Open Thread: Gadget Regret


Like many other web workers, I get seduced on a regular basis by the latest gadgets. Whether it’s a spiffy new laptop or the latest phone or some miscellaneous bit of electronics that is supposed to make our lives easier, it’s simple to plunk down money and wait for UPS or FedEx to deliver the new toy.

Over the years I’ve learned to wait at least a few days before ordering, to let the initial flush of enthusiasm dissipate. But, judging by the debris of unused gadgets on the shelves in my office, I haven’t learned enough. My biggest regret may be the color laser printer that we almost ever used – but really, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

How about you? What have you spent money on that you wish you hadn’t? Which gadgets are collecting dust in the closet, when the purchase price could be collecting money in your bank account instead? What provoked you to the purchase, and what didn’t work out in reality?




This “way of life” could be resume to having the latest new thing : hardware, software, hifi… and sometime girls too.

It’s an archétypal behavior. It could be considered as the top of consummer society.


Adam Hill

Great post – I’m exactly the same… although I’m trying to restrict it more to business purchases now. The weirdest thing about it is that I’d never think of *selling* any of these gadgets because someday, somehow they *might* get used again! Everything hides in a box or a closet for possible resurrection.

My biggest waste was buying a bulk pack of 10 sets of wireless headphones when I lived in a huge share-house thinking we could use them to watch movies at full volume if someone was trying to sleep. Yeah, like that was going to ever happen! Used once for 10 mins.


I am a gadget-a-holic. We (ok, ok, so more ‘I’, than ‘We’) have wasted too much money on PDA’s, PC bits, Home Theatre stuff… But that all came after the hoards of money I threw at cars.

Maybe its more a spending thing than a gadget thing…


The new Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth earpiece…$130 about to go in the toilet (literally). Looks cool, sounds OK. However, the earpiece is borderline functional. If I chew food, yawn, or move my jaw too much, the earbud pops out of my ear and the device dangles from my ear. I expect that some day I will be standing at a toilet, sneeze, and my little plastic & silicon gem will be floating in the bowl.

Benny sh

I spent more than 10K$ buying stupid things like palm V and mp3 players over the years, but I’ve grown up.

I rarely buy anythings these days, and no full-of-hype-iphonish-toy will seduce me now.

The last gadget I bought was my thinkpad T61 which was the smartest move ever. Any other purchase would need to pass a series of questions like “does it help me make money?” -> if yes, than “can I do without it?” -> if no, “can I wait for the price to drop?” etc, etc. I usually end up without it, free and richer!


I think my PS3 was fits into this category… not being a big gamer I bought it with the hopes of using it as a true media center and was hoping for some hacks or legit ways to watch online TV from sites like hulu using the browser on the PS3…


Virtually everything I buy on Amazon spends at least a few weeks in my Amazon wish list. It prevents me from impulse buying and in the days before Amazon Prime it saved money on shipping by combining lots of little book purchases into a single order.

Jon Moss

Mike, I hear you loud and clear. Amazon and Amazon prime make it all too easy, but I have not regretted too many buys….

I think the Skype WiFi phone is probably the worst buy – poor reception and rubbish battery life.

Apart from that, not much!


once I’ve learned from some blog that when you want to buy something new just wait (gadget price / 100) days and do some research or try live whithout it and see if it works. Sometimes after a day or two something else appears waiting to be bought.

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