The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Electronics Stores

How To Find The Best Electronics Sales in Alameda County CA

Electronic stores in Alameda County allow you to see and handle products up close before purchase, with staff who can answer questions and help you select everything from HDTVs including plasma, LCD and LED TVs, 4K TVs, video games including Nintendo, PlayStation and Wii, Blu-Ray players, a PC computer, MacBook, netbook or notebook computer, mobile phones and iPhones, eReaders and more. The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report lists the best electronic stores in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA, and issues relating to buying TVs and other electronics from them.

Updated September 17, 2013

 The TOP 10 Electronics Stores in Alameda County CA

HD Electronics Outlet
(510) 265-0291
28970 Hopkins St
Hayward, CA 94545

Areas Served: Hayward CA, San Lorenzo CA, Castro Valley CA, Union City CA, Mt Eden, Glen Eden
Services: televisions, Blu-Ray players, smartphones
Key Brands: Samsung, Sharp, LG, Panasonic, Vizio

Apple Store Stoneridge Mall
(925) 227-2790
1 Stoneridge Mall Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Areas Served: Pleasanton CA, Livermore CA, Sunol CA, Dublin CA
Services: iPad, iPod, iPhone, MacBooks

Central Computer Systems
(510) 792-5888
5990 Mowry Avenue
Newark, CA 94560

Areas Served: Newark CA, Fremont CA, Union City CA, Ardenwood, Centerville, Glenmoor

Music Lovers Audio
(510) 558-1000
2116 Blake St
Berkeley, CA 94704

Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Emeryville CA, Oakland CA, Albany CA, Kensington, Claremont Hills
Services: Blu-Ray players, AV receivers, amplifiers, TVs, screens
Key Brands: Anthem, Arcam, AudioQuest, Ayre Acoustics,Clearaudio, Sony

Ham Radio Outlet
(510) 534-5757
2210 Livingston St
Oakland, CA 94606

Areas Served: Oakland CA, Alameda CA, Emeryville CA, Berkeley CA, Piedmont CA, San Leandro CA
Services: ham radios, transceivers, amplifiers, tuners

Video Only
(510) 785-1470
24040 Hesperian Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94545

Areas Served: Hayward CA, Castro Valley CA, San Lorenzo CA, Union City CA, Glen Eden, Mt Eden CA
Services: HDTVs, plasma TVs, LCD TVs, Blu-Ray players, computer monitors
Key Brands: Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba, Bose, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer

Parrot
(510) 204-8808
2114 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707

Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Oakland CA, Emeryville CA, Albany CA, Claremont Hills, Kensington
Services: cell phones, smartphones, AT&T reseller
Key Brands: Samsung, Motorola, Apple, LG, Pantech, Samsung

Al Lasher's Electronics
(510) 843-5915
1734 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703

Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Albany CA, Emeryville CA, Kensington, Claremont Hills, Oakland CA

How To Find The Best Electronics Sales in Alameda County CA 


There is no state license required of electronics stores in Alameda County and so no state standard for competency. This makes it all the more significant that all electronics dealers bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 designation have been evaluated by our research staff, and have had to pass all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, clean complaint record, best business practices, length of time in business, and more.

Despite various websites to buy electronics online, half of all buying takes place at electronic stores. Advantages of buying from a local store can include seeing or even testing the item before buying, interacting with staff you can ask questions of, getting the product immediately, and return policies that can be more convenient and secure than having to send through the mail.

But not all electronic stores in Alameda County are the same. Some have better prices than others, while others more knowledgeable staff that can help prevent making a bad purchase.  This is key because the cheapest prices for electronics are no bargain when you get an item that doesn't perform the way a better item could have.  Electronic sales in Alameda County will yield the most satisfaction when there's a balance between good prices and good advice from experienced staff.

How much experience does the sales associate have? Speak to the manager if necessary.
If you're intending to rely on advice from a sales associate at the electronics store, ask how long they've been at that store, or been in electronic sales total.  If you deem them too inexperienced, ask to speak with the manager, not to complain, but because the manager is likely to have years at that store or other electronics stores and so might have more experience with which to answer your questions and help guide your purchase.

Is Younger Better?
For some items, a youthful perspective might give you better advice. When it comes to buying an iPhone or other smartphones and cellphones, or video games like the Wii and Nintendo, what a younger sales associate has in first-hand experience with these more recent developments in electronic products can be more important than their lack of years in the job.   

 
What do other customers experience?
Some people assume that sales staff at the national chain electronics stores are less likely to be experienced about the products but this is not always the case. Some national chains make a point in investing in educating the sales associates. But that aside, assuming the sales associate has enough on the job experience to make their opinion credible, ask them what other customers have experienced in terms of being satisfied with the product you're considering, the rate of returns, etc. As a mere employee, they will often be very candid about the perceived shortcomings or disadvantages of a given item based on their own experience or based on what they've heard from other customers over time.

What is the return policy?
Electronic stores can give you the advantage of getting to see or hold or test the product before you buy, leading to a greater chance you'll be happy with that new HDTV or smartphone. However, no process is perfect and you might make additional discoveries after purchase that lead to a desire for a refund or exchange. Find out ahead of time what the policy is at that electronic store, (the best electronics stores in Alameda County will have this clearly posted in writing in the store and on the receipt), and save all receipts. Similarly, ask about the written manufacturer's warranty on the product or even ask to see it. The sales associate should be able to show it to you by simply taking one out of the box.

Sales on Electronics in Alameda County CA
Once you've decided on an item, ask the sales associates if there are any sales coming up. It could be that you're willing to wait a week for an item to go on sale if it means a better price.

Cell Phones in Alameda County
Apple iPhones have a lead in market share of just over half, with Google Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy, combined at around 40%.  Microsoft's Windows Phone is also an option like the Nokia WP8.

Marketshare can be an indication of consumer acceptance, satisfaction, and the number of apps available. But also consider the carriers available for each, their costs and the network coverage of their cell phone network in Alameda County.   Electronic stores in Alameda County can give you the advantage of seeing and handling the cell phones and smartphones first to help make a better purchasing decision. As opposed to larger electronic stores, there are also several stand alone cell phone stores in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont CA.

Tablets at Electronic Stores
Apple tablets also have a lead in market share of just over half with their iPad and iPad Mini. Tablets using Google Android (like Acer, the Kindle Fire, Google Nexus, Samsung, Barnes & Noble Nook HD tablets) account for over 40% with Microsoft Windows tablets like the RT slate accounting for some of the remainder.    Many tablets come as Wi-Fi only, while others have the option of always-on cellular service from a wireless provider.  If you need your tablet to be able to get online anywhere, you'll want one with that cell service though that tablet will cost a little more and then there's the cost of the cellular service provider.   You can also get your tablet online by using a 3G or 4G cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot but this doesn't work with every combination of cellphone and tablet so check with your cell phone carrier.   Like with cellphones and smartphones, the ability to physically see and use it first can be the biggest advantage to buying a tablet from electronic stores in Alameda County.

Buy a TV in Alameda County
There are many ongoing technology developments among flatscreen TVs and 3D HDTVs that will influence your choice among LCD, LED, OLED TVs, or plasma TVs.   LCD and LED TVs can be made smaller than plasma TVs while plasma are considered to have better picture quality but can need recalibration over time to account for fading. Brand leaders for LCD TVs are Samsung, LG, Sony, Toshiba and Sharp, and for LED TVs they are Sony, Samsung, Sharp, LG, Vizio. Market leaders for plasma TVs include Panasonic, Samsung and LG. 

4K TVs are the latest innovation with over four times the resolution of 1080p HDTVs. The greater number of pixels in 4K TVs mean sharper pictures and larger screen sizes with an 85 inch screen from Samsung and an 84 inch screen from Sony.

When buying a TV, research online can be a good idea but there's no online substitute for seeing and comparing picture quality at a local electronics store.

Computer Stores in Alameda County
Most electronic stores in Alameda County do computer sales but there are also those that are computer stores specifically.  The best computer stores might have more experience in computers than the larger electronic stores and more computer accessories and peripherals in stock.

The same tips above on dealing with sales staff and electronics stores applies to computer stores, especially when navigating the purchase among Apple computers versus PCs, and the array of options among laptops, notebooks, and netbooks.

 

 

Resources About Electronics Stores in Alameda County CA 


The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Electronics Stores  in Alameda County within the following zip codes:

94579, 94623, 94602, 94662, 94543, 94536, 94541, 94617, 94701, 94580, 94605, 94545, 94577, 94620, 94709, 94606, 94578, 94588, 94618, 94604, 94537, 94552, 94540, 94566, 94703, 94706, 94613, 94603, 94619, 94546, 94612, 94539, 94607, 94586, 94551, 94704, 94611, 94568, 94710, 94501, 94608, 94624, 94609, 94712, 94560, 94707, 94544, 94538, 94615, 94550, 94661, 94557, 94542, 94587, 94705, 94601, 94614, 94610, 94502, 94702, 94708, 94555 and 94621

 

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Electronics Stores in Alameda County within the following cities:

Dublin, Emeryville, Livermore, Berkeley, Hayward, Piedmont, Oakland, Alameda, Albany, Fremont, Union City, San Leandro, Mount Eden, Castro Valley, Russell City, Pleasanton, San Lorenzo, Sunol, Ashland, Komandorski Village and Newark CA