8 points every consumer should Know before buying any Consumer Electronic Product.

So you compared all the key Consumer Electronics Product specifications from multiple manufacturers. You’ve read technical reviews to your satisfaction and are all ready and set to make the purchase. Here we discuss the many other key points that may have a tendency to be overlooked at the time of Purchase when buying any Consumer Electronics Product.

 

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1. Warranty.

Every electronics product usually come with warranty for a limited period of time as fixed by the manufacturer. The warranty defines services that are offered by the manufacturer under damage conditions not caused by the negligence of user for a stipulated period of time. This can either mean repair or complete replacement of the product by the manufacturer/Retailer in warranty period. The replacement of the parts and the repair service offered is completely free of charge for the end user. Warranty can be Local, that is specific to a region or a country. It can be  International, that is valid in multiple countries and have different inclusive price tags.

 

2. Extended Warranty.

Many Electronic products come with additional warranty option at an additional price tag. For example, a laptop with a base warranty of one year can be covered with an additional warranty of two years. This makes the overall warranty of three years. These options give much flexibility to the user to opt for at the time of purchase itself.

 

3. Turn Around Time (TAT).

TAT is the maximum time, the manufacturer or the vendor/Retailer takes to return the repaired or the completely replaced product in warranty period. The Turn Around Time is inclusive of the shipments involved from/to the user and the manufacturer/Retailer facility or a Third Party Repair company as suggested by the Retailer. It’s important to check TAT options at the time of purchase. This could just be a waiting period for you until the product is repaired or replaced and returned back. Most of the Third Party Repair facility has something called a Buffer. This calls out for immediate replacement under warranty conditions reducing the overall TAT itself.

 

4. Obsolescence and End of Life.

Interested in a Product that is released few years back. You still think it as a good option to go for, considering the reduced price tag? It’s better to check if the Product in consideration is not in the End of Life category and will not be termed as Obsolescent in the coming time soon. Even if you do, check the terms and conditions for Warranty and Support after Warranty is expired. Many times, the Product would be obsolescent, yet support from the manufacturer would be available in terms of repair services.

 

5. Power Consumption.

Did you know? Every Electronic Product comes with a Typical or Maximum Power Consumption and a Quiescent Power consumption specification. Quiescent Power Consumer could be negligible as usually is in milli-watts. However, keep a check on the Maximum Power consumer specification. This ultimately this need to be borne by you in terms of energy consumed. While, not forgetting our small contribution for a Greener world in terms of Energy savings. Power Consumption of similar functional Competitive Products should always be compared before arriving at a decision. This specification is always important in case the Product under consideration will be on UPS/Inverter during Power off Scenarios.

 

6. ROHS (Restriction Of Hazardous Substances) Compliance for Electronics Products.

This is a mandate in the EU and few substances are not allowed to be included in manufacturing Consumer Electronic Products. These substances may find their place inside the ICs and on the Printed Circuit Board of the Product under consideration.  ROHS Compliance is like a certification by the Manufacturer about these not being present. These substances Lead, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, PBB and PBDE can cause severe health conditions affecting body organs like Brain, Kidney etc. So it’s important to give a check before arriving at a decision. Most known brands would comply with this compliance. yet it’s important to check ROHS compliance for specific Product categories say for a UPS or an Inverter.

 

7. Depreciation.

Yes, your product just depreciated faster than you thought and the value eroded within no time. An item that costed you $2000 last year is priced at $1000 the same time this year. Now, that is 50% decrease in value. With so much competition, manufacturers are forced to release products rapidly, hitting mostly the consumer when the product doesn’t work or works with diminished quality. Being first is innovative. But, not a great choice for the consumer as he is the beta tester for the manufacturer. This helps them to come out with next improved generations and Product versions.

 

8. Insurance.

Consumer Electronics Insurance might be common in few countries and not so common in few others. The insurance companies cover your product for a wide range of things like Electrical and Mechanical failure, accidental damage and defects in workmanship. Specific coverage depends on the plan you purchase. so check on all the features and benefits you are entitled to at the time of claiming the damage.

53 comments

  1. That's why I always wait to buy something. I don't want to be the first because I know if I wait a little it probably go down in price and I won't have to pay so much for it. Also I think sometimes people want to buy name brand so badly but if you look at non name brand you may find good deals money wise and also in quality (not always but sometimes).

  2. Good point about the obsolete and end of life products! I wouldn't think to check when an electronic was at the end of its life. Now I will before I purchase an older generation product. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Quite helpful, thanks.
    It must be noted that a lot of compliance issues are often summarized by a graphic mark on the product – finding a good guide to compliance marks is absolutely necessary, as often marks change from country to country.

  4. You are right Davide, it's always better to go with certified products.
    Thanks for the mention, there are many that covers EMI/EMC, regulatory etc, even certified ports is a must check. For example always go for a certified USB/HDMI Cable that works in all scenarios etc.

  5. This is helpful. I always feel a little overwhelmed when going to buy a new electronic. I'll definitely reference this list next time it's time to go electronics shopping.

  6. I learn something new every time I visit your blog! I've never thought about insurance for my electronics (outside of general homeowner's insurance). Also power consumption. It's the things that we don't think about that can bite us the hardest sometimes.

  7. The warranty, turn around time, extended warranty are very important to take note of. These pieces of information are usually part of the "fine print" so we must ask about this first before deciding to buy or not.

  8. I need to bookmark that. When it comes to fashion I am the most conscious buyer, but electronics are a different story. I really need to memorize your key points. Thank you so much for sharing,finally a truly helpful post!

  9. The only thing that I look for is the warranty. I never realized that there were so many other things to consider, too. Knowing the TAT is important as I have realized with time. Great list! 🙂

  10. Thank you for this very informative content. These are things that I often overlook shen buying consumer electronics. Now, I have to remember these the next time I shop. Although I do wait for prices to go down before buying items.

  11. Right a lot of pointers here I would not have even thought of when buying any electronic goods. The power consumption point is a very important one and I certainly wouldn't have ever thought about it until now that you mention it.. I am all for a greener environment and therefore this point is especially important to me.

  12. I work in E-Commerce and it's very important to know what you are getting into before you buy online. Especially when it comes to a delicate and pricey piece of electronics. I just wish all customers took the time to read this before they purchase.

  13. I would add patching and development to the list. Manufacturers often release products with functional and security flaws which they do not test for and do not patch afterwards leaving you with an insecure/broken product. That problem is getting worse and worse the more we get into IoT and interconnect every aspect of our lives!

  14. This article is very useful, especially to those that are like me. I can`t live without my gadgets but I am not very good at choosing the right ones, so I always ask someone to choose the right ones for me.

  15. When I buy something the first thing I ask is about the warranty. Many give some great prices for something and then they say it has only six months warranty, which makes me to step back and don't buy it.

  16. I had never considered Depreciation as part of the electronics buying process, but your soooooo right. We tend to not re-sell our electronics (kids tend to break things before they can get resold) but if we ever were to want to sell in order to buy a newer version this would be important to consider.

  17. You are right that many of those go overlooked. My husband is always in charge buying electronics and he makes sure to look at many of the points you listed. I know for us how long an electronic will last is important to us so looking at the life of a product and making sure to get all warranties on it so we can make it last longer is very helpful. These are definitely great points for everyone.

  18. Great tips and well written article. The power an electric device consumes is one that fact that we mostly take for granted and it contributes a lot to the electricity bill.

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