October 31, 2013, 12:01 PM

Crutchfield and B&H Photo beat Amazon in serving online electronics shoppers

The three retailers earn top scores in a Consumer Reports study.

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Consumers buying electronics this holiday season will do well shopping online, particularly if they buy from Crutchfield Corp. or B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio, according to new Consumer Reports study.Those two online retailers, Nos. 135 and 192 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide, earned top marks in the study.

Consumer Reports based its ratings on 27,037 online and offline e purchases of such items as TVs, digital cameras and tablets by 21,394 of its readers between January 2012 and June 2013. Those shoppers scored 11 online retailers and 18 bricks-and-mortar stores on a 100-point scale across five areas: product quality, customer service, price, selection and buying ease.

Crutchfield.com, which offers live chat and encourages shoppers to have phone consultations with “personal advisers,” was the only web site that receiveda perfect score for customer service.

BHPhotoVideo.com and Amazon.com Inc. were the only sites that earned top marks for both selection and ease of use.

E-commerce sites took eight of the top 10 spots. Here is Consumer Reports’ ranking of the top 10 retailers (online retailers are listed via their web addresses), along with their 2013 Top 500 ranking and overall score:

  • Crutchfield, No. 135, 96
  • BHPhotoVideo, No. 192, 96
  • Amazon.com, No. 1, 94
  • Adorama.com, 94
  • Costco.com, No. 16, 93
  • Newegg.com, No. 14, 93
  • Unidentified independent retail bricks-and-mortar stores, 93
  • Apple.com, No. 3, 92
  • QVC.com, No. 5, 92
  • Costco Wholesale Corp.’s bricks-and-mortar stores, 92

"Shopping online for electronics has many benefits,” says Glenn Derene, electronics content development team leader for Consumer Reports. “Most online retailers have a wide selection of products and attractive prices, and obviously you don't have to put up with crowded aisles and long checkout lines."

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