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Tips for buying those holiday gift gadgets

Gigabytes, megapixels, subwoofers. Mention these words and you've lost me - I've gone to my happy place. And while I'm trying to focus on giving experiences as gifts this year, I do have one gadget to buy, so I've got to pay attention to the details. To get started, I've asked my tech-savvy friend for his top picks. This will ensure I get something of quality (since I am prone to picking a gadget because it looks nicer sitting next to its competition). This will also save valuable time in the purchasing process. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you're gifting a gadget this year.

Start online

The best deals on electronics can usually be found online. Online retailers tend to offer better prices and selection than stores. Before buying at any online retailer around the holidays, be sure to do a quick online search for additional discounts or promo codes. This can be as simple as searching sites such as, or simply entering the name of the store you are buying from along with the term "coupon" into your search engine.

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Ask for a better deal

Whether it's free batteries, accessories or delivery, it's worth asking, "Is there anything you can include additionally with this purchase?" You can also negotiate if you're buying online by requesting to talk with a customer-service representative.

Skip the store warranty

There's a reason why stores push hard for their extended warranties - they're usually, if not always, a waste of money for you and big money for them. Consider paying with plastic. I know with my charge card the free repair period and the coverage given under the manufacturer's original warranty is automatically doubled for up to one additional year, on many products purchased. Check to see what your card offers.

Keep an eye on price reductions

Once you buy a gift, continue to monitor the price for up to 14 days after the purchase. Many stores now offer price-protection policies, which means if the price of an item drops, you may be entitled to a refund for the difference between the regular and sales price. Also, before you buy, ask about restocking fees and return policies to make sure it will work for you and the recipient of your thoughtful gift.

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About the Author
Angela Self

Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies, a group of five women who specialize in personal finance. They are hosts of a self-titled show on the W Network and the authors of The Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough. More

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