8 points every consumer should Know before buying any Consumer Electronic Product.
So you compared all the key Product specifications from multiple manufacturers, read technical reviews to your satisfaction and are all ready and set to make the purchase.
Here we discuss the many other key points that may have a tendency to be overlooked at the time of Purchase.
1. Warranty.Every electronics product usually come with warranty for a limited period of time as fixed by the manufacturer. The warranty defines services that are offered by the manufacturer under damage conditions not caused by the negligence of user for a stipulated period of time. This can either mean repair or complete replacement of the product by the manufacturer/Retailer in warranty period. The replacement of the parts and the repair service offered is completely free of charge for the end user. Warranty can be Local, that is specific to a region or a country or International, that is valid in multiple countries and have different inclusive price tags.
2. Extended Warranty.Many Electronic products come with additional warranty option at an additional price tag. For example, a laptop with a base warranty of one year can be covered with an additional warranty of two years this making the overall warranty of three years. These options give much flexibility to the user to opt for at the time of purchase itself.
3. Turn Around Time (TAT).TAT is the maximum time, the manufacturer or the vendor/Retailer takes to return the repaired or the completely replaced product in warranty period. The Turn Around Time is inclusive of the shipments involved from/to the user and the manufacturer/Retailer facility or a Third Party Repair company as suggested by the Retailer. It's important to check TAT options at the time of purchase as this could just be a waiting period for you until the product is repaired or replaced and returned back. Most of the Third Party Repair facility has something called a Buffer, that calls out for immediate replacement under warranty conditions reducing the overall TAT itself.
4. Obsolescence and End of Life.Interested in a Product released few years back and you still think it as a good option to go for, considering the reduced price tag? It's better to check if the Product in consideration is not in the End of Life category and will not be termed as Obsolescent in the coming time soon. Even if you do, check the terms and conditions for Warranty and Support after Warranty is expired. Many times, the Product would be obsolescent, yet support from the manufacturer would be available in terms of repair services.
5. Power Consumption.Did you know? Every Electronic Product comes with a Typical or Maximum Power Consumption and a Quiescent Power consumption specification. Quiescent Power Consumer could be negligible as usually is in milli-watts. However, keep a check on the Maximum Power consumer specification as ultimately this need to be borne by you in terms of energy consumed. While, not forgetting our small contribution for a Greener world in terms of Energy savings. Power Consumption of similar functional Competitive Products should always be compared before arriving at a decision. This specification is always important in case the Product under consideration will be on UPS/Inverter during Power off Scenarios.
6. ROHS (Restriction Of Hazardous Substances) Compliance for Electronics Products.This is a mandate in the EU and few substances are not allowed to be included in manufacturing Consumer Electronic Products. These substances may find their place inside the ICs and on the Printed Circuit Board of the Product under consideration and ROHS Compliance is like a certification by the Manufacturer about these not being present. These substances Lead, Mercury, Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, PBB and PBDE can cause severe health conditions affecting body organs like Brain, Kidney etc and so it's important to give a check before arriving at a decision. Most known brands would comply with this compliance, yet it's important to check ROHS compliance for specific Product categories say for a UPS or an Inverter.
7. Depreciation.Yes, your product just depreciated faster than you thought and the value eroded within no time. An item that costed you $2000 last year is priced at $1000 the same time this year. Now, that is 50% decrease in value. With so much competition, manufacturers are forced to release products rapidly, hitting mostly the consumer when the product doesn't work or works with diminished quality. Being first is innovative, yet not a great choice for the consumer as he is the beta tester for the manufacturer to come out with next improved generations and Product versions.
8. Insurance.Consumer Electronics Insurance might be common in few countries and not so common in few others. The insurance companies cover your product for a wide range of things
like Electrical and Mechanical failure, accidental damage and defects in workmanship. Specific coverage depends on the plan you purchase, so check on all the features and benefits you are entitled to at the time of claiming the damage.