Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tips for shopping for tech items this holiday season #StaplesHoliday.

This post is brought to you by Staples via TwitterMoms.

My family is very much into their gadgets.  My husband is a computer engineer and my kids have picked up his love for anything computer related.  They all are gamers too.  Me?  Not so much.  Anything they really want for Christmas or otherwise is a tech device.  As the principal shopper (and least geeky of all of us), it is up to me to find the best deal on the gadget they want.

1.  One thing that I do is compare prices.  Amazon is a favorite starting point for me, but their prices tend to vary.  Try Price Watch, which allows you to compare prices across multiple stores.  Some retailers offer tech gadgets and other merchandise online only.  That means that you won't see it at the store, so you have to specifically browse their site for the item to see what is available.  Often for me, this means a much better deal on bigger ticket items, like a Dsi XL, which we purchased recently.  I look for the lowest price and then look for a bundle to see if it is worth the extra money.

2.  Cyber Monday is a great day to shop, but I have found that if you follow sites like Slick Deals, every day is a Cyber Monday.  The deal-seeking community there always is on the look out for a deal or steal and is only too happy to report back to share the deal with other frugal minded people.  There is a forum there that discusses tech deals exclusively.

3.  Buying quality is a must. Every one wants to save a buck, but if you buy the cheapest MP3 player and it breaks a month later, you have to replace it or go without.  No one wants a gift that breaks.  For electronics specifically, we tend to stick with known, well trusted brand names.  A super low price tag on a tech gadget is usually a red flag to stay away, unless the item is a door buster at a Black Friday sale.

4.  Skip the warranty.  Most products come with a manufacturer warranty for a year anyway.  If you are truly afraid your product will break within the manufacturer's warranty period, you need to consider a different brand that you are more comfortable and confident owning.  Avoid that upcharge at the register, but be polite to the cashier.  They have to ask.

5.  Social Media is a tech gadget buyer's best friend!  Friend or Follow sites like Staples, Tiger Direct, New Egg, Game Stop, etc. on Twitter and Facebook.  Some deal info or coupon codes are released only via their social media accounts and the early bird gets the worm.  Online friending has its benefits.

Of all of the tips above, I like my last one best.  I have found so many great deals on tech products through social media.  Even if I'm not following a retailer, I keep my eyes on my twitter friends' tweets to find great deals too.  Speaking of following retailers on social media, if you want to keep tabs on Staples this holiday season for tech deals, please check out their Facebook and Twitter below.

More info: www.staples.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/staplestweets
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/staples

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.
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