Fashionably Techy: Tech Shopping Do’s and Don’ts
[Like a magpie, you gravitate towards things that are shiny: cell phones, TVs, anything that allows you to play Rock Band. But just because you love 'em doesn't mean you know much about 'em. That's where we come in. Every week we will be highlighting the best, coolest and shiniest in technology. Consider us your personal Geek Squad.
And let us tell ya; with CC on your side, geek has never looked so chic.]
So your current computer/MP3 player/TV/thing that runs on electricity isn’t treating you right anymore. Or perhaps your friends are laughing at you for being trapped in the 90’s (“You still use film for your camera? That is so cute!”). For whatever reason it’s time for you to upgrade. Chances are you know what you’re doing, but just in case you don’t, here are some pointers:
DO: Know what you’re going in there to get. Srsly, don’t go in the store and say,“I’m looking for something to play my music on.” Ok, that’s great, would that be for your home, travel, or other? You can save time (and $$$) by being specific. “I need an mp3 player that’s sturdy with long battery life,” is more appropriate. This allows you take control of your shopping experience rather than be controlled by the sales associate.
DON’T: Go in there thinking that buying gadgets is just like buying a shirt. People make this mistake all the time. If you go into Macy’s and say that you want a red shirt they can show you what they have in stock and you can pretty much make a decision based on your personal knowledge of what does and doesn’t look good on your fabulous self. The same does not hold true for shiny tech stuff because everything looks good, but that doesn’t mean it all works well, epecially if you don’t know what you’re looking at to begin with. Which brings me to my next point.
DO: Your research. There are a thousand products out there that all do pretty much the same thing. There are slight (and not so slight) variations between products, but the important thing is not what the machine can do, but what are you going to use it for? Sure the LG Shine is a totally sw33t phone (mirror finish? Hello! Matches everything!) but are you going to use all of it’s features? Or do you use your cell mostly to make calls, drunk text people, and take photos of your friend’s ex with his new girl (who is such a skank!). If that’s all you use it for then you can go for a more cost efficient phone.
DON’T: Be talked into things that you don’t need. The sales associates are there to help you but they’re there to sell you things too. They’ll dazzle you with all the cool things that your potential new toy can do and then a month later you realize you don’t use it for half that stuff and you’re mourning the three hundred bucks you dropped on it.
DO: Stick to your price range. If you only want to spend $500 on a new HDTV and you’ve done your research, you know you can get what you need for that price so don’t spend over that. There’s always going to be something that’s a little bit better for a little bit more money, but if you don’t need it then why buy it? It’s ok to say no. But be reasonable and don’t have unrealistic expectations on spending. Remember you generally spend more for quality and/or name. Figure out which one you’re buying with your money before you get there.
DON’T: Go alone. If you really don’t know how to navigate the aisles of Geek World then take a friend who does. Just like when you brought your first car and your dad came with you to make sure you weren’t getting ripped off, this friend will do the same. Strength in numbers. And strength in someone telling you when you’re about to buy something really, really stupid.
These simple do’s and don’ts should keep you out of trouble and help you find the some techie awesomeness to fill your world (without completely emptying out your bank/loading up on crap)
[Image courtesy of cnet.com]