As seen on CHCH Morning Live on Dec. 4, 2019.
- Canon EOR R
- Canada’s newest smart lighting solution: Meet WiZ
- Google Pixel 4
- Google Nest Wifi
- 16” Apple MacBook Pro
- Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker
As seen on CHCH Morning Live on Dec. 4, 2019.
As more Black Friday flyers start to surface, technology is one area you can see lucrative deals from TVs to laptops, smartphone accessories smartphones and everything in between. Whether you’re hitting the lineups on Black Friday or jumping on the steals come Cyber Monday, here are some dos and don’ts on buying technology, especially when on sale.
How you plan on using a gadget will ultimately determine how much money you should spend. Whether that’s a TV, a multi-purpose Lenovo Thinkpad, or smartphone, you can go the budget route and buy something that’s low cost or heavily discounted, or you can invest with the intention of keeping it for a while. For something like a TV or a computer, most people ideally plan to keep it for several years, while smartphones can be replaced with a carrier every couple years.
How often you plan on using a piece of tech matters, too. If you watch or stream a lot of TV, you may want to spend more on a smart TV that includes internet capabilities to your favourite services or has built-in features like Chromecast so you can share content off your mobile device. If you’re watching live sports, perhaps you want something more heavy-duty like a Sony 65″ 4K UHD HDR LED that has Google Assistant and Android Smart TV built right in. The more action your content has, be it sports or gaming, the higher the hertz refresh rate you want. That will ultimately come at a cost.
A great deal can lure you in, but you do want to consider where you buy a product from. Online retailers like Amazon not only have great laptop deals, but will offer an easy return or exchange process should you not be happy or something doesn’t go right. In store, Best Buy can also offer a holiday return policy that extends the amount of time you have to return a product. The retail guarantee in conjunction with the warranty from the manufacturer will ultimately determine support for your purchase—so be wary of shopping with third-party retailers that could void any limited or extended warranties that come with your investment.
This is a popular question. Older-generation devices are a great way to save as stores and manufacturers try to sell their inventory to make room for newer tech. Cycles for each product varies, so doing your homework in that area is smart so you’re aware whether you’re about to buy something that’s about to get refreshed—if that’s something that matters.
Inspect the tech if you’re buying an open-box item to see if it’s been used, or if something’s being sold as refurbished, take the time to ask if it comes with additional support should something malfunction earlier than expected that could take away from the investment of your gadget.
Consider the compatibility of what you’re buying. There are so many services and products out there now, so make sure they’re designed to work with your tech. For example, the Ring Video Doorbell is optimized to work with Amazon Echo and Alexa, while the Nest Smart Thermostat is part of the Google Assistant and Nest family, so combining a Ring Video Doorbell with a Google Nest Hub Max might trigger some compatibility issues. In this example, a Nest Hello Doorbell might be a smarter investment, or if you have an Amazon Echo, purchase a Ring Video Doorbell. Your best bet is to pick an ecosystem and stay in it.
Finally, purchase protection is a great blanket for your technology. Many premium credit cards like Mastercard offer purchase protection that can extend warranties, or even cover for damage or theft. Every card is different, so be sure to look into the terms of your credit card so you’re aware of coverage before you shop, remember to checkout securely using “https” webpages, and review your statements regularly.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, deals and steals seem to start earlier than ever before. Yes, we know you can line up for the door crashers, but what about the hidden deals and tricks to find exclusive deals? Here are six ways to make the most of Black Friday deals, including how to find the best prices on items on your holiday shopping list this season.
Timed deals and outlets
Online retailers like Amazon can retain you on their website longer if they can offer you better deals throughout the weekend. Lightning Deals are found on the Today’s Deals page and also on special days like Prime Day and Black Friday. As we get closer to the week of Black Friday and into Cyber Monday, make sure to look at Amazon.ca to see rotating timed deals and upcoming deals to visit back to unlock. It’s a way for retailers to keep you shopping longer, but also a great way to access unique deals that aren’t available elsewhere.
While you’re on Amazon, check out Amazon Outlet, too. Think of your favourite clearance section and being able to easily scour through category, size, colour, and everything in-between but online. There, you’ll be able to find some excellent last-minute deals, so long as you’re fine with combing through the Amazon Outlet to find potentially limited size options, end-of-season styles, or low quantities.
Get on the email lists now
This is the time to get yourself on email lists. A great tip is to set up a secondary email for things like newsletters and coupons for not only Black Friday, but to also find deals year-round. Many retailers will unveil early deals and previews of door crashers to newsletter subscribers, and you want to give the websites ample time to add your email to their mailing lists so you’re the first to know of the sales worth jumping on!
Price check in store
There’s an app for that! Use a tool like ShopSavvy’s barcode scanner that can scan virtually any item you see in store and compare against multiple inventories online and in nearby stores to see if you can find a better deal. As more and more retailers restrict price matching on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, comparison shopping is one of your other tools to find the best deals in the area.
Comparison shop on Flipp
Speaking of comparison shopping, use the website, Flipp.com, to target specific items on your shopping list. Flipp compiles local flyers, online deals, and even coupons that offer a unique way of approaching shopping whether that’s at brick-and-mortar shops or at home on your computer. Simply input a product type, like “4KTV,” or a specific model of a computer (i.e. “MacBook Pro 15”) and the website will comb through prices to find you relevant information. Information is displayed through flyer clippings which you can save for future reference closer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Check the price history
For people who question whether retailers hike prices on popular items before dropping them on Black Friday to call them “deals” should check out CamelCamelCamel.com. It’s a great website that’s compatible with Amazon.ca, allows you to create a Price Drop Alert on items you are watching closely, view price history charts, and sort top price drops that you can take advantage of right now.
Now is a great time to spend your loyalty points
Finally, for those who sit on your loyalty points and don’t know how to spend them, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are often when companies like Aeroplan and American Express offer increased incentive to spend points on popular household items from vacuums to kitchen appliances and everything in between. What is traditionally not a great redemption value for these giftable items can turn out to be big value which can help you spend those loyalty points while crossing off items off your holiday shopping list.
Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA!
A holiday how-to on making the most out of your travel points this season. Travel expert Winston Sih gives you the inside scoop on the best time and place to see your points while comparing different airlines.