The holidays are a great time to show appreciation for the people we love or who make our lives better, and a fun way to do that is with a technology gift, like a smartphone, gaming PC, tablet, or TV. If this is something you’re considering, here are seven money-saving suggestions to help you make good choices for them and stay on budget, too.
Will they really value it?
When buying for others, put your own preferences aside. If you wear a smart watch, you might think one would be a valued gift, but what if your intended recipient doesn’t wear a watch at all? Likewise, if you use an e-reader, you might assume avid book readers would enjoy one, too. But they may love the tactile feel of paper, and an e-reader wouldn’t hold much appeal for them. And with PCs, one size doesn’t fit all: gaming needs lots of computing horsepower while web browsing not so much. Point is, an unused gift will be a waste of your money.
Cyber Monday, another day, another sale
For years, the biggest holiday sale was Black Friday, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving. Then online retailers created Cyber Monday, now with lots of hype promoting it. But that doesn’t always guarantee you the best deals. You can find great deals online and in stores at other times, too, but as always, the key to finding the best price is to shop all your options.
Cheaper isn’t always better
Trying to save money is admirable, particularly on high-ticket technology items, but beware of the too-low price tag. Cheap electronic devices can be made to look identical to higher-priced brands on the outside but can have very different wiring and components inside.
If it’s inexpensive because it’s an off-brand made with low-quality components, that’s likely to cause issues down the road, disappointing your gift recipient. It may be worth a little more to upgrade and keep that smile on their face much longer.
Newer isn’t always better, either
The latest tech gadget just hit the market, and you think it’s the perfect gift. But, if it has a lot of new features over the previous version, certain bugs may come with those new features and need to be worked out. Is your recipient an early adopter of all things technology? If so, they may be used to dealing with these “new-tech” bugs. If not, your gift might cause disappointment and go unused, again a waste of money.
Gift cards, a welcome alternative
For certain people, being given a couple hundred dollars or more to go wild in a technology store is a dream come true. For others, it may seem impersonal, even like a brush-off. One benefit of a gift card is that your recipient can chose the tech item that best suits them.
The extended warranty may (not) be worth It
If you’re buying for that friend or relative who will use the same device for ages, the extended warranty might be worth it. That’s especially true for devices that can fall, be dropped or be subject to liquid spills — like smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Whether it’s a potential money saver comes down to the fine print in the warranty itself. What does it cover, and is it likely to be used at some point by the recipient.
Gift-giving isn’t an exact science. Sincere, careful thought can be put into selecting a gift for someone special, and they might prefer something different. Thankfully, many retailers have fair return policies, as well as gift receipts. It’s always best when you purchase a tech device to ask what the exchange and returns process is, then get the necessary receipts so it’s easy for your recipients to return or exchange their gifts if they want. Always be sure to keep the packaging, which many retailers require for returns or exchanges.
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We hope you found this helpful. This article is based on information available in November 2022 and is subject to change. It is provided as a convenience and for general information purposes only. Our content is not intended to provide legal, tax, investment, or financial advice or to indicate that a particular TD Bank or third-party product or service is available or right for you.
For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.