Canstar Blue’s 2021 review of electronics retailers compares Betta Home Living, Appliances Online, The Good Guys, Bing Lee, Kogan, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman on price, product range, customer service, store/website layout, deals & specials available, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
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? To keep our finger on the pulse of Aussie shopping satisfaction, we annually survey more than 1,600 consumers about their personal experiences shopping at physical stores in the past 12 months. 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 good customer service and all about helping you find the best deal.
Retailers were once again rated on their product range, comparative prices, customer service, store and website layout, deals and specials available, value for money and overall satisfaction. Those that received the minimum sample size of 30 responses are compared in this year’s report.
In 2021, Betta Home Living was rated the best electronics retailer for overall satisfaction, ending The Good Guys’ 10-year reign at the top of our ratings.
Here are the best electronics retailers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Betta Home Living topped our review of electronics retailers with five stars for customer service and overall satisfaction. Runner-up Appliances Online took the lead in the remaining categories, rating five stars for product range, comparative prices, website and store layout, deals and specials available and value for money.
All in all, most electronics retailers including big names like The Good Guys, Bing Lee and Kogan rated a solid four stars for overall satisfaction, while Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman rounded up the scores on three stars overall.
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 making a decision 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 21% of consumers trust the advice they receive from a salesperson, compared to their own research. We also found that three in five (62%) people prefer to be approached by sales staff after they’ve had a chance to look around, instead of as soon as they walk in (15%). Although almost a quarter (24%) 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 (34%) 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.
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.
Aside from offering already low prices on appliances and household items, Appliances Online also comes to the table with a Price Match Guarantee. If you find a product listed on the retailer’s website advertised elsewhere for cheaper, Appliances Online promises to price match it. Simply note the advertised price and the retailer where you’ve found it, then contact the Appliances Online customer service team who will confirm the price match over the phone. Some conditions apply including that the product must be in stock or readily available from an authorised Australian retailer and that the competitor’s price must be publicly advertised within the last 14 days.
The Good Guys encourage 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 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 Price Guarantee means you can receive 120% back of the difference as a store credit.
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 30-Day Price Guarantee, but only if you add in ‘Gold Service Extras’ to your purchase. You can find the list of approved competitors, plus the full conditions on The Good Guys 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 15% of survey respondents said they prefer to purchase electronics online rather than in-store – which is up from 6% last year and 12% from the year prior – meaning the convenience of online shopping is driving consumer demand in a new direction. However, it’s not to say brick-and-mortar stores aren’t doing their best 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.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Photo credits: Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock.com, Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com, YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a product from an electronics retailer in the last 12 months (this includes online-only stores and refers to stores that sell multiple brands) – in this case,1,615 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s electronics retailer review:
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