More people are shopping online than ever. But which sites are the best? Consumer Reports surveyed more than 28,000 of its subscribers to find out.
Flowers make beautiful gifts. But ordering online can be pretty unpleasant, Consumer Reports discovered.
It surveyed subscribers about their experiences shopping at the 52 largest retail websites. 1-800-Flowers and FTD rated near the bottom.
Tony Giorgianni of Consumer Reports says, "They had low marks for value, and there were lots of complaints about high shipping charges and customers having to wait longer than expected."
Ticketmaster doesn't have a lot to cheer about either. It was at the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings and got the lowest marks of all for customer support.
Giorgianni says, "A good online retailer should offer great value , have good products and services, and deliver them on time. It also should have great customer support."
Among the highest-rated sites-B&H Photo; Zappos; Costco; Nordstrom: L.L. Bean; NewEgg for electronics; and REI, which carries outdoor gear and clothing.
REI stands out with its guarantee that shoppers can return or replace items at any time at the store or online. There's no expiration date.
Giorgianni says, "Zappos also has a good return policy. You have a year to return something, and Zappos picks up the cost."
Another way to save on shipping-shop at sites like Walmart. It doesn't charge you if you have the item delivered to the store for pickup.
Shopping online can be really convenient, but getting a ton of spam is not. Consumer Reports says a good idea is to set up a separate e-mail address for all your online purchases.