Entries in Electronics (3)


Holiday Gift Return Policies at Nation’s Biggest Retailers

Rayes/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Christmas has come and gone, but holiday shopping has not. The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday gift returns will total a record $46.3 billion this year, up 4 percent from last year and 10 percent from two years ago.

Read and click below to see the return and price-matching policies of the nation’s biggest retailers to save time, money and headaches when returning your holiday gifts.

Return Policies:

Price-Matching Policies:

Wal-Mart’s temporary, holiday price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

Staples:  “If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

Target:  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim., the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.

Sears:  “If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus, give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to

Best Buy:  “Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

Amazon:  “With the exception of TVs, doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to

Home Depot:  “If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

Lowe’s:  If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s Website.

**Make sure to check the company’s website to read the fine print and review other requirements for price matching. Price matching varies for in-store purchases and online purchases.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Money Saving Tip: Unplug Electronics and Slay "Energy Vampires"

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- How high is your monthly electricity bill? With the kind of summer we've had, your power consumption has probably gone through the roof if you've kept the fan and air conditioner on to keep you cool during the ongoing wave of oppressive heat.

There are ways that you can cut back, though. Did you know that certain appliances and electronics will continue to use power even when they're switched off? It's estimated that 10 percent of the average home electricity bill comes from the energy used by these products, which are popularly called "energy vampires."

These products include cable and DVR boxes, cordless phone chargers, microwave ovens, and video game consoles.

The only way to prevent them from using standby power -- that is, drawing on the energy supply even after they're turned off -- is to unplug them.

Here are a few tips, taken from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to help you cut standby power and save money:

Identify Energy Vampires

  • Identify products that draw standby power. Products with one or more of the following features typically have standby power use: A remote control , external power supply, digital display, LED status light, or digital clock, a battery charger or a soft-touch key-pad.
  • Other products that may not have these features also can have standby power. The only way to be certain is to measure them with a meter. Most homes will typically have 20 such devices.

Pull the Plug

  • Unplug appliances or electronic items that aren't used often. The best example is the television and DVD/DVR in the second guest room.
  • Use a power strip with a switch to control clusters of products. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's website, the most likely targets are computer clusters (PC, display, printer, scanner, speakers, wireless transmitter, etc.); video clusters (TV, DVD player, powered speakers, game consoles, etc.); and audio clusters (receiver, amplifier, CD players, etc.). Be sure to keep the set-top box and modem on a separate circuit to avoid loss of connection.

Other Tips

  • Buy low-standby products. This could be difficult because few products list their standby power use. Most Energy Star-rated items have lower standby.
  • Most of us leave our cell phones to charge overnight while we sleep. But they only take about an hour to charge fully, so the rest of the time you're wasting energy. Try charging your cell phone while you eat dinner instead -- a shorter time frame.

    An aggressive campaign, armed with knowledge about which products draw standby, can cut total standby by as much as a third, according to the Berkeley lab.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Just How Big Is the Threat of Inflation?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The price of gasoline is up sharply in recent days.  Food inflation is also rising, but a new report released Monday finds that most other prices remain under control.

Richard Wobbekind of the National Association for Business Economics says the problem seems more scary than it really is.

"I call this the great disconnect," he says.  "When I go to the grocery store, I have a heart attack.  And when I go to the gas pump, I'm looking at gas prices that have risen dramatically in the past year.  Looking at those two think I'm saying, 'Boy everything costs a lot more.'"

But Wobbekind adds that when we look at the overall picture, we see that things like housing are included in that larger view.

"Of course, housing costs have been going down."

Many consumer electronics products are also cheaper, experts say.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio