Surviving Christmas Eve gadget shopping: It's possible

I did something a bit ridiculous: I went shopping on Christmas Eve. Gadget shopping, no less.

I did something a bit ridiculous: I went shopping on Christmas Eve. Gadget shopping, no less. And I'm here to tell you it's not so bad...if you follow a few pieces of advice.

First, I had a specific destination: Best Buy in San Francisco (pictured above). With a Slingbox Solo in mind, I arrived hoping there might be some kind of special December 24 sale prices on it. But, as I expected, there weren't any since this is such a niche gadget and not quite gifting-material like a TiVo or a point-and-shoot camera.

I was more disappointed that the Canon Powershot 780 SD wasn't really on sale, but was being advertised as on sale in a package with an extra battery and camera case. If they knocked $50 off of that $199 price tag, I might have been lured in.

While for some of you (primarily, the East Coasters) this advice is probably too late, but it could still apply to some post-Christmas sales on Saturday.

  • Have a game plan in mind. Don't just walk around aimlessly, or people will just run you over and you'll get frustrated. (Not to mention you'll probably buy stuff you don't need.)
  • Don't be afraid to ask store employees for help. Just don't do it when they're obviously in conversation with someone else.
  • Buy with a credit card rather than cash, as its easier to return products bought with plastic.
  • Calm down. It's just shopping.