Electronics are likely to be some of the hottest gifts again this holiday season.
To find the best places to shop, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 21-thousand of its subscribers and can tell you where to buy everything from a tablet to a big-screen TV.
If you’re looking for a new TV, should you shop at a giant warehouse store like Costco …
… or are you better off at an independent electronics store?
Consumer Reports’ just-released survey of its subscribers can help you decide.
“Your local independent stores tend to have a very good selection of products, and they tend to have high-quality products, higher than some of the other walk-in or big-chain stores have.” Said Carol Magis of Consumer Reports.
And customer service at independent stores is often
But Costco topped the ratings in one category.
“Well, they’re cheaper.”
“The price point is excellent.”
“You get a good price.”
And Costco has a generous return policy for electronics.
“But what you should be aware of is that you do have to pay for a membership, and also their customer service leaves a little to be desired.” Mangis said.
Among all the stores in the ratings, Walmart came in at the bottom of the chart. It got low marks for customer service and selection, though overall its customers were generally satisfied.
If you want to let your fingers do the shopping, there’s good news. Consumer Reports found websites outdid walk-in stores for quality, selection, and price.
B-H-Photo-Video-dot-com and Crutchfield-dot-com were among the standouts. And Crutchfield ranked high for customer service.
“They make it quite easy for you to get in touch with them if you have questions. You can call them directly or e-mail them, or you can open up a live chat window as you shop.” Mangis said.
And there are no long checkout lines to keep you waiting.
And another tip from Consumer Reports — whether you’re shopping in a store or online, it pays to ask for a better deal. The survey showed that shoppers who bargained were successful most of the time.