Best Electronics Websites Reviews 2016
Making a big technological purchase like a TV or a computer can be intimidating. Sometimes it is easy to think that technology is something for which you just have to shell out big bucks. However, bargains can be found even for the most expensive electronics and knowing where to find a reputable online electronics store can help you save a bundle.
An online electronics store is a very useful tool to use when searching for any item, especially electronics, but some have different strengths and weaknesses. Here is a compilation of the electronics retailers to help you to score deals on electronics. But first, take a look at some of the factors and features to keep an eye out for while browsing.
Online Electronics Stores: What to Consider
When you are buying electronics online you have to have some level of trust that your payment information will be used responsibly, your purchase will be delivered with care and your order will arrive in time. Here are other important things to consider.
- Do they have a good reputation of responsibility and timeliness?
- What sort of shipping fees will you encounter? If you find a product with large shipping and handling costs, you might find it for cheaper on another site. Sometimes a vendor will try to trick you by claiming lower prices for a product and then making up for it in shipping fees.
- Does the site have comprehensive customer reviewing sections?
- Read the rules that a site has for its vendors. It doesn't directly apply to you but a site that keeps a close eye on its vendors is more likely to avoid issues involving unethical online sellers.
- Does the site have a mobile app?
- Trusted reputation
- On-time delivery and tracking
- Free shipping on many items
- Huge variety of vendors and products
- Feedback on sellers
- Not tech specific site
- Shipping may vary depending on vendor
Amazon is a well-known and useful tool for finding comparisons on all types of products, including electronics. Sellers from near and far flock to Amazon to advertise their goods and unlike eBay, you won't be forced to outbid a competitor. As for comparisons, it is extremely effective. It clearly lays out all the details including full technical specs, customer reviews, and comparable prices. It's hard to find an e-commerce site as trusted as Amazon with the full range of products. What's more, the newly added "one-click" buy button facilitates a speedy check-out process.
Verdict - Superb
Amazon is personally our favorite shopping website. Sometimes the big company is not the best choice but in this case we cannot help but recommend it. It has a vast variety of products to choose from and even features exclusive deals.
- Hand-picked deals
- Forums for discussing products
- Easy site navigation
- Weekly newsletter
- Local deals
- No daily deals section
- No online support
- No BBB rating
SlickDeals has an impressive local section. In the top left corner of the home page there is a tab that says the name of your town and when you scroll over, a drop down menu reveals the local promotions in your area. Find deals on spa treatments, dance lessons, and even snorkeling trips. In the way of electronics, they are very straight forward with their deals, which is refreshing. You can also look over posted deals. One of them said, "$50 Off Apple iPhone 5, 4S, 4 at Best Buy." This in and of itself was very plain but what caught our eye was a red asterisk notifying us that Radio Shack had a similar special. This was a great detail that should make consumers feel like the site is on their side, rather than just another megaphone for advertisements.
Verdict - Great
This is a great site if you are looking to compare deals clearly and accurately. The fact that they have limited direct support-email address or a phone number-is the only shortcoming. However, this can be overlooked when you consider the extensive support message boards and other website features.
- High BBB rating
- Wide variety of products
- Installation services
- Quick order processing
- Local ad/in-store deals
- Expensive Shipping
- Sales tax in some states
- Local store complaints
TigerDirect is another good site for product comparison on all electronic categories. Like Amazon it has a cart feature which allows you calculate the total cost of your purchase before entering any credit card information. The processing of your orders is quick, and as a plus, the customer support is amazing, so you'll have an easy time shopping online. This wide variety of technology comes with a cost though. Metal and tech are pricey shipments, especially due to their frailty. Shipping for TigerDirect is a little expensive and the delivery can be slow. However, if you don't need something immediately, and place an order ahead of time, you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Verdict - Very Good
The site has a good design and is easy to navigate. However, consumers complain that they had to deal with poor customer service, late package arrivals, and unscrupulous online merchants. That said, the site has a lot of great deals and accurate timing.
- Second-largest online-only retailer
- Appliances and parts available
- Low prices
- Accepts multiple forms of payment
- Extensive customer support
- Limited selection on some appliances
- 15% re-stocking fee
- Slow order processing
Newegg is a unique site that allows you to not only buy products but also specific parts, as well accessories and gear. Opposed to other top shopping sites like Amazon which vary in their offerings, Newegg is specific to electronics and technology which is helpful to anyone who wants to make a quick tech purchase without having to search through irrelevant search results. Or as noted, you can buy parts alone for building devices. The fact that they offer the ability to buy only specific parts is very appealing to tech savvy individuals who want to do some hardware building of their own. Plus it is just a feature that sets them apart from the scores of other online shopping sites. Aside from Amazon, this is one of the largest online retailers around. The only con that really stands out as a possible deal breaker is the 15% re-stocking fee, but that's only if the product is not damaged or defective.
Verdict - Good
Newegg is a unique site that allows you to not only buy products but also specific parts, as well accessories and gear. It's important for you to know that in 2010 a vendor on the site did sell several counterfeit Intel processors, but they were replaced with real ones once the scandal was discovered.
- Good site navigation
- Plenty good deals
- Accurate information and timing
- Wide range of products
- Displays large sections of expired deals (expiration dates are shown)
- Not an online store
Tech Bargains isn't an online electronics store as much as it is an electronics deals site. You cannot buy directly from the site but you may be able to use it to find excellent deals on electronics and other products. The easy to use interface and the wealth of information make the site a valuable resource when searching for electronics. Listings that are included on the site are accurate and up to date with expiration notices provided, so you know what is still available.
Verdict - Good
Tech Bargains is not exclusive to technology, contrary to what its name suggests. However, they do specialize in tech, while non-electronic products are secondary. The site offers a plethora of new and used electronics and offers a lot of good deals for a verity of electronics. However, they continue to display outdated deals. Now they do tell you they are expired but it does clutter up your search.
If you are about to buy something like a new LED TV or a new notebook computer don't resign yourself to the idea that you are going to have to walk into an brick and mortar store and pay whatever prices they list. There are plenty of online electronics stores that can help you make an informed decision so you don't make an uninformed purchase.
Online Electronics FAQs
Is it safe to buy electronics online?
The concern that fragile objects like electronics may show up in pieces after being shipped to you from far away is valid. Or you might be worried that you won't get the product you wanted. Either way, these are always an issue when buying products online. First, you should only buy from trusted sites with a good reputation. Little known or sketchy sites are more likely to send you something faulty than reputable online businesses.
Many electronic stores facilitate buying and selling between vendors and shoppers. In this case, the vendors themselves should be scrutinized, not just the site. To do this, check the user reviews. If the response is overwhelmingly negative you may want to avoid this vendor. If there is an acceptable mix of negative and positive reviews it is probably a decent vendor. However, accidents happen even when dealing with legitimate online stores. Always check a sites return policy in case you need to get you money back for a broken device.
Before you buy, be sure to check the specs. Take a look at the technical specifications to be sure that the page you're looking at is the one you want. After you've made a purchase monitor your credit card spending. Whenever, you put your card information out there you should keep an eye out for any fraudulent charges.
When should I buy online and when should I use a local retailer?
Shopping online has so many conveniences and benefits, that you many never want to step into an actual electronics store again. However, there are still some situations where you might need to head down to your local department store. For instance, certain items like cameras need an in-person experience before you decide to buy. You can't test out different brands when buying online.
Shop online when:
- You know the exact product you want or you've had experience with the product before.
- The pricing is better.
- Your local retailer does not have your product.
Shop in-store when:
- You're not sure which brand you want.
- The pricing is better.
- You don't want to wait for a long shipping process.
If you do find something online that is competitively priced but you aren't sure if you'll like it when it's right in front of you, go down to the actual store and test it out. You can always figure out which product you want in the store and then buy it online once you've decided.