What does a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and an Xbox Kinect have in common? These are some gadgets utilized by top gadget users such as Crime Scene Investigators (as seen on TV) and the kids next door (or wherever ~ they’re everywhere nowadays).
To find out what’s hot, go to the source, the people who use/talk about them the most = geeks & kids & soon-as friends. Soon-as folks are people you know who buy the latest & greatest gadgets & electronics as soon as they hit stores.
Unfortunately, the economic downturn has put the brakes on impulse & big-ticket gadget & electronic buys for many people. But really, now is the perfect time to hone in on your gadgets & electronics because in these uncertain times, stores are offering great incentives to spur consumer spending and sell overstock.
So here’s how to shop smarter:
~ Set a budget then stick to it ~ for bigger purchases, look at financing options. Some big name stores are offering one-year-same-as-cash offers or free (or discounted) home delivery or shipping. Can’t beat that! Also look at open box, scratch & dent, or refurbished items at Houston & surrounding stores. Just make the time to shop around to see what deals can be found both online & on the street. Take a day to prowl Galleria (Westheimer) & Harwin Street stores. Also check Houston Craigslist & The Houston Greensheet as well. Someone else’s need for cash is a win for hardcore bargain hunters.
~ Figure out wants then compare that with what is needed ~ catalog what you can live with and/or without. Don’t be afraid to buy big on so-called luxury items that WILL save money in the long run. For instance, a killer home entertainment set up & $7-a-month streaming video subscription hinders the desire to ever pay $40-$60 to fight the movie theater crowd for a crumby C+ movie experience.
~ Do your research, then go back and do more research ~ yes, cost compare, but also compare by specifications either in person or via the Internet. Again, catalog what specifications you can live with and/or without. Note that the higher the price, the more bells & whistles an item has. Compare what can be bought by lowering or raising the budget price 20 percent. What differences account for the price discrepancy? Is the extra money worth it? Can I live with (and be happy with) the lower cost item? In essence, figure out what will work best for specific personal needs.
~ Listen and heed others’ experiences ~ read customer feedback & read others’ reviews of various items. Oftentimes, one can learn much from others’ experiences, both good & bad. Also take reviews with a grain of salt. If there are 99 out a 100 great reviews for a particular item, you can most likely bet that one person had an out-of-the-norm (outlier) experience. For best results, read reviews from the middle outward to get the best feel for the product being researched.
Just doing these things above can save money, headache and makes electronic/gadget buying fun & successful.