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When you’re shopping around for a new gadget, there are several pitfalls to avoid. And most of them hit you where it really hurts — your bank account.
As part of our buyer’s guide for new gadgets, we have five traps to avoid that will save you money and make sure your new toy lasts.
Don’t buy an unnecessary protection plan. While a protection plan for your new computer is a good idea, think before you buy one for things like printers, external hard drives, or even smartphones. A lot of tech has a short shelf life, and it might not be worth paying an extra fee for something you’ll replace again soon.
Avoid spending too much on accessories. Extras like smartphone cases, TV stands, and laptop cases tend to have insane mark ups. Just because you buy a gadget at one retailer, doesn’t mean you have to buy your accessories there too. Shop around for the best price and check out what third party manufacturers have to offer.
Stick to brands with a good reputation. There are a lot of discount manufacturers out there. Don’t sacrifice quality for a cheaper price. Do your research first and make sure the brand your buying will last.
Avoid the impulse buy. If you see a shiny new gadget you like, try to resist the temptation to buy it right away. Expensive items like TVs and high-end computers go on sale all the time, so see which retailer is offering the best price. Smartphone apps like RedLaser will let you scan an item’s barcode to compare prices immediately.
Keep it in the box. Many retailers charge you a restocking fee if you return a product that has already been opened. (Unless it’s defective). Make sure you really want the gadget before tearing into the box when you get home.