Circut City is an appliance and electronics store. They carry TVs, stereos, washing machines, dryers, refridgerators, VCRs, DVD Players, computers, and more.

Often looked down upon by some because of pushy salesmen and high prices. Slowly I've been becoming more of a fan of the place. I ignore the salesmen, and usually come in knowing exactly what I want. I found they often carry the more feature rich versions of items. The TV I bought there 6 months ago was the same line as what I found at Best Buy, but for $50 more I got a bunch more features, including some that I was looking for in a TV. I've also found some items to be cheaper there.

DIVX is gone, IIRC, and salesmen can be ignored, if they got the best price I'll buy from them.

Business practices

    Circuit City is the largest electronics chain in the country, even after mere years of existance. The financial model is based on high-volume buying and reselling without making much of a profit from the actual goods. Most things you buy are marked up a mere two to ten percent - the money comes from investors who buy the Circuit City stock. While this is a great business model, it has eradicated every local electronics store without public holdings.
    As an ex-employee, I have seen endless co-workers get screwed out of vacation time, pre-approved days off and rightous pay. At one point I was working one hour short of full time without any benefits (FT gets 1.3 times the commission part time does.) People worked opening shifts day after day. This, of course, forces most reasonable people to quit; the work environment consists of newbies and those who sleaze their way to the top. (The cashier who got the most days off later filed for sexual harassment. Charges were dropped after 'consultation,' she moved.)
    The only way to make money as an employee is to screw people. The $20 phone gets you a quarter, the one for $70 gives you $5. Which are you going to push, regardless of what the customer needs? Sony pays three dollars, Panasonic pays five... same bit. Conclusively, customers take it up the ass because salespeople are pushing whatever lines their pockets, not what suits the customer's needs.

Products

    Low-end (cheap) merchandise will last thirty days before breaking down without exception. I have never seen a GPX store display last for more than a month; the cheap cd-rom drive (MagicSpin?) I picked up broke down after two months. If you want to go cheap, get Open Box merchandise or check on Ebay...
    High-end, on the other hand, is tight. Circuit City does carry a lot of good merchandise to those who want to spend $700 on a receiver or $2400 on a pre-assembled computer. Mark-up isn't even terribly steep on most things, on the larger items you might pay $40 to $70 more than the store did. Smaller items and accessories are often marked up up to ten times their value. I bought a cd-visor as an employee for $2, they retail for $20. Same goes for audio cables, blank tapes, cd-media, etc. Needless to say, emplyees are trained to push accessories, hard.
    ESP, in most instances, is not worth it. Not only are they incredibly picky about returns, but high-priced stuff doesn't tend to break, and one can't get ESP on the cheaper items. The only item I would honestly recommended it on is a cell-phone, since they tend to take a lot of abuse that can be disguised as wear and tear. Your sales counselor will push ESP hard also, he'll get a good 20% of what you'll pay for it, 30% if you're buying computer equiptment.

When and how to use CC

Your holiday season will probably take you or friends to Circuit City. If you've read the above, there are only a few more things:
  • On the little tag, the first and third numbers on the bottom part equal the commission. Below the SON CDFS98 or whatever there will be a series of small black numbers like 94D872... this item would pay the Sales Counselor $9 and a Dime. D stands for Dime, N for Nickel, Q for quarter, H for Half a dollar and T for three-quarters of a dollar. Dual numbers indicated a double-digit commission.
  • If you are planning on getting something expensive, find someone who has worked at CC for a while. Avoid the white-shirts like the plague, experienced salespeople tend to be a little less greedy and more knowledgeable. Don't be afraid to ask for someone who has more product knowledge.
  • ESP-based product repairs. Customer Service people are anal about these. Never ever ever admit to taken any fault in the product's demise, even having something in your pocket and malfunctioning will be deemed abuse. Insist on getting a replacement unit on the third return, it's your right.

Well, Happy Holidays, everyone. Don't get screwed, get educated.

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