Five Holiday Tech Purchases to Avoid This Boxing Day

Formerly published by Techvibes. 

Holidays and bargains go hand-in-hand these days. Shopping has become a tradition, but that shouldn’t mean aimlessly picking up every discounted item in the store.

With technology, we must recognize the good deals from the products that will inevitably be obsolete in a couple of years—maybe less. Here are some notable technologies that might not even be worth re-gifting this year.

1. DVD Players: Your DVD collection, the white elephant in the room. You have found yourself packaging these ancient entertainment relics along with other gift for friends and family this year—you know, as a joke. Yes, we remember the Great War between Blu-rays and HD DVD. Now the war is over and there is peace this holiday season—DVD is dead.

But that doesn’t mean your complete collection of The Sopranos is garbage: you can still play DVDs on your computer and gaming consoles. Be wary about buying Blu-ray as well; physical entertainment is at a crossroad. Many are choosing the path of downloading and streaming. But perhaps DVDs will make a come back like vinyl—though don’t hold your breath.

2. Low-level Digital Camera and Camcorders: I’m going to take a wild guess and assume you have a smartphone. And through that skillful detective work, I am also guessing you are capable of filming and taking pictures with that said smartphone.

The popular Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13-megapixel camera and the iPhone 5S has an 8-megapixel camera. By this time next year, don’t be surprised to see all standard smartphones with fully capable cameras to take selfies with. The Nokia Lumina 1020 has set the standard for consumer camera/phone with their 41-megapixel camera.

There is no reason to buy a point-and-shoot camera or camcorder anymore, unless you want to entertain a child—even then, they might have caught on already too.

3. GPS: If you are buying a GPS, you’re obviously already lost. There was a time when we were paranoid about the government knowing our whereabouts—now it’s a little alarming if we can’t Google Map our way out of a suburban cul-de-sac.

Smartphones have built in GPS that are as reliable as any store-bought portable GPS and newer vehicles are equipped with built in navigation systems as well.

4. Fitness Trackers: Love it or hate it, fitness trackers are now officially a thing. This popular trend has taken our health-conscious culture by storm—but where exactly is this storm? Fitness technology often operates with an initial burst of motivation. New Year’s resolution: you’ll get back in shape. But odds are by March the fitness tracker you bought is hidden in your sock drawer where it can’t shame you.

Before you commit to this purchase ask around, I bet you already have a friend who has an abandoned fitness tracker they will happily “lend” to you. Give that a test drive. Moreover, the iPhone 5S’s M7 motion co-processor functions as an effective fitness tracker all on its own.

5. MP3 Player: For too long MP3 players have lived in the shadows of iPods. Few can compare itself to the iPod Classic and its 160 GB of hard drive or the functionality of the iPod touch. Any MP3 player purchased at a discount price will have a limited hard drive—you might as well stick with the music playing function on your smartphone.

Consumers are beginning to seek out all-in-one options with their technology. We want our devices to behave like a Swiss Army knife. Saving room is the theme of this holiday season and especially when it comes to our wallets. There are a lot of fantastic new stuff this year, so don’t get caught up in the bargain basket. Have a happy holiday.

Canadians Savvy Shoppers, Believe They Should Never Pay Full Retail Prices: Study

Here’s a stunning fact: people want to save money.

Duh! We don’t need to conduct a nationwide survey to know that. But what the inaugural Canadian edition of the Shoppers Trend Report shows is that Canadians are starting to become savvier with their money.

RetailMeNot.ca, a Canadian digital coupon site and Angus Reid Forum conducted the study. The monthly report highlights the public’s shopping habits, attitudes and behaviours on retail spending. Nearly half (49%) of Canadians believe that they should not pay retail price, and 47% seek out discounts and coupons online or on their mobile devices.

“Our survey reveals what we’ve known for a long time and highlights one of the reasons we expanded into the Canadian market,” said Josh Harding, vice president of global operations for RetailMeNot, Inc. “Consumers from Victoria to St. John’s are smart shoppers who are looking for great deals. We are giving our new consumers the experience they are looking for with easy-to-find digital coupons that provide great value with little effort.”

Alberta ranks highest among Canadian provinces with 56% of respondents saying they look online or on their mobile devices for deals. Ontario is second with 52%, British Columbia is third with 50% and Manitoba/Saskatchewan with 44%.

When it comes to non-grocery items, such as clothes and electronics, Canadians are spending quite a bit, with 49% budgeting over $100 a month to nonessentials. Men tend to spend more than women with 32% of them exceeding $200 a month, where as 24% for women. Age does not play a factor in how much a person spends, 30% of people from 18 to 54 spend more than $200 a month.

Half of Canadians are spending less money on smaller-priced items than they were five years ago. People are attempting to cut back anywhere they can without effecting their lifestyle. Consumers are cutting back on new furniture and travel, 56% of people 55 and over and 24% of 18 to 34 year-olds have admitted to saving on furnishing. While 32% of Canadians said they would cut back on their vacations.

The new digital coupon trend is quickly gaining traction and is helping people save. 55% said it is easy to search for or find digital coupons. It offers a lot of benefits including accessibility and convenience. 31% of people who use digital coupon are always able to find something available they can use.

But the study also gained a lot of quality information to improve the new couponing format. Almost half of Canadians want coupons or discounts that are frequent and relevant. Also 70% of Canadians prefer offers from well-known retailers rather than the less common brands.

At the moment Albertans are the ones embracing digital coupons the most with 61% using them regularly, while Atlantic Canadians are most eager to save with 55% saying that they should never have to pay retail.