5 Things to Consider When Buying Gadgets as Gifts

By Chris Grasso
Chris Grasso
Chris Grasso
Chris is a freelance writer who also enjoy going fishing. He enjoys the sunshine and all kinds of outdoor activities. Email Chris at chrisgrasso88@gmail.com
September 6, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

The holidays are a great time of year for scoring deals on technology. It’s tempting to scoop up the lowest-priced items without giving much thought to whether the product is the best choice. 

But there are quite a few questions to ask before purchasing a gadget, and even more to consider when buying a technology for someone else. Below is a check list of five things to consider before you buy anyone a tech gift this holiday season. 

Are You Getting the Best Price?

Don’t assume that you’ll find the best prices online. Some stores have even better deals than online if you’re willing to fight the crowds. Plus, many stores do price matching during the holidays, so if you find a good deal online you may be able to get a retail store to match it. Another benefit of going into a physical store is you can test out the gadget and make sure it’s high quality. 

Keep in mind not all gadgets are smart to buy during the holidays. According to this USA today article, you’ll find the best deals on HDTVs in the weeks leading up to the Superbowl and on laptops after the Consumer Electronics Show in January. 

Will This Technology Be Outdated Before Next Christmas?

At the rate that technology changes now, it’s confusing to know which gadgets have lasting power and which ones will be the CD players of tomorrow. But the reality is that most gadgets are constantly being improved and will no doubt be replaced by better models in the coming months or years. 

If you’re buying for a tech junkie, consider if the item can be traded in or sold for a good price once a new model comes out. And keep in mind that just because a new model comes out doesn’t make the previous model obsolete. Focus instead on how long the item will remain functional and practical.

Will There Be Ongoing Costs?

The base price of a gadget can be misleading. 

If you’re going to buy a gift that requires monthly payments or other frequent costs, consider whether the recipient will be willing to pay for the extra costs. An e-reader like a Kindle or Nook makes a great gift only if you’re certain the recipient will purchase books for it. Otherwise, it’s not going to get any use. Same goes for an mp3 player, if the recipient won’t want to pay for songs. 

Most gadgets have an abundance of accessories available, too. Most aren’t necessary, but consider buying those that’ll help prolong the life of the product. 

Is It Too Technologically Advanced?

Ease of use should be considered when buying someone else a tech gift. Can they turn it on and start using it right away, or is there a learning curve?

Resist buying anything too complicated for anyone who is unlikely to read the instruction manual. Grandma probably doesn’t need all the bells-and-whistles. But, you also don’t want to buy anything too simple for your more tech-savvy friends and relatives. 

You should also think about what the person needs and is most likely to get the most use from. A laptop and a tablet have similar functionalities, but serve different needs. 

What Do the Customer Reviews Say?

Most online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. But if one product has an abundance of negative reviews, think twice before you buy. 

Don’t pay much attention to irrelevant details when it comes to the actual product quality (like the item took a long time to ship or the packaging was broken). Instead, make note of any recurring performance or quality issues people bring up in the reviews. Every product has reviews from smart phones and there are even hair epilator reviews.

As technology gets more advanced, it becomes all the more complicated to buy gadgets as gifts. Armed with this checklist, you can ensure you don’t fall victim to buyers’ remorse this birthday season. 

Chris Grasso
Chris is a freelance writer who also enjoy going fishing. He enjoys the sunshine and all kinds of outdoor activities. Email Chris at chrisgrasso88@gmail.com