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Ask the Readers: What Electronic Gadget should I Buy Myself

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This is not your typical personal finance post, that's for sure. However, I could use a little advice. I have some Sony Style points that I had saved up from using a Sony credit card. At the time, I couldn't find any good cash back rewards cards. I've been waiting for that must have item for some time now, but haven't found it. My $300+ dollars in points is going to expire later on this year. What do I get with the money?

You've read about my Slingbox, my Treo, and my plasma TV. So it should come as no surprise that I like electronic gadgets. Here are some things that I'm thinking of:

  • Digital Camera - I've had a 5MP camera with a 3x optical zoom camera for some time. Unfortunately it's been misplaced for about 6-8 weeks. I'm starting to think that I could use a replacement. One catch: It has to use SD media as I have a ton of those cards with my Treo. No Sony Media stick for me.
  • Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Player - Either of these would be cool, but they is still a standards war between the two. That would mean that I'd have to get one of the newer combo units which I think are far, far more than the $300 I have saved up. Also where does one rent Blu-Ray discs? It doesn't seem like the value is there yet on this technology.
  • Video Camcorder - I could get something low-end and then replace it when we think about having children in a few years. However, I'm really drooling over this Sony High Definition Hard Drive Camcorder. Unfortunately, I don't really have a need for it now. It could sit largely unused for some time - not the best situation. I also don't want to spend a lot of extra money.
  • PlayStation 3 - This is an obvious use for the Sony points. I haven't used my Playstation 2 in some time, so it would be hard to justify a PS3.
  • PlayStation Portable - This is a cool toy, but with my Treo, I can keep myself reasonably entertained and I don't need to carry anything else around with me.
  • Other Ideas - I could purchase something with as many points as I have (like the PSP mentioned above) and put it on Ebay. That would allow me to transfer the points into some significant cash. That cash could be invested and/or put towards the above video camcorder in a couple of years. This is probably my most likely plan.

While I'm on the topic, I have a $100 Circuit City gift card which would be impossible to combine with the Sony Style points. I'd like to utilize that as well, but run into the same problem. This would be an ideal case for several online gift card exchanges, but I'm not sure how much I trust those sites. At least I don't think the Circuit City card expires (I was given it in MA where it's against state law for expiring gift cards, I believe), so there's no rush there.

Posted on March 28, 2007.

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16 Responses to “Ask the Readers: What Electronic Gadget should I Buy Myself”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I would opt for the digital camera as the most practical of the list, but only if you were able to get a non-sony camera.

    If that isn’t an option I would say to do a little research and see what has the best eBay resale value and go that route to get the cash. Then you could use that money in combination with your CC gift card to get what you really want.

    Those HD cams are nice, but if you don’t have an immediate or significant use for one right now then it will just end up becoming outdated technology in a few years when you do have a use for it.

  2. Brenda says:

    I say get a camera. I love pictures! Pictures are great memories! I love my camera!

  3. Zachary says:

    I vote for the digital camera, too.

  4. Golbguru says:

    Yep I am in tune with the above comments. Get the Digital camera. In $300 you could get the SONY DSC-H2 (6 MP, 12X optical zoom)…excellent camera. It does require a memory stick duo…but hey in $30 you could get a 1Gb stick (I checked Newegg).

    So go for it. :)

  5. Martin says:

    I would try to get a Wii, if you can. I doubt you could get one with the Sony Points, but maybe with the Circuit City gift card. I just got one, and it is so much fun. I haven’t stopped playing the 4 mini-games that come free with the system. I am hooked!

  6. broknowrchlatr says:

    If you have kids, the digital camera is a must. If not, I think its not such a great investment unless you like to take vacations and take pictures of nature. I’d do the resale, but then save it for a splurge later.

    Don’t just save it for retirment. Reward yourself.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Personally, I would stay away from BluRay and the PS3/PSP for now. BluRay is just too expensive for what it is, in my opinion, and I feel there are better choices than Sony’s gaming lineup. Their PS2 is excellent, but the PS3/PSP not so much.

  8. Lazy Man says:

    Thanks for the help guys. I think I’m going to buy something like a PSP from Sony and sell it on Ebay. I’ll use that money towards the next thing that I want. I would get the digital camera if I wasn’t sure that I’d find my old one the next day.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Sell it on eBay? Are PSP’s going for higher than retail right now or something? I’m not sure why they would, since there is an ample supply.

  10. Lazy Man says:

    See the last point on my list. This would allow me to convert Sony Style points into cash. I would of course take a penalty, but at least it would be a currency I can use.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Ah, I see. Sounds like a good plan then.

  12. zen says:

    For profit? I say go for the camcorder and let me bid on it ;-)

    Stay away from HD/BR DVDs – this is another format war. Let it go for now.

    PS3 – really? I’d wait.

    If you’re looking for something to sell, I’d say PSP or the camcorder. You never know when the digital camera will turn up (and if it doesn’t, I recommend Canon).

  13. […] see my 5 credit cards. If you look closely you’ll see the $100 Circuit City gift card that I recently mentioned. Also of note is my St. Supery Lifetime Tasting Pass. If only Buehler Vineyards had a card… […]

  14. Zachary says:

    Just sell the gift card for slightly under $100 and pocket the cash into your retirement account.

  15. Electronics says:

    This is a nice list. Very helpful to those who are thinking what to buy. Camera is a good option, I like taking pictures.

  16. […] high as $300. I'm willing to convert my Sony points into spare cash using a method that I outlined here. I think this is very possible since Ebay and Craigslist are relatively full of these devices. If I […]

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