Tell us in the comments if you are through with your local Best Buy or if you actually find their staff helpful and knowledgeable.