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November 26, 2009

Shopping Tech? Here Are Some Black Friday & Cyber Monday Tips

J0439783 I shared many times over Twitter that although I am a "TechMama" my laptop needs replacing. I am a heavy computer user and my computer is over 2 years old. So this weekend I will be looking online for Black Friday Sales 2009 and Black Friday ads like many others. One of mom friend's computer died but she is waiting for this weekend to buy a new one. Other moms I know are looking for technology as holiday gifts for their families. Holiday time is the best time to buy technology as the new "gift" (my slogan). So for those getting their sneakers on to shop for Black Friday Sales ads, here is where to go for online Black Friday Sales 2009 and some things to think about before you go. Some sites even offer printable coupons to bring along to the store. I will be posting throughout the weekend with hot technology and toy gift ideas.

NOTE: Gizmodo posted with a good point - there are some items that can be found online at the same or better prices then BlackFriday prices, so best to do some comparison shopping online. At the same time, many manufacturers are having big sales this time of year, so finding deals will not be a problem. PC World posted that Black Friday doorbusters are for suckers.

Where to go: This Wall Street Journal article confirmed my list of what sites list Black Friday Sales 2009: "Where to Find Black Friday Deals". I have already been following Black Friday Ads, BlackFriday.info and the BlackFriday Twitter account. Mashable posted about how social media is used to find Black Friday deals (including Facebook). The New York Times byte blog posted with more online Black Friday 2009 sites to follow such as CheapTweets on Twitter. I did go into an Apple store to ask about around Thanksgiving and they said there will be a sale. By going on the Apple website I saw that the Apple sale day is November 26.  I also follow many computer manufacturers on Twitter and have seen lots of deals through Twitter: SonyElectronics, HP News, HP_IPG , Dell, Dell Outlet, Toshiba Laptops. The big retailers like Staples, Radio Shack, Best Buy and online retailers like Amazon Twitter Deals and NewEgg also share deals.  I also go to their websites and signup for newsletter updates which sends deals to my email inbox.

What to consider: My recommendation is to sleep in and shop online. The New York Times reported that retailers will extend Black Friday. Other articles said that the high end items are not the main items on sale. So my suggestion is to decide on your needs and what alternatives fit with those needs.

How to choose the right technology gifts: I have been looking at all sorts of technology and I can honestly say that in many situations there are more then one "perfect" fit. The first step is to identify what your needs are then start to look for overall technology solutions. Then review online buying guides to understand what features you should be looking for. My favorite online buying guides are on CNET, Laptop Magazine buying guides, DPreview and reviews on gadget blogs like Ubergizmo, Engadget, Gizmodo, TechieDiva, Gear Diary, Boy Genius Report, Gear Live and of course TechMamas. My favorite shopping site is Cool Mom Picks. Bing.com also has links to guides such as "Laptop buying guides".

NEED A NEW HOME COMPUTER? Do you need another computer for your kids to do their homework? Then consider desktops if the computer does not need to be mobile or laptops for mobile use. I was just quoted recently in an article by Laptop Magazine on Netbooks for Kids. Netbooks are a great alternative for mobile use - but I suggest having a docking station with a bigger screen for home use. Older kids may be responsible enough to have their own laptop, especially if their homework requires computer use. Tablet PC's may also be the right fit because of their flexible screens. Desktops are the most budget friendly and will have bigger screens that not only are easy on the eyes for homework, but if the Deskop has the right features can be used to watch videos, movies or even TV shows. There are also lots of accessories that compliment home computer users such as backup drives, media smart servers, home wireless servers, wireless keyboards & mouses, webcams and more. There are many printer options these days including the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

NEED SOME HOME ENTERTAINMENT? Home is the new "entertainment" as well, there is now a range of home entertainment options available. Holidays are a good time to buy a home gaming system like the Nintendo Wii or the Sony Playstation. Supplemental gifts are to consider also buying gaming accessories, for example a Wii Fit Plus bundle or any of the new games (I will be posting about this weekend). Guitar Hero, Rock Band the the Tony Hawk Thride game all have gaming accessories that add to family entertainment. If you or your kids have iPods then setting up a system to stream that music in the house will be a fun way to extend the iPod and iTune purchases to the home. Many TV's are Internet enabled these days so maybe a new TV that can also show videos or family Flickr pictures through Internet access can be a fun holiday gift. Now is also a great time to look into high definition or "HDTV's".

NEED TO CAPTURE FAMILY MEMORIES? Kids as young as 6 can use digital cameras so the gift of a digital camera or camcorder for the family to use will benefit everyone. Pair the new digital camera with a new printer and digital photo frame. Or upgrade the family camera to a DSLR (or purchase a new camera lens) to enable capture of sports events or fast action.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY: Another slogan I have is that every mom should have a smartphone to manage their lives on the go. The holidays are a great times for moms to upgrade their cellphone or try a newer model smartphone. While smartphones can also be used to read books, e-Readers such as the Sony Readers, Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook are a great suggestions for a holiday gifts. Netbooks with USB or Wireless Broadband cards (as a "mobile" PC) can give families mobile Internet access. Wireless cards such as the Verizon MiFi can give 5 PC's wireless access at the same time, which may be a great alternatives for families who travel with more then one Internet device.

I can go on and on with technology gift recommendations - but I need to start looking for my own family technology gifts. All throughout the weekend I will be posting more with tips on choosing holiday tech gifts.

Did I miss any ways to find out about holiday tech deals?

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