It’s less than two weeks away from Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. So, with all the good sales going on, millions upon millions of people will be hitting stores November 26 in order to look for a good deal. Unfortunately, with the sales, there will also be some fine print, too.
Recently, Consumer Reports ran an article dealing with 5 major pitfalls shoppers can find themselves in if they do not read the fine print that comes with a new purchase. While the article is a good read for everyone, reasons 3 through 5 are especially true of electronics, which includes digital cameras. So, what should buyers be on the lookout for?
First, extended warranties. When buying new, every electronic device should come with a manufacturer warranty, which can range, for photo products, from 1 to 6 years. Generally speaking, something as complex as a digital camera will break if defective well within the first ear. So, if your camera makes it to its first birthday, chances are, it will keep on shooting for years to come. As for extended warranties, unless they include a special provision about accidental damage protection, they’re scams, skip them. Because of this typical “does not cover accidental damage” clause found in most extended warranties, the warranty provider can interpret the slightest scratch or ding on your camera as “abuse” and refuse the service. After all, repairing cameras costs the warranty provider money and thus reduces their profit.
Second, strict return policies. Most stores generally over a 60-90 day window in which to return merchandise. With electronics, though, conditions are often much more stringent. First, the return windows are tighter, generally two weeks to a month at most. Second, unless defective, some stores will not allow an open-package return. Bottom line, be sure to read up on your merchant’s return policy before buying.
Third, restock fees. While some stores will allow returns of opened electronic items, there will often be a restocking fee that goes along with the return. Typically, these fees can run in the 10-20% of purchase price range, which, to put in perspective, could be up to four times the initial sales tax. Yikes! With such fees to contend with, it’s probably better to try and unload your unwanted toy on Craigslist.
So, these common electronics shopping pitfalls known, go out this Christmas season a more informer buyer as knowledge is power, power to avoid a lot of headaches!
For more info:
Consumer Reports via Yahoo
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