Savvy Electronics Shopping

This holiday season some retail experts are forecasting the biggest electronics sales in 25 years. And with so many online retailers, you don't even have to leave your house to shop. But where's the best place to go? Consumer Reports' survey has the answers.

Shopping for electronics, you have plenty of choices. There are specialty superstores like circuit city and best buy. Mass merchandisers like target and Wal-Mart are also in the electronics game. Even stationery stores like staples and office depot now sell electronics. And don't forget web sites like Amazon and J and R.

Consumer Reports' Mark Kotkin says where you shop can really make a difference. Survey results on 28 retailers showed brick and mortar stores offered great selection and service or low prices, but not all three. For example, Ritz camera had a great camera selection, but not great prices. BJ's wholesale and Costco had low prices, but not much selection. And when it comes to service...

In general, online stores did a better job of satisfying customers. For example, Amazon.com and J and R.com offered low prices and a great selection. And Crutchfield was at the top of the charts with an easy to navigate site and excellent product information. But when it comes to rear-projections sets and flat screen TVs that go on the wall, a brick and mortar store is still your best bet because these should be professionally installed.

Consumer Reports says timing your electronics purchases can make a big difference in how much you pay. Digital cameras and camcorders go on sale in the springs, while you'll find lower prices for DVD players in April and July.

And sales for TVs usually occur in July and November.


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