How to Shop for Tech Stuff

When people shop for cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, memory, or other junk that’s floating around the intertubes nowadays. They fall into the trap of “I don’t know what I’m buying, but I’ll buy this one because it’s shiny and the commercial told me to buy it.” And we all know how that ends up. So what to do? What to do? This is a couple tips on how to shop for Tech stuff.

Many steps are required for you to get something that is just “perfect”. What that is, no one else knows, but you can find out!

Research.
One of the most important ones, which is why I put it in first. I tell many people to do good research about the product you are looking for. Let’s put an example. In my case, I’m looking to buy (too late i bought it already.) another mechanical keyboard. And since those things are so expensive, it’s not like buying toilet paper, I must choose like Indianna Jones and do it “Wisely”. Indie knew that Jesus was a carpenter and his family was not rich and could not afford nice cups. Ok I’m straying from the point, but my enfasis is still, “do your research”. The Internet is a good place to look up videos and reviews on geeky item. Do not look for stuff that’s commercial-like. They will only say the good things, but what you want to look for is stuff that also mentions the bad. You might want to spend at least a week thinking about it, but that’s only my suggestion. This coworker of mine, Compmaster, waited 6 months for his cell phone because he already knew what he wanted it to do. Which brings me to my next point.

Know what you want.
Some people buy things without knowing what they are going to do with it, or how it works. Like laptops and cell phones. This is very bad indeed. I had some customers go for the netbook craze, only to realize that it doesn’t come with a CD drive and runs painfully slow on Windows XP. But what did they want to do with it? Use it to surf the web and write homework assignments. But they forgot to buy MS word. Or at least download a Free Office Suite. Tsk Tsk.

Make a List.
Write down the things you are going to do with said device, what you’d like it to do and how much your budget is. If you need to make compromises, then at least you can cross things out. This will also help getting THE device for you. You could even design your own on paper and hope something like that already exists, cause if you thought of it, chances are China’s already cloned it. But if you’re not very picky about what you want. Like, eg, “iPad any will do” then it looks like you are set to go, why are you reading this?

Patience.
Like I tell people patience is a good thing. The longer you wait, the cheaper things will get. Sure you may not be able to catch the one day sales and half off blow off whatevers. Waiting for the right time to buy, like say holidays that have people on some sort of rampage spending spree. You might get a couple bucks off of something that you where already PLANNING to buy. This is one of the hardest shopping tips to follow, I’m not going to lie to you. But it’s usually worth it, especially if you wait years until it’s outdated! Playstation games, you are mine!

Never buy on impulse.
Maybe in your hunt or quest for the mysterious item, you see a special. And you think to yourself, “They are going to run out! I have to buy it now!”  Think about it for at least an hour. Sometimes there really are good specials and they don’t forever. But in this case, I highly recommend a second opinion and using good judgment. There will always be XXXXwhatever, maybe not at the price, but if you wait even more, it will be at that price. One day. It’s not the end of the world.

Ask a friend.
This is the time when it pays off to be nice. When you have friends who are more or less technically competent, they may have some good advice for you to keep in mind. Not all people are the same and some may heavily recommend something that you are not sure of. You are the boss though. And it’s your money. So don’t let them buy for you, unless that’s what you want.

Also let’s say that you really like his or her recommendation. Don’t always trust him/her/it 100% , there’s always the chance they could be wrong, check their facts and compare them with your own. (story time!) I had this one friend who asked me to recommend a camera for him. I threw out a suggestion and he bought it. The only problem was, it didn’t have the kind of battery life he wanted. (or durability for that matter) If he had done some more research, he would have realized that it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. (Side note, it would have helped had he mentioned he wanted long battery life, but ehh, I’m not physic. He’s still ok with it though.) Soo, friends can be helpful, but know that it’s only their opinion, and even though something they recommend may be great for them, it may not be for you, which is why in the end you decide you own failures.

If you haven’t already, adopt a geek.
There are many benefits, benefits of a nerdy geeky friend. I won’t tell them to you cause I don’t know what they are yet. And sadly, a good many of us match the stereotype of socially impaired programmers. Which is why we don’t have many friends and when we do, they don’t like us either but we need their friendships in order to benefit. Most socially impaired people are actually really nice though. just because we, I mean they, don’t meet with people often, does not mean we don’t like them, It just means we haven’t had the chance to be with you guys to “Hang out” because we are that busy or we don’t share the same interests most of the times. But we try. Or we should all try harder anyways. (note, avoid rude know-it-all geeks who make you feel dumb, they are not very nice.)

Be a hipster!
Staying up to date with the market is expensive and it moves too fast! It’s ok to have something of the latest, but once in a blue moon, not all the time. Which is why I like recommending people stuff that’s not so new, tried and tested things that you know will do the job right! So start a trend while you’re at it, and maybe blackberry cell phones will be popular again! (not really)

Which brings me to my last point, Used Items.
Some people have an issue with buying used. But when you’ got the option to compare new and used electronics, sometimes you’ll see a huge price difference when it’s just a scratch on the cover. Looking at it from a technological stand point, hardware doesn’t really wear out like cars and clothes do. If is chip runs well on the day it’s made, 99% chance it’ll run well for the next 20 years if properly taken care of, like avoiding excessive heat and moisture. So when buying used, make sure to have direct contact with the seller and get as much info you need.

Now for some more technical Stuff. (Yes bear with me this is a long post, you don’t have to read it all you know.)

Shopping for Hard drives Test Link

Click on the Link above and in your new tab, you should see results for Hard drives. As you can see here, using powerful tools provided by your friendly stalker Google, you can find popular items with ease and accuracy. Using google I can decide what I want. Maybe not where I’m going to buy it, maybe not the exact price, but something of the like.

Google provides links to sites that sell these products. I always tell people. Only buy from known reputable sellers. You can choose to pick buying from stores or shops you’ve never heard of, but please find out as much as you can about the company seller by using Google Search of course and common sense, if you don’t have either ask your geek friend.

Seller sites also offer great searches too. But instead of showing you pictures and examples, I’ll just do the lazy thing and encourage you to “window shop” and get familiar with these sites.

ebay.com
newegg.com
tigerdirect.com
amazon.com

These 4 are pretty much the biggest sellers on the internet. And if you haven’t already, it’s better to learn how to use them now that when you are rushed to look for that 1967 GMC pickup front bumper.

Note, Most of this advice I learned from my parents. And of course trial and error.

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About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on March 8, 2012, in Computers and Internet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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