Hi-tech bargainsHi-tech bargains on lower-profile sites

01 November 2005

Lesser-known online stores often provide better deals on hi-tech goods than their big-name rivals, says a new survey from Computing Which?.

Researchers tracked the online prices of popular computing products throughout July and August at ten online retailers.

They found the most competitive price of, for example, a Plextor DVD burner on Dabs, a name not instantly recognised when shopping online. At the start of the survey, Dabs sold the burner for GPB 132 - which was GBP 27 cheaper than its nearest rival Pixmania.

Sarah Kidner, Acting Editor of Computing Which?, said: 'Don't always assume that the better-known online retailers offer the best value. Anyone buying over the net can definitely find better prices elsewhere by shopping around.'

Snap up bargains

The survey also found that while waiting for prices to fall is often a good idea, real bargains should be snapped up immediately before items sell out or prices increase.

Hidden costs such as delivery charges and VAT can also significantly bump up prices, and flat-rate delivery charges can make buying small items less cost-effective.

If you want to buy goods hi-tech goods online, we recommend that you shop around and use reputable sites. Get to know your online rights under Distance Selling Regulations.

If you buy goods costing between GBP 100 and GBP 30,000 with a credit card you have protection under a Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the company subsequently goes bust. However, this applies only to goods bought in the UK.