Any tips on how to get best deal on a Garmin or Tom Tom?

marys1000June 9, 2008

I hear about people who seem to know when a specific store is going to have some special sale and then they combine that with a special coupon and then a mfg rebate and get some mega tv for free (exaggerating a litte:)

I'm in the market for a Garmin or Tom Tom gps gizmo for the car. I think Best Buy carries them as far as walking into a store, then there's on-line.

Any ideas on how to get a really good deal?

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We use inexpensive paper maps and have yet to fail to arrive at any destination point and return. I personally don't understand this need for yet one more gadget - but that's my tightwad personality talking.

I'd prefer a paid-for car and gas to gadgets... Nothing like always knowing where you are when you can't afford to drive farther than a 2-county area because of gas prices.

Aside from my personal commentary, check out the link below. Maybe you'll find something there.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hot Coupon World

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 4:58PM
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I've thought about a gps since I drive for work and wondered if it could save gas by shortening trips. But I've heard some things about the maps in the units aren't the most accurate in the cheaper units so I'd suggest doing some research on them to make sure they are the models you really want and can use. Also check into how to update the maps. Is there a cost? How do you do it? Given how roads change, I'm hesitant to spend that much until I know the functionality of it. I'm sure metro areas are pretty good but rural areas could be problematic.

However, back to the original question, I think I'd check ebay for a while and see if you can come up with a deal there. Also if you're a Black Friday shopper, I'm sure there will be some deals on them then. It was a popular item last year. I've seen some units in the $125 range. Not sure what price point you're looking for.

One thing that I do use constantly is Microsoft Streets & Trips. That works well for laying out trips. I get a new version every 2-3 years and the accuracy in outlying areas is constantly improving.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:27PM
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Try Amazon.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 1:24PM
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My landlord, who has many irons in the fire, knows a large number of people.

He came home the other day with a GPS, to install on his tractor - to allow him to travel more accurately in the field.

A farmer friend has bought a new, upgraded system, more precise, etc. ... I guess.

Price landlord paid for the out-dated machine? Zero!

Hard to beat that!

He brought home a good-looking barbecue the other day that a family had put on the curb with the garbage ... the lady said that it works well.

Cost? Zero.

To me, that sounds like a good deal.

Good wishes for finagling frugal fancies.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 2:35PM
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A friend of mine just picked up one yesterday at Best Buy and has been playing with it. We met for lunch today. He was getting a kick out of it, how it worked, etc. Decided to use it today to find the restaurant. It insisted he turn off a mile before the best exit. Not sure what path it would have taken but at $4+/gallon, he didn't want to find out! I was surprised since the street the restaurant is on is an old established road in a developed area. I could have understood if it was in a new development but this didn't really impress me.

I asked him about how to go about updating it. Said it can be done through the company, at a cost of something like $85.

I'm curious how the units differ other than screen size and other obvious items. Wondering if the actually mapping program is essentially the same.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Check From the site we learned about the Garmin GPS deals at the ( At the time I believe they had the lowest price of the model I was looking for. I would not recommand buy one from eBay, nor buy a cheap model.

I love my GPS, life has been different ever since we got ours. It fits in a compartment in my car perfectly. I carry it and the charger in my purse when we are out of town, and use it in the rental car.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:38AM
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We have factory installed built-in GPS in both of our cars. Both units allow the user to choose the type of route they desire. Ours allow for 'Maximize Freeway'; 'Minimize Freeway'; 'Direct Route'; or 'Easy Route'.

The four different routes will all take you to the same place. Since you mention "exit", is it possible your friend had a route programed that did not maximize freeways?


We love our GPS units & would never voluntarily purchase another vehicle without them. We've been using marine GPS since the government released it (2001, I think?) with WAAS. IMO, there's no better company than Garmin for GPS. We've got their marine flagship model on our boat & it's wonderful. It's got radar, GPS, weather imaging, 3-D, sonar, & ties into our auto-pilot & VHF radio. We still chart our course the old-fashioned way as a precaution but truthfully it's more just an exercise to keep our navagation skills sharp. The GPS pilots our boat much more accurately than we could ever accomplish with charts. Garmin, IMO, makes the best GPS navigational equipment available & they've been at it for a long time.

Best Buy is having a sale on Garmin today. The sale was just for yesterday (Friday) & today (Saturday).


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Yes, Garmin makes good GPS for "General Public" usage. There are other companies make better products for other applications.

Our circle of friends reached the conclusion of buying a portable GPS is better than one comes with a car (unless it is a free add on). We want the portability of using it in different locations, terrains and circumstances. Of course, people in our field tend to be too practical, too risk adverse and hmmmm.. too cheap.

We chuckle each time we hear the "WAAS" feature offered in a GPS for none aero applications.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Why do you "chuckle" at WAAS for marine useage?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:43PM
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Well I appreciate the tips, I went to BB and CC and quickly got overwhelmed by different models. 760, 350, 260 - time to do a little more research?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:45PM
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Check out When I purchased my garmin last year they had the best pricing by a wide margin.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Amazon has the Nuvi 350 now for $199. I paid $379 last year for mine. It has the 3.5 inch screen. I find that I listen more to the directions than look at the screen. There is a comparison chart on Amazon of all the different features each one has. No need to pay for things you don't need. I didn't need bluetooth capability and so went with a different model. This thing has never failed me. If you follow it's directions it will get you there. The best thing to do is play around with it before you go on a trip. Last year when I was going home to visit family, I discovered 2 shortcuts that saved about 25 min off the trip.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:50PM
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I have been looking for a GPS unite lately, too, and I have been overwhelmed by all of the choices. I was in a Staples the other week and saw a model called the Mio Moov 210. It was only like $150 or something. I was getting ready to buy it but then saw all of the other TomToms and Garmins and was confused.

After doing research I learned that there are differences between the cheap ones and the expensive ones. For example, some can take longer get a signal, not provide as many alternate routes, may not announce the street name (just say turn in 500 feet, which requires looking at the thing to know what street it is).

I ultimately had to decide what model I wanted. Based on my research and my needs, I am going to get the Garmin 255. It is still expensive (and it is also new), so I will wait until it hits a price point I feel is right.

I think what I have learned is that there are a lot of choices out there. I have wasted more money buying cheap things sometimes, so I decide what is the right item for me and what I am willing to pay for it. I don't think there is much more than I can do than that.

To help you, I found this site useful. Hope it will help you...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:16PM
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We just completed a cross-country road trip and the GPS single handedly saved our marriage! After much research before the trip, I decided on the Garmin Nuvi 650. The best price I found was from Amazon (I have free shipping-which isn't free as I have to pay an annual fee!).

I can't tell you the reduction in stress that we experienced having this "gadget" to support us during the long trip. The unit (called Grace) provide much more than directions. If we wanted to stop for a meal, Grace obliged by listing all of the restaurants (by cuisine) in the area we were in. If it was time to look for lodging, Grace would give us all the options along with phone numbers so we could sit in a parking lot and "dial a hotel" until we found the right price for our budget.

The only misstep the entire trip was when Grace told us that the Best Western was on the left side of the highway and actually it was on the right.

GPS or Grace Penelope S(my last name) has definitely become a member of the family.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:58AM
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I watch a website ( that lists all the deals in the Sunday advertising supplements every week. From that I found a Becker GPS for $100 marked down from $300 at Office Depot. The Becker brand is big in Europe but not so much here. Anyway for $100 I figured if I didn't like it, at least it didn't cost me that much to find out. Well it works GREAT! I drive 500 miles to and from my job every other week. The Becker saved me 1.5 hours in that drive time. When I'm at the job I drive the back roads of Texas at least 100 miles per day. I am never lost and I know exactly how far I am from my destination. I can compare the exact distance to my destination with my distance to an empty tank (built into my car) and determine if I need an extra gallon of gas to get there. Best of all I can answer the question, "When are we going to get there?"

From what I read the Becker has all the features that the other brands advertise they have. If this one broke I would get another one without even looking at the other brands. That might be because I am familiar with it, but it really does work well. I like the feature where it talks to me to tell me when to turn.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 1:32AM
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Once you decide on the exact model you want, if you Google it you can occasionally find remanufactured units at a considerable discount - they'll still have the same company warranty.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 11:42PM
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