Did you receive a nifty tech gift recently? Whether it’s a laptop, a smart speaker, a Kindle, or one of those Instant Pots that everyone is talking about, there are a few things you should do right now.

SAVE THE BOX and everything in it.  If there’s an issue with an electronic device and you need to send it in for repair or replacement, you’ll need the original packaging. It’s the safest way to ship anything and many places require that you have it for replacement or return.

Try it out. I know that sometimes there’s a temptation to put things away and look at them weeks, months (sometimes years) later when you feel you have the time. That’s a bad idea. If you wait months, you may be past the return or replacement period. It’s also possible, the retailer will be out of that model if you want an exchange. You don’t have to use your item every day, but do plug it in or power it up to make sure it works.

Check the following:

Charge it up:  Plug it in and make sure it powers up. If it needs batteries, put them in and make sure it works. If it is rechargeable, charge it up.  Test battery-operated or rechargeable items out to make sure they maintain a charge.

fire-tv-cord.jpg

Cables, cords, and attachments:  Check to make sure cords and cables work. Recharge with the power cord, do a small transfer with a transfer cable. If there’s a keyboard, attach it and try it out. Make sure that tablet can actually save to the memory card.

Compatibility: If the device is a peripheral or accessory for something you already have, make sure it fits the plug, attaches properly, or interacts with as intended with the device it’s supposed to work with.

Connectivity: If the device works with WiFi or Bluetooth, make sure you can properly connect the item.

regal-radio-bluetooth-speaker

Now, just try it out. Play a game on the tablet. Listen to a song on the speaker. Take that GPS for a short spin.

You’ll have a much easier time with troubleshooting, return, or replacement now that you will six months from now.

If by some chance, it’s an item you simply can’t use until there’s a change of season or you go to a specific place, make sure to test it out ASAP.