Save hundreds by shopping onlineWhich? highlights net deals on electrical goods

02 November 2006

Shoppers seeking electrical goods can save hundreds of pounds by shopping on the internet, Which? Online research shows.

But while there a bargains to be found online, sometimes goods are just as cheap or even cheaper on the high street.

Our researchers saved more than £1,000 buying a Christmas ‘shopping basket’ of eight electrical items online rather than in high street stores.

The biggest average saving - 22 per cent - was on MP3 players.  The 4GB Apple iPod Nano was £49 cheaper at getflashing.com than at the cheapest high-street store.

MP3 savings

Cheaper MP3 models tended to cost around £20 less online but savings increased significantly on pricier models. For example, the Archos XV700 40GB cost £429 in a Currys store but only £281 from Pixmania

Other good internet buys included DVD recorders, photo printers and digital cameras – a researcher saved £184 buying a Best Buy Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 camera online.

But bargains aren't always guaranteed by shopping online. Which? saved just 4 per cent on average on TVs, and the Best Buy Pioneer DVR-23OS-S DVD recorder was £29 cheaper at Richer Sounds stores than anywhere on the net.

Favourite websites

More than 5,600 Which? readers rated websites they'd recently used to buy books, CDs and DVDs, clothes and electrical items.

Favourite websites for buying electrical items online were John Lewis and Amazon, which were both praised for their service and delivery, as well as how easy it was to find items.

However, online versions of other high-street stores, including Argos, Comet, Currys, Dixons, and Pixmania were less popular.

Three websites - Abebooks.co.uk, Amazon and Play.com - got top marks for book, CD and DVD purchases  but big brands WH Smith, HMV and Tesco were less popular.

Shop online

Which? Online Editor Malcolm Coles said: ‘Shopping online, with no queues, no crowds and unlimited opening hours, is a gift for those of us who dread the thought of fighting for Christmas presents on the high street. 

‘It’s often cheaper, too; especially for MP3 players and digital cameras, which are both bound to be popular gifts this Christmas.

‘Don't always assume the internet is cheaper, though – in some cases we found better deals on the high street.  Real bargain hunters use comparison sites to find the best price online but also check whether they could get it cheaper in a high street shop.’