Technology - "Future Vision"
Image by $ydney via Flickr

If your area is anything like ours, and I’m guessing pretty much everywhere in the United States is the same,  the tech stores are packed to the gills from the day after Thanksgiving straight through to the end of the year.  People love shopping for electronic gadgets and love great deals even more.  And chances are, you will be able to find something for everyone on your list at the stores that specialize in office and technology items.

But with the crowds and the hustle and bustle comes frustration on how to get it all done  quickly and efficiently to find the perfect gifts for the ones you love.  Help is on the way!  Here are 5 tips to help with your tech shopping this year.

1.  Make a list.  This sounds just a little too basic doesn’t it?  But it is often the forgotten step in the shopping craziness.  A simple list of who you are planning to buy for and a few “maybe” type gift ideas for them will help you to narrow your focus once you walk into your local Staples or other store.

2.  Research first.  Since I’m writing this after Thanksgiving it might be a little late for much research but spend some time on the internet comparing features of your favorite brands. If you are brand loyal, compare features and pricing of other models within your brands.  Then take your research to the next level in the store and talk to the customer service reps and even other customers to get their take on the items you are considering.

3.  Check the clearance rack first.  This is key.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve found exactly what I am looking for on the clearance or damaged rack in the back of the store and saved a good chunk of change because of it.  Often items end up on this rack simply because someone else bought it a few weeks ago and changed their mind.  If you find what you need in a broken or damaged box or packaging, just get creative and repackage it.

4.  Ask for gift receipts. Especially if you use the creative packaging idea above, you’ll definitely want to include gift receipts on all your tech gifts so if the ideal gift to you isn’t the ideal gift for the recipient he can make an easy return or exchange without him knowing that you paid the clearance price for it!

5.  Don’t forget accessories.  Think about what else is needed for your items so that the person you are blessing with this great gift can actually use it right after they open it.  Usually the box or packaging will tell you what is included and if you are not familiar with  the details of an item, ask a sales clerk what they’d recommend as a complimentary product to the item.

Have fun shopping for all things techie this year!  Take your time and enjoy!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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