The Mad Dash Toward Christmas

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Oh yes…it is that time of year again, when people in their desire to have the perfect gift to give go absolutely insane.

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Whatever holiday you celebrate in this time of year you will want to give gifts that represent your love for the people you give them to, correct? As far as purchasing tech gifts goes, that will mean a little research, a little common sense, and a fair amount of discipline should be inolved. Why you ask? I’ll tell you why.

With rare exceptions, most retail vendors see the months of November & December as their biggest sales times of the year. It true because this is when people are typically in the market to spend their money to purchase gift for friends, family, etc… Retailers also know that people are looking for ways to make their dollars go further, and they take advantage of that if you let them. Don’t.

For CSI Onsite our philosophy is that whatever we do has to be a win for the customer or it isn’t a win for us. This is not the norm as far as what you will see on TV ads, hear on radio spots, or read in the Sunday sales flyers. Let us give you a few simple tips to guide your holiday tech gift shopping and avoid spending your valuable dollars unwisely.

Tip #1

Research, research, research. This can be as quick as a google search of a tech product you are considering.  Find out the normal cost of things, if there are peripherals needed (not included in the ads), if there are a large number of reported issues with a particular product or company. Here are some of the websites I (John) look at; IT World, Consumer Reports, TechRepublic.

Now our techs might have other sites they would recommend, but I have found that until I had worked in the IT industry for a year or so, I found a lot of their resources too techy & less practical for purchase researching…geeks. When I want to buy a tablet for my wife I really don’t care if the engagement of hexadecimal, acronymical computations drop the voltage to watt ration. If that trips your trigger, well then email us and we will get you hooked up with those types of sites. And I will call you a geek.

Tip # 2

Another form of research can be done over the phone, online or in person. Ask people what they use and why. Find out from people you trust, what tech gear they recommend and why. Ask them about the items you are considering. This sounds kind of simple, but it is an effective means of discovery. There is a reason most of my friends in the Advertising industry use Macs, they work great for what the industry requires. I learned this from Mark Yaeger., Creative Director and Partner at DKY Integrated Marketing Communications,
The same is true about PCs and most of corporate America. Most corporations use PCs because they have had a better working record in a corporate/networked environment than Macs. I learned this by working at CSI Onsite, reading a lot of IT professional blogs, and from working with Mark Wheatley, CEO & President of CSI Onsite.

Two things are import for you to know why I trust these people and their advice on these subjects. One, they are both industry recognized experts in their respective fields. And two, I have been close friends with both of them for a long time (more than 29 years for Mark Yaeger & 24 years for Mark Wheatley).
Hmmm, apparently I have a thing for friends named Mark, that’s a little disturbing. Moving on…

Tip# 3

Don’t fall for slick marketing that pushes you “Retail Therapy” button. You know that kind I’m talking about – with puppies, and cute little kids in footie pajamas blaring the message that “We have the stuff you need and can’t afford to miss out on.” Mule muffins! Keep your wits about you and remember that the saying “It sounds too good to be true” is usually an accurate assessment of the situation. Remember, a Retailers main job is to get you into the store and spend your money there. They spend millions of dollars researching how to best “persuade” you to do this very thing. Be disciplined and only pursue tech gifts that meet your specific needs, and have a great reputation.

 

If you can set your mind on these 3 tips, set up a plan, a budget, research, and not be dazzled by very effective marketing, you will find that your tech purchase to be high in quality, and a good, lasting investment. Now that a great way to give gifts without going crazy. But I might still call you a geek.

JohnnyG