Consumer Reports looks at how, where to buy electronics

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With the holidays fast approaching, we're entering the biggest season for buying electronics. And in the nick of time, Consumer Reports has advice about where to shop for the best selection and service, and even how to shop to help you get the best price.

When Wendy Camerik bought her new television at Best Buy, she ended up getting nearly $300 off, just by asking.

"I really never expected that would happen at a big store like that," she said. "But it was really kind of easy."

Don't be afraid to ask. A survey of more than 40,000 Consumer Reports subscribers found 64 percent of those who haggled were successful, saving an average of $78.

And you might want to reach for your keyboard instead of your car keys, when you head out to shop.

"People who bought electronics online were happier with the price," Consumer Reports Karen Jaffe said. "They were happier with the selection, and they were even happier when it came time to make the returns."

The top online retailers include ABT and B&H Photo-Video. And though it doesn't top the chart, Amazon gets high marks for both price and selection.

"You can also get better deals online by price matching, by finding coupon codes," Jaffe said. "So it's always worth it do that extra search before you make a purchase."

Shoppers were a lot less happy with their experience at retail giant Walmart, and with the selection at other big-name walk-in stores like Office Depot and Radio Shack.

If you don't mind a smaller selection, you can find some good deals at warehouse clubs like Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club.

And if you really like to be hands on, consider local, independent retailers. They offer a bit more hand-holding, which can make up for sometimes less competitive pricing.

Consumer Reports also found walk-in stores have the edge when it comes to service-oriented offerings, such as free technical support, disposal of old electronics and recycling services.
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