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      December 11, 2019

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Balsam Hill vs Christmas Lights Etc

Best Christmas Trees

To help you find the Best Christmas Tree Stores, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Balsam Hill and Christmas Lights Etc.

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Finding a good quality, artificial Christmas Tree that you'll be proud of for years to come, can be a challenge. Taking the time to drive from store to store, viewing the selection of Christmas trees, and then trying to remember what each store had can be very frustrating. Plus, paying the high markups that occur with traditional stores can be expensive as well.

However, there is an alternative. Shopping online for Christmas trees allows you to easily browse a store's wide selection, quickly compare prices, immediately place your order. Instead of hauling the Christmas tree to your home from the store, you'll find it delivered straight to your door.

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Best Reviews

2019

Christmas Tree Reviews

3.5 stars
Balsam Hill

BALSAM HILL

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Sample Pricing:

6.5-foot Classic Blue Spruce Full Pre-Lit Christmas Tree with white lights - $499 regular price, $349 during promotional sale

Balsam Hill was created more than 10 years ago with the aim of providing the most lifelike artificial Christmas Trees on the market. Frequently featured in Macy's Santa Land exhibit, on The Today Show, and in many hotels and other locations worldwide, Balsam Hill's Christmas trees even have a 22-sample branch kit that you can order, to see for yourself before you purchase your own tree. You can also find a pleasing selection of wreaths and garlands, seasonal decor, and other Christmas decorations.

Shopping for your Christmas tree couldn't be easier. From the main trees page, you can decide how you want to select your tree from among the 90+ options sold by Balsam Hill:

  • Price: ranging from under $300 to over $1200
  • Height: ranging from under 6' to 15' and taller
  • Realism: ranging from traditional PVC, to more realistic, to Balsam Hill's exclusive "True Needle", highly-realistic needle style
  • Light Type: incandescent color or clear, LED color or clear, or LED multi
  • Setup: Easy Plug, Instant Evergreen, or Flip Trees
  • Tree Shape: full, narrow, slim, flatback, or potted
  • Pre-decorated or undecorated

Once you've narrowed down your options, you can sort the results by best-selling trees or by price. As you select a tree that interests you, you'll be able to see all of the height and lighting possibilities for that model, along with a fun customer showcase with photos of how the trees looked in actual homes and businesses. And, on some of the trees, you can even see where they've been featured; for instance, the Vermont White Spruce was featured on the holiday set of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Keep scrolling down, and you'll find a wealth of detail about the Christmas tree you're considering, from product warranty to light and branch tip counts.

The Balsam Hill site also has a fantastic resource center, most easily accessed at the bottom of the main site. Need design or decorating ideas? Not sure how to store your Christmas tree? You'll find all of that there.

Depending on what time of year you're shopping for your Christmas tree, you may be able to find significant savings. When we visited the site several months before Christmas, we got a promotion offering discounts up to 30%. Standard shipping is free on all orders, with the option of paying for 1- or 2-day delivery if needed.

Balsam Hill has a decent return policy: 30 days or prior to Christmas Day, whichever comes first. Expect to pay a $25 fee for return shipping, unless you're sending back a damaged or defective product where that fee will be waived.

How does this retailer measure up against the competition when it comes to reputation? On the one hand, Balsam Hill had an "A+" rating as an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. For a company that has been around for 12+ years, that's a great track record. But, actual customer reviews are mixed. We found numerous reviews, including those on the BBB site, that described frustrations after buying a Christmas tree from Balsam Hill. The most frequent complaints centered around customer service: trouble getting help, difficulties with getting service when lights no longer work, or needles fall off, and so on.

For that reason, Balsam Hill comes in at a 3.5-star rating: great selection of Christmas trees, but coming up short when it comes to keeping customers happy post-sale. We hope to see an increase in positive reviews from shoppers in the future, which would easily move Balsam Hill closer to the top among retailers of Christmas Trees.

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2.5 stars
Christmas Lights Etc

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ETC

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Sample Pricing:

6.5 foot Hunter Full Pre-Lit Christmas Tree with white lights - $369.95

Christmas Lights Etc seems to be an excellent option for wholesale and commercial buyers and an average option for the everyday buyer. They have a large selection of Christmas Trees and many other products geared only for those needing for commercial reasons. Some of those products are Christmas Trees up to 100 ft, lighted pole decorations, and large outdoor decorations.

In the About Us section, they list some major TV networks and National newspapers that they have been featured on. Many of the notable customers listed are national brands including Macy's, The Walt Disney Company, Six Flags, Sea World and much more. This would lend us to believe they are a reputable company, used by many large companies to outfit their Christmas needs.

Free shipping is offered on Christmas Trees priced over $95. There are some exclusions, check the website for more information if you find a product you're interested in.

There is a 30-day money back guarantee with a 10% restocking fee. No returns are allowed after Christmas Day, even if it is within the 30-day window. Please check the website for more details as there are stipulations to the return policy.

The biggest complaint that we had about the website was the difficulty in finding the return policy and the customer service information. Most companies reviewed have an easy to find tab or link that will take you to a page answering many customer service questions. There is no such link from the main page of this website. We even tried chatting live with a customer service representative, to have our questions answered, and even though it said someone was online, after a few minutes of waiting for an answer, no one ever responded. We eventually found the customer service section while stumbling through some back pages on the website.

Due to the poorly organized customer service information and the fact that the company seems to cater more to the Commercial client, Christmas Lights Etc received a below than average rating as it would not meet the needs of most of our shoppers.

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Continued from above

If you're looking for a specific type of Christmas tree - for example, a tall and thin Christmas tree, or a short Christmas tree with multi-colored lights - your chances of finding it online, hassle free, are much greater than trying to shop at stores across town. Retail stores usually stock the Christmas trees that will sell the most - not trees that cater to specific needs.

Before you start your Christmas tree shopping effort, you may want to consider the following important factors in your approach:

  • Selection. How wide and vast is the Christmas Tree Selection? A large selection of Christmas Trees will increase your chances of finding the perfect tree to suit your preferences and budget.
  • Return Policy. In the event that your Christmas Tree arrives and is different than you expected, will you be able to return it hassle-free?
  • Cost. How do the prices for Christmas Trees between competitors compare? Are you going to get a great price, or pay a premium?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Christmas Tree stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find that perfect Christmas Tree that will last you for many years to come!

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