From tablets to big screen TVs, electronics always make good holiday gifts. But where to get the best price, selection, and customer service? Consumer Reports surveyed more than 21,000 of its subscribers for answers.
"Your local independent stores tend to have a very good selection of products," says Carol Mangis of Consumer Reports. "They tend to have high-quality products, higher than some of the other walk-in or big-chain stores have."
But Costco topped the ratings in one category. Plus, Costco has a generous 90-day return policy for electronics.
"But what you should be aware of is that you do have to pay for a membership, and also their customer service leaves a little to be desired," Mangis adds.
Consumer Reports found websites outdid walk-in stores for quality, selection, and price. B&HPhotoVideo.com and Crutchfield.com were among the standouts. Additionally, Crutchfield ranked high for customer service.
"They make it quite easy for you to get in touch with them if you have questions," Mangis said. "You can call them directly or e-mail them, or you can open up a live chat window as you shop."
Here's one more tip from Consumer Reports: Whether you're shopping in a store or online, it pays to ask for a better deal. The survey showed that shoppers who bargained were successful most of the time.