Published: Nov 01, 2012 6:03 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 01, 2012 6:05 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Consumer Reports) - As we head into the holidays, knowing how and where to shop online could save you time, money, and a headache.

Consumer Reports survey of 28,000 subscribers gave low marks to online florists 1-800-Flowers and FTD.com. 

"They had low marks for value, and there were lots of complaints about high shipping charges and customers having to wait longer than expected," Consumer Reports' Tony Giorgianni says.

Ticketmaster doesn't have a lot to cheer about either.  It was at the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings, and got the lwest marks of all for customer support.

"A good online retailer should offer great value, have good products and services, and deliver them on time," Giorgianni says.  "It should also have great customer support."

Among the highest-rated sites were: B&H Photo; Zappos; Costco; Nordstrom; L.L.Bean; NewEgg, for electronics; and REI, which carries outdoor gear and clothing.

REI stands out with its guarantee that shoppers can return or replace items any time at the store or online. There’s no expiration date.

“Zappos also has a good return policy. You have a year to return something, and Zappos picks up the cost," Giorgianni says.

Another way to save on shipping is to shop at sites like Walmart, which doesn’t charge if you have the item delivered to the store for pick up.

Shopping online can be really convenient, but getting a ton of spam is not. Consumer Reports says a good idea is to set up a separate e-mail address for all your online purchases.