Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine's Day is for Men Too- Get the Perfect Gift

It is that time again. The most romantic day of the year is upon us and that means finding the perfect gift for the man in your life. Of course, you could just ask him what he wants for Valentine’s Day, but why not surprise him with something unique and special like a vintage watch.  Men love their watches and the selection to be found on the pre-owned market often has more character and style than those you might find traditionally. 


Vintage Omega Seamaster
Start out by deciding what kind of watch to get him. If your guy loves to exercise and be part of sports like golfing, hiking, boating, fishing or other big guy sports, a watch that can be part of that side of his life may be perfect.  You can find Vintage Omega Seamaster watches for less than $300 (prices vary), which has the added benefit of being suitable for the office and courts.

Recent vintage Breitling available on eBay
If your hubby needs a new watch to wear every day, it is an important purchase because a watch becomes as big a part of a man’s look as his glasses or his haircut. Take a look at the watch he has been using. If you have been with him while shopping, take note of the ones he has admired.  If he has a nice sport watch, you could compliment his selection with a dressier timepiece like Breitling.  The 1950’s Breitlings have a decidedly retro feel, but steel feel fresh and business like for an up and coming professional. Prices really vary on vintage Breitlings based on condition and style.

Just replacing the watch that he has been using for years may not be that great of a surprise. On the other hand, you don’t want to give him a watch that isn’t practical or doesn’t fit his daily look just right. It is a fine line to walk and the variety of watches to choose from is virtually endless. Some other great brands with to explore vintage include: Rolex, Vacheron & Constantin, Patek Phillipe, Baume et Mercier, Cartier, and Longines.

Finally, when you start shopping for that special watch to surprise your hubby with on his special day, think through the design of how the watch works so that you can make some decisions based on durability and reliability.  A more recent model or sports model might have shock resistance built in, which will add durability.  However, an older model might have attributes that add value, such as an old crystal on a vintage Rolex.

Whatever your man’s style, there is sure to be a vintage watch to meet it.  And, to make sure you are getting the most watch for your dollar, check the average sales price at PriceAdvice.com before buying.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

iPad 2 Advancements and iPad 3 Rumors

With rumors of an iPad 3 on the horizon, we decided we’d take a look back at what made the iPad 2 such a leap from the original iPad.  While much has been written about the physical changes (thinner, lighter) and the addition of the front and rear cameras, the processor change in the iPad 2 was a major advancement that increased productivity.

Why?  Well, Apple moved from the A4 processor to the dual-core A5 processor.  As a dual-core processor, the A5 has the ability to run two instructions at the same time.  Theoretically, this doubles processing power compared to an identical speed single-core processor.  What’s amazing is that Apple was able to make the leap without sacrificing battery life (there is no difference in battery life between the first and second-generation iPads). 

The A5 also includes the iPad 2’s GPU, which is a full nine times faster than that found on the original iPad.  What does this mean to you?  Games, video, photo editing and anything else graphically related will run faster and smoother on the iPad 2 than on the iPad.

So, understanding the leaps Apple made with their first and second generation iPads, what do we expect for iPad 3?  Well, current rumors are that the chip will be a quad-core A6, which we can assume will be lightening fast.  The extra processing power is actually expected to preserve battery life, since the quad-core will be smaller and faster.  The only other unconfirmed rumors are the screen size (1536x2048), dual-LED light bars to strengthen screen brightness, and the possibility of two models with different cameras.  iLounge is reporting that this next iPad might be more of an interim product (think iPhone 4S).

Keep checking back with PriceAdvice.com for details on the iPad 3 and for information on how to sell your old iPad for top dollar as the transition from second gen to third gen begins!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Smart Shopping on eBay

eBay is without question the most well-known online auction website. It is so popular that there are books dedicated to smart shopping and selling on the site. Of course, one reason that eBay is so successful is that it is extremely easy to use for anyone who wants to buy or sell online. Even us “dummies” can easily navigate the site and find what we want, and most of the time, the results work out very well.

Because the products for sale at eBay are listed by eBay members and businesses, you can often find some amazing deals on the site. On the other hand, just like you would expect if you shopped at local used items markets, there is a lot of junk out there, too. Therefore, you should develop some smart shopping habits when you shop on eBay so that you always bring home the hidden treasure and leave the junk out there for someone else to buy.  Here are some smart shopping tips:

  • You don’t have to register to browse.  Unlike a lot of deal sites these days, eBay doesn’t require pre-registration just to see what’s for sale.  That makes it easy to see if what you are looking for is really for sale.  You will have to register for an account to make a purchase. 
  • You can search for “Auctions” or “Buy it Now.” A lot of times auctions seem like the better deal because the price doesn’t jump until the last few minutes.  If you don’t want to chance it, look for items markeed “Buy it Now” and you can purchase it at a fixed price. 
  • Read the fine print.  Many auctions (especially electronics) have a list of features that are pre-loaded by eBay.  While this is helpful, the really important info is the description written by the seller.  Scroll down below the “Detailed Item Info” to find out specifics on the actual item you’ll be buying.  It should tell you if there are any defects or problems to be aware of before purchasing. 
  • Use PriceAdvice.com to ensure you are paying fair market value.  We’ve calculated the average selling price for thousands of items on eBay, so before you buy, search our site to make sure that you don’t overpay.
  • Research the seller.  If you are spending a pretty penny on a luxury watch or iPad 2, you want to make sure you are buying from a reputable seller.  Studying their seller feedback is the best way to ensure this.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

10 Must-Have Apps for your iPhone

The iPhone is a pretty amazing piece of technology, but what really makes the iPhone such a hot product is the apps. Maybe one of the hardest things about taking your iPhone out of the shrink wrap and powering it up is deciding what apps you should get.

Unlike the ancient days of computers where you had to go to a store for software, buying an app merely requires downloading it from the app store on your phone (some apps require a wi-fi connection due to file size).  Because you don’t want to break the bank, here are the 10 apps we recommend out of the box:

  • Redlazer – This is a free app and those are always nice to have on this must-have list. With the addition of a very handy scanner, you can use this app while out shopping to give yourself the edge. When you scan an item in the store, you quickly download all kinds of product information about it. You also get competitive information about where you can buy that item online and what prices you can expect. All of a sudden, your iPhone makes the customer the boss once again in the retail environment.

  • Quickoffice Mobile Suite – It is easy to get snotty about people who love the Microsoft suite including Word, Excel and some of the other office products that come with that package. However, that group of programs has powered the business world for a long time. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” this inexpensive app lets you open Microsoft Office programs and perform limited actions on them right on your iPhone. To a mobile business person, this is nothing short of a breakthrough. 

  • Firefox for the iPhone – This is another step to bring the comfort of desktop applications to the iPhone world. The Mozilla people who pretty much took over the browser world now hand out for free an app to be able to use the Firefox browser interface on your iPhone.

  • Star Walk – What if you could navigate the heavens for $3? This must-have app lets you simply point your iPhone at the sky and if you have a clear view of the stars, it can map and explain everything you are looking at. This is one that you have to see to believe that it can actually work and even then you will be in awe.

  • Urbanspoon – Many PC users already have this website bookmarked because it is one of the very best places to learn about local restaurants. You get not only what they serve, their themes and prices, you get reviews so you can make up your own mind whether to give your evening over to a night of dining there or not. This is a must-have app for the iPhone that is a slam dunk.


  • Angry Birds – This one game has become a watchword for addictive iPhone games. It should come with a warning that you can get the app for $1, but if you get hooked and download the full version, you addiction will only worsen.

  • Evernote – With so many digital tidbits floating around your iPhone, this free app lets you bring them all together. You can take a picture, create a caption or note for it, make a voice track for it, and synchronize all of that with your browser and your desktop. By the time you get done, you have a complete digital package to pass to your computer or to upload to the website of your choice, and you did it all right on your iPhone.

  • Pandora – Do you ever wish that there was a radio station that only played music you liked?  Well Pandora does just that.  You can customize different stations to suit your mood based on artist, song, or composer.  Pandora uses an algorithm to find other similar artists and plays those.  And, if you don’t like one of the songs that plays, merely hit the “thumbs down” sign and it will avoid songs like it.

  • Histamatic – In these days of graphics processing and the ability to do amazing things with pictures, it makes sense to have a powerful app on your iPhone that can empower you to clean up, make gorgeous or just have fun with the pictures you take. Histamatic does the trick.

  • Google for the iPhone – Never to be outdone, if you can get Firefox on the iPhone, Google is not going to be left out. It’s a free app, of course, so you can cooperate with Google's quest to conquer the world, one computer and iPhone at a time. But who can deny them when all of us want to be able to “Google it” anywhere we are? This app makes that possible.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Holiday Sales - Saving Even More

After Christmas sales are a great time to score a bargain! Retailers are eager to clear shelves for new merchandise and boost their revenue to close out the year.  Best Buy is no exception.  This year Best Buy is heavily promoting electronic bargains--everything from TVs to video games.  We are taking a look at one of the hot categories this year: DSLR cameras.  Pre-Christmas, DSLR cameras were routinely on sale and now Best Buy is discounting two popular Canon models.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i
The top of the line EOS Rebel model is well priced at $716.99 at Best Buy (MSRP $899).  With HD video, Vari-Angle LCD screen, and 18MP, this is one of the best brick-and-mortar prices we've seen.  It is however, still slightly more than the avg used price of $709.  And, Amazon* is currently offering this for an even lower price of $689.  


Canon EOS Rebel T2i
A very comprable model to the T3i, the T2i doesn't offer the Vari-Angle LCD screen and the file sizes are slightly smaller.  Best Buy isn't discounting this model near as much.  They are offering it at $689.99 (MSRP $799), and yet it can be found for an avg used price of $621.  Again, Amazon* offers it for even less than used at $619.99.


*Amazon changes their prices regularly.  This listing is as of 9:00AM CST 12/26/11.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beat Holiday Sales- Sunday Ads for 12/18

It's Monday, so we are breaking down yesterday's circular ad prices once again.  With Christmas less than a week away, shopping times are tight, but there are still great deals on used products.  Once again, cameras are a focus (with a tablet thrown in for good measure), as they are a hot item this season.  Check out some of the great deals below:

Nikon CoolPix S3100
Nikon CoolPix S3100
This ultra-slim point and shoot camera from Nikon seems like a steal at $99.00 (Walmart, Best Buy, Office Depot) given that it's a full $40 off MSRP.  However, you can still capture the same quality 14MP photos for much less if you buy from the used or secondary market.  On average, the S3100 sells for $55 used and $76 new on the secondary market.  That could mean an extra $44 in your pocket to bring in the new year.

Nikon CoolPix S9100
Nikon CoolPix S9100
For those looking for a bit more oomph from their compact camera, the Nikon CoolPix S9100 is an excellent choice.  This holiday season we've seen low prices and this week, Best Buy is offering this 12.1MP camera for $279.99 ($50 off MSRP).  Is this the best price? If you are willing to buy used, you can save an additional $100 (on average) or $78 (on average) for new on the secondary market.

Nikon CoolPix L120
Nikon CoolPix L120
While this camera does not offer as large of saving on the used market, it's still a pretty penny off of both Best Buy's and Staples' sale price of $249.99.  Used L120's average prices start at $185 and new at $240.  Sporting a wide-angle lens with 21x optical zoom, this point and shoot camera lets you capture the action both close up and from afar.

Toshiba Thrive

Toshiba Thrive
It seems everyone wants a tablet this year and the Toshiba Thrive 16GB is a steal at $399.99 (Staples and Best Buy).  But it can be had for even less.  Used and new prices start at $342 on the secondary market!  It's got full HDMI and USB support, a SD card slot and replaceable battery.  All great features, but they do add some bulk to the overall look and feel.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beat Holiday Sales- Sunday Ads for 12/11

PriceAdvice is breaking down yesterday's Sunday circular ads and comparing prices to help you save the most money.  From point and shoot cameras to DSLRs to e-Readers, we've scoured the ads to show you the best deals.

Nikon Coolpix S4100

Nikon Coolpix S4100
It seems everyone from Target to Best Buy to Office Depot is offering this nifty little point-and-shoot camera at a steep discount with a sale price of $109.99.  With features like 14MP photos, 720p HD video and 5x Optical Zoom, $109 sounds like a good price.  That is until you compare that price to the average used price of $59.  Don't want used?  A new S4100 averages $84 on the secondary market

Canon PowerShot SX130 IS

Canon PowerShot SX130 IS

Want something with a bit more punch than the Nikon S4100?  Target has a great deal on Canon's PowerShot SX130 IS.  While only 12.1MP, it has 12x optical zoom, making it more suitable for capturing long distance shots.  And, Target's price is the beats used prices at only $99.99 in-store.  Quantities are limited and there are no rainchecks, so hurry to your nearest Target if you want to score a great deal. 


Canon EOS T2i

Canon EOS Rebel T2i

A hot ticket item this holiday season, the T2i's a feature complete DSLR.  Target and Best Buy sales offer this product at $699.99, but a used or new version can be had on the secondary market for an average price of $633 (bundles average more). 

Nook Color

Barnes & Noble Nook Color

Not to be confused with the Nook Tablet, the Nook Color has an MSRP of $199.  Barnes and Noble have been heavily promoting it, including an offer on the front page of Radio Shack's Sunday add.  The price however, can be beat with new and used versions selling on the secondary market for an average of $165.  That extra cash can buy you a few digital books or movies. 

Hope these steals help you save this holiday season.  Happy Shopping!