13 Ways to Save Money on Electronics

Many people always need to have the latest and greatest electronic gadget on the market no matter the cost. Fortunately, here are some ways to save money on your next electronic purchase and have some money left over to possibly buy that other new toy is on your list.

Use rebates and promo codes

Many stores offer rebates with big-ticket electronics purchases. Although rebates can be a pain to redeem, many rebates are for large amounts and will be worth it when the check arrives in the mail. If you are shopping online, there are many codes that are not widely advertised. Do a search for promo codes for the retailer or see some top sites for promotional codes here.

Refuse the extended warranty

Many retailers will offer extra years on the manufacturer’s warranty at an additional cost. Although many shoppers think an extended warranty will protect their purchase, the likelihood that they will use it is rare, and the amount spent on warrantees is likely to be greater than what is collected. Furthermore, some credit cards automatically extend your warranty free of charge.

Decline add-on purchases

When you purchase an electronic device in store, the salesman will almost always try to sell you additional items as well. Cords, extra batteries, memory cards, carrying cases – these purchases all add up and can make you end up paying hundreds of dollars you did not intend on spending. Don’t let a pushy salesman convince you that you need this equipment.

Shop early in the season

Many shoppers love the Black Friday deals that happen the day after Thanksgiving. The closer you buy items around Thanksgiving, the better deals you will get. Those who procrastinate often get stuck with the higher prices.

Look into open box or refurbished items

An open box item is a returned item that the store inspects, ensures that it works and then resells, often at a huge discount. Although buying an item that has already been bought by someone and opened can be a turn-off, especially if you are buying the item as a gift, it can mean savings of 30% or more. Refurbished items have a stigma as being defective, but the truth is they have been restored to a new condition and then resold. Although they have been previously used and often come with no warranty, they are sold at huge discounts and can be a good buy for the non-discriminating electronics fan.

For example, Apple has a site for its refurbished products here.

Trade in

Many stores offer trade in programs for new electronics. Some, to include Amazons trade in program, even have free shipping.

Buy an earlier version

Computers and cell phones become outdated quickly. Many stores are eager to offer deep discounts to clear out discontinued stock and make space for the latest gadgets. Although it is not “cool” to buy last year’s electronics, you can end up saving as much as 50% by doing so.

Look online

save on electronics

You will likely find better deals online than in-store. Amazon.com and Crutchfield.com are two online retailers that have consistently received many accolades for customer satisfaction. Worried about shipping costs? These sites often ship for free, especially if you spend over a specified dollar amount. Many people like to see and touch their devices in person, which can make online shopping less desirable. However, for those who enjoy bargains, online shopping is the way to go.

Use discounts

If you are a member of a union or professional organization or are a student, you may be able to access discounts for computers, printers, software and accessories. In addition, many employers offer a variety of discounts for employees. Check with your company to see what you qualify for.

Buy used or swap with others

Most people know they can get used products from auction sites, but that is not the only way to save. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Try Craigslist or social networking sites to swap or make direct deals with people that could be in your local area.

Price-match

If a store is having a sale on a certain electronic device that you’ve been dying to own, but you do not live near the store, ask your local store to match or beat the price. This may or may not work, but it cannot hurt to ask.

Go open source

Buy the cheaper computer that does not come with a lot of preinstalled software and then go open source. For example, Open Office is sufficient to take care of the word processing and spreadsheet needs of most users. Gimp works for photo editing, and Microsoft Security Essentials can take care of anti-virus for free.

Just ask

Want a lower price on an electronic device? Many salespeople will give you a lower price on an item if you just ask. However, don’t be pushy. Being nice and polite can work wonders. This is especially true if the item is not a fast mover. Stores would rather sell you the item at a reduced price than have it sit in the store and take up valuable space.

Following these tips will help you put more money in your pocket while carrying around that must-have electronic device you’ve always wanted.

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