Gadget Shopping Tips for the Christmas Gift-Giver

By , Contributor

Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays, buying gifts for your friends and loved ones can be stressful. Even with the goal of relaxing and enjoying the season, the difficulties of finding the perfect gift can really take its toll on shoppers, especially for those who aim to purchase gadgets or electronic devices for gift-giving. Here are a few tips on how you can ease the complexities of gadget shopping this Christmas.

Start Early

Most people tend to wait until Christmas Day to buy presents for relatives and loved ones. When you’re rummaging for items during the holiday rush, chances are your choices tend to be lesser since you’ll be racing against other Christmas shoppers. Years ago, I experienced driving to a city outside my state two days before Christmas because I couldn’t find the specific color of the iPod Nano that my sister wanted. I learned a lot from this incident and I couldn’t imagine myself going through it all over again. Such last-minute purchases could be quite stressful, so it would be advisable to shop for gifts even as early as Thanksgiving, where prices for gadgets and devices tend to get lower (thanks to shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

Make a List

Don’t forget to follow Santa’s ages-old practice of “making a list, and checking it twice” (you just sang it in your head, didn’t you?) because you seriously don’t want to burn any bridges by forgetting to gift someone from within your circle. Keep neat, concise and specific lists containing the names of people who have been nice to you all year round and include the items that you’re planning to get them for Christmas. Another common mistake shoppers commit during the Christmas rush is their propensity to buy multiple gifts for a single person due to the lack of organization (or simply the sheer chaos of it all). Today, aside from manually jotting down the contents of your Christmas list, you can avail yourself of the many Christmas list apps available for various devices such as your iPhone or your Android phone. Just download them on the app store for your device and you’re good to go.

Do Your Research

Before making important purchase decisions, most shoppers nowadays begin by researching products online using a search engine or a comparative shopping site. This is favorable especially for those who go after the hottest and latest gadgets. No longer do shoppers need to hop from one store to another just to find out who sells the cheapest 64GB iPad 3 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the most number of freebies. Be diligent enough to do your homework before heading to the Best Buy or Target outlet nearest you.

Look for Money-Saving Alternatives

Since you’re shopping for gadgets for your loved ones and/or tech-related stocking stuffers for most of your friends, it’s a bit ambitious to expect that you won’t need a wad of cash. However, you can take advantage of stuff that would help you save money when making your purchases, like the items listed below:

  • D-I-Y projects. Why not give out silk-screened Totoro or Star Wars shirts to your fellow geeks? Or why not create a cross-stitched King Koopa iPhone case for your best friend? The possibilities are endless; your friends would appreciate it more if you put a personal touch to your gifts.
  • Online coupons. Working Apple promo codes aren’t that hard to find. Samsung doesn’t lag far behind either when it comes to coupons or discount codes. For your business-savvy friends, services such as RingCentral or SalesForce offer great deals which are easy to find from their affiliate sites. Grab all the discounts you can find online to save up on both online and in-store purchases.
  • Shipping offers. There are some sites that offer free shipping during the holiday season. The Apple Store offers free shipping for most of its products, while The Book Depository has a great selection of books related to technology and at the same time offers all-year free shipping. If you can, purchase several items from one store to get discounts or get completely free shipping.

But as with any gift, you have to take note of the value of the gadget you’re going to give someone instead of the price. What’s the sense of giving your mom an iPad if she doesn’t know how to use a touchscreen device? And it wouldn’t make sense giving your three-year-old son the latest BlackBerry device when he still hasn’t learned his A-B-Cs. You have to make really smart decisions when it comes to deciding about these things, especially when you’re bound to spend serious money in order to give the gift of tech. And at the very bottom of it all, every Christmas gift should still come from the heart — so you really need to be practical and logical with your gadget shopping this season.

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Nancy Perkins, a full-time mommy wannabe, has been a freelance online writer for two years now. She loves sharing information on health, business, technology, fashion, women's issues and motherhood. Nancy lives life to its fullest each day and is dreaming of retiring on an island she will someday own.

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