Buying Electronics Online
I often hear “Buying online is the cheaper way to go”. This is always an interesting statement. Whenever you can buy paper, toothpaste, books and other household items that can be clearly identified as the same- it makes sense. You always want to save money “apples to apples”.
Buying consumer electronics online, however, is different. Often times, online retailers, even manufacturer’s own websites, don’t always give you the facts you need to make a decision. For instance, Samsung, one of the best-known manufacturers of televisions has over 40 TV’s to pick from in the 46”-58” range. They range from $600 to $6000. Are we really better off going for the cheapest? Most expensive? What does your neighbor recommend? If there wasn’t a difference, why did they create so many? And why do I need a retailer like Starpower Home Theater?
I’ll save the obvious whining by many local retailers that it is important for society that you buy from your neighborhood rather than buying electronics online. Real life doesn’t work that way and people buy where they get the best overall deal. When you can save money, you should.
For example, 4K televisions are not all the same. 4K TVs can vary vastly in picture quality. Turned off- most TVs look the same. An online retailer does not have an interest in quality or value, but rather what they can make more money on.
What You Need to Know About Online Retailers of Consumer Electronics
Here is what you should know. On-line retailers do not carry everything. In fact, online retailers sell you what they will make the most money on. Many times, they will use the old bait and switch where they either change your product outright, sell you a bunch of overpriced accessories, must have warranties that will never be redeemed, or overpriced shipping. And guess what- if you don’t buy the expensive add-ons – you don’t get your “too good to be true” deal.
Even Apple, a successful online retailer, realized that a physical store must be present locally to ensure the best overall experience. They have opened and are in the process of opening hundreds of stores so Apple customers will continue to experience a high satisfaction with their product. This simply can’t be accomplished exclusively online. Buying Consumer Electronics online is no different.
Here are some things to remember when you shop online:
• Online Sellers do not have to abide by any local business ethics (by law or by practice).
• Shipping is almost always extra and even more to upgrade your delivery service.
• Even with Free shipping, damage to your package can result in hundreds of dollars to return the product. With shipping paid for by the customer.
• B-Stock, factory returns, and refurbished electronics are often resold online. “B-Stock” items are not covered by most manufacturer warranties.
• If an online seller is not specifically authorized to sell the model number you are buying your warranty may be void.
• The accessories sold with the products, ie. mounts, cables, etc are usually low-quality items.
• They will push you to buy a warranty that isn’t necessary and is nearly impossible to redeem.
• Return policies are usually a burden and involve shipping costs out of the customer’s pocket.
• Most local retailers will not install products purchased online for liability reasons.
• Online retailers simply don’t care about whether this is the best product for their customers.
In the end, do your research online. Look at the deals and then bring the information to a qualified, established, expert with a solid reputation for dealing with electronics (ask your friends).
Buying Electronics Online from Starpower
High-quality local retailers such as Starpower Home Theater have a real incentive to do what is right for their customers. They design a solution that works long term, meets your overall needs and is the best value. Remember that a quality retailer will be there to resolve any questions or concerns you may have. If it’s a better deal online, a reputable dealer will tell you so. In the end, how much are you really saving? If you don’t buy from a local retailer, at least visit one and see what they have to offer. It’s for your own benefit.
Starpower offers a limited selection of our products online for your shopping convenience. However, if you’re just starting your research, we highly recommend stopping into one of our showrooms to “audition” the products you are looking for.
Want to see our selection?