We spend $20 billion a year on appliances big and small, everything from refrigerators to vacuum cleaners. But where can you get the best deals?
Consumer Reports' survey of 6 thousand readers looked at large retailers and small, independent shops... And turned up some big surprises.
Call for action reporter betty sexton has details.
When you're shopping at a small, independent appliance shop... You probably expect great service.
The quality of our service and the quality of our people on the floor is really what sells this store.
But what about selection, or competitive prices? Consumer Reports' Bob Markovich says more than six thousand readers gave their input.
We asked people about their experiences shopping for appliances at big chains like wal-mart, target, best buy, as well as small, independent stores.
Consumer Reports asked about service and quality, as well as price and selection. It turns out big chains don't always mean big bargains. When it comes to small appliances, Wal-Mart touts low prices, but survey results show overall. It's no less expensive than other stores.
Readers also said good help was hard to find at Wal-Mart, and selection, pretty limited. On the other hand, Costco did offer good prices, according to survey results. But you'll have to put up with subpar service and selection.
Not surprisingly, local independent stores excelled when it came to service... But they also had competitive prices... Both for small appliances like microwaves and large ones like refrigerators.
Consumer Reports says it's also important to know when to buy.
It turns out strategically timed shopping can save you a bundle.