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      April 10, 2020

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Walmart vs Sears

Best Air Hockey Tables

To help you find the Best Air Hockey Tables, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Walmart and Sears.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Air Hockey Tables, please Click Here

Where can you find the best Air Hockey Tables? If you're looking for the entertainment of an arcade with the convenience of home in your recroom, an air hockey table is a great choice for fun times with family and friends. However, many stores don't carry a large supply of air hockey tables for you to choose from.

One big reason for this is that air hockey tables take up a lot of floor space when they're displayed. Traditional stores would rather fill their aisles with racks of merchandise that you could buy off the shelf. That's one reason why many people have turned to the internet when buying their air hockey table. Of course, another reason is that you can save a lot of money by shopping online!

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Best Reviews

2020

Air Hockey Table Reviews

3.5 stars
Walmart

WALMART

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Walmart puts over 300 air hockey tables at your fingertips. Ranging in price from a $36 tabletop mini model to the Dynamo 8' Firestorm table for just under $6600, you're sure to find something that fits your game room and your budget.

With so many options, you'll probably want to use the filters on the left side of the page to narrow down the possibilities. Options include shopping by price range, brand, special offers, color, size, and more. You can also use the "Refine by" options at the top of the page, to further organize your matching results by price, brands, availability, and so forth.

Because Walmart is such a big-name retailer, most of the air hockey tables they sell come with customer reviews and ratings. That's a great shortcut to finding a model that works as well in real life as it looks on the site; you can choose to limit your results only to the tables that are 3- or 4-stars and up.

One factor to keep in mind: many of the air hockey tables sold on the Walmart site are offered by third-party "Marketplace" retailers - including several from our review. Each Marketplace seller determines their own return policies, but Walmart requires them to offer at least a 30-day return window and to charge no more than 20% in restocking fees. Compared with Walmart's return policy - 90 days, return in-store for free or by freight if you're willing to pay the shipping cost, no restocking fees - that could be a big disadvantage, so it's important to pay attention to whether you're buying directly from Walmart or from a Marketplace partner.

Shipping costs will also depend on whether you're buying from Walmart or through the Marketplace. Of course, if you're purchasing an air hockey table offered by Walmart, you'll probably have the option of choosing free pickup in-store (assuming you have a way to transport such a large item). Otherwise, expect to pay for freight shipping; on a table sold for $1300, for example, shipping fees are just under $100. That same table was offered by two Marketplace sellers for $10 more, but with free shipping.

Walmart gives shoppers a wide selection of air hockey tables from many well-known brands, and their own return policy is generous. On the other hand, customers can find it confusing to sort through the differences between Walmart and their Marketplace partners, to keep track of the different return policies and possible restocking fees. It may be worth shopping directly with those Marketplace partners, and we encourage you to consider their rankings in our reviews too.

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2 stars
Sears

SEARS

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In the days of mall shopping and big-box retail stores, Sears was one of the leaders. But, as the retailer goes through bankruptcy proceedings and continues to close over 200 of its brick-and-mortar locations, are they a good choice for buying an air hockey table?

Compared with other stores in our review, we'd probably say no. Their selection is very limited: Sears itself only has 8 air hockey tables for sale, ranging in price from $52 to $810. Included brands are Sportcraft, Atomic, and NHL.

You'll find an additional 140+ tables if you expand your shopping to the Sears Marketplace. Be aware that the Sears Marketplace means that you're buying from a third-party seller - including some of the higher-ranked stores in our review. We're not sure there'd be much of an advantage of buying through Sears instead of just going directly to that retailer's site. The Marketplace also includes eBay sellers, which may not appeal to some customers.

When it comes to returns, air hockey tables purchased directly from Sears can be returned within 30 days of purchase, or within 45 if you're a part of their Shop Your Way membership program. These returns can be made to any retail location, as long as you have your receipt/packing slip. On the other hand, if you buy your air hockey table through one of their Marketplace sellers, you'll have to find out what their particular return policy is. That's an extra hoop to jump through when shopping for a big-ticket item.

And, with Sears' uncertain future, there's no guarantee that you'll have access to their customer service after your purchase - or that your local store will still be open if you want to return your air hockey table in person. We encourage you to consider the higher-ranked retailers in our review.

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Continued from above

For those who don't know, air hockey is played by trying to hit a puck into the goal on the opposite side of a table using a handheld paddle (also known as a striker, mallet, or goalie). The table is typically smooth so that the puck slides freely; higher-end models use ventilation on the table's surface, so that the puck actually floats just above the table itself.

Players use the paddles to knock the puck across the table and into the goal slots on the other side; rails on the sides of the air hockey table keep the puck from sliding onto the floor. As a recreational sport, air hockey has been around since the late 1960s when a team of engineers at Brunswick - Bob Kenrick, Phil Crossman, and Brad Baldwin - tried to invent a new game on a frictionless surface.

Although it wasn't an instant hit, the project was taken up again by Bob Lemieux a few years later, leading to air hockey's popularity as a tournament sport from the mid-1970s onward. Today, you'll find serious competition with air hockey players based in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Maryland, Houston, Denver, Sacramento, and New York - and even across the globe in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Spain.

When deciding where to buy an air hockey table, there are a number of factors to keep in mind as you consider the numerous online retailers that sell them. Some of those criteria are:

  • Selection/Availability. How many types of air hockey tables does the store carry? Is their inventory typically in stock, or do they sell out at high-volume shopping times like the holidays?
  • Price. Are the air hockey tables competitively priced? Are there any budget-friendly perks like free shipping or discounts when signing up for an email newsletter?
  • Return Policy. If the air hockey table doesn't meet your expectations, can you return it? If so, how many days do you have to send it back? Will you be charged a restocking fee?
  • Reputation. Does the retailer have a good track record of customer satisfaction? Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau? Does the company specialize in air hockey tables and other rec room equipment like ping-pong or foosball tables?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best air hockey table stores available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect air hockey table for your game room today!

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