Clean Out Your Closet: This is What You’re Getting for the Holidays

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This week, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released its 2010 holiday forecast for the season’s project sales and expected hottest tech at its Industry Forum in San Francisco this week.

Remarkably, Black Friday is moving beyond the U.S. to be a worldwide day of deals - the phrase is a trend on Google in countries such as Israel and Greece - even though the day directly relates to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. (Stock Photo)

A study that’s now in its 17th edition, the CEA analysis surveyed 1,003 consumers across the U.S. to assess attitudes and trends among potential holiday shoppers with a focus on their preferences towards consumer electronics (CE).

Mobile technology will give consumers a green edge. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed that are at least somewhat likely to buy a CE product will use their mobile phone to compare in-store prices with a competitor while they shop.

Black Friday deals are slated to be even better than last year as retailers and manufacturers look to boost sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Cyber Monday deals are also expected to be better than last year, leaving shoppers the option to stay at home while they browse for gifts. Twitter and Facebook will also be hot places to find deals, with 28 percent of those likely to buy a CE product using social media to find bargains.

So, what will you be shopping for? The study assessed what will top holiday gift lists – including a few “intangibles.” Here are this year’s results:

  1. Peace and happiness (last year’s top item was clothing)
  2. Notebook/laptop
  3. iPad
  4. Clothes
  5. eReader
  6. Car/motorcycle
  7. Family to be together
  8. Good health
  9. Video game system
  10. Money

Translation? Innovative and mobile products – along with some old fashioned family time – will be the hottest trend in this year’s holiday gifting.

Of the average of $750 that households plan to spend on gifts this year, approximately $232 of that will be spent on CE. Within that sector, the top predicted sellers beyond those listed above include iPod and iPod Touch, video game systems such as the new Kinect for Xbox 360 and Playstation Move and digital cameras.

This year’s holiday season will be filled with exciting products. But it does raise the concern as to what to do with all the tech that these new gadgets will replace. With the average video game system lasting about five years, and other forms of CE, such as cell phones, only having an 18-month average lifespan, the amount of e-waste potentially created is significant.

There are a number of ways you can properly recycle or resell your electronics, depending on their state. If your gadgets are relatively new, sites like Gazelle.com are great places to start to earn a little extra cash for your tech. Donating your gadgets to local charities, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and the like, is also an excellent way to extend the benefits of your working items. If your gadgets aren’t functioning, or are too old to be valuable,  recycling is always your best bet.

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