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 21,000 of its subscribers and can tell you where to buy everything from tablets to big-screen TVs.
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. And customer service at independent stores is often top-notch.
But Costco topped the ratings in one category—price. Costco has a generous return policy for electronics. But you do have to pay for a membership, and their customer service leaves a little to be desired.
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.
NBC 5 reached out to Walmart for comment even though they hadn't seen the survey this was what they had to say:
I can’t comment on the study because I haven’t seen it, but I can tell you that as a mass merchant our goal is to serve the many different needs of our more than 140 million weekly shoppers – whether it’s dinner for tonight, a tube of lipstick or a new laptop for college. When it comes to electronics, Walmart wins on price and gives our customers access to the latest technology from the biggest brands like Apple, Samsung, LG, Google and more.
Sarah S. McKinney
Director, Corporate Communications
If you want to let your fingers do the shopping, there’s good news. Consumer Reports found that websites outdid walk-in stores for quality, selection, and price. BHPhotoVideo.com and Crutchfield.com were among the standouts. And Crutchfield ranked especially high for customer service.
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.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.