Shopping online can be significantly cheaper than heading downtown towards your local mall, outlet, Best Buy, Walmart and so forth. The overabundance of competition at the entire world’s fingertips forces suppliers to break down and get rid of their items for a bargain that bests its competitors’ prices. Shopping on the web may also be tax free for a variety of online shops. Thanks to the likes of eBay, many retailers may even specialize in refurbishing products and selling them for far below the out-of-box price. However, surfing the web simply to find which store can sell an LED Television for $20 less can be time consuming. Customers also tend to worry about having their credit card information stolen. Therefore, I have compiled a list of the top 10 places to buy cheap electronics online. The websites making this list are based on reputation, security, inventory, shipping speed, and of course price.
1. eBay – eBay is the mecca of purchasing cheap electronics online. Customers can find literally anything here, be it new, refurbished, used, broken, etc. Thanks to the Buy It Now feature users no longer need to consume their time getting into bidding wars. eBay’s partnership with PayPal allows customers to shop with confidence. Despite its reputation eBay cannot control how long their suppliers take to ship items, whether the items are in the condition described, or if the seller is an outright scam artist. PayPal does a great job protecting consumers from these types of incidents; however they can still cause headaches, and potentially a loss of funds.
2. Cheap Electronics Depot – CheapElectronicsDepot.com features the lowest prices online by a landslide. Their product selection may be low (less than 100 items) however the items sold are in very high demand. iPod’s, HDTV’s, MacBooks, Video Games consoles, and more are all sold for up to 99% off retail. Bargain hunters looking to go the extra mile for an incredible deal enjoy shopping at Cheap Electronics Depot. The catch here is all items are sold via a “bidding fee auction.” Meaning users must pay a small fee (usually 60 cents) each time they place a bid. The price increases by 1 penny with each bid. Most items tend to sell for about $50. Therefore placing 100 bids on a one thousand dollar HDTV is equivalent to purchasing it for $90. Cons are, the site design leaves something to be desired, and you may end up paying for bids without winning the product.
3. Ioffer – Ioffer is a clever site that is a slight variation on eBay. Rather than the seller setting a price, the customer makes an offer to the seller. The seller may accept, decline, or make a counter offer. I have realized that if you search around enough and make enough offers, you can get some amazing deals on here. A lot of sellers may be eager to get rid of their product; therefore they are quick to accept a low offer. However, the site can become frustrating when sellers decline very reasonable offers. The product selection is very vast, and users should be able to find any electronics they like on here.
4. Best Buy – Before you jump all over me for putting a retail chain on here as an online store, please hear me out. BestBuy.com offers products online from their Outlet Center that cannot be purchased in the store. Don’t think the 7th Generation iPod is much different from the 6th generation? Head on over to Best Buy online store and check to see if they have any refurbished 6th generation iPods at the outlet center. The price is much cheaper, and since you are dealing with such a refutable seller, you can shop with confidence. The shipping costs are high, taxes must be paid, and the outlet center may not always have what you need. This is still a very worth place to find cheap electronics online.
5. NewEgg – I don’t know how they do it, but NewEgg features some very solid deals on High Def televisions, digital cameras, and most of all computer parts. Tech savvy bargain hunters could practically put together an entire desktop from parts they purchased for NewEgg. All for less than $300. Less technologically inclined users may not be able to find such deals, however the prices on electronics here are definitely not something to snub one’s nose at.
6. Wal-Mart – Walmart.com… Not much to say here. While not everyone may agree with their labor policies, or corporate practices, there is no denying the Wal-Mart continues to find ways to push out products for prices few can match.
7. Craigslist – Without a doubt, Craigslist features some of the best prices on electronics. Plus users get to avoid the whole shipping process, tax, credit card entered online, etc. It is also great to see the product in person before purchasing. Craigslist slips because if one lives in a rural region of the country, very few ads are available and finding what you need may be difficult. Secondly, Craigslist is prone to a variety of scams. Most importantly, Craigslist is not always entirely safe. Visit a stranger’s house at your own risk, and cut down your risk by bringing someone with you.
8. HHGreg – Like NewEgg, HHGreg features some good deals. While their prices cannot compete with the likes of an eBay or Cheap Electronics Depot, their products are always top notch, and you know you are dealing with a trustworthy seller who can come through should the product fail to work.
9. Amazon – Most of you would have Amazon ranked higher on this list. I mean after all, they have a great reputation and sell basically any product imaginable. Well the factor I weighted most when creating this list was price. And Amazon is very hit or miss with its deals. I may be able to look up an off brand Television and find it for about $100 less than what it may cost directly from the retailer. However, there are other products that only seem to sell for exactly the same price in the store (sometimes more). Amazon is still a great website to give a try. You never know if you may find a deal on what you are looking for.
10. Target – Target is the rich man’s version of Wal-Mart. I’m sure everyone is well versed on Target and understands that the slightly better reputation over Wal-Mart means slightly higher prices.