(StatePoint) Don’t reach for another generic tie or watch when choosing a Father’s Day gift this year. Take a minute to think about what type of dad will be receiving your present. Is he an outdoorsman? Is he a gadget nut? Does he like puttering in the garden?
By considering his interests, it will be easier to make smart buying decisions. It’s about matching the right gift to the right dad.
* Techie Dads: If your dad is always the first to try out new gadgets, he falls into this category. Luckily, he shouldn’t be hard to shop for. If he doesn’t already have an iPad, your search is over. Or consider a gaming system if he’s young at heart. If your budget is lower, try one of the latest e-readers or a new smartphone. Even new headphones will work if your wallet is feeling light.
* Outdoorsy/Sports Dads: Not only is outdoor equipment a great gift, it’s the season for hiking, gardening and enjoying the outdoors. Golf equipment, camping and fishing gear, and GPS systems are great for sporty dads. For gardeners, an electrical shear will ease the task of tending gardens. For a bigger impact, consider a riding mower or tractor.
* Chef Dads: If he can’t be pried from the kitchen, he’s definitely a chef dad. If you have a large budget, consider a new grill, complete with add-ons like a smoker or rotisserie. If you’ve got less to spend, try a new espresso machine or countertop portable grill.
* Fix-It Dads: Bring on the most powerful electric drills, wrenches, nail guns and sanders for this dad. The choices are endless, no matter your budget. Be sure to get safety gear, such as goggles, protective footwear or work gloves.
* New Dads: A digital camera or camcorder will help him capture precious moments. Extra camera features to look for include image stabilization and sharpness in dim lighting. Remember to purchase a memory card with capacity to save all those new memories. Bassinets, carriers, strollers or car seats will also please the new papa.
Once you’ve found the perfect gift, protect it for the long-term. Most warranties that come with products are “limited.” Give dad extra peace of mind by purchasing an extended service plan. Many protect against failures from normal wear and tear, accidental damage, mechanical and electrical breakdowns, and defects in materials and workmanship.
“Today’s electronics, lawn equipment and sports gear can be expensive, and even simple repairs can be costly,” says Jamie Breneman, contributor to The Savvy Shopper blog (thesavvyshopperblog.com) and spokesperson for N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, Inc., an independent administrator of buyer protection services. “With an extended service plan, dad has access to reputable servicers should something go wrong.”
Even the handiest of dads needs help when it comes to repairing a failed product, especially with today’s technology. But it’s not just about repairs. Service plans also offer benefits beyond fixing or replacing failed products. The better ones provide help using products via free support on the phone or online. So whether dad is struggling with setting up or operating your gift, a service plan can help.