With this year’s Black Friday coming up soon, you’re probably already thinking about what you might like to get a good deal on this November. One product type that many people buy during this time of year is electronics.
Many retailers offer up significant savings on things like computers, TVs, tablets, stereo systems and more during their pre-Christmas sales. However, it’s also vital to shop with care to ensure you don’t end up paying out good money for a dud.
Consider Your Needs
It’s easy to get carried away with deals when they pop up. When something looks like a real bargain, we’re tempted to buy it, even if it’s not something we previously considered or the exact product we’re keen to have. Avoid spending money you shouldn’t, or wasting it on the wrong item(s), by thinking about your specific needs and long-term plans before sales start.
Work out exactly which types of electronics you require, and the features you need in them. Consider not only what you’re after now, but what you will likely want in a few years, too. Also, set a budget so you’re less likely to spend beyond your means when temptation is right in front of you.
Do some detailed research on electronics before Black Friday arrives. Check out the various brands selling the kind of gear you want, and examine the products they have on offer. Learn about the reputation of the brands you’re interested in through customer testimonials, social media sites, forums, blogs and magazine reviews, and read specific product reviews about the tech you think could suit your needs.
The more research you do upfront, the easier it will be to make informed decisions during sales periods. After all, there’s no point buying a bargain item if when you get it home you realize it’s made by a shoddy manufacturer who has a bad reputation due to excessive repair needs, etc.
Look into Features and Inclusions
Read all the fine print on the product listings before you make a purchase. There are often considerable differences between model numbers, so if a product seems like the one you’ve been researching, check to ensure the model numbers match precisely. If not, you could end up with a device that doesn’t include all the features and functionality you require.
As new models are released, they generally come with more updated options such as clearer pictures, more memory, or extra features. As you can imagine, many of the heavily discounted models during sales periods are actually the older, outdated ones, so proceed with caution.
Read listings thoroughly to find out if the electronic goods come with all the added extras you’d expect. Sometimes discounted models don’t. They could be missing packaging or accessories like cases or plugs that usually come standard. Check products’ feature standard warranty, so you’re covered in case of issues. It’s also worth looking into a home electronics warranty through a third party if you’re worried a product won’t have the shelf life you need or will cost too much money to repair.
Plus, learn about the seller’s shipping options. Is shipping included, or will it be extra, and if so, how much? Are products covered by warranty when they’re in the post? What is the return policy offered by the retailer if you change your mind or if the product isn’t what you expect? These are all questions to answer to your satisfaction before completing an order.
As a consumer, it’s necessary to browse and buy with care no matter what kinds of products or services you’re looking for online. However, this is even more important when it comes to electronics. Many scammers try to peddle dodgy gear online, or set up shop briefly to get money from shoppers but then disappear without ever shipping the goods. Take steps, therefore, to shop on a genuine site.
Check social media sites, Google reviews, and other types of unbiased sources to validate that online stores have a good reputation, and be careful when clicking on links to ecommerce sites. It’s better to type in web addresses directly on your browser than to follow links, as sometimes scammers trick people by setting up replicated sites designed to look like official stores.
Only ever input personal or payment details on secured shopping carts, too. These have URLs that start with https, or that have a locked symbol in the address bar. Avoid making purchases on public networks where the Wi-Fi is unsecured, and have security software and a firewall installed on your computer. These precautions help keep hackers at bay.
Buying electronics online can provide an excellent opportunity to pick up a real bargain. However, you need to be smart about how you do this kind of shopping, and thereby make the best use of your funds.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.