Being a seasoned mom geek, one can imagine how much I enjoy Holiday Tech Shopping! Having children grow up in the technology era has helped me achieve this geek status. Over the years, the boys have received many tech gifts. In our house, I am the tech shopper. Here are my tips to obtain a high-quality tech deal at a reasonable (or better) price.
- Decide upon a price range first, consider shipping charges when purchasing online, and stick to it. Always, and I mean always compare prices with top-notch online retailers. When comparing prices be sure to include the model numbers in the comparison as well. Oftentimes products look very similar from one model release to the next. This type of comparison-shopping takes time so be sure to allow enough searching time before the actual holiday gift date.
- Always read the warranty information. Check the country of origin, warranty length, and exclusions. If you live in the USA be certain the warranty will be honored here. One example of a “void country warranty” is through Canon. If your digital camera is built in China, the warranty will not be honored by Canon here in USA. Oftentimes, extended warranties are available at a reasonable price and well worth the money. Again, be sure you read the fine print for exclusions and limitations before purchasing.
- Read reviews about tech products on various reputable forums and tech sites in addition to retail sites. For example, when I purchased smart phones, I read the reviews at Cnet and Tech Crunch as well as on the cell provider’s site. Did you know that some retail sites encourage reviews and compensate for those comments? I don’t rely heavily on retail comments for this reason. When in doubt, call the manufacturer or retailer directly and ask questions, lots of questions.
- Sign up for newsletters at top retailers in anticipation of a purchase. Oftentimes these newsletters will have pre-sale information and even coupons. Again, the idea is having time to do the necessary research to get the biggest bang for your buck. Many of the big retailers now offer in store pick up. Use those online newsletter deals to purchase and pick up in the store, thus reducing or eliminating shipping charges. Staples is one of those stores that offers free online to store purchases so be sure to check them out! Sign up for their newsletter too, I did.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to allow time to shop and compare when buying tech stuff. For Christmas in 2000, I had a computer for my youngest son. It took me over a month to research all of the components. After spending more than an hour on the phone with the company, I ordered the computer. The computer survived high school and college. Today it is used by my husband. Other than increasing the RAM and performing several reformats, we have made no repairs. Research paid off, I’m just sayin!
“Being the geeky mom than I am, I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”