Holiday Buying Guide: 9 Tips to Save on Electronics

Online Shopping

By Andrea Woroch

Even as adults, we hold out hope that maybe come Christmas morning, the present of our dreams is miraculously waiting under the tree. Unfortunately as we age, our desires aren’t so simple. Lego sets and Barbie dolls don’t cut it. Instead we long for flat-screen TVs and anything made by Apple.

Unless you were one of the lucky $587 million Powerball jackpot winners, odds are obtaining such coveted items isn’t exactly affordable. Luckily, these nine tips provide some guidance on getting great electronics deals during the holidays.

1. While Supplies Last

“Daily deal” is a term that entered our vocabulary fairly recently, but the concept caught on quick. Many popular sites that specialize in electronics offer big markdowns for a limited time. Newegg features a Shell Shocker deal, while Amazon has a number of Lightning Deals each day. You can also visit for a variety of bargains on TVs, computers, speakers and more.

2. In With the Old

For some reason, shoppers will wait in the streets for minimal upgrades each time a new iPhone is announced. While we all want the latest and greatest, we’d probably still be content if we didn’t know the difference between the iPad 2 and iPad 3. And, when you can save more than $100 buying an older version, it’s worth living with the slightly lower resolution. In fact, the upgrades on electronics are often times limited to small design changes.

3. Wait and Procrastinate

If getting up at the crack of dawn to fight for deals wasn’t on your agenda, don’t worry. Procrastinators will find salvation in the upcoming Free Shipping Day. On Monday, Dec. 17, around 2,000 retailers will offer free shipping, extra discounts and delivery by Christmas Eve. In fact, a study from Adobe suggests, “The largest price reductions are expected to come on Free Shipping Day.”

4. Quality Pays

Buying pricier brand-name products can pay off in the long run, especially when it comes to tablets. These days, every halfway-respectable electronics brand offers its own tablet. However, many of them can’t match the functionality of the phone in your pocket. Cheap prices also mean cheap parts. If the savings between brands are marginal, pay a little extra for higher quality.

5. Shop Seasonally

Thanks to the endless advertising around the holidays, we suddenly can’t wait past Christmas to get what we want. In actuality, certain months in the not-so-distant future are much better for buying electronics. The best deals on laptops come during back-to-school season, while camera prices tend to drop in February when new models arrive.

6. Shop Around

This isn’t a groundbreaking tip, but a recent study from Forbes found it’s one that shouldn’t be ignored. Though Apple offered Black Friday deals, lower prices and extra incentives could still be found at outlets such as Best Buy and Amazon. Many major retailers are also offering price matching with their closest competitors, allowing you to get an adjustment if you find a better deal elsewhere.

7. Avoid Add-Ons

Fear is a powerful motivator, especially when it involves buying a big screen that costs more than a mortgage payment. No one wants to worry about their precious new toy breaking down, so we quickly become susceptible to offers of extended warranties. In most cases, the product will already include at least a one-year warranty, and extended coverage is automatically available if you use the right credit card.

8. Combine and Save

Gift cards have quickly become the most popular holiday present, but you might be surprised to learn you can also use them cut costs. Sites such as GiftCardGranny will help you find the best discounts in the second-hand gift card market. Since cards purchased below face value are treated like cash, they can also be combined with coupons and seasonal sales for even more savings. Typically, the higher the value of the card, the bigger discount you’ll receive.

9. Buy on Mondays

Manufacturers usually apply discounts on electronics on Mondays, so scope of the best offers following the weekend. If you still aren’t sure if you are getting the best price on that TV or tablet, check for an instant price prediction. The site will show you historical pricing data on most electronics, appliances and home goods to help you determine the best time to buy.


Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email


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