Tech has become part of our everyday lives. When it’s time to purchase new tech, costs can add up very fast. Consumers are continually trying to find new ways to save money on electronics but seem to fall short and end up breaking the bank for the latest and greatest. So how can you spare your wallet?
Here are 13 ways to save money on your next tech purchase.
1. Comparison Shop
One of the last things you want to do when you’re about to purchase your shiny new tech is paying too much. Take your time and do some comparison shopping.
It can be a tedious process, but if you take the extra bit of time to search around, you can come across some serious deals. Couple this with the other tips in this post and your wallet will thank you.
2. Consider Holding Off on the Upgrade
We all have that urge to upgrade to the latest and greatest tech. But often, the newest gadget only has an incremental upgrade over the previous generation model and more often than not it’s not worth the extra money.
This isn’t to say never upgrade to the latest model. Each person’s situation is different.
If upgrading to the latest model, take a look at your current model and compare the features and specs to the newly updated version. If the specs are mostly the same, it may be best to keep your current one around for another year.
However, if you don’t have a shiny new Apple Watch and you’re considering shelling out money for the Series 3 for example, consider getting the Apple Watch Series 2 model instead. It has similar features and you come out saving some bucks.
3. Time Your Electronic Purchase
Tech prices often change. Especially around holidays. No I’m not just talking Christmas, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, but the other holidays as well.
For example, a good time to buy a TV other than Black Friday or Cyber Monday is around Super Bowl time in January and February and Spring time between March and May. Retailers love to push discounts on TVs during Super Bowl so you can watch the big game with your family and friends.
Plus by this time most of the current model TVs have been out for just about a year, so the price starts to drop down. March through May is another opportunity to buy TVs because upgraded models begin hitting the market. Most retailers will put the previous year models on clearance to make room for new stock. Sometimes these discounts can last through the summer.
4. Don’t Opt for the Extended Warranty
No matter what tech you buy, you will always be asked about getting an extended warranty. Unless you are a klutz or just accident prone, this is a waste of money and can, in fact, make the cost of the product more expensive. Plus this is how a lot of manufactures and retailers make their money.
If you’re that concerned with that extra level of security, create your own insurance for the product. The amount of money you would spend on an extended warranty can easily be put into a savings account periodically to cover the cost of a replacement.
5. Consider Getting Generic Brands
Believe it or not, paying a higher price for brand specific tech doesn’t always mean better quality. In a lot of cases, you’re really paying for the brand name itself. In the case for HDMI cables, (most) charging cables, phone cases, etc. you’re most often better off going with it’s cheaper counterpart.
Besides, a lot of the generic products are manufactured alongside many of the brand name versions.
6. Buy Refurbished
You might be scared of the term refurbished but believe it or not this can be an excellent route to go when buying a new item. The downside of buying refurbished items is that the warranty on the product will be a lot shorter (usually 90 days) than if you buy it brand new (better than nothing!).
If you plan on buying refurbished, make sure that you’re buying from the manufacturer’s site directly or the manufacturer themselves through Amazon or eBay. They make sure to put them through thorough testing to return it to proper working order.
7. Take Advantage of Codes & Coupons
Coupon and discount sites such as RetailMeNot or SlickDeals continuously have useful codes and discounts posted for different sales and savings even going as far as being product specific.
Have a favorite store like Target or Best Buy that you frequent? You could be losing out on big savings. Rewards cards such as Target’s REDCard or Amazon’s Credit Card saves on average 5% on purchases each time you shop in-store or online.
9. Trade In Older Devices
Older devices you don’t plan on using anymore such as smartphones or consoles can be traded or sold online and offset the amount that comes out of your pocket for your next tech purchase. Retailers such as Target, At&T, Amazon, and Gamestop have trade-in programs for old devices.
If you don’t want to deal with lines in store, you can take your dust covered devices and sell them on sites like gazelle.com. Make sure your gadgets are in top shape to get the most money back.
10. Price Match
This is one of the best tips we can suggest. While making price comparisons, keep track of the pricing at all the different retailers you check. A lot of people don’t realize that if you find a product cheaper at a competing retailer, you can take that information to your desired store and ask them to price match.
We just did this technique on a new router. Our local target had a Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 around $130 or so. Ended up finding the same router for about $40 cheaper online. Customer service honored that price and walked out the door with money back in my account.
Be sure to check your favorite retailer’s website for their price matching policy. Check out the price match policy at the some of the following stores below.
If you’re in college or just graduated and have access to a .edu email, you qualify for student discounts. Companies like Amazon have accounts such as Amazon Prime Student which helps save money on tech by showing the best possible price available as well as offering free or discounted shipping. You can find a running list of student programs and discounts down below.
Microsoft has great deals for students! Students and teachers save 10% on the Surface Plus (with a qualifying monthly plan) as well as accessories. Whats more is students also get Office 365 for free. That includes Microsoft program essentials such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote.
Lenovo’s Student & Teacher Program offers a discount on Laptops, tablets, and more. When you’re ready to checkout, click the Verify button in your cart to verify your status as a student and the discount will be taken out at checkout. Check out Lenovo’s website to learn more.
12. Don’t Go For High End
It’s tempting to opt in for the high-end versions of some of our favorite tech products. However, the majority of the time, the features advertised are more convenience than necessity. The better value is in the mid-range tier. They have the same core features with some of the added convenience features. In the end, going Mid range will give you the best bang for your buck.
13. Utilize Cash Saving Shopping Apps
This method is a personal favorite. Since all of us shop on our laptops, smartphones, and tablets, why not use an app to help save you money. By the way, this can work both online and offline.
There are two main types of apps on your phone that earn you money.
This first type of app has become quite popular in the last few years. The concept is pretty simple: you earn points or cash back by scanning your full receipt. Depending on the app, you will have to meet certain conditions such as purchasing specific products and having an itemized receipt to earn your cash.
All you have to do is install the app on your phone or tablet, take pictures of your receipts after your shopping trips, and wait for your account to be credited. Once you reach the required minimum payout, you can either cash out and receive a gift card to your favorite stores like Amazon or Target, or receive a direct deposit to your PayPal account.
Cash Back On Specific Items
Using apps such as Drop can earn you points by tracking your debit or credit card purchases and will automatically credit your account with points when you shop at eligible retail stores. This may sound a bit sketchy to some, but this is 100% safe.
Rewards are given in gift cards instead of cash with Drop however they have a good range of merchant gift cards to choose from like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, JC Penney, Whole Foods, and more.