Consumer Reports: Buy Your Electronics On The Internet

Our connected colleagues at Consumer Reports are out with their latest electronics shopping survey, and online stores ranked higher than brick-and-mortar shops in almost every respect. Winners include Amazon.com, Newegg.com, Crutchfield.com and BHPhotoVideo.com.

“Our survey shows that consumers are getting more and more comfortable making electronics purchases online — even big-ticket items like TVs,” said Paul Reynolds, electronics editor at Consumer Reports.

No other category of store can match this one for pleasing customers in almost every respect, including selection, prices, and buying ease.

The more innovative websites find ways to provide personal advice similar to what you’d get at a great walk-in store or from a chat with friends and family. The outstanding Crutchfield includes access to advisers whom you can select by background to assist you with your order, via phone or online chat. Amazon.com offers among the largest number of user reviews for electronics products, all well organized. …

B&H’s website was the only retailer that got our top rating for selection, and Newegg got the only top rating for prices

Electronics chains can be useful, according to Consumer Reports, “when you can’t wait to buy an electronics item such as an accessory” But the survey “found Best Buy and RadioShack to be no better than middling in most respects.”

Although warehouse stores like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club ranked high for pricing, they were dinged by readers for product selection and customer support. Independent retailers ranked high for customer support, but lower for price. The only walk-in store that matched the mom-and-pops for support: the Apple Store.

Where to buy electronics, best online stores and electronics stores [Consumer Reports]