Appliance stores

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What's behind our appliance store Ratings?

The Consumer Reports National Research Center comprises highly trained social scientists, including 9 Ph.D.s, using state-of-the-art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year about products, services, health care and consumer issues.
We look for:
  • Reader score
    A score of 100 means all respondents were completely satisfied; 80 would mean very satisfied, on average; 60, fairly well satisfied; 40, somewhat dissatisfied.
  • Price paid
    Price of product purchased
  • Selection
    Selection of available brands or models
  • Product quality
    Quality of product purchased
  • Service
    Quality of service from sales help
  • Checkout ease
    Rating of ease of checkout
  • Shipping
    Shipping options, cost, handling and delays for shipping and home delivery
  • Installation
    Rating of retailer's installation service
  • Haul-away
    Haul away service for old appliance



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Appliance shoppers were a fairly satisfied group compared with shoppers of other items, such as mattresses. Still, no retailer earned perfect marks across the board, and respondents to our survey who bought small appliances were fairly critical about selection and service. But some strategies they tried made shopping more successful.

Appliance store buying guide

Appliance store buying guide

Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears may sell the most large appliances in the U.S.--and Walmart the most small ones--but they aren't necessarily customer favorites. Our latest survey of more than 22,000 readers shows that Amazon.com and local independent retailers meet or beat the big boys on selection and leave them in the dust when it comes to good, old-fashioned service.

In our survey, subscribers told us about their overall satisfaction based on experiences buying almost 30,000 large and small appliances. A Chicago-area store and several regional chains got good marks from our readers who shopped at a variety of places including warehouse, big box, and department stores with varying results.

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