Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tips on Buying Your Gadget This Christmas Season

There's a big smirk on your face as you check your balance on your bank account. The thirteenth month pay and the bonus is more than enough to buy that gadget you've been dreaming of. But before that, is it worth spending all your hard-earned cash just to satisfy that craving? Here are some tips in buying a gadget without crying in the end.

1. Necessity vs. Aesthetics

That latest iPad is mouth watering, but do you really need it that badly?

A lot of people tend to buy gadgets due to sheer popularity and end up not using them eventually. If you already have a laptop and contented with an iPod, would an iPad make a difference? Would buying a DSLR boost your confidence into taking pictures even though you know only how to use the full auto mode and doesn't bother learning what the hell is an aperture and a shutter speed is? Would you buy a Blackberry Bold just because Ann Curtis-Smith is using one? A lot of people succumb to their vanity and end up spending cash on gadgets that was never used on the purpose they were made of. Before buying that gadget, think of how will you use it in the long run. That way, you can realize that you can buy a cheaper alternative that can aid you in your endeavors.

2. Features: Need or Novelty?

Newly released gadgets today have what you call "features that separate them from the rest" . Like the camera with an LCD in front to take that perfect self portrait or cellphones that boast pet detection that automatically takes a snapshot of your pet when detected. Come on, do you really need to spend that extra just for these features you end up not using anyway? When buying a gadget, think of how its features will help you along the way. A swiveling LCD for a DSLR would be perfect for those impossible angled shots. The WiFi tethering feature of Android phones will save you thousands on a mobile WiFi router.

3. The reason behind that sale

Shops usually put their gadgets on sale because of these reasons:

1. Old stock.
2. Nobody is buying this crap.
3. A "slight" defect (manufacturer or shop's fault)
4. Phasing this thing out.

for example, Nikon slashed the price of their D60 model from P32,000 down to P19,000. This sale will be in effect while supply lasts. That means, they were emptying their shelves with this old model to make way for their newer models.

Before grabbing that sale, think of the gadget you are buying. Is this already outdated? How much will I add for a new one?

4. Moore's Law

The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years

You must be aware about this law. Manufacturers tend to create newer versions of their products faster than you can save up to buy that product. Spending your whole fortune over a state-of-the-art gadget only to be replaced on the next day with a newer model with the same price would be heart breaking indeed. One example, if you are planning to buy an iPad. iPad 2 is coming this February 2011. So if you can wait for it, you'll find out what features it might have (thus following tips 1-3).

5. The gray market what?

Long time gadget buyers know that buying gadgets on your local mall will cost you a lot more than buying over online stores or what they call "gray market". These merchants sell original gadgets but without the "mall fee" and the "local distributor fee" that makes a gadget expensive. Don't know if some acquire it illegally, but a lot of these gray markets directly got their stocks from abroad thus skipping the added expenses. For example, if you buy a Canon EOS 550D in your local mall, it will be worth P41,000 but if you buy it on the gray market, it will only be P30,000. Be aware that buying on the gray market will only get you a 1 year warranty as opposed to buying on a local store with a 3 year warranty. If you are on a tight budget and you handle your gadgets carefully, that P30,000 will be enough.

Follow these tips when buying a gadget and yuo end up saving a lot. That extra cash can be bought for stuff that may protect your gadget in the future.

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