From old school vinyls to the latest phones, televisions, dishwashers, collectable figures and other goodies, an electronics shop is like a candy store for the entire family. But, where’s the best place to go? While it’s easy just to visit your closest electronics store, you might find better service – and value – by going the extra mile down the road. At Canstar Blue, we’re big advocates of a good deal, so we’ve compared the top dogs on the market to find you the best electronics retailer.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,009 Australians for their feedback on the electronics retailer(s) they’ve purchased a product/device from in the last 12 months. Note: this includes online-only stores and brick-and-mortar stores that sell multiple brands.
Respondents rate their satisfaction with their electronics retailer(s) from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
1. Appliances Online
2. Harvey Norman
3. The Good Guys
5. JB Hi-Fi
7. Betta Home Living
8. Bing Lee
Appliances Online was electric in this year’s ratings, earning five-star reviews in every applicable category, including customer service, value for money, checkout experience, product range, website experience, and overall satisfaction.
Several other electronics retailers enjoyed five stars. Harvey Norman rated well for store layout and presentation while The Good Guys received top marks for website experience. Kogan brought home two five-star ratings for value for money and website experience, and Betta Home Living for customer service and store layout and presentation.
Note: As an online-only store, Appliances Online was not eligible to be rated for the store layout and presentation research category but received five stars in all other categories.
Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.
Appliances Online is a subsidiary of the Winning Group, but the story goes that it was once a small start-up located in the back of a warehouse. Today, it has transformed into one of Australia’s most popular appliance retailers, having served over 1.6 million customers. As well as stocking over 8,000 products, the retailer also offers several customer-friendly services such as free next-day delivery (to most postcodes), free removal and recycling of old products, free installation and connection, and a 24/7 Australian-based customer support service, located in Sydney.
Not all electronics retailers in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are several more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.
Stocking up on the latest gadgets and hard-to-find collectables is a sure-fire reason to get people through the door. But customer service and staff friendliness still often play as much of a part as the price tag when it comes to deciding on a purchase, or which store to purchase through.
Generally, most people don’t have any complaints about heading in-store. It’s a great way to check out products in person and get help when you need it ─ a perk that isn’t really available when shopping online.
In fact, our survey shows 30% of consumers trust the advice they receive from a salesperson, compared to their own research. We also found that three in five people (63%) prefer to be approached by sales staff after they’ve had a chance to look around, instead of as soon as they walk in (13%). Although almost a quarter (23%) said they didn’t like to be approached at all.
But despite many shoppers welcoming the attention, it’s clear that there are still a few things that need to be ironed out when it comes to customer service. Here are the most common frustrations our respondents had:
Did you know that more than a third of Aussie shoppers we surveyed (29%) use the opportunity of being in-store to try and negotiate a lower price on their electronics purchase? Here’s how several major chains can help you find a better deal.
Appliance Online used to offer a Price Match Guarantee, but no more. Instead, the appliance retailer offers a Legendary Value Promise that includes dynamic pricing across products (time-based pricing based on stock levels) as well as free next-day delivery, free connection, and installation (on selected products), free delivery assistance on bulky items and free removal, and recycling of old products.
Harvey Norman has a ‘Shop with Confidence’ price match guarantee, stating that it will match genuine advertised prices from local stores and leading online retailers, with details and FAQs listed on the ‘Price Guarantee’ section of its website.
Consumers can request a Price Match up to seven days after the time of purchase, with Harvey Norman simply asking for proof of the competitor’s advertised price for the identical product. This does not apply to offers that include cashback, bonuses, bulk purchases, quantity limits or package deals, plus items on clearance or products delivered from an overseas distributor.
The Good Guys encourages shoppers to ring up if they’ve found a better deal, potentially allowing you to score the same product for a better price. If you do plan on calling, you can even complete the transaction straight away, so you don’t even have to step into a physical store! However, your purchase (and potential savings) will be subject to a few conditions.
For those looking for peace of mind when it comes to their latest purchase, The Good Guys also offers a Concierge 30-Day Price Guarantee, but only if you add in ‘Gold Service Extras’ to your purchase. If you notice the price of your product has dropped at either The Good Guys or an approved competitor by more than $5 within 30 days of the purchase, the retailer’s Concierge 30-Day Price Guarantee means you can receive 120% back of the difference as a store credit. You can find the list of approved competitors, plus the full conditions on The Good Guys website.
Known for its wide range of stationery and office goodies, Officeworks also provides a ‘Price Beat Guarantee’, offering to beat any identically-stocked items from a competitor (even if they’re on sale) item by 5%. Shoppers simply have to provide proof of the price and contact their local Officeworks store for the price beat, although a number of conditions have to be met.
The item must be stocked at both Officeworks and the competitor’s store, and must not include any deals involving cashback, coupons, commercial quantities or stock liquidations. There are also some limitations for products found online, so be sure to either check out Officeworks’ website or contact your local store for full details.
JB Hi-Fi says it will match the price of an identically-stocked competitor product, and states via its website that it is ‘open to negotiations’ when it comes to larger items. The competitor price must be verified by JB Hi-Fi.
Price comparisons for those who shop online must include the delivery costs, as well as exclude any additional offers such as cashback, store credit, bundled promotions, clearance products or limited-edition products. Full details are available via the ‘Pricing’ section of the JB Hi-Fi website.
Online marketplace Kogan states that prices for products listed on its website are the lowest possible in the market, and therefore doesn’t offer price matching. Kogan says it sources products from all over the world to keep prices down for Aussie and international customers, although AUD/USD exchange rates, availability, shipping costs and supply and demand can affect prices. Shoppers are encouraged to sign up to Kogan.com’s newsletter to get regular updates on deals and sales.
Betta offers a Price Match Guarantee, stating that if you find a cheaper price and contact Betta, it will match it, subject to a few conditions. The conditions include that products must be from a registered Australian business that has a physical store in Australia, and that Betta doesn’t price match on grey imports, liquidation stock sales or when the price falls below cost price.
Betta also offers a 7-Day Purchase Price Guarantee for Club Betta members, meaning that if you find a cheaper price within seven days of purchasing something from Betta, simply show the advertised product, along with your receipt, and Betta will refund the difference. Similar to the Price Match Guarantee, this is subject to a few conditions, which can be found on the Betta website.
Under its ‘Competitor Pricing Policy’ – which can be found on its website – Bing Lee says that it will match the competitor’s price, but only when a number of conditions are met. These conditions include that the said competitor is a registered Australian business, has at least two physical stores, and that it physically has the product in stock.
Bing Lee’s price matching policy only applies to products available through either its physical or online store, and is not available on products purchased through Buy Now, Pay Later options such as AfterPay. Miele, Asko or other products nominated by Bing Lee may also be excluded from this policy from time to time.
With plenty of major stores to choose from, finding one to spend your time – and money – in can be a tough decision, especially when it seems easier to simply stay home and do your shopping from your couch. But only 14% of survey respondents said they prefer to purchase electronics online rather than in-store – which is only up from 1% last year – meaning the convenience of online shopping isn’t a deal breaker for a lot of customers. It could also mean that brick-and-mortar stores are doing well to get the balance right between pricing and customer service to entice customers through the door.
With all that in mind, it’s important not to assume that the first store you walk into will be giving you the absolute best deal. Sometimes finding the right store and the right deal requires a little patience, and a bit of research on your part. After all, looking into all of your options may not only help you walk away with the best deal, but the best product for your needs, ensuring you don’t feel any buyer’s remorse as soon as you get home.
Megan is Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, leading the team that focuses on consumer products and services, ranging from supermarkets and groceries to home and personal appliances and retail stores. She interprets Canstar Blue’s bespoke research on the thousands of brands that we compare, rate and review, to help shoppers make better purchasing decisions.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Photo credits: Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock.com, Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com, YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock.com.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s electronics retailers review:
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