How to save on high-tech gifts


Sixty-three percent of respondents cited their intentions to give electronics, while the survey also found that 76 percent of people planned to request electronics as holiday gifts. Gadgets figure to be popular gifts again this holiday season.

Unwrapping the latest tablet or a big-screen television can be exciting, but electronics can be expensive. Those who plan to give their loved ones the latest gadgetry should be happy to learn there are ways to do so that don’t require breaking the bank.

Scale back. Oftentimes people are buying more computer or data than they actually need. For example, when buying computers, it’s tempting to go for those that boast the most memory, but that extra memory is only useful to those people who truly need it. A less expensive model that suits your loved one’s genuine needs will make for an impressive and more practical gift.

Determine necessity. Some gadgets are more a desire than a necessity. Decide if a particular device will be an asset to your loved one or just another trendy item that soon will be gathering dust. Look for devices that your loved one will make the most of. If the purchase is not warranted, save your money and look for something else.

Consider refurbished items. Don’t shy away from refurbished items, as the discounts can be steep. Refurbished items are often just items that were returned to the store because they’re not needed or because the item was malfunctioning. Returned items are factory-tested and then repackaged. Opt for refurbished items that carry a manufacturer-backed warranty for greater peace of mind.

Consider open box items. Just because packaging is dented or torn does not mean the merchandise inside is damaged. Purchasing a product that’s not inside a pristine box can sometimes yield a 10 to 15 percent discount at retailers that offer open-box specials. Just verify that all cords, manuals and other accessories are inside the box before leaving the store.

Peruse previous generation models. Manufacturers release a new version of their devices seemingly every year. That doesn’t mean last year’s phone, video game console or computer is any less effective than the updated version. Models from previous years likely won’t be much different from the latest models, but they do figure to be considerably less expensive.

Look for coupon codes. When researching products, search for coupon codes for desired electronics and retailers. Web-based retailers may post coupon codes that add up to significant savings. Just ensure that the total cost after taxes and shipping fees are calculated makes the purchase worth your while.

Skip the warranty. Extended warranties often cost more money than potential repairs. In addition, after a few year’s time, your loved one may be looking to upgrade his or her gadget anyway, making the extended warranty an unnecessary expense. Gadgets make for popular yet expensive holiday gifts. But holiday shoppers can save money on electronics by employing a few savings strategies.