Sunday, June 27, 2010

PC World's Best Places to Shop for Technology

PC World in its July 2010 edition has published the best places to shop for technology items.

It took anonymous shoppers sent to retail stores, in 7 cities, and making more than 200 phone calls to salespeople in six regions of the U.S over a period of six weeks. What did they find out?

"The clueless staffers at most retailers far outnumbered the clueful ones!"

[Ed: That is why I have repeatedly told people who go to the big box stores NOT to believe any answers they hear without checking them with another credible source who knows something about technology. It is also why I offer the Computer Buyer and Advisor service to help individuals purchase a better product for less money.]

PCWorld started with Dealerscope's list of the top CE retailers, narrowed down to the top 20 while excluding the retailers who did not have a national presence [such as California's Fry Electronics], any brand-specific stores such as Dell's and Apple's, those catering to a specialized market like games and those that charge membership fees [like Costco and Sam's Club].

BEST IN SHOW
Amazon 1st place for laptops, digital cameras, desktop PC's and hard drives.

Second overall, was Best Buy, with top honors in HDTVs and printers. Best Buy had a good range of products, good pricing and knowledgeable sales people especially in the HDTV area. Best Buy also finished in second place for the desktop PC category, and tied for second place in laptops, digital cameras and hard drives. Best Buy also did the best job answering tech questions in general and it was the top brick-and-mortar retail store overall, as well as being rated highly for online presence as well.

CDW tied for second in laptops and printers while Staples tied for second in printers and Newegg tying for second in digital cameras and hard drives.

[The only problem with PC World's ommission of some stores such as paid membership stores that Costco which rated the highest for value in a recent CR survey even though their selection was low. But good value is good value!]

One other thing I like about Amazon is the number of reviews and ratings that many products have which give you a good idea of whether you want that product or not. 

However I have found that you can bring in a lower Amazon online price to Best Buy for  example and they will usually match or beat that price. Then it is MUCH easier to return if necessary.

Check the July 2010 PC World for more details or go to http://www.pcworld.com

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