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Electronics stores

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What's behind our electronics 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
    Overall satisfaction.
  • Product quality
    Quality of purchased product.
  • Customer service
    Reflects online or phone support for websites and in-store sales help for walk-in stores.
  • Price paid
    Price paid for purchased product.
  • Selection
    Selection of brands or models available from retailer.
  • Buying ease
    A lack of problems using retailers website for online purchases; fewer problems such as sale items being unavailable, long checkout lines and crowded displays for in-store purchases.

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If you're looking for information about electronics stores, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ electronics store reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our electronics store buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and electronics store reviews to help you choose the best electronics store for your needs.

Electronics store buying guide

Electronics store buying guide

If you're buying anything from a tablet to a big-screen TV this holiday season, your best bet might be shopping online. In recent years, the Consumer Reports readers we've surveyed who shopped online were more satisfied overall than those who shopped at a walk-in store. In fact, websites as a whole outdid walk-in stores for quality, selection, and price in this year's poll, based on more than 27,000 electronics shopping experiences.

Even so, you're likely to hit the mall for many electronics purchases if you're anything like the 21,000-plus consumers we surveyed, who made almost twice as many purchases at walk-in stores as they did online. That might be because retailers are going all out to keep you from browsing in their stores, then buying online, a practice called showrooming.

Best Buy stores will match prices of major online rivals, and it offers diehard online buyers reasons to stick with Best Buy. "Customers can buy at our website, then pick up in a nearby store," says spokesman Jeff Shelman. That eliminates shipping fees and puts gear in your hands quickly.

At Sears stores, associates use tablets with a shopping app to share product information, demos, and reviews with you and to check inventory. If an item is out of stock at the store, Sears will ship it free to your home. The store can also e-mail coupons, along with an electronic receipt that's much less likely to get lost than a slip of paper.

Use the following information to help you decide where to shop this season:

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