A survey of CE prices last month at four of the top five tech retailers revealed a surprising low-price winner.
According to Wolfe Research, which shopped a 15-item tech basket at the websites of Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and Target, the latter's tab was lowest by far after applying a 5 percent discount for using its private-label credit card.
Excluding the Redcard advantage, Amazon and Best Buy nearly tied as low-price leaders, followed by Walmart and then Target.
The basket, which included an iPad, Xbox One console, Vizio LED TV, Beats by Dre headphones, a Fitbit band, a GoPro camera, a Netgear wireless router, HP printer, a video game and other items, totaled $3,606 at Amazon, beating Best Buy by two bucks.
Walmart’s basket was $3,662, 1.6 percent higher than Amazon’s, while Target’s total was $3,558 with the credit-card discount and $3,745 without.
Walmart narrowed Amazon’s price lead from April, when a similar survey showed a nearly 5 percent spread between the two retailers.
The Wolfe team noted that pricing differences could be further narrowed by price-match guarantees offered at Best Buy and, for the time being, Walmart, as well as by Walmart’s Savings Catcher mobile app. The latter compares customer purchase prices against those of local retailers and credits any difference to the shopper.
Meanwhile, over in the home improvement channel, Wolfe found that Lowe’s beat The Home Depot on price in major appliances. The researchers based their comparisons on seven comparable white-goods and found a 3 percent savings at Lowe’s, which translated into $135.