Photo: GodsMoon via flickr
Everyone wants to get their hands on tablet computers and e-readers this holiday season, but before you start snapping them up from direct-sellers like Amazon and Apple, you might want to reconsider those “old fashioned” electronics stores.
You know, the ones with doors and shelves with stuff on them and real live humans to ring up the items in your cart?
Turns out there are some big perks to shopping from traditional retailers, according to Smart Money’s Kelli Grant.
“It may seem logical to buy an iPad from Apple or a Kindle from Amazon, but shoppers who buy direct may be missing out on better deals,” Grant says.Here are some reasons that might be better to ditch in favour of the real thing:
Discounts, discounts, discounts. For starters, many stores offer discounts if you use their store credit cards on purchases and don’t forget about those Black Friday sales. It’s a hassle to wait in line, but retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are going to do whatever it takes to compete with direct sellers, even if it means slashing their prices to bits. That could mean more money in your pocket.
Instant gratification. I don’t know why, but there is something strangely satisfying about the weight of a newly purchased thingamajig dangling from a shopping bag on my arm. If you buy in-store, there’s no fear that your order will be lost in transit or delivered late. If you’ve ever had to work your busy schedule around a UPS delivery, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
There are other options. If you’re determined to stay as far from crazy holiday crowds this season (who could blame you, really?), then check out sites like Ebates.com and Mypoints.com, Grant says. They offer discounts or cash back when you shop from retailers on their sites.
Better return policies. Also, you’ll want to consider each retailer’s in-store return policy. Sometimes they beat online shops when it comes to returning defective or unwanted merchandise.
The touch, the feel of … hardware. There’s only one way to really get a feel for a new electronic and that’s to see it for yourself. Shopping in-store will also allow you to compare products to one another. Who knows what 22.4 ounces really feels like until you’ve held it in your hand next to one that weighs three ounces more?