1. Do your research. Even if you prefer to shop at a store rather than online, use the Internet to find product reviews and customer comments, compare prices between multiple vendors (try wishabi.ca) and look for sales and coupons (including group coupons).
2. Check auction sites and classified ads. Not all items sold on eBay are "previously enjoyed" -- many small stores and distributors use this marketplace to off-load unopened inventory on the cheap (but don't forget to factor in shipping costs). Prefer to buy local? Try online classified ads such as kijiji.ca and craigslist.org.
3. Ask about price guarantees. Chances are your favourite tech retailer will beat advertised prices from rival stores (take the competitor's ad with you as proof). Some stores will also honour a price drop that happened after your purchase and will credit you the difference within a month or so. It doesn't hurt to ask.
4. Play the waiting game. Technology can be expensive when it first debuts, but prices will drop over time. If you don't need to be the first on your block with a new gadget, wait a bit. Waiting has another benefit: it gives companies time to fix glitches and add more features.
5. Go digital. While it's still better to give someone else something physical, like an inscribed hardcover book, when you're making a purchase for yourself, you can save a lot of cash by buying or renting media digitally. This includes movies, video games, books or music. After all, how many times have you watched that $25 DVD you bought in 2007?
Shopping for the latest in gadgets and technology? Let tech expert Marc Saltzman help you decide what to buy. Find the best smartphones, computers, digital cameras and other tech toys to suit your family's needs with our home electronics shopping guide.
|This story was originally titled "Holiday Tech Shopping Guide" in the January 2012 issue. |
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