You may be incredibly tech savvy (and you must be since you read Gadgetell), but shopping for others can be trouble. You may understand that a Myth Box is a better value than grabbing a TiVo (with its monthly fees), but before you grab another gift, keep these tips in mind.
Buying for HAXOR or Grandma?
Are you buying something for your brother who builds computers in his spare time or are you buying a gift for your technophobic parent? Maybe you can pick up HTPC parts for your brother and just give your parent a TiVo.
Are you buying for your fashion conscious sister or a gym rat? Your sister may prefer the newest iPod, but a gym rat may just want a MP3 player that they can toss around and not worry about.
Remember that you are not buying the gifts for you. If you buy someone something that doesn’t quite work right, prepare for calls.
Test out stuff
You may think the idea of going into a big box electronics store is crazy since they almost always have higher prices than a lot of online retailers. Brick and mortar places still have one thing over online stores — you can actually play with stuff.
Grab a camera or any piece of electronics and test it out in the store. Try to see the gift through the eyes of your recipient. If that piece of kit needs instructions for you to operate it, than you’ll probably want to pass. People don’t want homework, they want toys.
Attack of the accessories
Maybe you got someone a new NAS box, but did you get them an Ethernet cable? A new camera without a nice SD card can be pretty lame, too. Think about that kind of stuff before you send out a gift.
If you think ahead, you can save money by getting better deals online than going into a store (especially with things like HDMI cables and SD cards).
Prepare for returns
That eBay deal on that monitor may seem great, but you may want to go to a place with a better return policy than eBayUSER0873912RULZ. Find a vendor that will be around in a month or two.
If you can get a gift receipt, get one. People lucky enough to get gifts from you ought to be able to get what they want.
Use a gift guide
If you’ve got no idea what to get people, don’t forget our handy Gadgetell Gift Guide.