Make Smarter Gadget Purchases with Decide

There are a few things that you have to get used to when becoming a Apple user. You get used to paying a premium for a family of products that are more fun and less frustrating. You get used to seamless integration between all of your devices. You get used to looking forward to updates, even if it’s just a minor OS update. But if you’re like me, with a limited gadget budget, you also get used to predicting Apple’s release cycle so you can make smart decisions about buying a product or waiting for the new one.

Decide.com is a site that does this — not only for Apple products but for all kinds of gadgets from laptops to cameras, TVs, and phones. This web app aims to eliminate buyer’s remorse by making sure that you know how to get the best deal on updated or price-reduced gadgetry.

Using Decide

The first thing I noticed about the Decide web interface that set it aside from other purchase recommendation services is that it was slick, clean, and easy to use.

Decide aims to eliminate buyer's remorse.

Decide aims to eliminate buyer's remorse.

The site emphasizes the most important information with protuberant design, allowing you to see at a glance whether or not now is a good time to purchase the item you’re researching. If you have a bit more time and really want to know your stuff before making a purchase, Decide.com also provides a lot of detailed information backing up it’s suggestion.

Decide recommends that I buy this Vizio television now, since prices aren't expected to drop.

Decide recommends that I buy this Vizio television now, since prices aren't expected to drop.

Here I’ve searched for a Vizio Razor 26” LED television. You can see at first glance that Decide recommends purchasing this item now, based on the premise that prices are “not likely to drop.” Below the suggestion is a graph displaying the history of changes to the average price of the product, as well as a projection of what might happen to the price in the coming weeks. This information provides a confidence rating, so you can decide for yourself whether or not to take this advice.

For comparison’s sake, don’t buy this Panasonic because prices are due to drop within the next two weeks.

For comparison’s sake, don’t buy this Panasonic because prices are due to drop within the next two weeks.

If you scroll down a bit, you can find more information on the product you’re researching. The release history, for example, shows you a timeline of the model’s release cycle. If a new model of this product is projected to release in the near future, Decide will likely suggest waiting for the new model, or at least for prices to drop on the old model.

See when a new model is due, and how prices compare at various outlets.

See when a new model is due, and how prices compare at various outlets.

Below the release cycle timeline you’ll see a list of price comparisons for stores where your product can be found, including tax and shipping rates. Once I made a decision on my Vizio television, I was able to link directly from here to order the product online. Decide.com also provides links to consumer reviews, so you can research customer satisfaction in addition to financial statistics.

If you’re in the market for new gadget, but aren’t precisely sure of what make or model you want, you can simply search “televisions” or “cameras” and use the built in filters to narrow down your search.

Filter the results you want to find the product that best suits your needs.

Filter the results you want to find the product that best suits your needs.

Decide does a good job only displaying filters that are pertinent to your current search. In the screenshot above, I can filter this list of televisions by panel type, screen size, resolution, price, and brand. You can also filter out results based on whether or not the site recommends buying, depending on the urgency of your situation.

One final thing to note is that you can link Decide.com with your Facebook page (no surprise there!). This is particularly useful because it allows you to set custom alerts for any products you’re looking to purchase. You’ll be notified by email when an item you’re watching drops in price, is updated with a new model, or changes status between “buy” and “wait.”

A Brief Comparison

I’ve been known to consult the MacRumors Buyer’s Guide when looking to buy a new Apple product. Since I’m quite familiar with it, I decided to stack it up against Decide to see how it fared.

The MacRumors Buyer’s Guide has a handy roundup of all of Apple’s product lines and a graphic indication of whether or not it is a good idea to buy right now. Aside from the obvious disadvantage of covering only Apple products, however, the Buyer’s Guide openly admits that it’s projects are based solely on rumors and makes no guarantees to the accuracy of it’s recommendations. The Apple community has a pretty active rumor mill, so often times this resource is adequate, but Decide.com backs all of their suggestions by data and trend analysis, which can help you sleep soundly knowing that your money was well spent.

Conclusion

Decide.com seems to make for a pretty solid “one-stop shop” for researching those big gadget purchases. With links to consumer reviews, price comparisons by store, and price and release histories, the site was sufficiently helpful in my decision to buy my Vizio television.

Decide’s interface is slick and clean, and it effectively centralizes the arduous task of researching serious buys. I enjoyed being able to get information and prices in one place, rather than conducting this process in a scattered manner across many dealer and satisfaction webpages.

Have you bought anything based on Decide.com’s recommendation? Do you use any other research tools to help you with big purchases?

 


Summary

An all-in-one web tool for researching big gadget purchases and making a decision.

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