With so many brands, models and retailers out there, finding and buying the right electronics can be a stressful process. Especially in this economy, if you’re going to make a purchase, it’s important to make one that you feel good about. In my experience, one of the best ways to get started is to ask other people.
Folks, meet Eric. By day, he’s a consultant in the semi conductor industry; by night he’s “Muzics”, an active Sony Style reviewer and aspiring professional photographer. I interviewed Eric to learn a little more about how he finds the right gadgets, how he helps other customers decide and any tips he can lend us.
When you’re looking to buy electronics, how do you find the right model and brand to buy?
I research items to find out all the features which includes going to the store many times to physically touch and test the product. Next comes brand comparison which usually boils down to product, price and manufacturer’s reliability. When it comes to products, my advice would be to be value focused. Consider the features vs. the competitors’. For me though, I know what I want in a product before I start the comparison research. Then it’s me going to look for it. Sometimes downloading the manual and reading about the features before purchase is very helpful. If you have little time, then product sheets are 1-2 pages but again, I’d still take the time to read the manual. You’ll figure out pretty fast if the product is easy to use or not. It’s one thing to get all the features and the right price but it doesn’t make a difference if the product is too hard to use.
Where do you go to find out about reliability?
I read reviews from people that actually bought the product to find out its short comings, practicality, and how well they liked the product. Waiting until a product has been released and used for a full 6 months before purchase allows me to get the best price and read real user reviews. For trusted advice, magazines are a good source of information since most writers actually test the products before release. Nowadays, you can find magazine reviews online for free.
Do you have any places you can recommend people go to research products?
I mostly look online. I go to the brand’s site but I also have a bunch of sites saved on my “Favorites”.
As a customer, why do you write reviews?
I feel it’s important for us customers to help each other in the buying process considering the price of most things now days. The more information you can get about a prospective purchase, the better off you are at getting exactly what you need.
What tips do you have for other reviewers to make reviews more helpful to readers? What in your opinion is a “sufficient review”?
One-liners are never a sufficient review. A sufficient review is one that describes the product in some detail. Something you can read and grab some basic detail about the features. Include anything you think is helpful. Add pictures if it is a camera, video clips for camcorders. If it’s a TV, I usually need to see the picture myself but I like to read reviews from people who own the TV and how they like it.
Say how the product has met your needs and elaborate on its strong points and weaknesses objectively. Compare to other brands as far as value and performance [goes] and state if the product was a good purchase.
What about accessories? Accessories might be hard for someone to describe “features”?
To me, an accessory is something that makes the product function better. When I read accessory reviews, I’m looking to learn how it contributed to the product itself. Think of a door handle. You don’t describe the door handle but you might say that the door handle helped me open the door easier, how now it’s easier to lock and so on.
For people specifically interested in getting into photography, what advice do you have for them?
When you’re ready to get a more advanced camera, get a beginners book and take the time to go through the manual. The most important thing though is use the camera. The more you use it, the more you’ll feel comfortable.
What’s your favorite gadget that you own?
Hands down, it’s my PS3 as it’s so versatile and just a great product all the way around, I love it.
What gadget would you like to have that isn’t invented yet?
A 3D holographic viewing devise or camera that captures 3D images.
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