Hunting for a great deal on a new computer? Need to revamp your home office with some new tech?
Whether you’re one of the many Canadians working from home or interested in picking up an online side hustle, having access to the latest tech can increase your productivity and give you a competitive edge.
Below, I’ll outline some of the best computer and electronics stores in Canada. I’ll share some of the most reliable brick-and-mortar retailers I frequent and a few of my favourite online computer retailers as well.
I do a lot of my shopping online, as it’s simply more convenient and makes it easier to compare deals. When it comes to computers and electronics, though, I often prefer to visit a retail store.
Buying a new laptop, phone, or camera can be a significant investment, and visiting a physical store gives me the opportunity to compare floor models and get a more hands-on experience with the tech before I buy it.
I’m also more confident in my purchase since I know I’m not buying counterfeits, which are becoming increasingly common online.
With that in mind, here are a few of my go-to brick-and-mortar computer and electronic retailers in Canada.
- Locations In Canada: 160+
With over 160 locations throughout Canada, Best Buy is one of the country’s largest and most well-known electronics stores.
It was founded in the US in 1966 and has since expanded globally with over 1,100 stores. Although the recent pandemic and eCommerce boom hurt the company’s retail sector and forced it to close some of its locations, Best Buy still reports strong sales and has adapted by improving its online shopping experience.
From computers to TVs, printers, cameras, gaming systems, sound systems, smart tech, and even vacuum cleaners, Best Buy sells it all.
Best Buys tend to be very large stores, which makes them easy to get lost in. Every time I go to Best Buy with the intention of buying “just one thing,” I always end up browsing through several aisles, making a mental wish list of all the new tech I want.
The Best Buy staff tends to be very helpful and knowledgeable and can usually answer any question that I may have about a particular product. Plus, there are plenty of floor models that you can experiment with, so you can really get a feel for what you’re buying.
Another reason I like Best Buy is that it offers great in-store financing deals, making it easier to budget for an expensive purchase like a new computer.
Every Best Buy also has a “Geek Squad,” which is the company’s in-house computer and phone repair team.
Whenever you buy new tech from Best Buy, you can purchase optional Geek Squad protection plans, which can help cover the cost of damage and repairs. The Geek Squad can also repair your own computers or phones that you didn’t purchase in the store.
- Huge store with a wide range of products
- Knowledgeable staff members
- Lots of floor models to try out
- Available protection plans through Geek Squad
- Seasonal deals
- Items may be overpriced to compensate for the better service
- Stores are very big, which can make it difficult to find smaller items
- Geek Squad service can take a long time, depending on the location
- Locations In Canada: 25+
The Apple Store offers a one-of-a-kind in-store shopping experience that you won’t get at any other computer or electronics store in Canada. Like everything Apple produces, each store is minimalist in nature. From the product placement to the interior design, walking into an Apple Store feels almost futuristic.
Aesthetics aside, though, it’s one of the best places to buy a brand-new Apple device. The prices are the same as you’ll find at most retailers, and you’ll get to play around with the latest iPhones, Macs, iPads, and other Apple gear.
The team members in the Apple Store are always very friendly and can help you find anything you need.
The only drawback is that they’re all biased toward Apple products, so you won’t always get an honest comparison to other products. You might even get a few odd looks if you pull out your Samsung phone in the middle of the store.
Most Apple Stores also have an in-store repair/service centre.
- You can experiment with all of the latest Apple tech
- Friendly staff members
- Great in-store environment
- In-store service and repair centre
- You won’t find any non-Apple brands
- You won’t get an honest comparison between Apple and other brands
- It’s difficult to find older Apple models, as the stores specialize in newer models
- Locations In Canada: 400+
The Source is one of the most popular electronics stores in Canada, and there are locations in most cities and major towns in Canada. The Source operates stores that are far smaller than Best Buy and other large retailers.
However, this is part of what makes these stores more sustainable and why you’ll find them in smaller communities.
The Source offers a range of products, including:
- Wifi routers and networking gear
- Smart home technology
- Audio equipment
- Gaming equipment
You won’t find as many brands and particular products as you would in a larger store, but it’s a great place to visit if you need something on-the-spot, don’t have a nearby Best Buy, and can’t afford to wait days for an online order to get shipped to your home.
- Over 400 locations in Canada
- Often carries hard-to-find products
- Good range of products
- Friendly staff
- Doesn’t carry as many brands as larger stores like Best Buy
- May be more expensive than shopping online or at discount stores
- Locations In Canada: 40+
Canada Computers is my go-to store if I’m looking to buy a new laptop or desktop. Although the store carries some other small electronics, office chairs, TVs, and networking gear, it specializes in selling computers and computer parts.
It’s a dream come true for custom computer builders.
You’ll be able to buy empty computer shells and all of the parts you need to build your own rig, including:
- Hard drives
- Graphics cards
- Cooling systems
It’s also a great place to try if you’re not as tech-savvy and simply want to buy a reliable computer. The staff here are very knowledgeable and can help you find the best laptop based on your budget and personal needs.
The only downside is that there aren’t as many floor models as you’d find in Best Buy or the Apple Store.
- Great deals on computers
- Perfect for those who want to build their own computers
- 40 locations in Canada
- Very knowledgeable and friendly staff
- Focused on computers more than general electronics
- Not a lot of floor models to try
- Locations In Canada: 16
Memory Express is a smaller computer and computer repair store in Canada that offers specialized services and great deals on laptops and desktops. The stores aren’t nearly as large as Canada Computers or Best Buy, so you won’t find as large of a product selection.
Instead, Memory Express specializes in selling computer accessories, including:
- Networking gear
- Computer audio equipment
- PC gaming gear
- Mouses and keyboards
- External hard drives
- Processors and graphics cards
Memory Express also repairs computers and offers tech services, such as transferring data from an old device onto a new device.
Unlike Best Buy’s Geek Squad, where you’ll often wait weeks for a computer repair, Memory Express typically offers quicker repairs and service, thanks to its smaller store size and client base.
- Small niche store that specializes in computer accessories
- Quick repairs and tech services
- Great deals on computers
- Not a large selection of computers
- Doesn’t sell general electronics like TVs or cameras
- Locations In Canada: 300+
Staples is primarily an office supply store. You’ll find everything you need to construct the perfect work-from-home office setup, including whiteboards, notebooks, markers, desks, and more.
Staples also offers a great selection of laptops, desktops, tablets, and computer accessories, such as ergonomic keyboards, cooling mats, wireless mouses, headsets, and more. Staples also sells printers, routers, and other networking gear.
In my experience, Staples often has high prices. So I don’t shop there often. However, they’ll periodically run back-to-school sales and other seasonal deals. Just recently, I got a great deal on iPad that was almost $80 cheaper than the price I found on Amazon for the same unit.
Like Best Buy, Staples also offers affordable insurance plans that cover accidental damage or repairs not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Large selection of computers and office supplies
- Plenty of floor models to try out
- Available insurance plans for most tech
- You can buy everything you need to set up your home office
- Great seasonal deals
- Aside from sales, Staples tends to be more expensive than its competitors
- Locations In Canada: 400+
Walmart is a great place to find deals on computers, phones, TVs, and other electronics. The only downside I’ve noticed is that Walmart stores don’t have as large of a selection of computers as competitors like Best Buy, Staples, or Canada Computers. Walmart also doesn’t sell high-performance laptops.
However, if you’re looking for a good deal on a reliable laptop for school or office work, it’s a good place to check out. I’ve also seen some great deals on computer monitors at Walmart.
The only thing that I don’t like about shopping in Walmart’s electronics section is that everything is locked down, and stores are often understaffed.
This means that I may have to stand around and wait ten minutes for an associate to come from the other side o the store to unlock the security doors just to buy something simple like a pair of headphones or a mouse. Sometimes the deals are worth the wait, though.
- Great deals on laptops, tablets, phones, monitors, and TVs
- Good brand selection
- Electronics are heavily locked down to prevent theft
- Stores are often understaffed, resulting in long wait times
- Locations In Canada: 100+
Most people shop at Costco to save on groceries, cleaning supplies, or find good deals on outerwear. However, Costco also has a great electronics section. From UHD TVs to high-performance laptops, printers, and even phones, I’ve seen some incredible deals at Costco.
If you want to find the best deals, I recommend going during Cyber Monday, back-to-school season, or around the holidays.
The only downside is that you’ll need a Costco membership to shop in the store. In my experience, though, a Costco membership is well worth the amount you’ll save on everyday groceries and electronics.
- Great deals on computers and electronics
- The savings are worth the Costco membership fees
- You’ll need a membership card to shop at Costco
Although I appreciate shopping for electronics in-store, sometimes it’s more convenient to shop online, especially if I’ve already done my research and know the model that I want. Here are the best online computer and electronics stores in Canada.
- Check Out The Deals: www.Amazon.ca
Amazon has virtually every type of computer or consumer electronics you could think of. Plus, you can read real customer reviews, which can help you research the best models. With an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll also be able to take advantage of free two-day shipping in many parts of Canada.
- Check Out The Deals: www.eBay.ca
eBay isn’t always the best place to find brand-new computers. However, if you’re looking for deals on refurbished units or lightly used computers that are still in great condition, you can’t go wrong with eBay.
Brand-new computers have become increasingly expensive. On eBay, you can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing a model that’s just one or two years old and offers similar performance to newer models.
- Check Out The Deals: www.newegg.ca
Newegg was founded in 2001 and is one of the top 30 online retailers in North America.
The online store has a huge selection of computers, computer accessories, and office supplies. Overall, the prices are similar to what you’ll find on Amazon. However, I’ve seen some incredible flash deals on Newegg.
So before you shop on Amazon, it’s worth double-checking Newegg to see if there’s a sale on the item you’re looking for.
To wrap up, here are a few great tips to help you save even more when shopping for computers and electronics.
- Take Advantage Of Cyber Monday Deals: Cyber Monday follows Thanksgiving/Black Friday and is a great time to save big on any type of electronics. Many online retailers host week-long sales for Cyber Monday as well, allowing shoppers to save anywhere from 10-25% on brand-new items.
- Look Out For Holiday Sales: Stores typically run major sales during the winter holidays. For one, people are shopping more. Secondly, the stores need to clear out old inventory before the New Year.
- Ask About Floor Models: Some stores offer discounts on floor models, allowing you to save up to 25% or more.
- Look Into Refurbished Models: Refurbished computers are models that were defective but have been repaired and certified by the manufacturer. While there’s a small chance of the defect emerging in the future, you can often purchase refurbished models at a major discount.
In my opinion, the best retail store is Best Buy. Their prices are fair, the service is excellent, and there’s a wide range of brands and models.
If you’re shopping online, I’d suggest Amazon and Newegg, as both retailers offer great prices and allow you to read real customer reviews.
Buying a new laptop can be expensive, and financing can come with added interest charges. Many retailers allow you to use a zero-interest pay-in-four option, so you can break the charge up into four bi-weekly payments.
Keep on reading to learn more about the pros and cons of buy-now-pay-later programs in Canada!