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Photo: By Michael Holden on flickr
Buying a new expensive gadget can be a stressful process.With constant upgrade cycles, confusing protection plans, and so many similar products, it’s difficult to tell if you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Over the next two weeks we’ll have tips for what you need to do before making your next big purchase.
To start, here are the five most important decisions you need to make before buying a new gadget:
- Do you need it? Don’t waste your money and buy something you don’t need. If you’re in the market for a new phone, make sure a new one would be a true upgrade. For example, from a hardware perspective, there’s not much difference between the Android phones from a year ago and those available today.
- Decide where to buy. If you’re about to make a big purchase like a big screen TV or desktop computer, shop around before pulling the trigger. Check Google Checkout to get a good idea what your desired gadget is going for and be prepared to request price matching from brick and mortar retailers.
- Timing is everything. Choosing when to buy is almost as important as what to buy. The last thing you want is for your new toy to be overshadowed by the next version a few weeks after you buy it. Many manufacturers — especially Apple — have predictable product cycles. If the product you’re looking at hasn’t been refreshed in over a year, chances are a new model is on its way. Keep up with the latest tech news and rumours so you’ll be prepared.
- Make it last. New computers are expensive, so make sure it has enough power and hard drive space to last you. You should either max out your machine with the best options available, or make sure you can easily upgrade it in the future.
- Be prepared to accessorize. If you’re buying a new computer, make sure you get a new external hard drive to back up your data. For mobile devices, select a good case to protect them. It will help boost resale value later.
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