Cracking the gadget pricing code: Buy now or wait?

Is now the best time to buy a PC, tablet, camera or TV? Will prices hold steady, or are they primed to plummet? Industry experts weigh in.

By Tom Spring, PC World |  Personal Tech, gadgets, tablets

Get that Blu-ray player before the best deals are gone

For bargain hunters, this holiday buying season makes now the best time to buy a Blu-ray player, says Baker. He notes that discount retailers such as Walmart and other budget retailers are driving Blu-ray player sales with holiday promotions that chop the average price in half. For example, Walmart is selling the LG BP125 Blu-ray player as a promotion for $40, a 50% decrease from the regular price of $80.

"Pricing can't get much lower than some of the promotions I see out there," Baker says. "If you see a Blu-ray player priced below $50, and you want it, buy it," he says. After the holidays, so-called door-buster pricing on Blu-ray players could disappear.

Buying Advice: Blu-ray deals will dry up after the holidays, so don't try to game the market but delaying your Blu-ray purchase. Now is the time to buy.

Cameras are creeping up in price

Today's high-end DSLR cameras are not seeing the same downward-trending prices that the segment experienced in past years. In fact, prices are up nearly 14% according to PriceGrabber data. PriceGrabber's Avanesian blames the creeping cost of DSLRs on an increase in the number of high-end cameras on store shelves this year compared to last year.

"We are seeing a lot of people trading up their camera gear to something better. They are looking for advanced features and more megapixels, and are willing to pay more," Avanesian says. As long as most of the people buying DSLRs are upgrading, the market will remain aspirational, and prices will stay high.

Buying Advice: New camera buyers are looking for the newest DSLR features. So, if you're OK with buying last year's model, and passing on the latest features, you'll save at checkout. But if you want the latest-greatest innovations, prepare to pay up!

Point-and-shoot cameras, e-readers, and stand-alone GPS units

On the other end of the camera spectrum, point-and-shoot cameras priced below $200 aren't budging in price. Neither are prices for stand-alone GPS devices and e-readers. What these three tech gadgets have in common is a significant lack of public affection. There's just no demand for them, so manufacturers and retailers aren't dropping prices to goose competition. In essence: If you actually want one of these gadgets, be prepared to pay sticker prices, because the industry isn't motivated to offer any deals.

Let's take a closer look at e-reader pricing as an example.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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