The January Sales are upon us, and it is a great time to grab a bargain smartphone, laptop, tablet or more. If you have waited to get the best deal: kudos. But even if you are just idly browsing, hoping for the rush of a great deal, there are bargains to be had. The trick is to know what you want, and to understand what constitutes a good deal. Then you have to find the correct January Sale to grab the product you need.
Fortunately you came to the right place. Here is PC Advisor's guide to where and how to get the best tech deals in January 2015. (Get the latest deals via our January sales 2015 UK tech deals live blog.)
January Sales buying advice: before you shop
Right people, this starts before you open your browser or hit the high street. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The best way of grabbing a bargain is to understand what you want before you shop. Know exactly what you want - including what the device is for. Also understand on what you are prepared to compromise. So if you are looking for a laptop, how much storage and power do you really need?
So do a bit of research in advance. Check out our reviews and group tests (I've included links below), and write down the features and specs you require. This will depend on what you wish to use it for. But just because something is cheap doesn't make it a bargain. Not if you spend £200 on a laptop that won't do what you need a £500 laptop to do.
Which brings us to the next key point: know how much you want to spend. Sales are marketing events, designed to get you to spend money that would otherwise stay in your pocket. That doesn't mean that they can't be your bargain-hunting friend, just that if you aren't careful you can spend money that you didn't intend- or need to. (If, for instance, you spend £500 on a laptop and the functions of a £200 laptop will do.)
Once you know what you want and how much you wish to spend, now let's find out who is selling what. Marketers will always try to get you to commit to buying, and they will often do so by making you feel that time is short and you have to purchase quickly or lose out. Don't ever feel rushed. Start by researching the best deals on the market, finding out when each store's sales are on, and what they have.
To make this easier on our January sales 2015 UK tech deals live blog we have details of the January sales from Apple, Amazon, eBay, John Lewis, Debenhams, Argos, eBuyer, Game, Currys, PC World, Tesco, Carphone Warehouse, Zavvi, Very, MobileFun, IWOOT and HotUKDeals.
Head over to our January sales 2015 UK tech deals guide, familiarise yourself with what the market and what is on offer. And then shop on.
January Sales buying advice: safer shopping
This is critical. In the heat of the online action it is all too easy to see what appears to be a great bargain, to click in haste and then repent at leisure. The internet is generally a very safe place to shop, so long as you take a few precautions.
For one thing purchase only from reputable retailers. Ensure that the store from which you are buying has a street address in the UK (Google Earth it if possible), and a listing at Companies House. Check out the returns policy, user reviews, and so on. If something doesn't smell right, walk away.
That's a good rule in general. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it is. You don't lose out by missing out on a good deal, you lose out when you make a bad deal. If you are spending more than a few pounds you should always use a credit card. Then if you have made a bad deal it is the bank's money you spent, and its job to claw back your cash.
And finally, know exactly what you are buying. Even the most reputable retailers are not averse to over-selling their produce. Check carefully the details before purchasing, and keep safely all documentation after you buy. The devil is in the detail when it comes to spending your money. (For more, see our top 10 tips for safer shopping online.)
January Sales buying advice: what are the best sales?
As I mentioned above you can find details of all January sales 2015 UK tech deals in our unique live blog. We've also got details of all the best and latest deals on our January Sales live blog. Make it your constant companion if you are shopping for tech this year. You can take it with you on your mobile phone, don't forget.
January Sales buying advice: best smartphones, tablets, laptops, printers and more
We review, rate and rank hundreds of tech products each month. So if you are considering making a purchase, we are sure to have reviewed the product. You can find all of our product reviews here. And our group tests here.
Best smartphones you can buy January 2015
- Best smartphones of 2015: 50 best phones you can buy in the UK
- Best budget smartphones of 2015: 19 best cheap phones you can buy in UK
- Best Android smartphones of 2015: 47 best Android phones you can buy
- Best Windows Phones of 2015: 17 best Windows Phones you can buy in the UK
- Best phablets of 2015: 14 best big-screen phones you can buy
Best laptops you can buy January 2015
- Best laptops of 2015: The 26 best laptops you can buy in the UK
- Best budget laptops of 2015 UK: best cheap laptops
- Best Chromebooks 2015 UK: 10 best Chromebooks you can buy
- Best ultraportable laptops of 2015 UK: best Ultrabooks you can buy
- Best gaming laptops of 2015 UK: the best laptops for games
- Best laptops for under £1,000: best laptops you can buy for less than £1,000
Best tablets you can buy January 2015
- 38 best tablets of 2015 UK
- 28 best Android tablets of 2015 UK
- 13 best budget tablets 2015 UK
- 10 best kids' tablets 2015 UK
- Best 10in tablets of 2015 UK
- Best e-readers of 2015 UK
Best printers you can buy January 2015
- Best printers 2015 UK: what's the best printer?
- Best budget printers 2015 UK
- Best scanners of 2015 UK
- Best colour laser printers of 2015 UK
- Best inkjet and gel printers of 2015 UK
- Best mono laser printers of 2015 UK
- Best multifunction printers 2015 UK; best printer, scanner, copiers