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      February 17, 2020

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Christmas Central vs Balsam Hill

Best Christmas Trees

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

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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

2020

Christmas Tree Reviews

5 stars
Christmas Central

CHRISTMAS CENTRAL

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Sample Pricing:

6.5' Down swept Hunter Fir Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree with Clear Lights - regularly $549.99, currently $449.99

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Christmas Central has a huge variety of Christmas Trees in stock that will meet the needs of everything from the smallest space to even a large commercial size property. Their wide selection provides you with Artificial Christmas Tree choices not offered from other stores we've reviewed. With thousands of Christmas trees available, you can find just about any size and shape of tree you want - as well as Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas ornaments, and more.

Christmas Central makes it easy to find the Christmas tree you're looking for. Under the Artificial Christmas Tree tab at the top of the home page, you can choose from a large selection of trees, including:

  • Traditional Trees
  • Pre-lit Trees
  • Unlit Trees
  • Alpine Trees
  • Colorful Christmas Trees
  • Fiber Optic Trees
  • Frosted Trees
  • Potted Trees

The search options don't end there. Once you've selected a tree category, you can further define your search by a number of factors, including:

  • Price
  • Popularity
  • Material
  • Color
  • Brand
  • Light type (Incandescent / LED / None)
  • Light Color
  • Needle Type

If size is important, you can refine your search efforts within the Lit and Unlit sections to quickly narrow down the range of trees that are important to you.

Free ground shipping is offered for orders over $77, otherwise orders have an affordable flat shipping rate of only $7.

One of the features we liked the most about Christmas Central is their return policy. They allow customers a full 30 days to return their Christmas tree purchase in original packaging and new condition. If you opt for a store credit, there is no return shipping charge. However, if you want cash back from your purchase, Christmas Central does charge for shipping. We thought this was a fair trade-off.

In addition to their Christmas trees, another thing we really liked about Christmas Central is their huge selection of Christmas accessories. For example, you can choose from a wide variety of Christmas Tree Stands, Christmas Tree Toppers, Ornaments, Lights, Garland, Wreaths, and even Storage options for your Christmas trees and decorations. They really do seem to be a one-stop shop for your Christmas decorating needs.

Christmas Central has one of, if not the biggest, selection of Christmas Trees available - including some unique and hard-to-find options that will please just about anyone. Their prices are competitive with other companies we reviewed. Their website functionality may not be as savvy as some of the big box online stores, but you can still quickly find what you're looking for. In addition to their huge variety of trees and accessories, we also appreciated their generous 30 day return policy and free shipping. If you're in the market for a new Christmas Tree, Christmas Central is a great place to start. They earn our highest rating.

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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.

So, while Balsam Hill has a great selection of high quality Christmas trees, they come 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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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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