Should you buy a home theater system from a big box or specialty store? It depends on a number of factors. No matter where you spend your money or how much you spend, you want the product you get to last and to make you happy. Following are some tips to help you decide how and where to purchase your system.

Knowledge is Power

If you are an electronics buff, if you subscribe to CNET or if you tinker with wires in your spare time, you might be safe in a big-box store. Everyone can (and should) research a product before they buy it. But doing research and reading reviews isn’t always enough. A particular projector may garner rave reviews, but what if you didn’t know it’s practically useless if it’s not in total darkness? It’s a rookie mistake, and one you rely on salesmen to catch for you. And you won’t necessarily get that at a big-box store.

Revolving Chain-Store Door

Even the chain-variety electronics stores follow the retail business model: hire whomever is willing to work for minimum wage, regardless of knowledge, experience or dedication to the job. These types of stores will sometimes get an employee who loves electronics and may have cultivated some expertise in a particular area, but you may not be shopping in that same area, and that employee may not be there the next time you come back.

Too Much Diversification

Big-box stores are even worse. They have the same goal in mind: Make money, at any cost. But they don’t even specialize in electronics ― they’ve got snow tires, clothes, food and greeting cards in there too. Again, if you know exactly what you want and you need zero customer support, you may save money at one of these stores.

Experience Counts

At an independent electronics dealer, you will find people whose lives are all about electronics. They may have degrees and certifications, but in this field, those aren’t as important as hands-on experience and knowledge. Electronics dealers not only read about what’s new and exciting in the field, they try it out for themselves. Like cars or refrigerators or phones, people have their preferences for certain brands or models, but seeing (or hearing) is believing.

Asking Questions is Key

Knowing the ins and outs of a product and properly interviewing the customer is what makes a successful salesperson, not sales numbers. You should be asked where you are planning to use a particular product, what you expect to use it for, how often and if others will be using it as well. Finding out what you expect is the only way a salesperson can make sure you get it.

For exceptional sales and service, go to TYM Smart Homes and Home Theaters. Their experienced technicians and salespeople strive to make sure the product you end up with is an exact fit for your needs. They even provide support after the fact ― you can call with questions any time. TYM is the specialty store that provides the customer service you can never get from a big-box dealer when shopping for home theater systems.

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